ITProPortal got close and personal with Amit Avner, the co-founder and CEO of real-time advertising company Taykey (opens in new tab), to find out what drove him to pursue a career in the fiercely competitive world of technology.
Where did you get the idea for the business?
The idea came about around four or five years ago, when I noticed that, for the first time, people were sharing their thoughts on the web. Blogging was already around, but this takes a lot of effort, so until that point online consisted of only writers and bloggers. However, with Twitter, MySpace and Facebook, people started sharing their ideas in one-line messages (micro-blogging) and I realised that there was a vast amount of potential in this untapped source of data.
What was your ultimate goal when you founded Taykey? Are you there yet?
Like most startups we pivoted a lot. We knew we had an amazing source of information, as well as the algorithms to analyse it, but we kept shifting around on what was the best use for it. Today, our goal is building the DoubleClick for Right Now, a platform that helps advertisers become dynamic, based on what their audience is talking about at any particular moment. Slowly but surely we are adding more pieces of the puzzle.
What was your lowest point and how did you overcome it?
A startup is a never-ending rollercoaster - sometimes you're high and sometimes you're low. Every now and then you'll reach a new high and then again a new low. You have to buckle up for the ride.
There seems to have been a recent explosion of tech startups in Israel. Is there any particular reason for this?
At the same age that British students usually head off to university, Israelis join the army. In the army, if you are part of a tech unit, you have to work under lots of pressure as part of a team, releasing high quality products in short cycles, which is essentially startup culture. This means that when people get out of the army, they are well-trained to work for a startup, and in some cases already have a team they can work with. It certainly helps.
What advice would you give somebody trying to launch a business in today's world?
Don't over analyse things and love what you do. If you love your job you will never have to work a day in your life.
Which businesses do you admire most?
I think that Microsoft is an underrated company. It made computers a commodity, and its products range from servers, to home computers to pretty much everything. I love big companies. I think General Electric is an amazing business.
Where will Taykey be in five years?
Time will tell!
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