Mr. Gwak is on his way to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport to catch a flight back to Seoul after his visit to Ram-Of, an Israeli start-up which develops state of the art software for the security business.Gwak came to Israel to see Ram-Of first hand; Ram-Of’s algorithms could provide a phenomenal technological advantage to Gwak’s multi- million dollar security empire.
Mr. Gwak came for a day. In the morning, he met with Ram-Of’s President and CEO Ami Amami in the lobby of the luxurious Dan Hotel, and then, they travelled by car to the offices of Ram-Of in Neveh Tsedek, Tel Aviv’s Greenwich Village.
Gwak was very, very impressed with the team, the average engineer “shelf time” of 7 years, the phenomenal innovation and the “lets do what it takes to get the job done” attitude which so characterise Israeli high tech. Gwak was less impressed by the organization.
Ami’s team “voted” on whether or not to “dress up” for Gwak’s visit and the vote was 50 against dressing up and 5 in favour. Folks wore shorts and sandals; many went barefoot.
Worse, Ami’s team had voted whether or not a CEO office should be built for Gwak’s visit, or whether Gwak should see that Ami sits in a cubicle like everyone else. 55 people opposed any change to “equal conditions for all” layout of the office.
After touring Ram-Of, Gwak said, “where is your office” and Ami said “I have none”
Gwak will not work with Ram-Of. In his email of explanation he said that technical innovation and product maturity must go hand in hand with organizational maturity.
Amami is a play on words-it means plebeian.
Thanks to my friend O.R. for the idea