Is facing the unknown a challenge or an opportunity? Or, is it both? You’ll get the answer to these questions from Mendy Orimland, the Chief Revenue Officer of Prodege. In this episode of Through Your Looking Glass, Mendy and host Patrick Comer, talk about their industry — ResTech.
In the first part of the conversation, Mendy and Patrick talk about the current global situation and the impact it had on their personal and professional lives. They mention change as the cause of fear and resistance among some members of the research community.
Both Mendy and Patrick also discuss the importance of keeping teams together, especially in a period of crisis. They agree innovation is a core value of the industry, and technology should be its loyal ally.
Mendy also talks about data collection and data integration, pointing out the syntagm — ethically sourced data.
Name: Mendy Orimland
What he does: Mendy is the Chief Revenue Officer at Prodege.
Key Quote: ”The thing that kept me up at night personally was how do we keep the team together. How do we keep the family together? That was the number one priority. I’m super thankful that we’ve been able to keep the group together.”
- When the pandemic hit, Mendy says, the number one priority was to keep the team together. Blaming or finger-pointing wasn’t an option, but finding solutions to adapt to the situation was.
- The long-term success of the sample industry depends on the acceptance of innovation and technology.
- The biggest challenge of the ResTech industry? — “Change is the biggest struggle in general. And you have a group of companies, a group of individuals that love change. And then you have a group that just doesn’t like change.”
Innovation as One of the Core Values of Prodege
The conversation starts with Mendy’s recapitulation of his early days in Prodege. The guest talks about the significance of his collaboration with the company’s founder, Joseph Gorowitz, and their mutual appreciation for the ”small wins.”
Continuing the conversation, Mendy mentions Chuck Davis, the next CEO of Prodege, and emphasizes the impact Davis had on his professional development. ”Chuck Davis came on to be the CEO, who led many companies. I have so much appreciation for the mentorship I receive on a day-to-day basis from Chuck,” says Mendy.
Mendy believes innovation is one of the core values of Prodege. They have many innovative companies and Orimland explains the importance of the all-hands meeting — ”A quarterly meeting where the whole company comes together, and we make a point to bring in an entrepreneur, a leader of another company.”
How to Deal With a Crisis? — Keep the Team Together
Answering the next question, regarding the changes that came with the coronavirus outbreak, Mendy looks at how sports teams function. He explains the difference between the winning and the losing locker rooms. In a winning locker room, there’s a lot of high-fives and celebration, while in a losing team, there’s a lot of finger-pointing.
The COVID-19 situation didn’t give space to finger-pointing. No one was aware of what was going on and for how long it would last. It was nobody’s fault. So, the thing that mattered, the number one priority, was to keep the team together. ”I just want to give a shout out really to the Prodege family, to the Prodege team, to my team that has worked so hard and didn’t buckle up, no finger-pointing, and just dig deep. Let’s get through this together,” states Mendy.
The Acceptance of Innovation Within the Sample Industry
Moving forward to the next topic, the two talk about the importance of innovation and technology within the sample industry. They both agree there are resistance and fear among some members of the research community.
As Mendy points out, the whole community is aware of the necessity of innovation, but some members are afraid of the change. Many believe new players will come and take advantage of the industry. Mendy, on the other hand, sees those new players as the opportunity for the industry’s growth.
The Challenge of Definition
The next segment is dedicated to the term ResTech. Mendy and Patrick discuss the need for the definition within the industry. Both agree that many companies have relocated to, as Patrick says, a ”bucket of success”. Everyone wants to be on a winning team, a team like the CX (Customer Experience) industry.
The sample industry needed a definition, and Patrick concludes the topic by telling the story of how the research community picked the term ResTech – Res (research) + Tech (technology).
Research Is Not Just for Researchers
If ResTech aims toward long-term success, it needs to offer solutions available for all. Mendy says, nowadays, everyone wants to ask questions. Not only researchers, but also marketers and brands are in search of answers.
”Are you really able to create this new avenue, this arena called ResTech…but then you might still be stuck in the research community versus what I think if we’re trying to accomplish or what the industry is trying to say as it’s not just research for researchers, answers are needed everywhere. Everybody has questions, and everybody needs answers.”
The Challenges of the ResTech
One of the biggest challenges is change. There’s a group of people who like change, while others see it as a threat. The two also discuss the current global situation and the importance of unity within the team, within the company, and among business partners.
”We’re going to make this, we’re going to figure this out and work through it. So. It’s very sad what happened. This year has been rough, but just being here, several months later, six months later, after everything started and beyond thankful.”
The Impact of Data on the Sample Industry
Asked about data and how data integration is impacting his company, Mendy says big data was a topic at every single market research conference. He also says: ”big data is abstract.”
”When I heard the various talks and what people are trying to accomplish, what I immediately thought of the big winner of big data is whoever can make it small data.”
Mendy also mentions responsible data collecting, stating the following: ”Both of our companies naturally are collecting data and in the bright lights of sunshine, meaning that there’s consent, that the users know what’s going on. It’s ethically sourced data. Which gives us the strength to use the data in a way that’s productive for our members.”