Q&A With ARInsights’ New CTO
Sept. 21, 2021 – We’re thrilled to announce the appointment of Chris Caruso as ARInsights’ chief technology officer. Chris brings extensive leadership, SaaS and engineering experience to our growing team. His vision and commitment to product excellence will continue to propel ARInsights forward and enhance the ARchitect user experience.
Chris is taking the reins from our former CTO Lucas Bond, whose contributions have helped create an analyst relations (AR) product that our users love and improves their productivity.
We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to Chris. Check out our recent press release on his appointment, along with the Q&A with Chris below to learn more.
Q: Welcome, Chris! Could you please tell us about your background?
Chris: My background is in engineering. I’ve been coding my entire career and have my undergraduate and master’s degrees in computer science. I enjoy the pace and culture working at start-ups and small companies, and got my start with several internet start-ups, working as a senior software engineer.
After that, I was the first engineer hired at Brainshark – now a leading, SaaS-based sales enablement and readiness platform. I built v1-v5 of the Brainshark product and spent the bulk of my career there – taking on leadership roles, including chief technology officer, and leading Brainshark’s engineering organization for the last decade. As you may know, Brainshark recently shared exciting news – announcing its successful acquisition last month by Bigtincan.
As I did at Brainshark, I enjoy helping build and contribute to world-class, enterprise SaaS businesses. I’m looking forward to applying my skills and working with the talented team at ARInsights.
Q: What are your primary responsibilities as CTO of ARInsights? Which areas, strategies and projects will you be leading?
Chris: In my role, I lead the engineering organization at ARInsights. This includes oversight of and enhancements to the ARchitect technical architecture and even greater support for integrations. We want ARchitect to be where our users are – easily and seamlessly accessible in all the applications they’re using – and are committed to making this possible, and continuing to align ARchitect to our users’ needs. Not only is it important that ARchitect is easy and convenient to use, but we’ll also continue to make it even more enjoyable to use as well.
Another one of my responsibilities is building the engineering team here. ARInsights already has a fantastic core set of developers and engineers. We’re looking to expand that, and I’ll oversee growing and managing the team, as well as providing technical leadership. Like the other leaders at ARInsights, I look to bring a sense of community to my teams, aiding in individuals’ career development and fulfillment.
Q: Why are you excited to join ARInsights?
Chris: For one, I’m excited to work with Andy [Zimmerman, ARInsights CEO] again. I know Andy well from Brainshark, where we served on the leadership team together. He’s a phenomenal leader and visionary, and when I learned he was looking for an engineering leader at ARInsights, I jumped at the opportunity to come on board.
One of the things that I love at ARInsights, and that was immediately apparent to me, is that they’re truly a customer-focused organization. Nowadays, too many tech companies have blinders on; they’re wholly focused on growing their subscriptions, at the expense of serving their current, individual customers well. That bothers me. ARInsights is successful because of its attention to customers, and willingness to listen and react based on customer needs. That customer-first culture excites me and attracted me to the company.
From a technology standpoint too, this is a great fit. ARInsights uses a technology architecture and tech stack that I have extensive experience with, making it easy to jump right in.
Q: What technology trends should be on organizations’ radars these days? And how can they best align technology with their business goals?
Chris: I’ve always felt aligning tech with business goals is more about taking the appropriate time to understand business goals and then applying whatever tech makes the most sense to solve them.
There are so many amazing technology choices these days – frontend frameworks like Angular, React, Microservices and Serverless, and languages like C#, Go and TypeScript. But before picking a stack, it’s critical to understand the problem you are solving for your customers.
Conducting focus groups, watching people using products, asking lots of questions, building prototypes – these steps are just as important as making technology choices.
Q: Could you share fun facts about yourself or hobbies you engage in?
Chris: On the personal side, I’ve lived in the same town outside of Boston since graduating high school. I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and we have three kids together. The youngest is now a sophomore in college.
As for hobbies, I’m an avid tennis player and enjoy playing hockey too. I’m currently trying to figure out golf and improve my game. Most of my other hobbies tie back to my work; I enjoy being in front of a computer, looking at new technologies and figuring out new ways to build things. These interests should serve me well at ARInsights, and I’m looking forward to working with the team.
You can hear more from Chris at this year’s ARchitect User Forum, being held Dec. 7-8, from 9 a.m. — 12 p.m. PT each day. He’ll give insight into the ARchitect product roadmap and preview exciting enhancements to come. The virtual event is an opportunity to learn new AR strategies, hear real-world success stories and share with other AR pros across the globe. We hope you’ll join us and register here.