Leadership with Itzhak Fisher
Dave Carvajal: On leadership, what do you value as the most important qualities of leadership and what do you look for in executive hires or in making venture capital investment decisions with portfolio companies?
Itzhak Fisher: So, for me, first of all working with people, when I hire people I like to surround myself with people who are much smarter than me. I don’t like mediocre management teams where the CEO is the smartest guy in the room and people follow the CEO.
Itzhak Fisher: I like to have multiple opinions in one room where the CFO is the best and knows financial, and the CTO knows better than anyone else what he needs to know to develop the systems the company needs to have. So, surrounding yourself with smart people is number 1 for me.
Itzhak Fisher: Number 2 for me is surround yourself with people who are strong and voice their opinions. I’ve now worked for corporate America a couple times in my life and I’ve ran into many situations where the CEO tells “I think like that” and everyone says “agreed” and then he says “I’ve changed my mind” and everybody agrees the change of mind of the CEO.
Itzhak Fisher: I like to have people who are smart, honest, not afraid to voice their opinions. There is chemistry between the people who work well together, they integrate as a team and are dedicated in their drive to succeed. So, those are the qualities that are important to me.
Dave Carvajal: When you think about technology, today and in the future, what are you most excited about?
Itzhak Fisher: So, I’m personally invested today 35 companies. I am managing a fund that focuses on the latest stage that has 8 investments. I find on the latest stage I mainly focus on data, big data, analytics, consumer media. And I am very excited to see new technologies that are game changers.
Itzhak Fisher: So, if you look at the company we invested by the name of Bringg. Bringg uberizes the world and they did a pilot with Coca-Cola in Vietnam and if you own a kiosk and you sell Coca-Cola cans and ran out of inventory you can go on your phone or your computer and see all the Coca-Cola vans that are delivering cans in your area that have excess capacity and you click on the truck and see how the truck is coming to you and we increased sales with this technology for Coca-Cola significantly in Vietnam.
Itzhak Fisher: I am excited about taking a company that started with Uber and cars and putting in different areas in order to help companies increase their sales. So that is number 1, on my personal investing I swear to myself that I won’t invest anymore but every time I find someone that I like so I’ll give you the latest. So, I do mentorship and am involved in a few universities.
Itzhak Fisher: There’s a school of innovation actually at Tufts and I met one of the graduates who is actually an old graduate who is 35 years old, he has a master’s in engineering, and he developed a box that you can build into a big box and if you are a bakery, at the end of the day there are a lot of shelves of breads and cakes, what do you do today?
Itzhak Fisher: You give it to charity or your throw it out and he developed this box that if you put your baked good into this box, they remain fresh for seven days. So, I am actually doing a pilot, we are going to build a big one and give it to a bakery for like 3 months to test. Here is an investment that I would never, I would call it the horse investment, I would never do it in other days, but it isn’t a big investment and this could be a game changer, it could be big so I’m doing that.