Company Culture: High Risk, High Reward

This post was written by Social Tables CEO, Dan Berger.

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We are excited to announce a four week long blog series that features the  four pillars of company culture. Written by Ann Yang, a recently on-boarded Summer Associate, this series aims to look at the company’s growth and cohesion one year after the pillars were first introduced. This week is about “High Risk, High Reward.”   Read Dan Berger’s original company culture post here to find out more.

Thoughts from the CEO

For Dan Berger, “the wrong decision is better than indecision.” This past year the company has made a couple of calls that were risky at the time but rewarding in the long run:

  • Social Tables focuses on enterprises rather than consumers. Instead of offering the technology for one-off  social events, Social Tables became a platform with multiple products so that the company could serve the entire hospitality industry on a much bigger scale.

  • Social Tables assumes trust. There may be a hierarchy of roles but there is no hierarchy of discussion. Every team member is encouraged to give their input, even if it dissents from executives and project leads. Dan believes that every member of his team is an equal player: “I overshare and over-communicate until given a reason otherwise.”

High Risk, High Reward means that Social Tables wants to be a company that takes initiative at every level. As Dan puts it, “The  goals are high risk, but the methods are calculated and collaborative.” At the end of the day, “I would rather fail than read about someone else’s success. You have to fearlessly throw yourself out there.”

Thoughts from the Team

Arliene Posno: Account Manager Extraordinaire

Arliene builds relationships with over 350 clients and believes that the foundation of the company’s growth is because of a High Risk, High Reward mentality. She started as an intern in February and quickly became a full time employee in May of the same year.

For her, the entire experience has been a fast paced whirlwind of taking a leap into the startup world and watching the company hit goal after goal. Her loyalty to Social Tables was established when she was given personal responsibility on Day 2 as an intern by creating a User Guide for the product. That sort of risk in giving big projects to new Associates leads to awesome deliverables that have a big impact on the company.

Laura Simmons: Sales Executive Whiz

From a sales perspective, “It basically means following your gut but not being scared of a challenge and diving into things outside of your comfort zone. This applies to anything from learning a new skill, to talking to a big corporation, or taking on a client type I’ve never worked with.”

For Laura, the important thing about taking big risks is “listening with empathy.” As she puts it: “A lot of it is instinct. I consider myself more of a consultant than anything else. I listen empathetically in order to best help our clients plan memorable experiences.”

Edward Kim: Vice President of Engineering, 2013 Chiavaris recipient of “The Company Pillars Embodiment Award”

Growing up Ed was always pressured “to take the accepted path, become a doctor, go to law school. Its taken me awhile to get out of that mindset.” Ed graduated with a neuroscience major from Brown University, and then took a typical 9-5 office gig.  It wasn’t until Ed quit his job and joined Social Tables that he started living out the idea of High Risk, High Reward: “I try to apply the idea of acting without fear everywhere else in my life now.”

In the past year since the initial company culture brainstorm, Ed has learned that taking risks is not only necessary to build an innovative product, it’s also exciting for the people involved. “Good engineers have a lot of opportunities to work for larger, more established companies, but we all know this will be way more rewarding in the long run.”

Want to know more? Email Ann Yang  at

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