Dave Carvajal: Itzhak, wisdom often comes from some of the greatest failures. What have been some setbacks or some real opportunities you’ve had for learning and growth?
Itzhak Fisher: So, I tell everybody about my first failure. I went to school in the US and I came back to Israel after working in the US at mobile oil., IMB, and went to this start up doing databases and electronic mail and I was a little bit bored. And it’s very dangerous when you are bored. So I decided to make an investment.
Itzhak Fisher: So I invested in a horse ranch. I put 100,000 dollars, which then was a lot of money for me, into a horse ranch in Israel, looked at the business plan like you look at a business plan. We had the best-looking ranch in Israel, we had 12 horses. We did lessons on riding and different programs and on paper the business plan looked great. But I invested in an area I know nothing about. I found out that horses actually eat a lot and you have to buy a lot of food to feed those horses and there’s no bearing on the business plan, we didn’t have the right projection of what horses will eat.
Itzhak Fisher: Then I found out that in the stores, wherever the horses are you actually have to change the store every two days. Which store is expensive in Israel. So, I lost all my money in like less than a year. And then on whenever I looked at an investment I tell myself in my head, “You only invest in things that you understand. And don’t let it be the horse and the ranch investment you had done”. So that was my lesson in making investments in areas you know nothing about expecting it to work out.
Dave Carvajal: What do you think are some of the challenges of having such a diverse work force today? Right, we’re dealing with people who are the millennials, gen-x, gen-y, and we also have people who are significantly older and have more wisdom but what do you think are some of the challenges in having such a diverse work force today?
Itzhak Fisher: When I was at Neilson I think I was the only guy that had the 4 day req report and 3 of them were women. I don’t look at gender and I don’t look at age I look at what somebody brings to the table and I find that the older people are, in some cases, the more drive they have to succeed and the more experience they bring to the table.
Itzhak Fisher: So, I take every case, case by case basically. I value people based on their experience, drive & stamina. Stamina is also very important, sometimes you have a very young guy who is very tired and sometimes you have an old guy who is very fresh and excited about the new challenge that comes his way. That’s one of the other things that I think are very important.