Joel Bar-El, Executive Chairman and Co-founder of Trax

Credit: Trax

Trax’s retail platform allows customers to understand what is happening on the shelf, in every store, all the time so they can focus on what they do best – delighting shoppers. Trax employs hundreds of people across the world and has offices in Tel Aviv. Due to the economic crisis, Trax laid off around 20% of its employees at its Tel Aviv R&D center three months ago as part of cutbacks in which it fired 100 employees overall.

“Trax's main product involves taking pictures of shelf space in stores. Almost three years after founding the company, when we were still a small company without many resources, we decided to improve the user experience. We were fascinated by the concept of technological innovation and wanted to conquer more technological peaks. Our decision at the time was to invest a large amount (large compared to our size at the time) to enable video recording of shelf areas as well as still photographs. Essentially, it took precedence over other things. A year of hard work and overcoming significant technological obstacles led to the release of a working version of a moving video with product identification. Technologically, we achieved a great accomplishment and congratulated ourselves. In practice, we didn't do enough research to determine whether end users had such a need. In reality, most users didn't view the new development as an improvement proposal that was really relevant to them, and some even preferred to continue taking individual photos. A year's worth of work by dozens of people and a considerable amount of money went down the drain. In retrospect, I regret not being smarter about this move, but this lesson was definitely significant for the company's growth at the beginning. Nowadays, Trax is a unicorn whose technology is embedded in the branches of the largest retailers in over 70 countries around the world- and this is the proof that sometimes, there is nothing better than learning from mistakes.”

Moran Shiri, Head of HR Israel, Global Tech HRBP at Digital Turbine

Credit: PR

Digital Turbine's technology is in more than 800 million devices worldwide, with its application technology reaching over 1.2 billion users every month. The company has almost 1000 employees with over 150 employees, in its Israeli office.

“I have had the privilege of working with several leading companies during my career, all of which presented me with great challenges and learning experiences. Looking back at many leadership, business, and process challenges – one was an especially interesting teaching moment. The company I worked in at the time went through a business transition process which included losing employees due to budget cuts– a tough process on all levels. The challenge that arose was that the decision to let go of which employees was taken at the highest level, by the company CEO – rather than by the mid-level and lower-level managers. The process did not include the appropriate discussions and transparency, creating frustration and friction between multiple stakeholders.

Looking back, as a people leader, I feel that I did not take the position I needed to in front of the company’s leadership. Decisions on the termination of employees were taken in a fashion that I would not repeat today – without a conversation with relevant managers. Acknowledging the importance of such hard decisions needed to be taken on all levels.”

Hadar Amir, Business Development Manager of Sheba Beyond, Israel’s first virtual hospital

Credit: Sheba Beyond

Sheba Beyond is the first virtual hospital in Israel. It provides advanced medical services by Sheba's leading experts to anyone, anywhere, and at any time, with the help of innovative technologies. There are over 100 virtual clinics in this framework and hundreds of therapists in a variety of fields who hold hundreds of virtual meetings every day.

“When establishing a new and innovative organization, within a government hospital, we often encountered services that we would like to provide but the organization was not mature enough to provide them. When we founded Sheba Beyond, the enthusiasm surrounding the virtual hospital was great. Many customers stood in line, and we were not always able to give the appropriate answer, be it the requests for price quotes, to adding medical services to the home testing service against the coronavirus. We were not prepared with large enough teams capable of remote medical consultation or home delivery on a wide scale to meet the demands. This caused a lot of discomfort. From this, I learned two things: The first is that when setting up a new service, you need to take sufficient security factors so as not to create expectations that are not realistic. The second is to invest a lot in the intra-organizational process before going out into the world.”

Yehiel Atias, Co-Founder & CEO of Hexa

Credit: Hexa

Hexa is the world's first immersive OS: A 3D tech stack to create, manage, display, and analyze 3D projects at any scale. Serving Fortune 500 companies like Amazon, Macy’s, Walmart, and more, Hexa’s robust infrastructure empowers the 3D commerce journey from start to finish. The company was founded by Jonathan Clark (CTO), Ran Buchnik (CPO), and Yehiel Atias (CEO).

“Yom Kippur is the only day of the year I do not check my phone or emails; it is a special day for me. It reminds me of simpler days when knowledge was not as readily available as it is today. For me, it represents going back to basics and preserving our important Jewish and Israeli culture.

"In this rollercoaster of a journey that is called a startup, you will, at some point, disappoint others. In my case, it started with my first two co-founders, who unfortunately left the company along the way. In most cases, these things are out of your control, but the fact that the nature of what we are building as entrepreneurs is constantly changing and naturally morphing means that some people will get hurt along the way" Atias shares "For me, this is one of the hardest elements of our journey, as I know that moving forward means people may get hurt. Over time you learn how to minimize such negative effects, and while some of those people will understand and forget, others will not."

Atias believes that you can't eliminate the disappointment of some of the team members, so he chooses to focus his energy on minimizing the number of people that have to go through it.

"One thing that helps us do this and to preserve our team's happiness levels, even when our paths separate, there is a strong culture that drives us to do what's right and it is built around four core values: being a musketeer– one for all and all for one; simplism– uncomplicated and easy to understand; transparency– crystal clear, candid and accessible; accountability – full ownership end to end."