Ziv Aviram’s Top 8 Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
By Tamar Ford
1. Don’t marry your strategy
“Big things happen in life that you don’t really plan for,” Aviram notes. Mobileye, for example, wasn’t even planned. In life, you aren’t able to see far enough into the future to account for all the obstacles, the changing circumstances, and the opportunities that will arise. Have a strategy, be flexible with it, and have a partner who you can trust to make the right decisions with you.
2. Take time off
Aviram says that taking off a vacation for at least a week straight is a must- in fact, most of his biggest business decisions were made while he was on vacation! The time away allows you to be able to see problems from different angles, leading to a more rational course of action.
3. Be intentional with who you employ
Forming and creating a successful startup is no walk in the park, and Aviram says that the employees and company culture are the secret ingredient required to make that happen. Choose dedicated people that have the capacity for hard work, who really believe in your vision, and invest in creating a culture that cultivates an intrinsic motivation in your employees. As your company grows, they should feel its success as a personal achievement.
4. Don’t worry about market size
Aviram’s second company, Orcam, makes specialized glasses that allow visually impaired people to understand text and identify objects through audio feedback. While this market is niche, Aviram says that it didn’t deter his vision. Instead, he focused on adequately solving the problem for this group of people. “The bigger the problem you solve, the more likely you are to succeed.”
5. Have a business partner you can trust
A professional partnership can be tricky, and Aviram says the key to his success was making sure he was able to trust his partner, Dr. Shashua. Because of their different backgrounds, their roles and responsibilities were distinct from each other and clearly defined. This allows each partner to be more involved in heading their sector of the business, leading to more efficiency and ultimately a competitive product.
6. Failing is part of the process
Even though it is the size of New Jersey with a population of 9 million, Israel consistently ranks among the top for countries with the most startups. Aviram attests this to the Israeli culture, which sees failure as a necessary step in the learning process. Every failure, he says, is a chance to succeed next time around.
7. If you want to do it, then do it. (8:22 video)
Don’t mind the odds. Aviram says that most people are scared of realizing their ideas. But this, he says, is what makes life worth living. “It’s better to experience life and all its struggles rather than to come to the end of your life and say, ‘I missed it’[...] It doesn’t matter what age, under what circumstances- if you have an idea that sparks something within you, do it.”
8. Make sure your business makes the world better
If you want your employees to get behind your vision, if you want to inspire investors to fund your idea, if you want the company to live past you: your business should ultimately make the world a better place. It doesn’t have to be for everyone- take Orcam for example. While its services are not relevant for everyone, it changes the lives of those who need it. That, Aviram says, is what matters most of all.
This content follows a Q&A event with Ziv Aviram, courtesy of Ignite by Coller. English translation of the event provided by Ignite by Coller.