Why Remix? Three Women Share Their Stories
The SF-based startup is making public transit faster, more efficient, and more accessible in cities around the globe
The team at Remix prides itself on building a diverse, inclusive workplace rooted in the core values of collaboration, humility, empathy, and feedback. For this story, we spoke with three women — Sarah Bindman (Software Engineer), Nichole Jordan (VP of Success), and Courtney Sung (Director of Sales and Business Development) — about why they joined the team, what they’re working on now, and why they’re excited about the path ahead. If you’re interested in joining the team, view open roles or email Tammie Vu, firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you do at Remix?
I’m a software engineer working on our scheduling product, which helps transit agencies better plan where their buses will go and which routes their operators will drive. My team uses algorithms to figure out the most effective use of vehicles and drivers. I’m currently working on presenting that information visually so customers can better understand their options and make informed decisions about trade-offs for their agency.
I’m also the point engineer for the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA), one of our customers based in Lancaster, CA. AVTA operates a largely electric fleet. As a result, they have many unique challenges, like figuring out how to charge their vehicles and planning for midday storage. I’ve been working on implementing UI enhancements so AVTA can visualize their system constraints and create a schedule they are happy with. Working directly with the agencies we’re serving is one of the most rewarding parts of this job.
Tell us about your background.
I studied urban planning at MIT, and then worked as a transportation planner. I loved the “big picture” of transportation planning, and realized I was particularly interested in data and visualizing complex information. After observing how important software is in driving decision-making processes, I decided to transition to software engineering. My new role has allowed me to continue working on issues I am passionate about, including accessibility and mobility, while allowing me to grow my skills as a software engineer.
“Working directly with the agencies we’re serving is one of the most rewarding parts of this job.” — Sarah
Why did you decide to join Remix?
As someone early in their software career looking to grow and improve, I wanted an environment that would help me succeed. I was impressed by the tools and support systems the Engineering team has in place. It’s very collaborative — everyone on the team is generous with their time, whether it’s pair programming, whiteboarding, or just talking through a problem.
I also strongly align with Remix’s mission to design better cities and transportation systems. I’ve always been passionate about transportation in general. Mobility is a critical social justice issue, but the U.S. has this entrenched, car-first mentality. Much of our country doesn’t prioritize transit, whereas cities like Mexico City and Bogotá have these incredible networks of trains, light rail, and buses. I think we can learn a lot from developing countries about transit as a means to give more people access to education, services, and jobs.
What are you excited about in the coming year?
I’m looking forward to seeing how our scheduling product grows as we build it to serve the needs of existing and new customers. We’re figuring out how to turn complex information and decision-making processes into an elegant, user-friendly interface.
I’m also excited about the quality of our products in general — they really are exceptional. We take the time to do things right. Our process is set up to continuously gather customer feedback so we can build tools that are truly intuitive and effective. I’m looking forward to using the feedback we have collected from our early customers to inform future iterations of the scheduling product.
Tell us about your role at Remix.
I lead our Customer Success team, which makes sure Remix customers get as much as they can out of our products, which hopefully encourages them to renew their contracts.
To me, customer success is different than customer service in that service is reactive and transactional, whereas success is more consultative. We need to be experts in Remix’s products, as well as in our customers’ businesses. We have to understand the challenges our customers face, and we have to know our products well enough to demonstrate how we can help our customers meet their goals. We also need to recognize the early warning signs that we are in danger of losing a customer. If a customer doesn’t renew a contract, that should never be a surprise. When we can see it coming, we can often turn things around.
What were you doing before Remix, and why did you join?
I studied civil engineering as an undergraduate and received my MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. After that, I spent 10 years in customer service at Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). In my last role there, I had 1,000 employees reporting to me, including the frontline contact center customer service reps. I worked at a startup prior to PG&E and wanted to return to a smaller company focused on software. I went to C3 Energy — now C3 IoT — for three years, then I moved to AnyPerk — now Fond — to be their VP of Customer Success. I had the opportunity to build processes from the ground up there, and I defined what the function was going to look like.
A recruiting agency reached out about Remix, and I wasn’t actually looking for a job at the time. But I was intrigued because this company solves a very real problem. Given my background, I immediately saw the value of the product, and this was an exciting opportunity to get back to my civil engineering roots.
What do you prioritize as a leader?
I try to be approachable and, most importantly, authentic. What you see is what you get. My ultimate goal is to make sure everyone on the team can be themselves and contribute their own unique strengths and talents.
I also love coaching and developing people. That’s especially interesting in this role, because part of what we do as a team is coach and develop the customers who use our products.
“We have a lot of innovative thinking here because people come from diverse backgrounds—it’s a real competitive advantage.” -Nichole
What makes Remix different from other companies?
I love the way we value feedback, for two reasons. One, Remix is highly customer-centric. A lot of companies think they know better than the customer, and they just push out features without collecting or incorporating feedback. Here, customer feedback is integral to how the product evolves.
And two, a culture that values feedback creates trust. We can be open and honest with each other. We can just be ourselves, and that’s incredibly important to me. I’ve worked in organizations where everyone thought the same way — and innovation suffered. We have a lot of innovative thinking here because people come from diverse backgrounds, and we can bring those differences together in a constructive way. It’s a real competitive advantage.
What’s your role at Remix?
I’m currently our Director of Sales and Business Development and lead the sales team, but I’ve worn many hats since I joined the team a couple of years ago. There were only eight employees in the whole company back then! At that time we all did a little of everything — I helped create our first outbound playbook, organized our attendance at field events, and even spoke at a couple conferences. Last fall, I was asked to establish the sales process for our second product, and earlier this year I started working with enterprise accounts. I was promoted to a leadership position in September, so now my main focus is managing my team.
What did you do before Remix?
I studied urban planning at MIT for both undergrad and my master’s, and afterwards spent four years in D.C. managing business development for Chemonics, an international development consulting firm, where I helped implement federal government projects. I learned a lot about selling services and business development for the government sector, but I wanted to experience selling a tangible product that solves a specific problem. It’s always been important to me to sell something I believe in. I’d also been thinking about transitioning into the tech world, and then Remix reached out looking for an urban planner with business development experience. It was a product in a technical area that I was actually very keen on and also had experience in. It felt like the stars aligned.
“At Remix, we practice open, direct feedback, which is different from other places I’ve worked.” -Courtney
What’s the culture like on the Sales team?
It’s highly collaborative. In every weekly team meeting, we’ll share something interesting that happened that week, so we can all learn from each other’s best practices. We also encourage team members to hop on each other’s calls. It’s so helpful to hear how someone else negotiates, or talks about the products. Of course, we have a very collaborative relationship with our customers too. Remix is much more consultative than many other companies in the technology space.
As far as the broader company culture, everyone here is incredibly smart but extremely humble. We practice open, direct feedback, which is definitely different from other places I’ve worked, where it was more political. Here, it’s just, “Hey, I want to help you improve.” It can be hard at times, but it’s a great way to grow.
How do you think about leadership?
My role as a leader is to empower our account executives to work more efficiently and effectively, and to teach them to trust their instincts. I don’t like micromanaging. I’ve gone through the sales process as an account executive myself, so I know the importance of autonomy and ownership. I trust my team members to do their work as they see fit and want to help them gain the skills to do so.
It’s also important to encourage diversity of backgrounds and diversity of thought. On my team alone, we have a former transit planner from LA Metro, a software salesperson who also worked in photography and immigration, and an account executive who studied urban planning but was a whitewater rafting guide before transitioning to software sales. We can each lead initiatives based on our respective strengths and weaknesses, so that diversity is really valuable to the team as a whole.