At Riffyn, we take pride in the fact that we are a scientific partner with our customers, not simply a vendor. We are a dedicated group of people with our customers’ interests in mind – we’re here to help time and again, as often as you need us. We’re all about deep personal relationships as fellow scientists and engineers.
In our “Riffyn Spotlights” blog series, we’re giving you the chance to get to know the Riffyn team a bit better. In this installment, we talk with Solutions Engineer George Randolph about why technical sales is the perfect job for him, Riffyn’s sense of humor, and his obsession with Better Call Saul. Please note that answers have been edited for clarity.
Q: What is your greatest success story for helping a Riffyn customer?
A: “We sent out a case study through a mass email, and someone followed up and asked to learn more about Riffyn. I did a demo for them, and it went really well.”
Q: What is your background -- what did you do before joining Riffyn?
A: "My background is in technical consulting. I like to be customer-facing; explaining ideas to customers, explaining the process and experiments that I built, or technical concepts. I know how to program a little bit — I have an engineering background so I have a technical mindset — but I didn’t want to program all day, and I didn’t want to just go into a salesy role all day, so technical sales seemed to be the best path forward and fit. I really like it."
Q: Why did you decide to join Riffyn?
A: "Last year I applied for several jobs, one of them being Riffyn. I interviewed at Riffyn and two weeks later I joined the team. Riffyn didn’t have a lot of Glassdoor reviews, which was what I was using to gauge companies. I was just concerned because I didn’t want Riffyn to be the tech version of my current job at the time, which was a really small company that was stagnating. I was talking to a friend of mine who is in tech, and she said, ‘Don’t worry, Riffyn is going to grow, it’s not that at all.’ And she was exactly right.”
Q: Describe Riffyn in three words.
A: "Dedicated. Integrity. Altruistic."
Q: What personal values do you get to fulfill through your work?
A: "I like that I don’t have to be stoic and a robot — I don’t have to completely reverse my true self at work. A lot of people at Riffyn are funny, and I’m kinda funny, so that’s great. You can crack jokes with people, and everyone has fun with it."
Q: What does “a day in the life of George” look like?
A: “I wake up, fall out of bed, drag a comb across my head…. I’m in sales, so it’s all about distilling complex topics into something that is easy to understand. I spend a lot of time in meetings, talking with clients. I do a lot of work on our demos — I do a lot of tweaks to make the demos the most valuable experience possible for our clients. I also help different teams within Riffyn repurpose things they are working on to present to our customers.”
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A: "I like to go hiking — I went to grad school in Wyoming so the mountain West is in my heart. I also like to watch movies and TV shows. Right now I’m catching up on a lot of old PBS documentaries that I had recorded a long time ago, but the show that I’m obsessed with right now is Better Call Saul. It's just really high quality television made by people who've been making really good television for years and they're really good at their jobs. It's just a real marvel to watch.”
Q: If you could solve one major problem, what would it be and why?
A: "Batteries. Battery storage is a bottleneck for a bunch of stuff and improving/changing/revolutionizing battery technology would be absolutely huge. We can already generate enough electricity from renewables to power a significant portion of our electrical demand — it's just that it's not windy all the time, and huge parts of the day are very dark, which is tough on solar power. But if we could store all that excess electricity in a energy dense way, then the issue of renewables' intermittency is rendered moot. That's why, frustratingly, gasoline has stuck around for so long — it's one of the most energy dense materials that humans have made.
New battery technology would pave the way, pun intended, for electric cars that could go thousands of miles on a charge. And we could have electric planes. And smartphones could last days on a single charge. People who own Kindles have already glimpsed this future, as those devices can easily last a week or more on a single charge.
So batteries, or some other efficient energy storage solution, is a problem that I would like to solve."
If you're interested in joining a dynamic group of people passionate about helping scientists discover more, please visit our Careers page at riffyn.com/careers or send a letter of inquiry to email@example.com
Embriette is an academic-turned science writer with a passion for spreading responsible science. She holds a PhD in microbiome research from Baylor College of Medicine. After a 4-year post-doc, during which she managed the world's largest citizen science research project (the American Gut Project), Embriette became a full-time science writer and research consultant. You can find her work at riffyn.com, synbiobeta.com, and her personal webpage: drhydenotjekyll.com