Meet Sagiv Ofek, Founder and CEO at LibLab:

Sagiv Ofek, the Founder and CEO of LibLab, embarked on an extraordinary journey from serving as an officer in the Israeli army to becoming a tech entrepreneur. With a passion for computer science, he worked at leading companies like Facebook and Amazon before founding LibLab. Join us on the Default Global podcast as we explore Sagiv’s insights on global hiring, remote work, employment compliance, and the future of tech contracting.

Listen Up: Sagiv Ofek, Founder and CEO at LibLab — Full Podcast Episode on Spotify

Watch Now: Vit’s In-Depth Talk with Sagiv Ofek

Quick Read: Sagiv Ofek, Founder and CEO at LibLab, Interview Highlights

Building and Leading Global First Teams

In our latest episode of Default Global, I had the pleasure of speaking with Sagiv Ofek, the Founder and CEO of LibLab. Sagiv has an unconventional background that includes experience as an engineering leader, entrepreneur, and even a special forces officer. He credits these diverse experiences as the foundation of his approach to building and leading teams in the tech industry.

Sagiv shared: “I have an untypical story of how I ended up where I am right now… This is the first time where I actually learned kind of leadership skills and how to manage and lead other people regardless of tech or engineering.”

The Power of SDK as a Service

As the CEO of LibLab, Sagiv and his team are working on providing software development kits (SDK) as a service. This innovative service simplifies the integration process for companies who want SDKs for their application programming interfaces (APIs).

Sagiv explained: “The problem with API is that it’s very hard to integrate with… and when companies really care about their APIs and they want to make it more accessible to developers, they usually want to offer SDKs for other developers… And what LibLab is solving is exactly that, right? We are automating this entire process from creating an SDK to maintaining the SDK.”

Expanding Globally: Challenges and Opportunities

Sagiv has started multiple companies across different countries and understands the unique challenges and opportunities of global expansion. He emphasized the importance of understanding the market you’re entering and ensuring logistical aspects like setting up a company and hiring talent are handled effectively. For LibLab, this entails hiring talent worldwide.

Sagiv commented: “We’re not bounded to one specific location… we hire talent wherever they are.”

Lessons from Home Dine

Sagiv’s first startup, Home Dine, was an innovative concept similar to Airbnb but for meals. However, cultural differences in consumer behavior presented challenges in the US market. One of the key lessons Sagiv learned from this experience was the importance of understanding the market you are selling into before expanding.

He shared: “Don’t assume that everybody will behave or adopt the same behavior that you know in your own local zone, because obviously people are different, cultures are different.”

Hiring Globally: Key Factors to Consider

When hiring globally, Sagiv suggests considering the timing and the mindset. He advised that this decision should be made early in the lifecycle of the company to avoid complications later. He also recommended avoiding multiple time zones, especially in the early stages of the company.

Sagiv stated: “The sooner you make this decision and intentionally make this decision, the better.”

Motivation to Hire Globally

Sagiv’s motivation to hire globally stems from his belief that talent is everywhere and should not be limited to a specific location. He stressed, “Your location, wherever you live, does not have the best people in the world… I want to hire the best people, wherever they live.”

Managing Global Compensation and Logistics

Determining fair compensation and managing logistics for global teams can be a significant challenge. Sagiv shared that LibLab has adopted a hybrid approach to compensation, paying based on local markets but also trying to be in the top percentile of markets. When it comes to handling logistics, Sagiv acknowledged that there is no one-size-fits-all solution and that it’s currently being handled in-house by their operations team.

The Future of Global Hiring

Sagiv sees a future where if a company has enough critical mass in one country, they might open their own office or sub-company there. But for now, the relationship is mostly contract-based. He also sees a significant opportunity for better tooling around global compensation and logistics.

Joining a Global First Company

Sagiv advised talents interested in joining a global first company like LibLab to check out job boards or aggregator sites that highlight remote first opportunities. He also emphasized the importance of being willing to work in US time zones, regardless of where you live.

I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with Sagiv and gained valuable insights into the world of building and leading global first teams. I look forward to our next podcast where we continue to connect with global first entrepreneurs and remote work experts from around the world.