Israel used to be known as the Startup Nation. Today, Israel is more known as the Scale Nation. Israeli entrepreneurs are not focusing on the exit strategy anymore; they’re focusing on scaling. To talk more about marketing, startups, and Israel is Hillel Fuld. Join the Ambassador of JOY, Barry Shore, as he welcomes Hillel to the show. Hillel is Israel’s top marketer and one of the world’s most well-known tech bloggers, vloggers, and podcasters. His work has been featured on respected tech publications like CNBC and Forbes. Be mesmerized as Barry and Hillel discuss collaborating with Google, Oracle, and Microsoft to help entrepreneurs and their products scale. Plus, learn how marketing is all about the relationships you make. This is certainly an episode to listen to again and SHARE with everyone.
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Global Speaker StartUp Guy Marketing DUDE, Hillel Fuld
Good day, beautiful, bountiful, beloved immortal beings and good-looking people. Remember, you’re good-looking because you’re always looking for and finding the good and abundance that you have tuned in consciously and conscientiously to the show. You tuned into this show for one reason only. It’s the best reason because you care the most in the entire world about you.
When you’re the best you, you make a difference in the world. You make the world more harmonious. You create more bridges, you build more joy, happiness, peace and love. The reason that you tuned in is because you know that on this show, we discussed the three fundamentals of life. Those three fundamentals are going to enable you to be happier, healthier and wealthier. Who doesn’t want that?
You’re joined by a lot of people around the world. All of whom are tuned in for one reason because they cared the most about themselves and that’s great. Enlightened self-interest is what’s going to enable all of us to create a joy surplus in the world where we may now have a joy deficit and it’s all up to you. The power of one person, or as I describe it, POOP the Power Of One Person.
The three fundamentals of life are number one, life. Your life has a purpose. When you lead a purpose-driven life, you can go MAD. MAD is a great acronym that stands for Make A Difference. You lead a purpose-driven life, you make a difference in the world. The third fundamental of life is to unlock the power and the secrets of everyday words and terms. A simple example is you’re either watching or listening over the internet.
It’s amazing. This magical, mystical and majestic platform carries around the world. If you ask anybody, what is WWW stands for? Invariably, they’ll tell you it’s the internet. In factually speaking they’re correct, but in our world, the world of the positive, purposeful, powerful and pleasant, WWW stands for What a Wonderful World.
WHATA is a word. What a Wonderful World. Whenever you see WWW for that one, you think Barry Shore is singing to you What a Wonderful World or, even better, Louis Armstrong “Satchmo.” We have to thank him for enabling that song to go viral and not touch tens of millions or hundreds of millions, but billions of people around the planet, who were hearing that makes you smile. SMILE is one of the greatest acronyms you’ll ever internalize, utilize and leverage your life because SMILE stands for Seeing Miracles In Life Every day.
Before the COVID and God-willing, we’ll be through this in a little bit of time. We will go back to being able to speak to real human beings or audiences. I spoke to about 5,000 plus people before COVID hit. I told the story about Barry Shore and I mentioned SMILE, Seeing Miracles In Life Every day. Right away, people raise their hands to say, “I’ve been here for hours. I haven’t seen any miracles.”
I asked him, “Are you here? Can you hear? Can you see? Can you stand?” I can’t. “Can you walk?” I could barely. “Do you have water, drink, food, tea, a place to sleep, family and friends? All of those are miracles.” What’s a simple proof? The simplest proof is a million people didn’t get out of bed this morning. Do you know why? They died. If you’re watching or listening by definition, you didn’t, you’re here and you have life.
By definition, if you have life, it’s your obligation to live exuberantly. If you do that, as we said, you follow the three fundamentals. You’ll be happier, healthier and wealthier. Who doesn’t want that? I’ll tell you a quick story. Imagine standing up in the morning, hale and hearty, able to leap tall buildings and think about and that evening, be in the hospital, totally and completely paralyzed.
Not from an automobile accident or a spinal injury. A rare disease to go with my body and rendered me quadriplegic overnight. One hundred and forty-four days in the hospital. I was two years in a hospital bed in my own home. I couldn’t turn it over by myself. Four years in a wheelchair, I had braces on both my legs, my hips to my ankles and that was progress. Thank God, I’m able to be vertical and ambulatory with the help of a 7-foot walking wand, but I still can’t walk up a stair by myself.
I can’t walk up a curb by myself and I have helped 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, but you hear my voice. Positive, purposeful, powerful and pleasant. It’s all because of that one word, SMILE. Seeing Miracles In Life Every day. I got to tell you, my eight-year-old niece comes over to me. He says, “Uncle Barry, can we spell smile S-M-I-E-L?”
I asked her, “It sounds the same. How come?” She says, “It’s because then it would stand for Seeing Miracles In Everyday Life,” out of the mouth of babes. What was she doing? She was creating the world she wanted to live in. CREATE is a fabulous acronym that stands for Causing Rethinking Enabling All To Excel. Rethinking. Thank God we have a brain. Your brain has over 100 billion brain cells and more than 120 trillion synapses connecting all those brain cells and therefore wasn’t just deciding, what kind of latte you want this morning?
The ability to utilize your brain and your mind to do Neuro-Linguistic Program and create the world you want to live in. I do have to warn you in advance that your humble host does use four-letter words and I even use the four-letter FU word. I do it for the shock value and it’s fun. Now the four-letter words that we use because we live in the word of positive, purposeful, powerful and pleasant, are love, life, hope, free, gift, swim, pray and play.
The four-letter FU word is FUNN. I know people are raising, “Fun is only spelled with three letters.” Not in our world. The world of the positive, purposeful, powerful and pleasant. FUNN is spelled F-U-N-N. After the show, when you see your family and your friends, you point your fingers say, “FU, everybody.” With a smile on your face. Remember to add right away, “N-N.”Marketing elevates the ball. Sales comes in and slam dunks it. Click To Tweet
They say, “Where did you get that?” I read Barry Shore’s blog and he wants to teach the world to FU, which we’re going to be doing with our guest, who is a real FUNN. You’ll open up a conversation that didn’t have the focus, people be leaning in and ask you, “What’s going on?” You tell us all about the show on BarryShore.com. Everything you want to know about our amazing guest, and he is that. All of the information about him. Lean in and let the information of the transformation flow around you in you and around you. You enjoy the process and remember to share this with at least five people.
More than one million and a half people around the world will be able to taste what you are experiencing and we continue to bring more people to the show. Before we bring on this amazing person, I’m going to urge everybody to use the two most powerful words in the English language three times a day.
From now and for the rest of your life, because if you do, is going to help transform you, your family, your friends and all living beings on the planet. These two words are, “Thank you.” THANK stands for To Harmonize A Network Kindness. The Dalai Lama has been quoted saying and I read in his writings, “Be kind whenever possible.” It’s always possible, he says, and it’s true.
Just imagine, we’re able to go back in the coffee shops maskless. You walk in, you order your fancy latte for $5 and you sit down. Somebody brings it to you. You say, “Thank you.” You walk in the coffee shop maskless and you order your fancy latte for $5. Few minutes go by, nobody brings it to you. You go to the counter and they say, “I’m sorry. We forgot. We’re so busy. We’ll bring it to you.” Go back and sit down a couple of minutes, somebody brings it. You still say, “Thank you.”
You’re walking out of the coffee shop, but it’s raining out. Somebody holds the door open for you. You say, “Thank you.” You’re walking out of the coffee shop and it’s raining and somebody slams the door on you. You say, “Thank you.” You’re in traffic. You’re late for an appointment, somebody cuts you off and you say, “Thank you.” You get up in the middle of the night.
You stub your toe and it hurts. You say, “Thank you,” To Harmonize A Network Kindness. KIND is a fabulous word and acronym that stands for Keep Inspiring Noble Deeds. I cannot think of anyone that inspires noble deeds and I want to share with you more than amazing and wonderful Hillel Fuld. Hillel, say hello to the people around the world.
I don’t care if it was 300 million people. I want to talk about your energy and I want to know how do I get some of that?
Do what I do. Say thank you, dear Lord, which is what you do. Hillel is another FU word. You see, FULD is a four-letter FU word. Hillel, when was the last time somebody said FU to you and you laughed?
I’m going to categorize that under never, but your energy. What an introduction. You got to transfer some of that energy to me.
Not only to you but to all of the people reading. All to people, sharing. Hillel is now playing who he is. This is a person who emanates and who lives in positive, purposeful, powerful and pleasant energy daily. I’m going to give you his bio and I’m going to shift some of his bio around. If I started telling you all the things that he is and does, it will take the rest of the show.
I’m going to make it shorter, but usually, when I talk about him, I put this in the middle. I’m going to put it at the beginning. He’s a family man. Happily married with five children and lots of friends. All of that makes all the difference. In addition to being a blogger and vlogger, one of the most informed people in the tech world, in his specific niche, is a country called Israel, which if you’re not talking tech, you know that tech and Israel are synonymous.
He works with Google, Microsoft, Oracle and dozens of other companies that you all know. Name-dropping is easy when you’re dealing with him. What we’re going to do, is we’re going to talk about three major issues that everybody wants to know about, because you want to be happier, healthier and wealthier. You want to talk about marketing and we want to talk about startups because that is the essence of what’s happening in this world, shaking everything up in Israel.
We’re going to compact a lot of stuff in the next 42 minutes, but the man can do it. We’re also going to talk about mental health. We’ll make room for everything. Let’s jump right in and say, first of all, Hillel, what a delight and a pleasure to be here with you. Not only to help all of your logos because those are the companies you work with. There’s no fooling around, but I want to point to you the drone. We’ll talk about that also. It’s up to you. Let’s jump right in and let’s talk about marketing. What does marketing mean to one of the most connected human beings on the planet?
You’re asking me about marketing, but everything you’ve done until now on this show is marketing. I’m going to explain what I mean. Marketing, as opposed to sales, requires the recipient of that marketing to not know they’re being marketed to. In other words, when you’re selling to someone, they know they’re being sold. Marketing is subtle or it should be. If you’re doing marketing and the person, you’re marketing to does not know that they’re being marketed to, then you’re doing a good job. That’s point number one.
I like to compare it too because I see that you’re a big man of comparisons, analogies and acronyms. I’m going to compare it to basketball. I’m assuming most people know what an alley-oop is. For those that don’t know, it’s when one player throws the ball into the air and the other player catches it and dunks it. That is, as far as I’m concerned, the relationship between marketing and sales. Marketing elevates the ball. Sales come in and slam dunks it.
I want you to repeat it again because, by definition, everybody reading has some knowledge of English and almost by definition because China has a thought that basketball is a national sport. Most people around the world at least know what it is and have seen it, but let’s bring it back again and tell us about elevating the ball. I love the image.
I worked with a lot of tech companies. You mentioned some of them. What I do for them is I take their brand and I try to elevate it. These guys, especially in Israel, are phenomenal at building tech and products, but when it comes to building a business around that product, AKA getting that product in the hands of consumers, oftentimes there’s room for improvement. What I do with them, as I explained to them, is the concept of subtlety, which does not exist in the Hebrew language. There is no such word.
I’m not kidding. That might be the reason that marketing is the weakest link here in Israel because let’s say Israelis aren’t exactly subtle people. I work with these companies to take their brand and elevate it. I’ll give you the classic example. Everyone knows Red Bull. If I said to you, energy drink, you would say Red Bull and yet, there is something phenomenal and extraordinary about Red Bull. That is that the word beverage does not appear on their homepage. They are literally not selling you a drink. You’re jumping out of planes. That’s marketing and it sells, but you’ll never catch Red Bull saying, “Buy our drink. It’s amazing. It tastes delicious.” The word drink is not even on their website.
That’s marketing. As I said, the alley-oop. Elevating the ball so that a company is running an ad on Facebook and I come across that ad and I say, “I know that company. I follow them on Twitter. I read their content or I listen to their podcast.” Now the brand is elevated and now it’s a slam dunk because as we call it in the marketing world, it’s touchpoints. It’s seeing that brand everywhere and now I understand that this company is an authority in their space.
Let’s go back to a couple of things that you mentioned as you pointed out. I enjoy words, especially in English. Subtle the same letters, spell the word bustle. In Israel, bustle works, subtle less so. Once you begin to speak about it to people, no matter what the culture, all of a sudden, they think they want it and say, “You bring it to us. We don’t have to do it. You do it for us or show us how.”
The other interesting point that I find fascinating with what you said and it’s the subtlety of what you said, is that the ability to formulate an idea, create a tech around it. Whether it’s an app or some process and it’s whizzbang, and it does something. Imagine that a robot can remove an appendix as well or better than any surgeon in the world.
Until one person sells that to somebody else and creates what we call a business, then it’s a whizzbang idea. The word business is fascinating on two levels, if I may say. You’ll like this because you’ll appreciate it. There’s a thing called busyness and then there’s business. In Israel, I use the example because you’re there and you’re talking about it. There is a lot of busyness. There’s bustle. Come on, let’s go.
The business is subtle and you have to understand that in business, the U comes before the I. Oftentimes, I’m talking to entrepreneurs and people around the world. As you know, most of our audience is under the age of 38. We’re talking to people who know about Red Bull because Red Bull is a distinctive brand worldwide, even if they haven’t ever tasted it.
They understand, as you said, the result. I’m not drinking a beverage. I’m jumping out of a plane. Even if it’s 1:00 in the morning and I’m sitting here building my app. The genius of what you’re talking to us about is unless and until the U precedes the I, “How do I touch, Hillel? I love Hillel. I want Hillel to be involved with me because I’m a result thing.” Give us more on what it is that you do to bring this simplicity and this understanding to even the big brands, sometimes they’re too big to know this.
I’ve got to tell you. I know we’re meeting now for the first time, but the things that you’re saying are music to my ears. It’s unbelievable. It’s as if we know each other our whole lives because everything you’re saying is what I built my entire career on, literally. I’ll give you one example of what I mean in a very practical sense. It’s very easy for any company to self-promote and to talk about how amazing they are.
Nobody’s interested in the company that’s talking about themselves. I tell companies, for example, I’ll name one example. Interviews, interview people in your industry. Listen to the brilliance in this. You said simplicity. My favorite quote of all time is Da Vinci’s quote. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” It was stolen by Steve Jobs, but Da Vinci originally said it. It is to me, the epitome of brilliance.
It’s not a big deal to stuff all the features into your app. The brilliance is simplifying and that’s what Apple is so great at. I want to tell you a story. What I tell companies over the years is, instead of talking about yourself, focus on others. Imagine your product is artificial intelligence. Imagine you reach out to one of the top CEOs or venture capitalists in the artificial intelligence world? You say, “My name is Hillel. I have a company and blog. I would love to interview you.” This is something that I can tell you from experience. Everyone has an ego. Everyone likes to be on stage and I can tell you that I’ve interviewed thousands of people literally and not one person has said no.
Number one, everyone likes to be on stage. You give them a stage. The first return on investment is that relationship because instead of selling you something, I’m giving you a stage. I established that relationship. That’s your first return on investment. The second return on investment is I send you ten questions by email. You send me ten answers. I copy and paste it on my blog and I hit publish.Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Click To Tweet
The first thing that you’re going to do. You’re going to share it. Here I am getting an industry leader to share my content and I get all the traffic. The second return on investment is targeted traffic. The third thing that happens is everyone who sees that interview says, “Hillel interviewed that guy? He must be a rock star,” and I elevated my brand without even mentioning my name. I never promoted myself. I promoted someone else.
Let me tell you a story. When I started doing this interview strategy, I set my goals super-duper high, unattainably high. People that were way out of my league. I’m talking Steve Wozniak, the Founder of Apple and the man who invented the Personal Computer. This guy is an absolute legend in the technology world. I have zero access to him. Let me tell you what happened. I decided I want to interview him and I’m not a guy that gives up on dreams. That was a dream and I’m going to get that dream done. I reached out to Steve Wozniak on Facebook and I said, “Steve, you’ve been a tremendous impact on my career. I’d love the opportunity to interview you.”
He responded. Steve Wozniak replied and he said, “No.” I got a response from Steve Wozniak. That was cool, but he said, no. I waited a year. I wrote him again. I said, “It would mean so much to me.” He said, “Steve Jobs died. The press is all over me. I can’t do any interviews.” I’m like, “Okay.” I waited a year. I wrote him again. I said, “What would it take for me to convince you to do a short interview with me?” He goes, “Let’s do it.” I sent him ten questions by email. He sends me back ten answers. I then publish it on my blog and the second I publish it, this post starts to go completely viral because here I am a guy in Israel interviewing the Founder of Apple. It went crazy.
All of a sudden, Steve Wozniak and I have a screenshot of this, comments on my Facebook posts saying, “Hillel, I didn’t know you were this popular. Had I known, I would’ve let you interview me three years ago.” That was super-duper cool, but that’s not the punchline. Remember, I wanted a relationship with this guy. Sending him questions over email isn’t exactly my end game. My end game was I wanted a relationship with this guy.
Fast forward, for months, I’m sitting at home minding my own business and I get a phone call. “Hillel, this is Steve.” I said, “Steve, who?” He said, “Steve Wozniak.” I said, “You’re pranking me. Who is this?” He said, “It’s Steve Wozniak. I’m coming to Israel for 24 hours. Let’s have breakfast.” I find myself in the lobby of a Tel Aviv Hotel with the Founder of Apple and the man who invented the Home Computer. If that wasn’t surreal enough, during our meeting, there was an incoming rocket from Gaza and I had to rush into a bomb shelter. Here I am in a bomb shelter with the Founder of Apple and why did this all happen? It’s because I gave him a stage and I didn’t talk about me. I talked about him. Subtlety marketing U before I.
The show is all about not Hillel, not Barry. It’s about you. You becoming the best you. Becoming healthier, wealthier and happier by utilizing the insights from this amazing being. We’ve got to give a big shoutout also to the Scottish people. You can say, “What’s he talking about?” It’s because if you know anything about Scottish people in history, they used to and sometimes they still do in ceremonies, they wear kilts.
Everybody knows what a kilt is. We spell it KLT. Hillel knows this, and it stands for getting to Know, Like and Trust you. His story illustrated that you should all be wearing a KLT, get to Know somebody, get to let them to Like you and get them to Trust you. Again, it’s all done with purpose, positive, pleasant, powerful and goodness in the world.
If you’re trying to do anything other than good, if you’re out there to hustle, then you’re in a bustle and you’re not going to be doing marketing on subtlety. Maybe you do something called to succeed, but it’s not going to be long-term. What Hillel told us has been applied to hundreds of people. Am I right, Hillel?
For being accurate, thousands.
Let’s talk about thousands, but I want to go back to something you said that is critical in my humble opinion of what the process involved. Notice that what he did in the beginning was, I set my goals, and then he called impossibly high, but leave that aside for the moment. In other words, these are what we call to shoot the moon goals but he set them.
He didn’t just sit with a cup of coffee and think about them. I’d be willing to wager $1,000 against a piece of matzo, that you wrote them down. Either you wrote them down with a pen and paper, you put them on a computer or you may have done both and you may have done 1,000 times in 100 different places around the apartment or in your house. Am I correct?
You are. Let me interject here for one second. I wanted to say one more thing about that meeting because it’s very relevant to what you were talking about, and that is that, among the many questions that I asked Steve Wozniak. I asked him about the early days of Apple and his relationship with Steve Jobs. There’s enough literature out there to know what person Steve Jobs was. He is not someone that you would want to be good friends with. Let’s leave it at that.
I was “looking for dirt.” Not really, but I wanted to hear what it was like. I said to him, “Steve Jobs or all these stories, he said to me, I would not have been able to sell one computer if it wasn’t for Steve Jobs.” You have to understand something. He told me that when he was building the first computer, he was told there was no market in America for computers. Nobody wants a home computer and this guy had the vision. He’s a visionary. He built this thing and he said, “I built it, but I would not have been able to sell one single computer without Steve Jobs.” That’s gratitude, appreciation and self-awareness. It’s very important.
Fundamental as we say and the first three letters of fundamental are FUN. You got to have fun because, in my opinion, I believe that sales are one of the highest callings in the world in terms of if you’re doing it from a position of goodness, positive, powerful, purpose and pleasant because nothing happens. As Steve Wozniak said, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something to somebody else.”
It took years still, because everybody, you can read all the quotes, who needs a home computer? Come on. In the beginning stages, it was just a box. It was so hard to use that it defies understanding. We have to learn all the controls of this and that, which still exists. Control C for copy. It’s so funny, but you’re talking about a world, wonderful Hillel, that most of the audience can’t relate to because you’re going back more many years.
Therefore, most of these people listening were barely out of diapers or putting on long pants. That’s why this becomes so fun. I’d like you to do a little more on what we call the smartphone, which is not a phone. It’s a computer versus a rotary phone, which was a phone, but with a completely different interface. We know the fun story. If you gave a rotary phone to a classroom of 5-year-olds or 7-year-olds, and ask them to do something with it, they’d be hard-pressed to do anything else than put their fingers into the holes. It may be to a lot of people reading, who don’t even know what I’m talking about. That’s even better.
There’s a video online, which I will venture. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, it’s the funniest video on the internet. It is a skit. A piece by Louis CK, the comedian. The name of that video is Everything Is Amazing and Nobody is Happy. He’s on The Tonight Show and he’s asked about technology and he says, “Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy. It’s wasted on this generation of entitled,” and he talks about the rotary phone.
He says, “Do you understand what the rotary phone is?” He says, “You’re making sparks. You understand how primitive that is?” He says, “We used to hate people with zeros in their number because it was more turning.” He says, “Now, we have these supercomputers in our pockets and we’re looking at our phones and we’re like, ‘It’s not moving fast enough.’” He goes, “It’s going to space. Would you give it a second to get back from space?”
This video is hysterical. He goes, “The newest thing that I know is Wi-Fi on airplanes.” He goes, “I’m on an airplane and the captain gets on and he goes, ‘Guys, you have Wi-Fi. You can go surf.'” He goes, “I’m watching YouTube in the sky.” He goes, “Every person on every airplane should be going, ‘I’m flying.'” Then he goes, “Then the internet broke down.” The captain gets on, he says, “I’m sorry to inform you that the internet stopped working. We’re trying to fix it.” He says the guy sitting next to him is like, “This is BS,” and he goes, “How quickly the world owed him something. He didn’t even know it existed 30 seconds ago.”
He says, “That’s entitlement.” You have to appreciate the unbelievable gifts we have in this generation. Technology being one of them. I want to say one more thing. I have a very unpopular opinion. A very controversial opinion about smartphones. Everyone talks about how there are supercomputers are in your pocket. I think they’re very primitive devices.
If you think about it objectively, you’re walking around in the street with a big slab of glass in your face. There has to be a better way for us to interact with computers. The fact that we even use a mouse, in 2021 is absurd. It’s the most primitive. It’s ridiculous, but even the smartphone. Now you see that Apple, Google, Facebook, Samsung and Microsoft are all building augmented reality glasses for us to interact with our computers without any device.
No piece of glass in your face and no mouse. Just a pair of glasses that will project the hologram of a screen where you can interact. To me, when people say to me, “What’s the most exciting sector of technology?” To me, the answer is Human-computer Interaction, which is going to fundamentally change over the next many years. To me, years from now, we will not know what a mouse is, nor will we know what a smartphone is in its current form.
You know the story of Barry Shore. Standing up in the morning, hale and hearty, in the evening, completely, totally paralyzed. I was like that for several years. You can imagine the difficulties I faced mentally and not just physically. It’s the mental aspect that was the most debilitating and frightening. I got to tell you, it wasn’t easy to speak to somebody and I did. I finally did. I spoke to several people over the course number of years and it helped immensely. I know that it’s hard to talk about these things.
Did you know that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States for all ages? About 21 million American adults have a mood disorder. Especially, with depression and bipolar, there’s an ability to get help. That’s the genius, what are we talking about here. There is help available from what’s called DBSAlliance.org. I want to tell you a couple of other things. Over 47,000 Americans died by suicide in 2019.
Over 47,000 and middle-aged white males have the highest rate of suicide occurring, counting for almost 70% of all deaths by suicide. On average, about 130 suicides every day. I urge you. Please get involved for yourself, a friend, a family member and someone you know that may have issues. I want you to go please to DBSAlliance.org/suicide-prevention because we can prevent it. Please, do so now.
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Good day, beautiful, bountiful, beloved able beings and good-looking people. Remember, you’re good-looking because you’re always looking for and finding the good and abundance who runneth over with good and a two-legged being his name is Hillel Fuld. He’s not fooling you and not fooling me, because he is full of transformational information. Not just information, that’s data. This is transformational.
We’re going to talk about the stuff that makes a difference and this place called Israel and startups. We all began with Start-up Nation. It is an amazing book. It was Dan Senor and Saul Singer. The book is almost a dozen years old. Several years ago, they wrote about Start-up Nation, which was about the transformation of a country and the culture emerging from what I will call the depths and despair of socialism and coming into the light.
Potentially, the light of capitalism working with the government because Israel is unique in that particular aspect. Building a tiny military-industrial complex that has touched the world in a positive, purposeful, powerful and pleasant way. Hillel, the stage is yours and we call this the Sage from the stage. Let’s talk about startups, especially in this country called Israel.
First, I have a present for you. I see that you love words and I see that you love the word triumph. You’ve used it several times on your website. I don’t know if you know what I’m about to tell you, but if not, I’ll be very happy that I could finally teach you something about words. What is the difference between try and triumph?
The I and the U.
A little oomph.
Hillel gets it. This is the genius of the show. It’s not cookie-cutter stuff. It’s a little oomph. Triumph, also, if you use the same letters Hi, Trump.
Let’s not go there.
I liked that the difference is the oomph. The key to a startup, transforming from a startup into a business and the people in it, has to do with grit and that oomph. Never giving up.
Let’s jump in. Let’s talk about that. You are right that they wrote that book a long time ago. Good friends and great people, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that book is pretty outdated because Israel is no longer a startup nation. We’ve graduated into something else. You can call it a scale-up nation, and let me explain the difference.
The difference is that about several years ago, when I would meet with an entrepreneur, part of the dialogue were these two words that you would always hear when you were talking to entrepreneurs in Israel. The two words are exit strategy. Meaning, I’m building a company and here is my exit strategy. Here’s how I’m going to sell my company to Google, Facebook and Microsoft.
The entrepreneurs that I meet and I meet hundreds, I have not heard that phrase in years. Why is that? It’s because the entrepreneurs in Israel are focused exclusively 100% of their resources on building large, sustainable and profitable businesses, not startups and we see the results. If you look at the last months alone, the amount of unicorns, which are billion-dollar companies in Israel. We’re talking close to 80 companies that are worth $1 billion in a country smaller than New Jersey in the worst neighborhood on Earth. It’s remarkable.
No matter how you want to look at this ecosystem of what’s going on in Israel. Whether you want to look at how much money is being invested or where that money is coming from. You want to look at the unicorns or the successful companies, or maybe the multinational, the Google, Facebook and Apple that have set up shop in Israel. Maybe the innovation and how creative Israeli entrepreneurs are, or the punchline of it all which is impact.
You say we’re a light onto the nation. How are we a light onto the nations? Is it because Google is in Israel? No. It’s because we’re developing technology that is literally not figuratively, making the world a better place. Whether it’s healthcare or mental health that you mentioned, whether it’s cancer research or radiology, you name it. I’ve read about hundreds of companies in Israel that are impactful and are making the world a better place. To me, that is the sign of a mature ecosystem and that is why I say we are no longer a startup nation. We have now graduated into being something else, which many referred to as scale-up nation.
Is that the title of your forthcoming book?
It is not. My book is about my philosophy in business. Which I’m happy to transition and talk about because I think it’s something that’s right up your alley. Shall we?
We shall. I want to make mention of two things. I don’t think we have time here. We’re not going to make time for it because I want to do what you want to do. I do want to mention something that you did say because it’s not a small issue, as you said, the most difficult neighborhood in the world. At some point, I’m hoping you’ll come back for another round.
At some point, we should talk about, what it is that distinguishes this country called Israel, which of course, is primarily a Jewish state, but is a very diverse population. Including a large percentage of people that other people call Arabs, but there are Israelis. Distinct from a country like Egypt with 90 million people. Turkey with 90 plus million people. I’ll leave aside Syria and Lebanon because of civil wars. Why are those countries also not in either the startup mode or the scale-up mode? I think it’s an important discussion, but let’s go to more about what you’re talking about and work there because it’s what motivates you.
Again, even though we’re meeting now for the first time, I think this is going to resonate with you very deeply, and that is that most people view business as a zero-sum game. Meaning, in order for you to win, I need to lose. I need to take money out of my pocket to give it to you, but the reality is, and this is an analogy that I’m sure you’ve heard from Hasidic rabbis over the years because they liked this analogy, but they don’t compare it to business. They compare it to other things.
I compare business to a candle. A candle has fire. It gives its fire to another candle. It loses nothing. Let me tell you a funny anecdote about that, and I told that analogy to a man named Kristof, who was at IBM Ventures. I said to Kristof, “Business is like a candle. You give your fire to someone else, you lose nothing.” Kristof said to me, “I’m going to take it one step further. If you don’t give your fire to someone else, you end up burning yourself out.”
I want you to pause there because what you just dropped is an explosive transformational aspect of life. That’s what this show is about. Joy expands the consciousness. You expanded the consciousness for hundreds of thousands of people who are trying to write that. Don’t write it down. You can read this again, which you should do and share it, but learn from what he said if you don’t share and SHARE stands for Spreading Happiness And Rejuvenating Energy. That’s the whole point. If you don’t do it, you’re going to dissipate.
I said to Kristof after he added that. I said, “You should be a Hasidic rabbi.” The truth is, my entire career is based on the fact that I meet entrepreneurs on a daily basis. If I can connect them to investors, just to name one example. The CEO sends me an email. I then forward that email to an investor, and I say to the investor, “Are you interested in an introduction to this entrepreneur?” If the answer is yes, then I simply connect them. Now, what happens? Let’s say that investor invests. Now the investor got an amazing deal. You got access to this amazing startup. This startup now raises money. He got access to capital and what did Hillel lose? I lost nothing. I sent an email. It took me four seconds.
On the contrary, watch what’s going to happen. This guy will tell us the next step.
On the contrary, I created, let’s call it for lack of a better term, social equity. It’s because this investor now says, “Hillel just got me this amazing deal.” This startup says, “Hillel, got us this capital and we didn’t even pay him.” What happens is, and this is my entire business philosophy in a “Mathematical equation.” I’m going to go ahead and say, “Pay attention closely to this one,” whoever is reading, because this is, in my humble opinion, everything the world of business summed up in one equation.
When I focus my time and resources on value creation, what does that mean? It can mean anything. Whether it’s connecting you to an investor, journalist and helping you tell your story better, it doesn’t matter. When I focus my time and resource on helping you win and not on monetization, meaning you’re not paying me a dime. What happens? You’re not paying me. I owe you nothing. Therefore, you have no expectations and if you have no expectations, all I can do is exceed expectations.
When I exceed expectations consistently, over and over again, I create something that I like to call delight. It’s delightful. Anything in your life that brings you delight, you’d pay for. Who wouldn’t pay for a good cup of coffee? You said, latte. Anything that brings you delight, you’d pay for it. What happens is, I’m in the business of delight. I want to help these entrepreneurs. When they come to me with hearts in their eyes like in the cartoons, now we can talk money.Appreciate the unbelievable gifts you have in this generation. Click To Tweet
Until then, until I’ve already shown you what I can do for you and until you as the entrepreneur realize that, I am indispensable to you, we’re not talking about money. We’re talking about your challenges. Tell me your challenges. Let me help. When you come back to me and you said, “You have done for me.” Now we can talk money, and that is how we built my entire portfolio of companies. I’m going to read you an email. May I read you an email?
Would you please read us an email?
Yes. I’m going to read you an email. This is a company which shall remain unnamed but is a multi-billion-dollar company in Silicon Valley. No connection to Israel whatsoever. When they launched their product years ago, I fell in love. It was a beautiful product, and I started to promote it organically. Meaning, they didn’t ask me to do it.
I didn’t even have a relationship with them, but I love the product. I told my audience about it. I promoted it, used it, wrote about it and I basically did their job for them and I marketed it for them. I didn’t want anything in return. I didn’t even dream of asking them for something. Who am I? This is a multi-billion-dollar company in Silicon Valley. I just did my thing.
I’m sitting at home, minding my own business one day and I get the following email. I’m reading to you word for word from my phone. This is the email. The subject is Thank You. “Hillel, I won’t ever forget your enduring support for what we have been building over the years. It’s time we got you some stock and asked you to be a formal advisor. I know you wouldn’t ask for this, but it’s the right thing to do. I hope you’ll accept. We are only just beginning and I could really use your advice when you have the time.” That is an email that I received tens of times from companies that I helped. In fact, one more story. I know I’m talking a lot.
Please keep speaking. By the way, TALK stands for Teaching Always Love and Kindness.
I think it would be easier for you if you would talk about the words that you don’t have an acronym for.
You won’t be able to talk.
Listen to this story. I would say months ago, I’m an observant Jew. I turned my phone off for the Sabbath. I don’t use electricity on Sabbath. Sabbath ended and I turned on my phone and I get an immediate phone call from a CEO who shall remain unnamed and said to me, “Hillel, do you like money?” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “It’s a simple question. Do you like money?” I said, “I guess.”
He said, “I want to give you some money.” I said, “What are you talking about?” He said, “You don’t know this, but several years ago, when we launched our company, you helped us tremendously and we gave you options in the company and we got acquired.” He just wired me money. I didn’t even know anything about it. My point is, when you focus on value and helping others, you elevate others, you help others win, you end up winning.
Are you ready for some nice acronyms? It’s because it’s flowing our cup, runneth over with good. HOW is a great acronym that stands for Helping Others Win, because that’s what winners do. WHO is Winners Help Others.
Hold on one second. Can you please email me some of these afterwards? I love these.
We will discuss, yes. We’re building a book together. Wait until you see and then we’re going to propagate it worldwide because I want others to contribute. This is like the Oxford English dictionary. Everybody who’s watching or reading, Hillel is the ultimate VC. He said it. I don’t even know if he remembers what he said. The ultimate VC is Value Creation.
You are good at this. This is amazing.
Good is for regular people.
ME, as you said, is Mathematical Exactitude. Everything happens. It cannot be that when someone does a benefit for someone else, that energy never goes lost. It’s a law of the universe. LAW stands for Love And Wisdom. It’s a LAW of the universe. It can’t be any other way and the fact that you are rooted in ancient tradition, that is ancient in the most positive, purposeful, powerful and pleasant way. Meaning that it is fundamentally based on truth.
It means that you do create delight. Delight is really about life and as Kristof said, “If you don’t share it, it diminishes.” That’s the genius of real life. LIFE stands for Living Inspirationally For Eternity, which is what you’re doing. Let’s discuss a bit about the unique geographical place that you live, which is an eternal country.
It’s not started in 1948. How does Hillel, who was born in a place called the United States of America, which most people around the world know of? Even though they may be thinking differently about it. We won’t say the year because this will be watched decades from now. Maybe even a century or two from now and they’ll scratch their heads.
The United States retreating ignobly from Kabul is shifted, has caused a plate tectonic shift in the world. For the moment, let’s talk about where you physically live in this amazing country that is populated by ever striving forward people who are there to make an impact, as you said. You said it so beautifully. That’s the key. An impact upon the world. Let’s go fun for the moment. Talk about the drone. What do you think about drones, sir, in Israel?
Do I have permission to name-drop?
If you don’t, I would be disappointed because, let’s be blunt. These kinds of things, people like that start, the SEO and all that stuff. Drop your names.
I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and I saw that Naftali Bennett, the Prime Minister of Israel, was boarding a plane to go to the United States to meet President Biden. I WhatsApp Bennett and I said, “Make us proud,” and he WhatsApp me back with a couple of emojis. The Prime Minister of Israel, unbelievable.
I’ll read to you the message that I wrote to him. I know it’s a little heavy, but I wrote to Naftali Bennett our Prime Minister. I said, “It will never cease to amaze me that I could WhatsApp the Prime Minister of Israel. What would my grandparents in Auschwitz have said?” It’s starting to get all heavy on you, but it was unbelievable to me that the Prime Minister of Israel. You got to look at it in the context of history. Talking about startups, the state of Israel is the best startup in history.
Literally, what’s going on here is, it is supernatural by any standards. You asked about the drone. It’s interesting because remember I said before that when people ask me, “What’s most exciting about tech?” I talk about Human-computer Interaction. The second thing that I talk about is drones and why are drones so exciting to me?
If you think about it, I don’t know if you’ve ever flown a drone before, but it is a spiritual experience. I’m not even kidding. Let me tell you something. You’re talking about a device that fits in the palm of your hand. That anyone can go into a store and buy that you can then fly for 5 miles at 50 miles an hour while recording 4K video. This thing has nineteen GPS satellites connected to it at any given point. Think about the sensors and the hardcore technology that’s embedded in drones.
Drones, from my perspective, are the utmost illustration of how far we’ve come technologically. Drones, they’re magical. They really are. I’m a big drone guy. I have a collection of drones. I love them. To me, after Human-computer Interaction, drones are the most exciting tech out there. Talking about tech in general, given that I have a unique perspective on Israeli tech, given that I’m a blogger, vlogger, podcaster, entrepreneur, marketing guy and a family man.
I see what’s going on here from a lot of different directions. I’ll sum it up for you in a couple of sentences really quickly. Traditionally and historically, Israel was very good at cybersecurity. Why? It’s because of the military. In 2021, you will have a hard time finding any sector of technology in which Israel is not a significant player. When I say significant, I want to be very accurate. We’re not always number one, but we’re up there. Maybe number two or number three. Again, you have to put this in perspective.Focus on value and helping others. When you help others, you end up winning. Click To Tweet
On the NASDAQ, the country with the most companies on NASDAQ is the United States of America, 350 million people. Number two is China, with 1.5 billion people. Number three is Israel, nine million people. That’s objectively absurd. It’s absolutely outrageous. Now across the board, again, whether it’s healthcare, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, machine learning or autonomous cars, you name it.
Israel is leading the way and it’s an objective fact. It’s not the opinion. You look at the numbers. Again, no matter how you want to analyze what’s going on in Israel, any metric you choose, you’ll see that Israel is a dominant player across all sectors of technology. Which to me, again, sorry to get heavy, is biblical. This is miraculous on a biblical level.
Remember how we began the show with the word SMILE? What does SMILE stand for? Do you remember?
Seeing Miracles In Life Every day.
I love it.
Hillel lives it. I have three questions for you. Are you ready?
Before you ask the questions, I really do need these acronyms. I want to post them and give me credit because this is amazing.
Will you come back again?
Absolutely. I need more of your energy.
You have 80 seconds to answer this question. What is your most fervent desire? Words of wisdom or words of wonder.
Am I assuming we’re talking about it from a professional perspective?
You don’t assume nothing. Do you know what assume means? What is your most fervent desire?
Honestly, to live in a way that I leave an impact on this world. We didn’t get a chance to talk about my late brother. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the story.
We will next time.
The bottom line is at 45 years on planet Earth, he touched the lives of millions of people. People ask me all the time, what my end game is, and I’ll tell you what my end game is. It’s this. I’m living my end game. If I can sustain this for the rest of my life, great. I have zero aspirations to be a billionaire. All I want to do is leave an impact on this world. After many years, when I leave this world, if I left an impact, then I’ve absolutely accomplished my goals and my desires.
Thank you. The third is I want to give you a hug. You should write this one down. HUG stands for Harmonizing Unlimited Giving. Remember, the three fundamentals of life are that’s why you tuned in because you care the most in the entire world about YOU, which is great. It’s all about you becoming happier, healthier and wealthier. You have many ways to do all that, as we said with Hillel.
The three fundamentals are one life, your life has a purpose. We lead a purpose-driven life. Number two is to go MAD, Make A Difference. Number three is to uncover the power and the secrets of everyday words in terms like WWW, What a Wonderful World and SMILE, Seeing Miracles In Life Every day. As my niece says, Seeing Miracles In Everyday Life. CREATE the world you want to live in Causing Rethinking Enabling All To Excel.
Use four-letter words, love, life, grow, hope, free, gift, pray, play and swim and tell everybody FUNN. You got to add that right away and use the two most powerful words in the English language. Three times a day, consciously and conscientiously, for now, the rest of your life, and these two words are, “Thank you,” because THANK stands for To Harmonize A Network Kindness.
Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Therefore, be KIND always, Keep Inspiring Noble Deeds. Hillel Fuld, a huge thank you and our prayer and blessing for everybody is to go forth. Live exuberantly, spread the seeds of joy, happiness, peace and love. Go MAD, Go Make A Difference.
- Hillel Fuld
- Start-up Nation
About Hillel Fuld
Hillel Fuld is a tech blogger/vlogger/podcaster, startup marketer, leading online influencer, and public speaker. His work and insights have been featured on CNBC, Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and other respected tech publications. Hillel collaborates with companies such as Google, Oracle, and Microsoft to help entrepreneurs and their products scale. He also does keynotes on tech and marketing to audiences worldwide.
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