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Founders, Makers, Doers — Sivan Baram


Founders, Makers, Doers is a series of blogs about incredible people who are key players and leaders of significant change, ventures and initiatives. Can't you just feel the energy? Today: the wonderful Sivan Baram

(Image credit: Pazit Oz - Studio “BARE”)

Who is Sivan Baram?

l'm the CEO of radd., a smart e-commerce add-on for boosting conversion & traffic via automated video UGC. I'm also a senior content marketing professional leading content marketing related projects for a broad range of global companies and startups. In the past I have worked as CMO, business-development manager, as well as being independent business owner providing branding, marketing and content services to startups.

More on Sivan & radd.

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radd Website

10 Things You Never Knew About Sivan Baram

What I am working in right now

I am now leading my startup: radd. a smart tool for e-commerce web sites that automates video UGC (user generated content) uploaded by either customers, brand admins or brand influencers. We provide online e-commerce customers a brand new way to share their brand affinity and turn into brand ambassadors and influencers, and at the same time a highly efficient way to maximize brand UGC thereby increasing customer conversion and attracting quality new traffic to their websites.

A significant event that has shaped my professional self

There have been many significant events, but if I had to pick just one I would say that my army service (in the IDF) was very significant in shaping my professional self. During this period, I realized the extent of my own persistence and motivation. I was once sent to trial for accidentally not field-stripping my M16 after a regular patrol — a serious offence. I was sentenced to stay in the base over the weekend. I had the audacity to challenge the verdict and to argue my case in front of the senior commander, to the extent that the decision was over-turned in my favor. I like to think back on that story at times and remember that the manner in which I handled this issue and negotiated for myself made me realize that anything is possible.

The leadership traits that I admire the most

I admire humor and positivity. I think they are the most notable leadership traits. When I speak of these qualities I am not saying that a good leader should be the joker or the "class clown" necessarily, but I do think that day-to-day working life is challenging to everyone and when the management approach is positive and supportive, employees will undoubtedly get more engaged and will be up to completing any task in the most passionate and willing manner.

Something I would do over if I could

I’d start earlier. I started my own branding studio when I was 28 and my first start-up when I was about 30. I think that if I knew that these options existed earlier on (maybe if I had learned about these types of careers in school…) then I am positive that I would have started to work independently, and would have founded a start-up, from a much earlier age.

The three opportunities that propelled my career forward

  1. My first real job was managing content for Channel 8 (the National Discovery Channel). I was only 21 and it was a pretty big deal for me. I had just started studying Journalism at University and I was fortunate to find a relatively senior job in the industry.

  2. When I was 28, I started my own digital marketing company. I worked with huge customers and managed a team of designers and developers. Even though I had just received my MBA and could have searched for some cushy job in the hi-tech industry, I decided to take the risk and be independent.

  3. A short while after I established my own company, I also initiated my first startup, MatchApp, the experience that I gained here gave me all the knowledge and confidence to blend into the startup world from which I was so intrigued.

The three things that I have done of which I am the proudest

  1. First and foremost, I am a proud mother to three extremely beautiful and inspiring children — David (~10), Yehonatan (~8) & Emily (4).

  2. At 17, I wrote a History report for a high school project, following a trip to the concentration camps in Poland. I decided to write about the means by which inmates in Auschwitz were able to raise their hope despite their terrible conditions and treatment. (This was personal to me, since my grandfather David Klein was an inmate in Auschwitz). My project was called “To be A Human in Auschwitz”. I received two monetary awards for my work from the museums “Yad Vashem” and “Lohamey Hagetaot’, winning first place in the latter and was personally invited to give a speech to a large crowd. One of my dreams is to release this project as a book one day.

  3. I am extremely proud of the startup I am leading, radd., and the amazing progress we are making as a team. We have recently joined an amazing accelerator called Sigma Labs and are already LIVE on several e-commerce stores and are scaling fast. It looks like the online e-commerce space is eager for a new customer experience, and we are 100% sure about being in the right place, in exactly the right time. I am also very fortunate to have an amazing team of founders with me.

The most challenging professional obstacle(s) I have overcome

When you lead a startup you receive many, many rejections. You hear the word "no" so many times you stop counting :). It is only when you learn to overcome the disappointment and move on, that I think you can overcome your greatest challenges. The higher your motivation is, the greater your persistence is, and "yes" answers will ultimately follow.

A few words to people beginning their professional career

Like I said previously, learn to deal with rejection and disappointment, and let them motivate you to succeed. There are no magic tricks or shortcuts to startup life. It is always hard work, but when you achieve the milestones you have set, it is worth every minute.

Something that I would like to learn in the future

I learn something new every day: from the people that surround me, from podcasts, TV series, films, books, music and so on. This may seem corny, but I definitely learn a lot from my kids: David is an incredible athlete, his aspirations to succeed in a broad range of sports is overwhelming. Yehonatan has the funniest and smartest jokes and he is the friendliest kid I have ever met. Emily is a super-smart and unbreakable little girl with a never-ending smile and extremely good energies.

The question that I wish someone would ask me:

Who do you admire the most?

And... the answer to that question!

Simple answer — my grandparents (may they rest in peace), my parents, my husband and my kids.