The Digital Dozen – Itamar Benedy, CEO, Glispa
The Digital Dozen is a series of profile interviews with thought leaders in the technology industry. Here we speak with Itamar Benedy, CEO of mobile ad tech company Glispa, about his career path and ask the question on everyone’s lips... what's your favourite doughnut?
1. What would you say is your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement to date is evolving Glispa from an affiliate marketing company into a full service ad tech business. This journey has included five acquisitions, all fully integrated in Glispa’s platform, providing clients with a complete suite of mobile monetisation solutions. On a personal note, having dealt extensively with many investors, clients and employees in my career and drawing on my solid sales expertise, I am most proud of succeeding in getting my wife to marry me!
2. Which quality do you most value in others?
A combination of passion, focus and loyalty.
3. What profession did you want to go into as a child?
I had two clear ambitions as a child – to become a tennis pro and the world’s greatest chess player. I am incredibly driven and believe you should be the best in the world in whatever you decide to pursue. With chess, you have to anticipate your opponent’s next move and ensure you are ten steps ahead, whereas with tennis, you make your decisions in real time. I’ve always enjoyed the strategic aspects of both.
4. Name the best piece of advice you could give to someone just starting their career.
I see many professionals languishing in careers they don’t enjoy, so my first piece of advice would be to find a job you really like, then everything else will fall into place. Secondly, everyone seems to be searching for the short-cut to success, but in my experience the longer route is far more invaluable, and inevitably turns out to be the shorter path in the end. So take your time, hone your skills, expand your knowledge and keep your mind on the prize.
5. Why do you think you’re a good leader?
I care a great deal about two things; people and strategy. A business thrives or fails on the success of its staff, so I aim to motivate and incentivise employees by promoting the following:
1. A fun and friendly work environment which bolsters employee happiness and well-being
2. Accelerated career progression
3. Rewards for those that work hard
I think these are the three fundamental things you can offer as a good leader, and contribute significantly to Glispa’s success.
6. Who do you admire most in business?
The owner of Glipsa; serial entrepreneur Teddy Sagi. Mr. Sagi is a highly successful businessman, ranked 6th on Forbes’ Richest Israeli People. In addition to Glispa, he owns a range of real estate ventures and a multitude of hi-tech organisations, and is a visionary in both the property and tech space. He is a very hard working, charismatic and inspiring businessman, who’s always one step ahead of the game. Despite not having solid experience in all the industries he operates, his strong business intuition means he makes a success of every venture.
7. How would you define success?
Being the best version of yourself.
8. What website do you visit first each morning?
The Israeli news site Ynet. As an Israeli based in Berlin, it’s important for me to stay up to date with the Israeli news. This is where the foundation of my career began so I like to keep up with any developments in the region.
9. What one book would you recommend everyone reads?
There are so many good books in the field of economical behaviour, but one of the best books I would recommend would be Thinking fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman. It talks about how the human mind works, what our weaknesses are, and how to overcome them.
10. The language I’d love to be able to speak is…
Mandarin. China is going to rule the world – if you can’t beat them, join them!
11. Name one thing you wish you’d invented.
Facebook - the way it connected the world is amazing.
12. If you were a doughnut, what flavour would you be, and why?
Chocolate doughnut - keep it simple. If it’s not broken don’t fix it!