Recently I had an interview with Dr. Tim Gardner, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Riffyn. Riffyn provides cloud-based Experiment design software for R&D quality & collaboration. I hope you will find this interview helpful.
- Can you please provide us a short introduction about yourself and Riffyn?
Some might say we are a bit obsessed with quality in science, but we come by that honestly. In our decades of experience in life sciences, chemistry and materials, we have seen projects destroyed by poor experimental quality. We have also seen R&D organizations catapulted forward by the implementation of quality practices. By “catapult,” we’re talking about tens of millions of dollars of cost savings and added product value.
Riffyn was founded in 2014 by Tim Gardner (CEO), Bob Dvorak, and Matt Cockerill. Tim was formerly the Vice President of Research & Development at Amyris, a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University, and a founder of the field of Synthetic Biology. Bob was formerly the Global Director of Product Marketing at Emerson, Director of Services at Siemens, and Director of IT at Genitope and Abgenix. Matt was the founder of BioMed Central, the world’s first open access scientific journal.
Riffyn is headquartered in Oakland, California and serves customers around the world with its collaborative cloud software for R&D quality and discovery.
- What is the main scope of Riffyn?
Riffyn provides visual software tools to help laboratory researchers design, analyze and collaborate on experiments with uncompromising quality and surprising ease. Researchers can achieve manufacturing-grade performance in their research without the typical cost, complexity and inflexibility associated with manufacturing systems.
- What was the most successful project of Riffyn so far? Why?
We deployed our first alpha version in 8 months after development initiated and have signed up dozens of companies and hundreds of users before we even launch the product as a beta this fall. Customer reactions have been enthusiastic. Our favorite quote was simply: “Wow!” – from a pharmaceutical company scientist.
- What was your company most unsuccessful project, why?
Early on, we explored the development of an IoT device to pair with our software product. We shelved that idea. The market was questionable, the value to the customer was questionable, the product development challenges were high, and there were much better ways to solve the underlying problem.
- What are Riffyn´s milestones for the next 12 months?
Private beta this fall. Public beta and commercial launch in 2016.
- How can other engineers or researchers join your R&D projects?
Folks can sign up for our public beta (the private beta registration is already closed), send in the resume to join as a developer, or participate in one of our open source projects (e.g., http://blogs.plos.org/tech/language-for-the-lab/), or even just send us their wishlist. We also take talented, energetic interns from time to time.