Being a founder, not to mention a CEO, can be a very lonely place, carrying loads of stress and required to constantly be at peak performance. This often makes it hard to find balance between one's professional and personal life. Maintaining strong relationships with the co-founders and investors, is also not an easy task, where clarity and empathy are not always present. As one of my entrepreneurs says: “It’s not the technological challenge we deal with, it’s the mental one”.
"Throughout my +15 years as a professional, I've always been attracted to the intersection of business and psychology through entrepreneurship - What makes people tick? How do people think and act? And what motivates people in business? What drives me is being there for the amazing entrepreneurs, who are under constant pressure, so that they can make our world a better place. That’s what I’m here for, and this is my podcast – The Human Founder."
Eze Vidra & Kevin Baxpehler, Managing Partners of Remagine Ventures
Eze & Kevin have known each other from their days in the Zell program at the IDC. The two have worked together on Wall Street, at Google, a few more ventures & startups, and now join forces as General Partners of an early-stage VC focusing on entertainment & consumers. Eze & Kevin are great friends and even better partners.
Kevin talks about his entrepreneurial journey, including the day he had to let go of 30 employees, and chose to do the same for himself - since the company grew too fast and R&D couldn't keep up with sales. That difficult day threw him back to 2008, when the big crisis hit Wall St. and from big dreams and fancy cocktails - he found his work as an investment banker was no longer meaningful enough and shortly after he was let go.
Eze has always loved computers - from back in Argentina, where he was born and raised until the age of 8 years old. After moving to Israel it became his mission to help put Israel on the global tech map and create global bridges. This led him to found VC Cafe back in 2005, an ongoing venture that Eze updates.
Kevin reveals his biggest strengths are optimism and his inner drive, something that had been nurtured from his years as a tennis player. Eze describes Kevin as a self-starter. Their fluid dynamic sees Kevin draw up the first draft and concepts, and Eze later comes in to do the fine-tuning and finalize the details. That’s how they gain a complete and comprehensive understanding based on trust and respect.
Eze says that his strength stems from his curiosity; he is wired to see the matrix and connect the dots. Kevin particularly highlights the way Eze gives feedback & criticism, and that he has this inner ML algorithm that constantly learns and develops.
Always have a Plan B
Kevin shares that every 3-4 years, he feels like he’s too much in his comfort zone - so he has to disrupt himself and learn something new or go through some kind of personal development.
He recently graduated from the Hoffman-Kofman Conscious Leadership Program, where he gained a lot of experience and trained his listening & conflict resolution skills. Additionally, Kevin recently began studying mindfulness and has since implemented various techniques into his day-to-day life.
A few of the mindfulness techniques include:
- Conscious breathing techniques - focusing on the inhale & exhale
- Body scan - focusing on various parts of the body and directing the breathing into those areas
- Focusing on the Here & Now, more being over doing in an unproductive way
Eze spoke about giving back to society, sharing his experiences with Tech-Bikers – a non-profit organization he established that promotes long distance cycling challenges. The organization supports the establishment of new schools, libraries & scholarships in Nepal, Vietnam, Bangladesh and others.
Last, Eze & Kevin discussed the high cost and trade-offs of the entrepreneurial journey and how perspective is crucial to success. They also shared advice about the importance of cash flow and high margins and how as an entrepreneur, you should always have a plan B.