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 Itzik Levy, Co-Founder & CEO of vcita. Earlier this week Dun & Bradstreet included vcita, the small business management platform, in 12th place in its high-tech Top 20 Best Startups to Work For.
Itzik brings 23+ years of experience of turning ideas into products, leading business strategies, and managing development projects.
Prior to founding vcita, Itzik was co-founder and VP R&D at Kidaro, a desktop-virtualization company that was acquired by Microsoft in early 2008. Following the acquisition, Itzik became a Product Unit Manager at Microsoft.
What are your main productivity tips?
It may seem off trend, but I don’t believe in over-multitasking. I can see why we’re tempted to start a task while waiting for another’s progress, but often, too many tasks are in progress, and very few get done.
Another tip for promoting productivity is meetings vs. emails. Whatever goes beyond a three-email interaction should be moved to a meeting to be discussed so decisions can be made and things can move forward.
What is your favorite drink?
I’m a big fan of the Mojito. During the lockdowns, I got my son a bar kit and a cocktail recipe book. He was making me a new cocktail every day. It was one of the things we did to pass the time…and a new skill for him.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
I’m not a stressed out or anxious person by nature, but if I need to clear my head, I go to multi-player online games or binge a series on Netflix. In case someone around me is stressed out, whether, in my personal life or a staff member, I try to deal with their stress and anxiety with reason, to explain very logically why the situation is manageable and the steps leading to everything being fine.
Your tips for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Hindsight is always 20/20. I say this because I don’t want to seem like the guy who got it all right on the first try. I didn’t. Here are some dos and don’ts I learned along the way:
- When getting into a startup, make sure you like your co-founders and that you’ll be happy with them come rain or shine.
- Go with a product/industry you like and are interested in and that you (and your partners) have the right skill set to develop.
- Be open. It’s very common for people to be reluctant about sharing their idea in fear they’ll be beaten to the punch. The fact is, you have more to learn from people with experience who will raise issues you haven’t thought of and lead you to a better starting point.
- Get a mentor. Find an industry insider to talk to and consult with. A mentor will guide you, as well as open doors for you, particularly if they’re an investor.
- Be strategic with the money you raise: Only raise as much money as you think you need to accomplish a milestone and be sure your goals and your investors’ goals are aligned.
- Always optimize the success of the initiative over your own personal stake in it.
- Invest in your first employees. Get the best people you can and let them grow with the company and build their own teams.
- Target your end-user and their use cases. It’s better to provide an excellent solution to a limited number of people than a mediocre solution to many people.
Who in the Tech industry would you like to meet for lunch?
I meet people in the tech industry for lunch all the time. It’s not all it cut out to be. I would rather have lunch with various people from other areas.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Right here, in Israel. I have the option of living in other places, but the fact is I live here because I want to.
What is your favorite book recommendation?
I read a lot of geopolitical and popular science books. I like to explore those areas in which humans, Tech, and economics meet and the effects, or predicted effects, these may have.
Why are you in Tech?
I’m in Tech because it best suits my natural interests. I love math, physics, and logic. I read and watch content about these topics in my free time. Very early on, I realized that technology corresponds with these interests. I served in the 8200 unit in the army and knew that following my service; I would head into tech entrepreneurship. I never looked back.
vcita helps SMBs and entrepreneurs build and manage a business they are proud of and remain competitive in the digital economy. vcita’s business management platform covers day-to-day business management needs. vcita’s cloud-based solutions help solopreneurs, and small teams manage their entire business, turning time-consuming tasks like scheduling, payment collection, and marketing campaigns into simple, one-click operations from one app. Throughout 2020 and 2021, vcita employees have been working hard to launch new ways to support small business owners; These include partnering with Mastercard to launch the Business Unusual portal; collaborations with municipal business bureaus and small business platforms around the world to strengthen local business ecosystems; entering the SME Finance Forum; and joint projects with leaders like Square, Next Insurance, and Lendio.