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 Yoav Vilner, CEO of Walnut.
Yoav Vilner is CEO at Walnut. Prior to that, he was the founder of one of the world’s first tech marketing companies that helped 600 startups grow and a founding CMO of an anti-bullying startup.
Yoav was also a startup mentor with accelerators by Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Yahoo, and the U.N., and a writer for top outlets such as Inc Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, Entrepreneur, and more.
What are your main productivity tips?
My favorite productivity tip is putting your mobile phone on Flight mode before you go to sleep and up until you get out of bed, drink something, and get ready for the next day.
The tension that we perceive from expected calls or messages, especially work-related, can keep us up at night. Unless emergencies require it, try this trick to sleep better, wake up more relaxed, and only get exposed to all those dozens of emails/messages when you are prepared for it.
Keep in mind: some people might be mad at you for doing this 🙂
What is your favorite drink?
Very cold soda water. I can’t get enough.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Building a fast-growing startup such as Walnut has its share of stress and a “roller coaster” sensation so it. I play guitar as part of a band, work out and even practice Thai boxing to stay balanced.
Your tips for aspiring entrepreneurs?
The first tip is to make every mistake possible while you’re young and have many more years to build and shut things down. Someone afraid of making these mistakes will end up doing them later in their journey, where their impact will be more complex.
Second tip, it might seem right to take the first investment offer you will get in your journey, but perform very deep research and “D.D.” on your potential investors – such as consulting with their portfolio founders first.
Who in the Tech industry would you like to meet for lunch?
Some of the people I always admired and followed are actually active investors now at Walnut, such as Ron Conway, Silicon valley’s most legendary tech investor, and pioneer. Still, on my current bucket list, I’d say grabbing coffee with HubSpot’s CEO.
I’m a guy that adores significant brand builders, and the way they have pioneered a whole new tech category is a role model to me.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
I kind of lived anywhere: from Israel to London, Manhattan, and even a secluded Caribbean island. So no rush to explore a new place at this moment.
What is your favorite book recommendation?
Not related to Tech, “It” by Stephen King is a masterpiece (just the book though, be mindful that the movies are terrible).
Why are you in Tech?
It chose me when I was 22, and I just went along with it.
Walnut.io is the world’s first Sales Experience platform. It lets sales leaders manage and improve their sales demo process without relying on anyone from back-end teams (R&D, product, design) and puts the prospects in the center of the sales process to improve conversion rates.
Walnut raised $21M in its first year from leading investors such as NFX, Eight Roads, A Capital, Wix CEO, Joe Montana, Google VP R&D, GitHub’s V.P. Sales, and more.