So here is the thing. My day2day job is to run a startup company called Taboola. By now, 3.5 years into it, it’s not the startup it used to be at the beginning. Mainly, as we grew really fast and we’re out there doing business with the top businesses in this country. However, we sure act as one – we’re fast, agile, we’re in the hot video space, and we’re cool.
Before doing this, I spent many years in the Israeli army, 7 years to be specific. That’s a long time. That’s where I originally met many Taboolars, and probably some of the smartest people I’ve met in my life. For instance, Alon Pilberg who is a member of our algorithm team, got perfect SAT score w/o ever studying, and finished his undergrad in computer science and mathematics in 2 years when he was 20. I personally saw once a professor trying to challenge him, and when Alon responded, that professor never talked to him ever again. I won’t be surprised if he quit his job. You don’t want to challenge Alon thinking you know what you’re talking about and he doesn’t. You just don’t do that.
From the above, you can understand that in tandem me being in the army I was studying computer science and mathematics. However, I never finished. I have 6 courses to the finish line. On paper, I’m stupid.
Yes, I had some little moments of on-paper-pride, for instance – last year I was chosen to be one of the younger promising business guys in Israel, or even cooler, a TV station I won’t mention their channel-number offered me last week to shoot a few episodes on me, being a desired bachelor 🙂 (First, I’m taken, and honestly rating would be poor so I saved them from failure). I’m also proud Evergreen VC invested in us more than $10M in the past 3.5 years. And personally, I’m also proud to be a columnist for some leading media publications such as my column on MediaPost.
So on-paper, I had little moment of feeling cool. However, my mom … oh my mom – she could never go to a barber shop, get a haircut and tell the lady-friends, Shoshana ,Rebecca and Dalya (made up names) that — she ever saw me graduate from a university. I just never did.
Punch paragraph comes now.
I just got invited & scheduled to speak at MIT Sloan School for this year graduates. Now how cool is that. First, it’s one of the most sexy institutions in the whole world. Second, I’ll be speaking to an audience of people that are smarter than me. This is btw my hiring methodology, I’ve never hired a person that I didn’t think is much better than I am at least in one major thing. Ideally in more than just one thing. So this is very cool.
My mom may be in NY when it happens and join me. I can see this happen, “hi all, first I’m excited as it’s the closest I’ve ever step foot in a university. Second, it’s my mom’s first time seeing me in one … “
Doing things on paper is good. However, actually living is better (and will make your mom proud).