Welcome to my Tech Leaders Interview Series, where I interview impactful leaders and ask them to share tips and techniques that have benefited them, both in their personal and professional lives.
This interview is with Akiva Armon, CEO of Wisesight.
Akiva Armon is an engineer who has led many classified projects for the IAI (Israeli Aerospace Industries). He also has a Master’s degree in Applied Physics specializing in electro-optics from the Hebrew University in Israel.
Q: What are your main productivity tips?
1. My first advice would be to surround yourself with a winning team – the employees are the most important part of the equation. I try to inspire them to dream, to fulfill themselves – I think that is the best way to succeed.
2. Positive thinking – challenges will come. The question is how you are going to deal with them. Teach yourself and your employees to think positively – that is the best chance you’ll get over the challenges on the way.
3. Order and organization in the company are extremely important- it is impossible to run a company and move forward without it. At our company, everything is documented, emphasizing meeting deadlines and preparing for meetings in advance.
4. The last tip is family life – if you employees would be happy at home, you’ll get a happier employee, and the productivity would increase.
Q: What is your favorite drink?
Whiskey – not because I like to drink it so much; it is more because it symbolizes raising a glass after closing a deal and more than that, it also helps in some business meetings, it reduces the barriers and get you to speak more from you hurt and enables you to connect to the person in the meeting. After all, it is all about personal connections between people.
Q: How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Stress is very common in startup companies that fight for their existence daily. I get up every morning and remind myself that everything is a game and make sure to enjoy the journey and not necessarily the goal.
Q: Your tips for aspiring entrepreneurs?
1. Vision – The first piece of advice is to look far and not the short term – The first days of a startup CEO include lots of meetings and a constant graph of ups and downs on the way to success, and since most first meetings end in disappointment – at each end, I repeat the mantra to my partners: the most important thing is moving forward- we will not crash or rise from any meeting.
2. It’s very important to surround yourself with good and positive people- The journey is long, and it is important to know that you have good partners along the way. Both on the part of the investors, both on the part of the founders, and on the part of the employees in the company. For me, it is more important to employ employees with high emotional intelligence than those with high IQ; I prefer people who talk about solutions rather than problems. The synergy between the employees in the company is critical to its success. Good people create a winning team, and a winning team creates success.
3. It is a whole journey- it has ups and downs and throughout time. Always make sure that you don’t forget about your dream and vision. That would lead the way for you.
Q: Who in the Tech industry would you like to meet for lunch?
That is a very and hard question. First thought (and not original at all) is Elon Musk, But as I think about it more and more, the answer is quite different. It is my father. My father is my hero. He is the perfect gentleman, the most honest person I have ever met, and he is extremely smart. I would like to sit with him for lunch more often!
Q: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
My dream is to be as close to nature as possible. I live already in my favorite place, but I would like to travel around the world to explore more and see different places and cultures.
Q: What is your favorite book recommendation?
It is my childhood book (I read it 17 times!!!). The name of the book is “Diving forward” By Dvora Omer. It is an inspiring story about a young kid that came from Morroco to Israel and joined an elite unit in the IDF. It is about his difficulties with joining the society in Israel.
Q: Why are you in Tech?
To create a better place for each one of us.
Wisesight is an Israeli startup company that develops advanced technological solutions for managing a smart city and provides an innovative solution to the parking problem World Wide.
The company has developed an innovative and exclusive IoT system, based on an electro-optical device, Implemented on the on-street light poles of the municipality. Those systems conduct real-time Artificial Intelligence to provide an advanced technological solution to the parking problem in Israel and are currently expanding to the United States, Europe, and the United Arab Emirates.
Wisesight was established in 2017 by veterans of the defense industry (aerospace and defense systems). The founders of the company are Akiva Armon, Ram Rokach, Itai Kadosh, Eliran Cohen, and Erez Rokach. The company has About 20 employees in its offices in Jerusalem.