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.
Gil Rabbi is one of Israel’s digital pioneers; he founded Rabbi Interactive Agency in 2005. Since then, he led major innovations in the digital world, including products for Eurovision and the Rising Star TV format that enabled hundreds of thousands of viewers to participate in real-time. Rabbi was chosen among the most influential people under 40 in the 40 under Forty list for 2018 and for one of the 100 most influential people in the digital fields in 2016 after the global Amazon website published a review of the products he developed.
What are your main productivity tips?
I don’t think I can give productivity tips because I believe each person should discover what helps his unique character and mind.
Personally, I’m more productive at night, after the world falls asleep, my mobile takes a break from all the constant notifications, and I can create new things rather than handle the day-to-day tasks.
I guess my advice is not to listen to others on this subject but to learn for yourself what works for you, listen to the heart because it can help you be more creative.
What is your favorite drink?
Don’t tell my dentist, but I still drink cola cans. Only cans tho, do not offer me Coke in a bottle or glass.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
In the end, no matter what, it’s a part of our lives here, and everyone has their way of dealing with it. I think there’s also a genetic element to it.
For me, anxiety usually comes before there really is a need for it, but on the other hand, in the moments of truth, my head is focused, and I cope well.
Generally speaking, the busier I am, the less I feel stressed. This is a trait that has helped me move forward and be focused.
Sports and music also help me moderate anxiety.
Your tips for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Hear what everyone has to say, but do not necessarily listen to them. If you believe in your way, go for it. Even if you’re wrong, eventually, it’s an important road to follow.
On the other hand, I have often been told that I am totally off direction, and in the end, everyone used the products I believed in.
But no less important, you should love the things you do; if you feel there is no emotion or spark in doing them, you are probably not on the right path.
Another subject I have learned over the years is not to be afraid of changing the path spontaneously. Many entrepreneurs tend to build a strategy or values of some kind and are not willing to move and change. The best things I created are the ones that came as a result of the bad things I created. So you must know how to proceed while moving and give up fixation because you learn so much along the way.
Lastly, I see the problems of the entrepreneurs not in the early stages or at the endpoints. Many consult with me after they already have a product out there, with a company and staff and even money. The Difficulties really come in the middle stages, after the excitement and spark have passed, and now you have to move on to the next jump. This is the hardest part of entrepreneurship, where many give up; I have also given up more than once. In these moments, an entrepreneur is really measured, and it is important to rise above and continue.
Who in the Tech industry would you like to meet for lunch?
It might surprise you, but I would be happy to sit longer with my dad; he is among Israel’s first systems analysts and software generation. I keep telling myself that I need to see him more, but the reality of everyday life does not always allow me to do that.
Besides, I would love to meet every one of the High-tech founding generations who has already seen and gone through everything. Unfortunately, our generation, especially the younger ones, often come to this field only for the money. Luckily, my character is still from the time of those who have to create because otherwise, they will go crazy.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
London. This city and especially its weather puts me in a good mood.
What is your favorite book recommendation?
How to win friends and influence people, by Dale Carnegie.
Why are you in Tech?
I started writing code as early as age 8 when my father brought home an IBM computer while most people had no idea what it was. The creation at the end is a kind of escape from everyday life, from school I did not like. I think technology and code have helped me deal with many pain and thoughts, even today.
No less important than that, I am by nature a person who always likes to say yes and help people, and already at the age of 15, I discovered how the things I created by technology are able to help people, although it can also hurt them at times. It swept me away when I realized this power I have to make others’ lives simpler or better using technology.
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