Be ambitious

First teletherapy commit
The first code commit for teletherapy: February 8th, 2020

(Post 1 of 5) This is the first in a series of posts about the origins of Ambiki’s values.

Our foremost value: “Be ambitious”.


Development of our teletherapy platform began as a skunkworks project on February 8th, 2020, spurred by the initial coronavirus cases from China.

In late February 2020, when Japan made the monumental decision to close schools, I reached out to senior leaders on our team, hoping to secure their support in focusing full-time resources on the teletherapy platform—anticipating similar school closures in the US.

Their response? A skeptical Dwyane Wade-esque fake cough and doubts about US schools ever closing. However, regardless, they trusted my judgment and granted me complete autonomy over the tech roadmap.

March 2nd, 2020: Slack
March 2nd, 2020 - all hands on deck to further build out the teletherapy platform's functionality

March 13th, 2020 became a landmark day. Not only was my son born, but the first school district in Tennessee closed.

March 13th, 2020: Slack
March 13th, 2020 - Shelby Count School District closes down

Our teletherapy platform was already live, having completed its maiden session on March 2nd. Remarkably, in those few short weeks, we didn’t just launch a functional teletherapy platform, but also achieved significant buy-in from our therapist team.

Early version of the teletherapy platform
Early version of the teletherapy platform

In a survey conducted a few months prior, 59 out of 60 therapists had no teletherapy experience and showed no inclination towards it. However, after the initial US school closures, I initiated daily "Coffee with Kevin" sessions, inviting therapists to join me on early-morning video calls. They shared feedback and desired improvements, while I updated them on changes made over the previous 24 hours.

That platform went on to serve almost 1,000,000 minutes of therapy for Sidekick in that first year alone.

When I contemplate what it truly means to "be ambitious," I believe a certain level of naivety is essential. If one always grasped the full scale of challenges, one might never take that important first step.