This Problem is Yours, Mine, and Ours
How Ring Empowers Employees to Tackle the World’s Biggest Problems
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.
“At Ring we have this mentality of 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,” Rouhi said. “And so that enabled me to naturally become more involved in helping different teams to build some processes and mechanisms.”
Whether it’s customer service, IT, or product development, Rouhi explained that this idea permeates throughout Ring.
“I wouldn’t say we necessarily have a team whose focus is R and D”, she says. “ 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.”
And this is an organization that has seen its fair share of battles. Ring has been put through its paces since its founding in 2001, including a failed appearance on Shark Tank and a couple of close calls with bankruptcy. But because everyone at the company is completely bought in on all aspects of the mission and the business, Ring have persevered.
“There’s a natural tenacity and grit in our team and, we faced a lot of struggles,” Rouhi said, “The business that we are in, the hardware business, is very challenging and winning customers’ trust and maintaining that trust is incredibly challenging. And we faced a lot of obstacles throughout that journey… during those first two years, I think there never was a time where I didn’t think we were going to make it through. 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. And so it was just always a question of how do we work our way through this? Not are we going to make it through this?”
Today, Ring products are in tens of millions of homes, and the company’s new technology, like the Neighbors app, is creating a whole new aspect of community in the home security space.
“We recognize that being safe and what it takes to feel safe is different for different people and so we 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,” Rouhi said. “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.
“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 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.”
Despite all of the success that Ring has had — including an acquiisitiion by Amazon — the team never rests on its laurels. There are always new problems to solve and new customers to serve.
“We really do not have a celebratory culture here,” Rouhi said. “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.”
To hear more about how Rouhi and Ring is building safer communities, tune into Business X factors.
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