Episode 10: How to Build Impactful R&D

This week, the SphereCast team speaks with Boris Korenfeld, Director of Engineering over Waze and Carpool products at Google. Prior to his run with Google, Boris held various executive leadership roles within research and development —or R&D, for short. Korenfeld’s R&D experience began at Hewlett Packard and eventually moved to an Israeli transportation startup called Gett, where he was tasked with tripling the size of the R&D organization.

At Gett, Boris held both Chief Technology Officer and General Manager roles before eventually taking his director role at Google. Having architected and led a handful of R&D organizations, Boris is a wealth of knowledge around the best ways to construct and run research and development. On the podcast, among many other things, Boris speaks to the “ideal” R&D structure (if an “ideal” even exists), explains whether R&D is possible at small-and medium-sized companies, shares some lessons learned from having to triple his R&D staff at Gett, and even goes step-by-step on how to build a successful R&D org for any business.

“Be listening to the triggers and adjust your R&D organization to your evolving business needs. Be brave and lead through the changes.”

“The main dilemma of the R&D manager is maintaining flexibility and stability. It’s all about balance. You can’t maintain both 100 percent.”

“Planning an R&D reorganization is generally a big and painful process. People don’t like change… You have to invest appropriate time in building the change plan. Deep dive into details. Don’t leave it at a high level.”

Boris Korenfeld – LinkedIn