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This Problem is Yours, Mine, and Ours: How Ring Empowers Employees to Tackle the World’s Biggest Problems

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There’s a saying that goes, “Not my monkey, not my circus.” Basically, it means “that’s not my problem.” For your own peace of mind in your personal life, it might be good to adopt that attitude — if it’s not something you have to worry about, why should you? In business, though, that can’t be how you think — not if you want to succeed long-term or grow your young business into a juggernaut. That’s why from its infancy, Ring has employed the exact opposite approach: everything is everyone’s problem. And when you’re building a company that has a mission to deliver complete home security to all who need and want it, there are an awful lot of problems to solve. 

Ring started with a simple video doorbell, but the people behind that product always had a vision that saw past the horizon. The company’s mission was to make the world better, and it has despite numerous missteps and heartbreaks along the way. How? Find out on this episode of Business X factors with Leila Rouhi, the President of Ring.   

Main Takeaways:

  • It Takes a Village:  Business is about buy-in. Customers have to buy into your products and services, and your employees have to buy into your mission and the work they do. By keeping everyone involved in all aspects of the company — from product development to customer service — you create an environment where everyone is rowing in the same direction. And as a result, the customer is served better and more effectively more often, which keeps them coming back
  • It’s Not a Party:  In order to consistently grow and bring new solutions to the table, you can’t spend too much time patting yourself on the back. A victory should not give way to a celebration, but instead, it should just open you up to start working on the next big problem. 
  • Continuous Product Development: Nailing the launch of a new product can feel like hitting a moving target on top of a runaway train. Rather than shooting for perfection, product development should be seen as an ongoing information-gathering process and a way to bring more value into your customers’ lives. That will keep everyone on the team motivated to create the kinds of products that can be winners out of the gate.

 

Key Quotes:

“There was already this idea of whole home security and the idea that you really want to meet the customer where they’re at and create a wide breadth of products that suit their needs, whatever that need might be. We just didn’t have all the products yet.”

“I think very much at Ring we have this mentality of like, if you see a problem or you see an opportunity, it’s always your job to fix it regardless of what your job title is. And so that kind of enabled me to naturally become more involved in helping different teams to build some processes and mechanisms.” 

“We recognize that being safe and what it takes to feel safe is different for different people and so we do strive to provide a broad range of products and services to really help customers build that ring of security that suits them and makes them, and their family feel safe. But we have a foundational belief that safety does not happen on an individual basis, and it really takes a community and all of the stakeholders in the community working together for us really to achieve safety.” 

“I wouldn’t say we necessarily have a team whose focus is R and D. I think it’s in our DNA. I think everyone at Ring is thinking about innovating and really continually improving our products and making them better and making them more affordable and easier to use. So, I think that is a shared responsibility throughout the organization.” 

“There’s a natural tenacity and grit in our team and we face a lot of struggles. I mean, the business that we are in, the hardware business is very challenging and winning customers’ trust and maintaining that trust is incredibly challenging. And, you know, we faced a lot of obstacles throughout that journey… I think we always knew that we had the products that our customers loved and we had a mission that made sense and that needed to be serviced.”

 “The Neighbors app is another area where I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to create. Most recently in the Texas freeze situation, we saw it being used as just a huge resource for communities to communicate with each other in terms of whether power was on or off in their community or to share resources and food. And I think that really, when we talked earlier about community and the importance of community and safety, I think that is a really beautiful example of that.” 

‘We really are at the beginning of how technology can make communities safer and I’m really looking forward to seeing what things look like and how we can really leverage the technology that is in its infancy stages, five or 10 years from now.”

 “We really do not have a celebratory culture here. I think we really stay focused on what’s next. I think there’s a general feeling that our work is never done and there’s always an improvement that can be made or the next generation or the next version of whatever it is that you’re building…Really we have an incredibly humble, heads-down team, and they have a tendency to just kinda go onto the next thing as soon as they’re done with one thing.” 

 “We have seen instances of Ring helping solve crimes. We’ve seen it alert people to a fire in their home. Very recently we saw an example of somebody who had a Ring device…and realized that there was a fire in their home and was able to go back and save their pet. We see people using it to make sure that their kids are getting home on time. We see people using Ring devices communicating with your delivery person or making sure your package got delivered or communicating with the person at your front door. So again, I think for everybody, it serves a different purpose. And our goal is really to enable all of those different cases.”

Bio:

Leila Rouhi is the President of Ring where she oversees all aspects of the company’s privacy, security and community efforts. Rouiha first joined Ring as General Counsel and led the team through an acquisition by Amazon in 2018. Prior to this, she also represented clients specializing in fashion, mergers & acquisitions, and entertainment and media. Rouhi is an avid security and technology enthusiast and she volunteers at the Suicide Prevention Lifeline as a crisis counsellor and at InsightLA, a non-profit meditation center teaching mindfulness practices based in Buddhist tradition.

Business X factors is produced by Mission.org and brought to you by Hyland.

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Episode 12