Q&A: Meet Nimrod Vered, Our New SVP of Engineering

Nimrod Vered standing in front of Zipwhip HQ office

We’re thrilled to introduce Nimrod Vered, our new senior vice president of engineering at Zipwhip.

Nimrod brings over 20 years of experience, a passion for engineering and strong leadership principles to help guide Zipwhip’s growth.

Hear more about Nimrod’s career, leadership style and goals for the engineering team in 2020.

Q:  Let’s start with the basics! Could you tell us a bit about yourself  and what you were doing before you came to  Zipwhip?

A:  I was born and raised in Israel, a son to immigrants from Argentina. About nine years ago I relocated with my family to the USA as part of career progression at Microsoft and became an immigrant myself.

Prior to Zipwhip, I was with Microsoft for about four years where I built the Workplace Analytics (WpA) service, which was based on the work we did at VoloMetrix prior to being acquired by Microsoft. Don’t get me wrong, Microsoft is an amazing company but yes, I left Microsoft twice because of the startup virus in my blood.

I have 24+ years in the high-tech industry, of which I spent 21+ years in leadership positions in large organizations like Cisco and Microsoft, medium size as well as small startup companies.

Q: Why did you decide to join  Zipwhip?

A:  My first experience with Zipwhip was a one-hour meeting with John Lauer, Zipwhip’s CEO, that run for over three hours. I was blown away with the success that Zipwhip is experiencing, with the extraordinary market fit that other startups are hoping to figure out and with John’s openness to share what’s working well and what can improve.

Later on, I was deeply impressed with the openness, critical thinking and conviction that I have observed with everyone that I met across all layers of the organization.

As a leader that cares deeply both about people as well as customers, I am passionate about building an engineering culture that enables people to bring their best to work and ship experiences that delight customers. The opportunity to build such a culture at Zipwhip is what kept drawing me in to the point where I decided to join this amazing team.

Q: What drew you to engineering?

A:  As a kid I remember being curious about how technology actually works, which led to me taking apart the family’s black and white TV, the stereo and records player. I always put them back in a working order, that being said occasionally I was left with parts that seemed not to fit back in. In my early teens, I was exposed to the Sinclair 1K computer and my coding journey began. Later on, I was upgraded to the Commodore 64K and the rest is history.

Q: What are some of your goals for the engineering team in 2020?

A:  The overarching goal for 2020 is to increase the throughput of new features development while running a high-scale reliable service and maintaining a strong sense of customer empathy. We will achieve it overtime by adopting agile culture, modernized engineering practices and scalable service architecture.

Q: What are some of the challenges  Zipwhip  faces that you hope to address?

A:  Zipwhip has recently experienced an accelerated growth both in revenue and sheer organization size. The challenge we’re facing is eloquently described in Marshall Goldsmith’s book “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”, and while the book is written about human habits it is very applicable to organization habits. As we continue our growth and success, we will need to thoughtfully look at and possibly redefine some of our habits that made us so successful.

Q: How would you describe your leadership style? 

A:  For me leadership is about providing clarity by defining goals and setting expectations, while creating a safe environment where individuals feel empowered to make decisions and learn from failures.

Furthermore, it is about practicing respect, integrity and accountability.

  • Respect is best described by the following sentence: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and can be achieved by practicing inclusive behavior that allows individuals to be heard and by providing timely feedback that is aimed at helping individuals be successful at their jobs.
  • Integrity is about practicing critical thinking about yourself, embracing your mistakes, being vulnerable by sharing what you don’t know and proactively seek for feedback and help.
  • Accountability starts by taking responsibility for the outcome of your actions and decisions and continues by holding others accountable to the same bar.

Q: What do you personally think makes  Zipwhip  positioned for success? 

A:  Defining a new market is incredibly hard. I have worked for eight startups, some of which were making progress toward defining a market and others were not even close to do so. What Zipwhip has successfully created is a ripe market filled with customers that understand the value of texting with their customers and are actively looking to purchase a texting solution.

Q: What unique value does  Zipwhip  offer its customers? 

A:  I have conviction that the increase in scam phone calls has trained people to not take calls from numbers they do not recognize, and that the growing volume of junk emails made the inbox unmanageable. As a result, businesses are struggling to find a non-intrusive and yet effective way to stay in touch with their customers. What Zipwhip offers its customers is a best in class solution that enables them to use texting natively in their workflows to communicate with their customers.

Q: What do you like to do for fun outside of work? 

A:  When I get a chance, I get out of the house and go for a hike. We have thousands of miles of natural trails with stunning views in Washington state that I hope to slowly cover.

Q:  Have you read any good books recently? If so, what?

A:  I recently started to read Daniel Kahneman’s book “Thinking, Fast and Slow”.

Q: Now these are very important questions: What kind of phone do you have and how many unread text messages are on it? 

A:  Samsung Note 10+ with zero unread text messages.

Q: Anything else you’d like to  share? 

A:  I am truly humbled to have had the opportunity to join such an incredible and talented team and I am super excited about the journey ahead of us to deliver solutions that will delight our customers.

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