Hillel Zafir- Focus on Business

Interview with Hillel Zafir- Focus on Business 01_27_21

Youtube Link

[00:00:27] Mike: [00:00:27] Hey everybody. Welcome back to Java chats, coffee with Mike. And I get the pleasure of talking with very interesting gentleman by the name of Hillel’s, fear. he is the co-founder and CEO of in Syntex, which is a sales performance. sales performance platform. we met through another guest of ours that has been on here before by the name of Joel Applebaum.

[00:00:51] and we were just kind of chatting in the, in the group chat. We are, we’re both Scorpios, this is dangerous. And, we, we, I was like, you know, I’m always looking for guests and the little was the first one was like, I’m in. And I’m like, all right, done, it’s on, let’s do this. And then I realized we’re both Scorpios.

[00:01:07] And I said, Oh shit, this is going to be interesting. Just because of the fact that we both liked to talk. 

[00:01:14] Hillel Zafir: [00:01:14] So this ought to be fun. We’ll see, we’ll see where it gets to talk more during the process. 

[00:01:20] Mike: [00:01:20] Well first, first off, thank you very much for coming on to Java chat and coming and hanging out with me, man.

[00:01:25] I appreciate it. Absolutely 

[00:01:27] Hillel Zafir: [00:01:27] awesome. by the way, full disclosure, I don’t drink Java. I drink tea only. So 

[00:01:31] Mike: [00:01:31] it’s let’s Java chat. It’s whatever beverage of choice you care to have on, on hand on it, 

[00:01:39] Hillel Zafir: [00:01:39] the scotch, I can go to scotch C, Z. I said 

[00:01:42] Mike: [00:01:42] on tap and you went all the way. I wasn’t going to go all the way there, but that’s okay.

[00:01:45] Hey, listen, if you want go for it. I’m not right. It’s it’s it’s whatever makes you feel comfortable. So as, as everybody knows, our first, our first deal is we always ask our guests, you know, give us a little bit of history about yourself, where you’re from. I 

[00:02:00] Hillel Zafir: [00:02:00] am from Brooklyn, New York. I always told you, please don’t hold that against me.

[00:02:05] He from Brooklyn, 

[00:02:07] Mike: [00:02:07] he holds anything against a Brooklyn. 

[00:02:09] Hillel Zafir: [00:02:09] Come on, listen to me. I got a baseball bat in one hand, and then I got Joey bots on the right thing. We, we just, we just, we just break some kneecaps. You got to do some stuff. And that’s a real guy, by the way, Joey butts. It’s not a joke. It’s a real is, 

[00:02:24] Mike: [00:02:24] Frankie fingers, Tony two toes, you know, all the, all the family 

[00:02:28] Hillel Zafir: [00:02:28] Stoney, the ranch, 

[00:02:30] Mike: [00:02:30] which Mikey, Mikey, 

[00:02:33] Hillel Zafir: [00:02:33] Mikey, Mikey, Mikey, the bullshit.

[00:02:37] Mike: [00:02:37] This is going nowhere very quickly. anyway, this is, this is going to be fun. So, so you’re from Brooklyn. you were born and raised in New 

[00:02:46] Hillel Zafir: [00:02:46] York, born and raised in Brooklyn. My dad was born and raised in Brooklyn, so I’m a second generation Brooklyn night. My mom was born in Romania, so a little bit of European in me.

[00:02:56] Mike: [00:02:56] crazy. Well that, that’s kind of the point I would think. But anyway, and then. How did you get into, like, I mean, obviously you’re an entrepreneur, so, I mean, how did all of this come? I mean, you, you went to school in Brooklyn, you grew up, you raised everything. It’s just, how did 

[00:03:11] Hillel Zafir: [00:03:11] that all go? So I grew up in Brooklyn, raised in Brooklyn.

[00:03:15] I was born and raised in a Hasidic neighborhoods. Ultra effective, still belongs that neighborhood. Love it. Great people. Great. a great set of, of, of friends, really, really very community oriented, Sonic a group of people. Yeah. Yeah, it’s amazing. It really is fun. If you get, if you get the vibes and you, and you know how to fit in, it’s not for everybody.

[00:03:33] I can think of some people don’t get it. They feel a little bit overbearing because you do have to kind of in a certain sense, I wouldn’t say live the part, but you have to kind of, you know, conform to a certain extent. If you can’t do that, then this isn’t for you necessarily. So people do. No decide to move elsewhere.

[00:03:47] You’ve got to fart and have a good time, but live in Brooklyn, loved it, loved the vibe, love the community. I grew up in a, in a, in a very, you know, blue collar type, environment. My dad has been working for many, many years. He actually owned a plastics factory. Nice. yeah. So, and when I was, I always joke when I was a little kid, I used to go to the factory and eat

[00:04:06] Plastic in my veins. I’m the, I’m not the bionic man or maybe the plastic man. So I used to enjoy it. You do, you do realize 

[00:04:14] Mike: [00:04:14] that there was a cartoon called plastic man back 

[00:04:16] Inrerview with Hillel Zafir 01_27_21: [00:04:16] in 

[00:04:16] Hillel Zafir: [00:04:16] the day. Oh really? I didn’t know that to see. Yeah, go look it up. Tie laughing. It’s hilarious. That’s crazy. So I used to love it. So one of the things that really interested me early, early on when I was a little kid and it goes back.

[00:04:27] To I was probably eight or nine years old. I used to go with my dad to the factories on the weekends and watch the production. It literally amazed me to watch things being created from nothing. It’s literally, you see a couple of resin, you know, little pellets of resin going through this machine. And all of a sudden you have this whatever type of plastic on the other end.

[00:04:44] And so it drove me crazy. One of the things that I always did as a little kid, I always tried to rationalize what I saw. So I saw a. Whatever it is. If I saw a device, if I saw and we didn’t have, obviously, you know, I grew up, I was born in the seventies. I was born in, in, in the late seventies. So we didn’t have every single, you know, electronic device available.

[00:05:04] So I would say that my passion was to always dig deeper. Like find something you see on the surface and what drives it, what gets going, what makes it work? So whether it was a control panel in the, in the factory, on the factory floor, whether it was an accounting system, they used to use the old. So advocacy next, the joke, the old systems and how they always wanted to understand it.

[00:05:25] Like, Oh, Passionately. And I annoyed people by the way. My mother always used to say to me, stop pushing the button and finding out what’s underneath the button. But I always told her I can’t, I can’t my, my, my career, the curiosity that I don’t, I never took things for face value. If I saw something, I always questioned it behind.

[00:05:43] It may be very dangerous in life, by the way, because you may just, you know, if some people don’t know the answer to that, you piss them off. Like it doesn’t just because just accept the, for what it is. I never did that. I never allowed that to happen. So I always questioned the status quo. Not necessarily because I wanted to break things.

[00:05:57] I wanna understand the reasoning, the logic, what drives it. You 

[00:05:59] Mike: [00:05:59] know, it’s interesting that you say that I don’t know very many entrepreneurs that are not that kind of curious. It’s very rare that you come across somebody like yourself that doesn’t have that desire to go, but 

[00:06:11] Hillel Zafir: [00:06:11] why. Right boat. Why exactly?

[00:06:14] Mike: [00:06:14] Right. And it, it, it, it just, it feeds, it feeds a circle. It is a vicious circle that we do live. 

[00:06:21] Hillel Zafir: [00:06:21] It’s also very dangerous though, because you always questioned authority and they don’t like that

[00:06:28] corporate jobs crazy. So I never, I was never able to hold down a job because I always asked why. And the guy’s like, what the hell? I’m your boss do it. I’m like, no, that’s not how it works.

[00:06:40] That’s a big problem. You know, 

[00:06:42] Mike: [00:06:42] what’s interesting is that most people that are in the most people that are in the business world are a part of a system. And that system has a certain way that it runs, not everybody always understands why it runs the way it does. In fact, most of that comes from the C-suite and the executive management.

[00:07:02] They’re the ones that figure out the strategies of the Y most are. Are encouraged to accept it via the mission and the vision statement. And that’s it. Entrepreneurs can’t do that. We have, Hey, we are a pain in the ass when it comes to why that mission and why that vision, what I don’t, I don’t understand what was the motivation behind this?

[00:07:24] It just becomes, it becomes a, a little digging, an archeological dig. If you will. Right. 

[00:07:30] Hillel Zafir: [00:07:30] It, it also it’s, it’s it’s problematic. So I’ve, I was lucky enough that I had good bosses that, you know, they kind of humored me for the wise. And I was also lucky that I worked for bosses that were complete.

[00:07:45] Whatever you use, if you want to use the holes that that just showed me why you shouldn’t be there. In other words, them acting completely, you know, you know, let’s call it the, the, the little, little, the rocket man, as we, as, as, acting crazy and acting like, like, like a dictatorship of me in certain businesses, I realized you can’t run.

[00:08:10] You can’t run an organization that way, because it just doesn’t work for some innovation. Doesn’t foster, any collaboration you basically want to dummies and your monotonous repetitive type of work. It doesn’t really, it doesn’t bring value to the organization. So I worked with some really great people.

[00:08:27] that helped me get so, and I started out my first job. I worked in a, in a, in a commercial bakery. Also commercial bakery was the first job I had. I remember I had just, you know, left school. I, so I didn’t go to college. By the way, I went to yeshivas, which is the, the Jewish education system does an amazing thing.

[00:08:43] You learn things like if you really, if you’re a good student and I had some good teachers, by the way, even though I was a terrible student, cause I always challenge authority. Think about that. Right. I’m the worst student to have. Cause I was always. I wouldn’t necessarily draw up trouble. I would always ask why.

[00:08:57] And in a, in a, in a class setting, you can’t ask why, because there 20 other students in there, and you’re just stopping their, their train of thoughts when you just pop them. Like, here we go. So if I had really good teachers, they were very patient with me. some that someone really got under his skin, just get me, don’t get me wrong.

[00:09:13] Some of them, I really annoyed. Well, I mean, they want them to hang themselves at the end of the day. I could just imagine. I think so I had good teachers. They taught me well. and in the U S in the system that I went through, you learn a lot of things, a lot of business rules. So it’s part of the education you’ve learned, you know, laws of ethics, laws of business.

[00:09:32] So you kind of go through a lot of interesting scenarios in your day-to-day that kind of opened your mind. And if you want to be an entrepreneur, it really feeds you a lot. Right? So I left this school system. I spent a couple of years in Israel. I went to Yeshiva in Israel and Jerusalem actually, had a lot of fun there.

[00:09:48] It also allowed me to open my mind up to see different cultures, by the way, I love to travel by the way, while it wasn’t until I traveled to Europe, I went to, I was in Italy. I was in Belgium. I went perfect Ukraine. So I did 

[00:10:00] Mike: [00:10:00] talk about a spread whole lot of fun, a lot of 

[00:10:03] Hillel Zafir: [00:10:03] fun. I went to Egypt, I went to Jordan, so I got to see a lot of really cool, you know, let’s call it different ways that people live.

[00:10:12] Happens to be that, you know, in my recent years I’ve been, you know, I I’ve, I did business in Dubai. I did business in India. So I’ve been traveling to those places, the early two thousands. It was a lot of fun, really, really cool to meet different people. I think the only one of the places that I really love visiting a lot was India.

[00:10:27] Call me crazy, but there’s something about their culture is so beautiful. They are such very family oriented and they’re just very genuine too. 

[00:10:34] Mike: [00:10:34] They don’t hold back. Yeah, no 

[00:10:38] Hillel Zafir: [00:10:38] problem. No, they’re too. They’re too genuine. I experienced mine’s 

[00:10:43] Mike: [00:10:43] too. I I’ve worked with them in, in, I worked with one in the startup and yeah, he had no problem telling me what he, 

[00:10:50] Hillel Zafir: [00:10:50] they see it as it is.

[00:10:51] You may not like it, but they say it as it is. So you know where you stand. Yeah, exactly. It’s amazing. So I went to work for this company and this was a wholesale bakery and I, again, in my pure, you know, always curiosity, I asked questions about. Why, like, for instance, I used to ask the guy, like, how much does it cost you to produce this Danish?

[00:11:09] And the guy’s like, we don’t know it go, how do you not know? And how do you know to sell it for? So if you’re selling it for a dollar 50, is it cost two 75 cents to make maker or a dollar? They don’t know. I’m like, that will be 

[00:11:20] Mike: [00:11:20] a real problem. Any entrepreneur, that would be a huge problem. I 

[00:11:23] Hillel Zafir: [00:11:23] can’t, again, I have to rationalize the process.

[00:11:25] If I couldn’t rationalize the process, I couldn’t, I couldn’t do it. Right. So everything, every, everything that happened, and this was like, They get the late nineties, late 1990s, early two thousands. And yeah. I’m working for this company. I’m doing things that I, I didn’t, it wasn’t really, I didn’t choose the job a state.

[00:11:42] You need money. I went to work. I wasn’t married yet. So I went to work for a couple of years, just so you know, and one thing always drove me towards computers. There was a guy that actually came into that company and he put in an interesting, computer system, if you make the help with that stuff back in those days with a piece of crap, but the giant IBM machine sitting there, it was just interesting.

[00:12:01] Yeah, it was amazing. Yeah. And, and that’s kind of, and then I worked from there, you know, did little odds and ends little jobs here and there just to keep the, just pay the bills, so to speak. But I always knew I wanted to do something that. Yeah, I’m also very, I’m a very lazy guy. So I like to do things lazy, meaning in a sense that I hate to do monotonous repetitive work.

[00:12:16] Yeah. If I can figure out a way to automate that. That’s my goal. Yeah, same here. So I went to work for, you know, smaller companies, larger companies, and in every company, I tried to find the guy that will help me with mentor me and give me. To the next step. Right? Right. In some cases I, I didn’t last for more than a week and half.

[00:12:35] Cause I pissed off every owner I worked for every manager worked because I just asked questions and the guy’s like, what the hell? Just do it. I’m like, no. So it’s kind of always, I, you know, people laugh at me and people. I remember one of my friends told me early on. He says, why can’t you hold on a job?

[00:12:51] I’m like, cause I refuse to work for jackasses and assholes. I don’t know about don’t you understand? I mean, what the hell? Why don’t you get it? I just don’t want to, I don’t want to be a miserable human being and go to work every single morning and punch a clock from nine to five and be miserable combed end of the day.

[00:13:08] And just the only thing I want to see is a bed and go to sleep. I don’t care do that. 

[00:13:12] Mike: [00:13:12] Yeah. That’s not a, that’s not a fulfilling life for . 

[00:13:16] Hillel Zafir: [00:13:16] Anyone that knows me. People that know me. I always walk around with a smile on my face. And if there’s a reason to be sad, I’ll find a reason to be happy and turn that around.

[00:13:23] I just can’t do it. I can’t be a miserable human being. I just, I won’t let it. That’s, it’s very simple and good place to be really that’s it. I just won’t let it. I won’t allow, I won’t allow it in. And again, there are things in my life that I can control, by the way, I can’t control anything. Everything is, you know, by the grace of God, am I here today?

[00:13:38] So nothing, nothing in my life I can control, but what I can control is how do I, I perceive things so. Difficult thing in my life, you can be miserable about it and not can do it or be happy about it and find a positive way to, you know, to, to drive it in the, in the right direction. I can’t control things.

[00:13:56] I just, it’s how I accepted how I react. That’s the only thing I can control. So my emission earlier in life was be happy, be positive and just that’s it. If things are going to happen to me, they are sweet. So. About, I would say eight, nine years ago, I decided to being on my own as the white right way to go.

[00:14:13] Yeah. But I’ve started to be successful at it. I tried many times and failed miserably, which is before

[00:14:23] I tried, once I tried twice, I tried three times, four times, five times. And when I say miserable failures, I’m talking like misery, like credit card debt, mounting debt. I didn’t know how to pay the bills. Right. And then finally, a couple of years ago I started, and again, technology was always my end goal.

[00:14:42] I knew that that’s going to be the way to go. So after failing like seven and a half thousand times, and I’m saying that as a joke, but failing many times, I. My last venture, right before incentives, I had a, a ERP implementation practice. Basically we worked in two companies. We would have helped them analyze the entire business processes and implement a new ERP system for them.

[00:14:59] Got it. Right. Yep. Specifically the one I used to do was SAP. I liked SAP ERP system and I was able to do it in a very cost-effective way is something that a lot of companies can do. We were able to do it in a cost effective way. Then what I did was I, one of the, one of the points in this process, like I had hired a guy.

[00:15:16] Hmm. he lived in Israel. He was a really smart guy. It was an American CMU graduates, lived in Washington, DC, but moved to Israel, couple of years ago. and then I sold them practice cause the, it, the level it was changing. And I, it was the right time to get out of there. I just sold the practice and sitting around twiddling my thumbs a couple of days to figure out what am I, what I should do now, the application that I built in an application that came out of necessity, working with many, many.

[00:15:43] Companies over the years, it essentially helps companies, like I said, simplify and automate sales compensation and sales performance management. Right. So automate all that stuff, most companies. So just in a nutshell, the problem is, I guess you have to have a sales rep that sold the product and he’s will commission, right?

[00:16:00] Simple. Most companies don’t know what that amount is in an easy way, because there are so many moving parts to what makes the price up. It’s complicated, especially in, in wholesale distribution areas. And that’s the application I decided I wanted to build. So after I sold my practice, I went over to that volume and that was in Israel, used to work for me.

[00:16:19] And I said to him, Hey, what do you think of this application? Remember, we have this customer that customer, these, all these customers complained about this process. What do you think? We build a POC, lot of theoretical POC and real POC for those POC proof of concept. And let’s see if we can get some customers.

[00:16:31] We built the application. We went around to a couple of customers and the, we got amazing feedback. And here we are three years later. 

[00:16:37] Mike: [00:16:37] Sweet. So this, this company that you’re with now has been open for how long? Three years, three years, total. And how many. How much has it grown from there 

[00:16:48] Hillel Zafir: [00:16:48] the first two years, it was all about development and trial and error working with the beta customers.

[00:16:53] If you made it to, you know, to really make this system work well. Right. And that was a big challenge for us because we didn’t want to just do what everybody else does. We wanted it to be unique, so unique in a sense that the world of SAS, the role of software to in general is very fragmented. Right? And every company that you work with, they traditionally need more than a single system throughout the company, whether it’s an ERP system.

[00:17:17] And that could be, and most times 

[00:17:19] Mike: [00:17:19] the level of systems talk is they don’t talk. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. 

[00:17:23] Hillel Zafir: [00:17:23] That’s exactly the problem. So whether you’re running SAP or Oracle or dynamics, Microsoft top level or QuickBooks and zero on the bottom level, you need integration to other things. For other systems, whether they’re CRM systems, whether they’re travel management, field service, whatever company you’re in, you need integration.

[00:17:38] Right. And for the most part, the way to do that is there’s a Zapier, which is like a, you know, an easy 

[00:17:43] Mike: [00:17:43] everybody zaps. 

[00:17:44] Hillel Zafir: [00:17:44] Yeah. Right, right. Zap. Right. And, and, and it’s, it’s fine. It works well, but it does require someone with a little bit of knowledge, how to do that. They can just turn it on and say, Hey, it works.

[00:17:52] It’s never like that. There’s always some steps in the process. Now I always joke with business owners, I say to them, you’re no longer a business owner. You’re now a. Technology officer the CTO or CIO, because every company today you have to be in tech yeah. Would mean as you’re doing, whether you’re a multi-channel reseller that sells Amazon, eBay, jet Etsy, Shopify, whatever, or you’re a wholesaler that sells on.

[00:18:16] Other, whatever the case is, you are a tech company and you go, you have to utilize and take tech in your, in your organization to automate what you do. It has to happen. It just, and if you don’t, you’re going to fall behind. Yeah. Because, because the quality, right. 

[00:18:30] Mike: [00:18:30] Yeah, exactly. We saw what happened to toys R us gone.

[00:18:34] Right. 

[00:18:34] Hillel Zafir: [00:18:34] Yup. And I don’t even know why they failed. I mean, I could, I could give you so many ideas. 

[00:18:39] Mike: [00:18:39] I can tell you why they failed. They failed because they didn’t keep up with technology and the online sales and they got out sold. In the midst of that, th they kept, they kept counting on the walk-in traffic and the walk-in traffic just went away.

[00:18:51] They weren’t able to, motor’s gone. The brick and mortar 

[00:18:53] Hillel Zafir: [00:18:53] for them is not so use the word in my, I had my first website in 2002, we used to, we went through, we called it click and mortar was like the, the, the catchphrase back then. Yeah, 

[00:19:03] Mike: [00:19:03] no, I mean, and it, and it makes absolute sense. I mean, because now you have.

[00:19:07] Walmart got smart. They went online, but you can pick up at their store, correct? Correct. They also have an app, same store. You can show up and just bring your stuff to you. Yeah, it’s pretty, it’s 

[00:19:14] Hillel Zafir: [00:19:14] pretty crazy. Multi multi-channel is way to go. I personally, I think, I think Walmart happens to have a really, really, and I noticed, cause I, you know, I worked with some people that had worked with Walmart in the past.

[00:19:25] Walmart happens to be. They’re definitely a, you know, a tech oriented company. Well, Amazon is built on, so obviously you can’t, you can’t, you want know about Amazon, Amazon was built around tech. I mean, everything that they have is, is AWS and everything else is built on necessity. Yep. So you have to be a tech company the second.

[00:19:42] So the first, the first challenge that we decided to overcome in incentives is we’re going to build in integrations too. Any target system we’re going to work with. So we’re gonna work with SAP. We’re gonna integrate SAP. We’re going to build the integration. Other words, we’re not going to lie that you’re going to do it with SAP or some something else.

[00:19:58] We can work with SAP and we work with Xavier. but that’s not our, that’s not our preferred method though. Right? This is a turnkey solution to true world of SAS. Software as a service, I believe should be turned in, plug and play. Meaning is you should not have to spend. Obviously the implementation takes time.

[00:20:17] Data loads takes time that those things are normal. You shouldn’t have to spend weeks or months on implementation. It’s not the correct. Wait, especially if you’re a small, medium business. If you’re a larger organization, they have time. If 

[00:20:29] Mike: [00:20:29] you’re small, 

[00:20:30] Hillel Zafir: [00:20:30] that’s that’s real. Yeah. Reality. If you’re a big company, multi country multi-currency 

[00:20:36] Mike: [00:20:36] you got quarters and a lot of work.

[00:20:38] Yeah, you got a lot. But the 

[00:20:40] Hillel Zafir: [00:20:40] small businesses company from 10, 10 million to a hundred million, you should be able. And we work with companies in that, in that space. So I know that the challenges they face you should be able to do. Certain parts of your business should be turnkey. It shouldn’t be that complicated again, even though your business is not simple now in general, by the way, I I’m a big believer of the kiss method.

[00:20:59] Keep it simple, stupid, right. Because just because you know, more acronyms than me and you make things more complicated, it doesn’t mean that yeah. Smarter than me. Right. 

[00:21:08] Mike: [00:21:08] That’s usually where you hide your, your ignorance. 

[00:21:11] Hillel Zafir: [00:21:11] So, and again, I always tell people when they come to you, Oh, we had this very complicated business process and I start listening to them.

[00:21:17] I’m like, What the hell are you doing? 

[00:21:20] Mike: [00:21:20] Rocket ships, 

[00:21:22] Hillel Zafir: [00:21:22] right. Can be simplified. And, and sometimes it’s just grew out of just years and years of businesses that have been around for 50, 50, 60 years. And they’re the third generation you have a grandfather father, and the third generations are only the company and these complicated complexities that they, that they, that they live are not necessarily something that they’ve designed.

[00:21:40] It came from a previous generation and they kind of stuck with it because. Hey, we’ve always done it that way. Yeah. 

[00:21:47] Mike: [00:21:47] Yeah. That’s the worst. That’s the biggest business killer, but 

[00:21:50] Hillel Zafir: [00:21:50] we’ve always done it that way. Right. And, and that, doesn’t, it. There’s an old joke. That guy walks into a, to a, to a local coffee shop.

[00:21:56] And he sees in, in an, in, in somewhere in middle America and he goes in there and he sees people walking into the store, they walk two steps and they bend their head down and they. They walk those steps, pick those up and walk on. And he looks up this, I think dinner it’s like, what’s going on with this people.

[00:22:08] It’s like some kind of barrier. Forcefield something going on here. I don’t know. Maybe there’s some, some, some star Wars. You watch this for 10 minutes and it’s these guys walk in two steps, then the head two steps again, and then could anyone and he’s sitting there and I’m like, what the heck is happening here?

[00:22:24] So finally after like 10 minutes he’s and he’s, he just came in for a business meeting and he’s nuggets. Okay. He walks in and he just, and he tries to like walk to a substance. Very careful. And he’s, he’s not in any walk and everything’s fine. And nothing gets him in the head. So he goes over to the guy, he sits at the front, at the con taking his order.

[00:22:39] Like he goes in his, whatever his or her name was whatever. And he’s like, you know, Tony, I don’t know, Stephanie, what’s what’s happening. He goes, I dunno, I’ve been working there for five years and then it opened, Oh, I don’t know why it goes. Maybe we’ll ask it and points to a person that’s a little older than him.

[00:22:53] And he’s like, Hey Mike, what’s going on? Cause I’m all. Let me get the owner. He’ll tell you. So finding this old guys, 80 year old guy shows up and he’s like, Hey, and they’re like, Oh, what’s going on? How are you today? My name is so-and-so. He goes, I’ve been observing the people walking into this coffee shop here for the last 20 minutes.

[00:23:08] And they’re like, people walk into steps, they bend down and it go and he goes, Oh, you know why? Because many years ago we had it. Big pipe that came down here. So they’re we to get there, but we took her off about five years ago, but people just kept on a captain, something great to that process. And that’s how I always love.

[00:23:23] Like, that’s why people do things. We’ve always thought of that way. So you come in, you bend your head down, you walk again and you go up like this, I’ll be here. Yeah. That’s the story of always 

[00:23:31] Mike: [00:23:31] on, in that way. Well, it’s interesting. And this, and this is just interesting about humankind is they’re such creatures of habit.

[00:23:38] It’s hard to break the habit when it has been in place that long. And that goes for anything, whether it’s the coffee shop or a business, if you’re not, if you’re not able to really get across the change. Even they want the new structure will be in place, but the human, the human resource won’t won’t work it the way it needs to be worked.

[00:23:57] And, 

[00:23:57] Hillel Zafir: [00:23:57] and, and this is a problem by this problem is, is it’s, it’s embedded in most companies. Now what I do see though, it interesting, interesting, you know, kind of shift. If you meet with the companies we work with today, we’re. Primarily dealing with younger management, younger ownership, but I mean, younger, not necessarily in age, by the way, not 

[00:24:16] Mike: [00:24:16] younger in age thinking, 

[00:24:18] Hillel Zafir: [00:24:18] I didn’t think ahead.

[00:24:20] I worked with seven year olds that are. Extremely extremely tech savvy. In fact, I have a close friend of mine. He’s 96 years old. I’m not going to say his name out while I’m here because maybe he won’t listen to the podcast. Don’t worry. And I go to the same synagogue with him every morning. He’s a really sweet guy.

[00:24:36] he just celebrated his 70th year wedding 

[00:24:38] Mike: [00:24:38] anniversary. So it’s like one or 

[00:24:41] Hillel Zafir: [00:24:41] both him and his wife. So it’s amazing when he comes to me, when he goes, Hey, hello, can you help me? I need, I need to migrate my, one iPhone, the new one, and he got his little iPhone 12 pro and he had an iPhone six. And like, is there a way that I can get this stuff easily over?

[00:24:54] Cause you know, I, I didn’t know. I helped him up and like this guy has his wedding photos on his iPhone. Ah, so there are people that are very, you know, they’re very forward-thinking and people are more in tune with that. Also. I think that happens to be that, you know, COVID. At a certain, in a certain sense also accelerated that because 

[00:25:15] Mike: [00:25:15] he did it.

[00:25:16] Yeah. 

[00:25:16] Hillel Zafir: [00:25:16] We got our, we got to get ourselves on, you know, people work involvement and the Excel sheet that was sitting on someone’s desktop in the office is no longer useful. Right. So they accelerated the cloud adoption. Now the word, the cloud adoption is, is, is something that troubles not very, it wasn’t as fast as it’s happening right now.

[00:25:32] So we see acceleration of that. So we decided that we’re gonna build an application. Easy integrate and integrate abilities could be key. So the first rule is, and I have, I have a transgender European experience. I’ve worked with many ERP, so I decided to, Hey, first step is I’m going to integrate the, any ERP that comes my way.

[00:25:49] Learn it, understand it, demo it. So today, if you come to me, I can demo it to you. Effectively multiple ERP that we have in our demo environment, whether it’s NetSuite, whether it’s SAP, whether it’s, you know, dynamics, whatever stage products there, we were partnered with those companies and we work with them.

[00:26:07] So it’s simplifies that process, right? If you walk in and say, look, I have 45 salespeople, I have a complicated compensation structure. I have weird pricing structure. So I don’t know where the end result price is. Right. We can get you connected. Pretty quickly. I mean, do you 

[00:26:21] Mike: [00:26:21] remember, do you remember the program called Microsoft access?

[00:26:25] I hate it. Oh, my claws. I had, so I used to work for the Ritz Carlton before Marriott bought it. And I remember talking with a, one of the interns that they had brought in and they were, they were using access to do cost analysis. I felt so bad for that kid. I was just like, Holy shit. Are you serious, dude?

[00:26:46] You have to build a whole database using he’s like, Oh yeah, it’s not that hard. And blah, blah, blah. And I’m looking at him going. Yeah, I there’s gotta be a better way. So before we go on. Guys, we’re going to take a quick 30 second break. We’re going to come back and continue this conversation when we’ll integrate some of the inspirations, because as you can hear, he’s a very inspired man and when it comes to this kind of stuff, so we’ll just, we’ll, we’ll keep this conversation going.

[00:27:08] I want to talk more about that. and the rest of the rules that you put in play both for yourself and for your business. Cool. Sounds like a plan right on, we’ll be back in 30 seconds.

***

 And we’re back Java chat sitting here with the littles up here, talking about, talking about rules, rules that he lives by things that inspire him, motivate them.

[00:27:26] This is section two. Everybody knows this one goals, rolls around the inspiration tip. we started talking about some of the rules that he implements for his business. And I want him to, I want to, I want to continue on that. If you don’t mind, your, your first business, your first rule was. Whatever it takes to integrate.

[00:27:44] That’s cool. What else? What, what goes after that? 

[00:27:47] Hillel Zafir: [00:27:47] So that’s the, the front end, the rule. The second rule is if it takes us more than an hour to explain a process, we throw it in the garbage 

[00:27:57] Mike: [00:27:57] that has got to be one of the best rules I’ve ever heard. Because I can tell you there there’s a shit ton of people that will sit there and go, well, it’s a complicated process and it starts here and it kind of moves in this direction.

[00:28:09] Then I look at them and go, Oh no, 

[00:28:13] Hillel Zafir: [00:28:13] we’re actually, we actually want to start shrinking it down to about. We’re going to go from an hour to 30 minutes to 15 minutes. I’m going to really drink it down because if there’s an old saying and it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a Yiddish saying that if you can’t explain it, you don’t understand it.

[00:28:27] Yeah. 

[00:28:28] Mike: [00:28:28] That’s 

[00:28:29] Hillel Zafir: [00:28:29] more than fair, right? You, if you have to sit there and whiteboard for me a process, you can’t explain it to me. On the back of a napkin, let’s call it right. It’s the easiest way to say it. Then, then, then it doesn’t belong. It doesn’t belong. It doesn’t belong anywhere. And in business and in your personal life anywhere, if you can’t explain it in back of an act, let’s call it, didn’t get it out the door.

[00:28:47] Now we do deal with some complex processes that we don’t control. Right. So we, so we can’t, we have to kind of, you know, We’re married to it because the other guy made it happen. So we have to kind of work with it. But as a general rule, our company does, that goes in the garbage. Okay. 

[00:29:01] Mike: [00:29:01] It’s funny. It’s funny.

[00:29:02] You mentioned that because, when I was working with the angel investment group out of California, one of the reasons that they, they liked having me was if somebody started talking about a business idea, I would literally scratch it out on a, on a napkin and hand it off to my boss and he’d look at it and go.

[00:29:21] How do you come up with this so fast and like, I don’t know, you said this is what you wanted to do, and this is the process that would, it would mean he’s like, shit, that’s way too. This is over simplified. I’m like, yeah, but if you look at it, every pit of it has its own explanation already. Correct? 

[00:29:37] Hillel Zafir: [00:29:37] Yeah, it’s just funny.

[00:29:38] You say that by the way, it’s amazing because you would find people that they thrive on building complex systems. 

[00:29:47] Mike: [00:29:47] You don’t, they love making things difficult. 

[00:29:50] Hillel Zafir: [00:29:50] I thought, I think, I think, I don’t know if it’s don’t I think it is. I think they make, they think they can make more money. Selling a product. It was crazy things, right.

[00:29:59] Because if it does, is the basics like a big deal. I could do it on myself to it. Okay. So go ahead and do it on my thumb. I’m fine with that. I don’t care. 

[00:30:06] Mike: [00:30:06] But what what’s, what, and what’s interesting is, is about, about two or three weeks later. If not a month later, they come back and go, Hey, I’m, I’m still having trouble with this.

[00:30:13] Well, I thought you said you could do it well. I mean, you know, there’s some challenges. Okay. Well challenges. Right, right, right. 

[00:30:21] Hillel Zafir: [00:30:21] And the fact going to your point, we, when we, we had a customer, actually, this just happened yesterday. He came to us with a very interesting scenario, which is a lot of it’s actually on the surface.

[00:30:30] It makes a lot of sense where they want to go now and we have a way to handle that, but he wanted it to handle in a very, very cockamamie way. Literally and the reason why was a 

[00:30:39] Mike: [00:30:39] long, I haven’t heard that 

[00:30:40] Hillel Zafir: [00:30:40] word cockamamie.

[00:30:44] Mike: [00:30:44] Dang dude, this is good. 

[00:30:47] Hillel Zafir: [00:30:47] It really, really, it’s just, it’s just a back backwards way beyond backwards. And I asked him like, why do you. Did I, the concept is great. Right? Do you want, do certain workflows make sense? Right. But why do it, the way you’re proposing, like insert, delete, update, like then I find that because there’s an underlying system that they have that they’ve built 15 years ago that they really want to hold onto.

[00:31:12] So I answered it. I asked, I said very simple. This was actually a company. This is a partner of ours. One of our reseller partners. I’m not going to do it. It’s just not going to happen. And I value your partnership very, very much. But what you’re asking me to do is we’re not, we’re not a custom software shop.

[00:31:27] We’re not a one off shop. We’re we’re in the, I’m in the belief system that we built to the most common business problem. And we allow for tweaking in certain ways, but I’m not building it because I can’t scale what you’re asking me to do, because I promise you, I’ve got to find where the people and ask them a question.

[00:31:47] They’ll ask me out the 

[00:31:48] Mike: [00:31:48] door. Well, you’re also talking about recoding a whole new platform in the moment, that kind of stuff. And for those that are in tech and understand this, anytime somebody goes well, can I, can I do this instead? You just change the code. And coding. And I know a couple of coders and boy I’ve had conversations with them and they look at me.

[00:32:08] I mentioned one thing that says anything against what they’ve already done. Then they look at me and they go, yeah, no.

[00:32:18] And yeah, that’s, that’s really, the bottom line is like first off, you’re asking me to do more work than I’m really willing to do. Secondly, you’re asking me to redo a whole damn thing that I already did and it already serves a purpose. Why am I going to change that? Right. And scalability. You, you hit the big one, which is 

[00:32:32] Hillel Zafir: [00:32:32] you can scale now, not only that, if you notice, it’s only you can’t scale.

[00:32:37] If you go to a custom software shop, right. Look at their revenue by project over, let’s take over a seven year, I think is a good, a good metric, a good measure, right? Over seven years, let’s measure seven years. Okay. The same SAS company that has a standard off the shelf product. Look at the effort involved and their profitability on that same 

[00:33:00] Mike: [00:33:00] seven years.

[00:33:01] You’re talking about a big difference in, in profit. 

[00:33:03] Hillel Zafir: [00:33:03] The difference because here two, three, four, five, as the years go on your profit margin keeps going up because your, your audience keeps rising. 

[00:33:11] Mike: [00:33:11] And, and like you said, the audience begins to begins to accept 

[00:33:14] Hillel Zafir: [00:33:14] that your cost per client 

[00:33:16] Mike: [00:33:16] goes down. Yeah, absolutely.

[00:33:18] I think a lot of people, I think a lot of people miss that. And then, and this is for any business. I don’t care what you do if you, if you’re not Walmart. But I mean, if you’re, if you’re a company that brings out a standard product that people eventually be, you know, get, even an info products, you know, there’s everybody out there selling information.

[00:33:34] But if you have the same information that works for a variable amount of businesses, it’s easier to scale. Right. I would say that there’s a, there’s a kid by name Arnie Guskey, who has the, probably one of the best Facebook group, info products out there. and he scaled insanely fast. Once everybody picked up on what he was doing and they caught it and they were just like, Holy crap, he’s a millionaire.

[00:34:03] So he follows that philosophy. Yeah. So here’s a question personally. What are some of the things that. Get you motivated? Like what do you, what do you what’s what’s what moves Hillel? What gets you going problem 

[00:34:17] Hillel Zafir: [00:34:17] solving in a nutshell right now you can expand upon it. Right? So we’re solving a big problem for companies you’re solving a problem.

[00:34:26] And what’s funny is when I started this, I didn’t realize how impactful it’s going to be. Like we went into a couple of first customers and they’re like, they gave us a lot of feedback of what the  no, and yeah, the tweaking our reporting and make sure the numbers are correct and whatever, you know, to get it to, to, to perfection, if you may.

[00:34:45] And by the way, there’s no such thing as perfect. And software rule. Number one never was perfect. Yesterday is not perfect today because my, my knowledge and my ideas yesterday have been okay. Updated, if you may, with new information and new experiences the day later. So we decided that we’re not going to go for perfection.

[00:35:05] We’re going to go for. Progress. Like, obviously we, we know what we want it to look like, so we can just have no, no, no, no, standards as you may think. It’s perfect. Yeah. So we go into customers and we change their lives. I mean, I’ve given an example of one anecdotal. so we, we rolled out a system, we tested it, we got to go.

[00:35:26] And this is a sizable organization, you know, probably in the 55 to 60 million in revenue annually, the lady that, that the. Implemented this, we roll that system out. We integrated with everything and we were doing the proof of concept. Everything works fine. About an hour into the training session. She goes, okay.

[00:35:43] Winner, winner, chicken dinner. We’re good to go. I started laughing. I’m like, what does that supposed to mean? Because you don’t understand. You just literally saved me. My month end processing took me about four weeks to get data from it. You saved me basically right now, and four weeks, isn’t actual four weeks, obviously getting data from, but overall, I couldn’t complete the task that I had to finish within four weeks.

[00:36:11] Now I can do it in three, in about three hours. 

[00:36:15] Mike: [00:36:15] Boy, the boy was happy about that. Oh my God. Yeah. That’s an OMG moment. No doubt. 

[00:36:21] Hillel Zafir: [00:36:21] Right? Winter, winter chicken there. That’s funny 

[00:36:26] Mike: [00:36:26] shit. Can I just imagine that? Of course, the first thing you think of is there’s a farm in 

[00:36:31] Hillel Zafir: [00:36:31] this somewhere. That hell was you talking about.

[00:36:34] Exactly. But that’s. I think it was just talking to me. I thought that’s the one I just like, like winter and she like pops up, like all of a sudden winner winner chicken, then I’m like, huh? The hell was that like you don’t understand. He’s like, and, and also there’s a certain point of disbelief, right?

[00:36:50] Because people know they’re doing things that are, should be automated, but they don’t realize how far you can take it now fast, you can take it there. That’s the thing. And people are, by the way, shit scared of news. It’s like it ourselves. 

[00:37:02] Mike: [00:37:02] Interesting to me is that in the midst of all of this new software, the simplicity becomes a too good to be true around yet.

[00:37:09] And yet when you show them the proof. It’s it’s, it’s still human nature. Not, can’t be direct. Simple can be right. Actually. Yeah, it can now. 

[00:37:20] Hillel Zafir: [00:37:20] Well, they’re also going, based on previous experience, right? How many people do you know? Decided to implement a system. I don’t care pick pick system in your head.

[00:37:28] Yeah. And they were able, so two things, first of all, we don’t require customers to pay us a dime before it’s live, because we get it done within such a short period of time. So I don’t have a problem if you pay me tomorrow or the week after. I’m fine with that. So we give you a live 14 day, real, real trial.

[00:37:45] In other words, not like a half a piece of the software. It is the entire suite for 14 days. Nobody can get it done. And I would help customers. I would say location have to pay us a penny until it’s, until they see the results that doesn’t happen in Saturday. Number one, number two, they are locked in. When you decide to buy, you have to sign a multi-year contract or at least 12 month contract.

[00:38:09] Yeah. So that’s another hesitation. Number three, even after they signed how fast they go all over, they can use, they get value out of them. Yeah. I took away all three of these barriers. Number one. Here. If you don’t like it, number two, let’s see value right away. Number three, we will do all the work for you.

[00:38:28] Don’t have to hire another team or another guy. We will take you from hello to success. 

[00:38:35] Mike: [00:38:35] And that’s, that’s, that’s very unseen in SAS. Most asses are just like, Oh, you know, you can have, we have, we have technical help. Right. But they’re like limited at best. 

[00:38:47] Hillel Zafir: [00:38:47] Right. Right. And it, it, it, again, certain, like for instance, if you go to Europe, let’s say let’s take Netflix, for example.

[00:38:53] Right. If you go to NetSuite and they will do everything from beginning to end, they will, they will take you from, from. From the promised land to the forbidden foods in a minute, they’ll do that for you. That’s what they do. I love it. Right. Because you’re not going to see value in five minutes. It’s going to take a while, but it’s okay.

[00:39:08] They’ll get you there. And other systems also now I’m just, I just took that because it’s a, it’s a known cloud application that you can go from zero to 60 in, in a decent amount of time. Right. So that’s, but there’s a commitment of, of, of, of there’s a commitment. Is it commitment for contract is a contractual commitment.

[00:39:25] And it makes sense because you’re not going to leave that, but there is. So th th the sales cycle, there’s a patient to go. There is a, it is a little bit more, more, you know, it may take more to get there. We try to remove those barriers and guess what, how many people have been bamboozled 75 times with promise easily?

[00:39:43] That’s a big problem. So we try to remove those barriers of entry as best as we can. Again, I can’t promise you everything. The application has what it has and you can see in front of you. So 

[00:39:52] Mike: [00:39:52] that’s, that’s, that’s, that’s when it comes to all of this that you have as philosophies and things that you’ve done on is who are some of your influences that got you there?

[00:40:04] Like who were some of your mentors? 

[00:40:07] Hillel Zafir: [00:40:07] So. I read a lot of books, kind of, you know, Dale, Carnegie’s how to win people and, and, you know, that’s, 

[00:40:13] Mike: [00:40:13] that’s the original sales man. You, my 

[00:40:15] Hillel Zafir: [00:40:15] friend, it’s a great, it’s a great way. But I think I took a very, I began, I took out a very different things than what most people take.

[00:40:21] I took out of there that you have to first, you have to develop and create human connections. That’s my, that’s what, that’s exactly what he says in that break. Right. So that’s the way to, so for me, I become a friend first and then I become a sales associate or anything else. And we use this philosophy in our own organization, right.

[00:40:37] And our own in our own company, in our own, in our own, you know, employee employees. And, you know, we have what we call the virtual coffee break, that we do today. And in this virtual coffee break, what we do is we try to get together with at least the majority of the team, at least once a week, just to talk about.

[00:41:01] Mike: [00:41:01] That’s awesome. 

[00:41:03] Hillel Zafir: [00:41:03] That’s awesome. Tell about anything in the world. Okay. And that’s very important for us because the COVID specifically. So, so, so just as a setback, we were, we were built in the crowd, in the cloud, right. We were built on the cloud and we’re also built. In a distributed workforce. So we have resources.

[00:41:22] So the headquarters is in the USA. We have a team in Israel and a team in India. Okay. So we’re, multi-country from day one. Okay. Multiple times, Holy cow built as a distributor for Salesforce it company. Not only that they distributed the company, distributed, our resources are distributed, everything’s distributed, and we’ve built.

[00:41:43] We’ve built our stack, not only the, the, the course customers, but every single user that logs into an Apple Intuit’s with desktop in the morning. That stuff is in the cloud. Our phone system is everything that we do is in the cloud. So we, unfortunately, when COVID struck for us, it wasn’t as bad because we were used to it.

[00:41:59] So every one of our resources, whether it’s your phone, whether it’s your Microsoft teams, we were, we were using Microsoft teams very strongly in organization. Whether it’s your desktop, that’s in the cloud. It’s an AWS cloud desktop, right? For other shifts. We have an office in both Israel and near, but we haven’t gone to it in a while.

[00:42:14] We have it on Honduras. Also, we haven’t gone to it in a while. We work from home, most of us, right. I sneak into the office every so often when I want some peace and quiet, you know, just to get out of the house if you may, but most people work from home. and if there is a certain level of this.

[00:42:31] Disenfranchised mint, I guess, or disengagement. I’m not with the team. If it starts, it starts, it could, it can, it can, it can increase the, the, the, the loneliness if you, it. So we very strongly, the rule that we have with all employees is what I’m going to talk to you on teams. We’re going to turn on a camera cameras.

[00:42:49] So you don’t, and by the way, if your kids are in the background, screaming. More 

[00:42:52] Mike: [00:42:52] power to you. Yeah, because that means you can concentrate. That’s good. 

[00:42:55] Hillel Zafir: [00:42:55] No, no, because you’re a human being and you have kids, you have pets. So I, I, the first time, one of the first, you know, right in the beginning of, of, of, of the COVID pandemic, we had a couple of guys on the phone and her kids were jumping in the back and the guys like showing them go be quiet.

[00:43:08] I said, no, don’t do that. Yeah. Let them go. Let them make noise. It’s okay. It’s fine. Bring them into the conversation, sit them on your lap and say, and say it as one of the, one of the guys had three kids and a two year old and an eight year old. And I think the middle one was like, I don’t know, four or five, whatever.

[00:43:25] And they were like,  like, bring him, bring a part of the conversation. Don’t shut them out. You’re going to have to learn to work at home. And we’re not going to have this strict office policy where you have to have a fancy bag of no, it’s not going to happen. Now, when I go into business going on to sales calls, that’s a different deal.

[00:43:40] Try. I try to keep, but within the organization, we’re family, I said, yes, you cannot. And you should not throw away the most important thing in your life. So let them be part of the conversation. So we reduce the stress level immensely. Why do I let the kids make noise? 

[00:43:57] Mike: [00:43:57] This is the, let them let them be kids.

[00:43:59] We I’ve had, I’ve had dogs barking on Java chat. I’ve had kids popping in and watching TV in the background. And one of the nice things about Java chat is that the mere fact that I’m really here to learn more about you and sort of my, sort of my listeners, if they know you’re like them. They’re going to want to hear even more.

[00:44:19] Hillel Zafir: [00:44:19] Right. Right. And don’t get, don’t try to be what you’re not there. I mean, 

[00:44:24] Mike: [00:44:24] yeah. That’s a bit, you know, back in, back in the nineties, that’s how you had to be. Right, right. Eighties and seventies, even more so, but not anymore. Now people are, so I want authenticity. I want to know that, you know, 

[00:44:37] Hillel Zafir: [00:44:37] he loves a real dude in reality, this is where you are.

[00:44:39] That’s it. Exactly. 

[00:44:40] Mike: [00:44:40] But he’s also a family man. He’s a, he right. He lives in Brooklyn, but he, you know, it is what it is. That’s cool, dude. You mentioned one book. Any other books that you think 

[00:44:51] Hillel Zafir: [00:44:51] really obviously I’m a deeply religious person, right? So everything I do and a deep religious, and I learned, you know, every single day, learn, study the Bible, study the Tom woods.

[00:45:04] there’s, there’s a few very strong rules that, kind of our, our are the rule of who I am as a person. And that is, you know, don’t want to others that you don’t want to be don’t don’t want actually yourself. So it’s a great way to live and, and, and be respectful of other people. and, I’m nowhere near perfect, by the way.

[00:45:20] I mean, I’m a flawed human being in every sense of the way, right? I mean mistakes, right. But I try to better myself on a daily basis to improve who I am, and, and become better at, you know, be a better person, be a better human being if you may. So every single day, I, I, I don’t like conflict. So I shy away from conflict, even though I sometimes create conflict because I’m a human being, you know, I try to do that.

[00:45:44] So. The influence. I say, my dad probably was the biggest influence of my life. being an entrepreneur, I mean, being a business owner for many, many years and struggling, you know, bringing home, you know, we don’t say bacon cause you don’t eat bacon, but you know, get to get the joke, you know, bring it home, bring it home at the end of the week, you know, bringing home a paycheck and, and keeping the house going.

[00:46:04] And he had some difficult times in his life and my dad was. Extremely insulted as a extremely disciplined individual. I mean like almost military silence as well, and not so much to other people to himself, he would wake up early in the morning, do his thing. He wasn’t there. He was always working. I never saw him like sit around the house and just, you know, watching TV, if you may.

[00:46:23] And so he was a very disciplined person, a go-kart or very much a goal, getting hungry, always hungry for more so. It’s a combination of, of, of, you know, looking out there. I don’t know that I have a single person. I can look up and say, this is the guy it’s only my parents. That would be 

[00:46:38] Mike: [00:46:38] the only people.

[00:46:39] Yeah. Two most for me, at least for the most part, most people have a few people that they’ve looked up to over time. Parents are always usually in there somewhere. you know, my father was a, was a truck driver. My mother was an insurance agent talk about different worlds. Wow. but they also were very.

[00:46:59] They were very, committed in faith and they were the very same as like, you love everybody, you don’t, you don’t just love the ones that, you know,

[00:47:13] Hillel Zafir: [00:47:13] It’s almost like it’s a soundtrack on the job at jet. 

[00:47:17] Mike: [00:47:17] I didn’t push any buttons for that one. You guys, that was an actual bike that just went by the Backstreet. Jeez, happens once in a while, but I think that the whole, and this is a personal philosophy of mine. If you’re a human, you deserve love.

[00:47:32] Correct. The ones, the ones that don’t have love are usually the ones that are the most bitter and the ones that have the hardest time dealing in life. Right. Right. and, and I have a lot of friends on different social platforms that struggle with depression and anxiety. now I’m a gen X and you were born in the you’re born in the seventies, late seventies.

[00:47:51] Yeah. So you’re gen X to essentially, the idea of what we got as kids was shrug it off, take a lap. Right. Do something else. We would a mental health thing. Wasn’t really there. So we were kind of left the true, true survive on 

[00:48:07] Hillel Zafir: [00:48:07] its own. We did a great job at it, by the way, others, 

[00:48:09] Mike: [00:48:09] not so much, you know, and, and look at the guys who came home from Vietnam.

[00:48:14] If you want to look at the guys who have done well, and the guys that haven’t, there’s a, there’s a stark difference. Right. But I think for the most part, when, when you show somebody love all of a sudden, it’s like, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to take that. And the same thing applies in business.

[00:48:30] If you’re sharing while you’re not showing love, essentially you are loving into that relationship. and even one of my mentors, says, you know, most people say, well, it’s, it’s not personal it’s business. How the hell do you think business gets done? It’s built on personal relationships. So to take the path that you’re taking, the path that you’re taking is it just makes absolute sense.

[00:48:53] Well, that’s cool, man. We liked that. We got, we got one more section to roll out here, guys. We’re going to take another 30 second break and we will be right back. 

***

Java chat here sitting with halos a theater. man, this has been, this has been like really cool, talking about one your platform, but two about you and your business and your history and all this kind of stuff.

[00:49:16] Obviously you’re in the midst of, in the throws of this building, this biz right now. what do you see happening beyond this? I mean, is this, is this it is this, this can’t be your last round dude. You’re too young. 

[00:49:29] Hillel Zafir: [00:49:29] I don’t think it’s the last one. Not at all. I think that this could turn into something that’s going to expand a lot, meaning is that this is a, a platform to build further.

[00:49:39] I do very much enjoy mentoring others. So I’m actually involved in a couple of startups, helping people, you know, just find their tracks, find traction. It’s it’s, it’s it’s not so easy. and not, so it’s actually very, very difficult to, to get. To get a good product to market and not be not. And one of the things that I learned is that not everything that you think is great really is great.

[00:50:02] There’s a stage that we call in our, in our industry called PMs, the product market fit. Right. you may build something and it may be awesome. Market just doesn’t accept. It’ll just don’t want it right. Or they don’t, or maybe either you’re too early, too late, or it’s just not, you know, timing is always a bright dude.

[00:50:19] You remember MySpace versus versus versus Facebook or these other ones. Also, most people will only do the third is this two, three. And before that, so PMF is very important and go to the PMF stage and whether you can’t rush. You can’t rush to see it has to happen. You got to go through the stage. It’s just like a five stages of grief.

[00:50:37] Right? 

[00:50:38] Mike: [00:50:38] Eighties was the first to market was the one who won that’s no longer 

[00:50:41] Hillel Zafir: [00:50:41] true, correct? Correct. Correct. That’s true. Right. And, and, and you see a lot of newcomers that are upending the reader. Now we don’t have, I wouldn’t say that we don’t have competition. We have competition, no question, but. There are certain, we do things in a very complete fashion that our competitors don’t, and there’s a few of them that we do.

[00:51:00] So all of our competitors that do similar to what we do, they don’t integration isn’t core of their DNA. They also do only a segment of the, of the, of the, of the entire compensation or recall the, the, the incentive management platform. There’s the commission side is the rebate is the bill backs as the charge backs.

[00:51:18] It’s the royalties, there’s the, there’s the pricing negotiation. So there’s a lot of pieces that. Come to it. We built all of them into a single application. So we want you to manage your entire incentive lifecycle in a single application, both on the purchase side, the sales side and the sales rep side.

[00:51:32] So it’s a, it’s, it’s a very complete application, a lot more than others do. So you’re not going to find royalties rebates, build decks and chargebacks and other condition platforms because they only focus on commissions. So it does. So in other words, you don’t know what the end result is because you don’t have all the other numbers, right.

[00:51:47] So long-term, again, we’re very new. We’re a young company, three years old, so it would take us a while to, you know, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I mean, we’re growing nicely now. And then we’ve gotten some strategic partnerships that’s really bringing us, you know, elevating us in, in the marketplace.

[00:52:02] You know, people ask me, are you selling out? I’m like, I don’t know, I’m having too much fun to win. Why do I want to sell out? So I’m just enjoying what I’m doing. And it’s very funny. We’ve I can’t, you know, I don’t know why does this happen? We got a lot of calls from, from, from, you know, some, some significant, either VC or other, you know, you know, investment arms.

[00:52:24] Mike: [00:52:24] When they see that they start getting TA they can start salivating. Oh, yeah, 

[00:52:28] Hillel Zafir: [00:52:28] they don’t. And I don’t know how to stop them from coming, showing up. I mean, it’s just not, they will find you. Right. And some 

[00:52:35] Mike: [00:52:35] of them are out of the hat. Don’t get me wrong. I mean, it’s just, it doesn’t get 

[00:52:38] Hillel Zafir: [00:52:38] annoying. It can get that’s right.

[00:52:40] So gonna respectful, somewhat respectful and say, Hey, look, if you’re ready to talk, I want to go over. So I’m just don’t stop. And they keep seeing the emails. And anyway, and at one point I just, I, I, it was one particular guy that kept on calling me and I’m like, Oh, I just responded back. When others isn’t selling, it’s just, it’s not, it’s not, it’s not even really that discussion.

[00:52:55] Like I don’t, I don’t need money either. No, I’m fine. I mean, just whatever. Thank you for, I mean, of course, you know, I’ll give you this always needs money, but I don’t. What am I gonna do with $50 million? What am I suppose? I don’t want more money than I know what to do with, well, 

[00:53:10] Mike: [00:53:10] th th the first problem with that is what are you going to do with that $15 million?

[00:53:13] And I, I don’t, honestly, if I’m in a startup and somebody comes to me by that time and accounting firm will have to figure that out, because if I have to, I have no idea. That’s not, 

[00:53:23] Hillel Zafir: [00:53:23] yeah. We have a roadmap. We have a roadmap 

[00:53:26] Mike: [00:53:26] more about the, I’m talking more about the, well, we’ve got 15 million, what will you do with it?

[00:53:30] I’m like, Listen, my roadmap was designed for either bootstrap or small cap, correct? I’m not looking at no, no, no. 

[00:53:38] Hillel Zafir: [00:53:38] Right. Yes. We also have some global ambitions, so we definitely want to go global. We want to have some work. We’re working out with some, with some companies in, in the, in the middle East and Asia region.

[00:53:49] Big. I, I, again, because I love travel, I will be there. I will go onsite and help the growth in the different countries. like I said, I’ve been, you know, travel, I’ve traveled a lot. I mean, to East Asia, to India, to, you know, to, I mean, I’d love to go to some of the other middle Eastern countries. I’ve been to the, to the Emirates, both Abu Dhabi, Dubai

[00:54:09] I used to have an office in, in, in Sharjah, which is, which is part of the Emirates. And they had an office in Jebel Ali in Dubai. Because these are places that are, I’m familiar with. And I think it sits in a very, very entrepreneurial spirit in the console. Definitely global ambitions as part of our, our, our, in our DNA.

[00:54:28] and yeah, we’re, we’re, we want to grow, we want to grow a lot. and that’s the big deal for us. Do you 

[00:54:33] Mike: [00:54:33] see anything happening for you personally? As far as, yeah. You are you documenting this journey? Are you, are you doing anything to. Put this down so people can look at it and go, well, shit, look what he did.

[00:54:45] And not as a, not as an ego push, but as a, this was the journey. This was the, any podcast, 

[00:54:51] Hillel Zafir: [00:54:51] terrible. We’re taking notes, terrible taking notes. because if it’s not, if it’s not perfect, I just scrap it and throw in the garbage. so that’s interesting, but yeah, I don’t know, maybe one day, I don’t know. I mean, right now I’m having too much fun and we’re pretty damn busy like this hour and a half that we’re doing right.

[00:55:09] And this hour that we’re doing is a really just, it’s actually in a weird way. You’re helping me, Michael, because you’re helping me frame my thoughts. Perfect. 

[00:55:17] Mike: [00:55:17] And that’s really what the, it’s really a part of this, the idea of being able to. Kind of talks through things that maybe you didn’t get a chance to before.

[00:55:26] So great. That’s awesome. And people can find, they can find, well, if they want to find your company, 

[00:55:32] Hillel Zafir: [00:55:32] what’s the website. It’s incentive x.com. So it’s the letter it’s incentive the letter x.com I N C E N T x.com. I, myself am on Twitter Hills up here is my handle. I’m on Instagram. I believe it’s Philadelphia as well.

[00:55:45] I don’t know. I haven’t gone there in a very long time. I just don’t want to have to be on there. So I have to be on there. We’re on LinkedIn. We’re 

[00:55:52] Mike: [00:55:52] the most active you guys. And if you want to, if you want to follow them in and interact with them, definitely get ahold of him on LinkedIn. He’s definitely there.

[00:55:59] all of course, all of those links as you guys know as well, they’re always down in the comments. You guys have questions about, any things with automation or, or the process after, after you go see and Centex, drop them in the comments below, he’s going to handle these links. You know, he’ll be able to answer either here on anchor.

[00:56:17] and, and of course he’ll probably you’d be better off actually getting ahold of him on LinkedIn because that’s where he plays 

[00:56:24] Hillel Zafir: [00:56:24] or call me directly have called the call. Our number is front and center on our website. Cool. I, I I’ll always pick 

[00:56:29] Mike: [00:56:29] up the phone that see now that’s and that’s huge. That right there is huge as well.

[00:56:33] So that’s cool. Man, thank you for coming and hanging out for a little while and sharing your stories, sharing your company. 

[00:56:40] Hillel Zafir: [00:56:40] Absolutely love it. 

[00:56:41] Mike: [00:56:41] Absolutely had a great time with you. we’re, we’ll probably have to come in for an update and about a year or so, and see how things are going, see where things have expanded to we’d love to have you back.

[00:56:49] So awesome. Same as usual you guys, we know, you know, we love you. Thank you for making time to come and take a listen to, another amazing guest. If you’re watching on YouTube, make sure you hit the subscribe button and that bell. That bell tells you when the next one is up. And if you’re listening on any of the 13 platforms for podcasts that we’re on, make sure you download or subscribe there.

[00:57:11] If you’re listening to us on anchor, you get support as any time, you know, every little bit helps. We love, we love having you guys around to listen, to share comment. If you’ve got somebody that you think we ought to be interviewing on here, let us know who it is. We’ll reach out to them. And we’ll get them on here and we’ll, we’ll have this same conversation.

[00:57:27] Secondary conversations are going to start here real soon. We’ve had enough guests that it’s time to have some of them back and see how they’re doing. So, halo definitely will be looking forward to having you back, sometime in the near future. If not. Slightly down the road future, but thanks again for coming on.

[00:57:43] you know how we’d like to sign off. We always say the same thing every time we love you. Make sure you stay up, stay safe, stay healthy and live for theater, myself, coffee with Mike jumper.

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