AppReal CEO and co-founder, Yariv Levski, was recently interviewed by Tyler Wagner on Business Blast Podcast.
TW: Alright everyone, welcome back to another episode of the Business Blast Podcast. I’m your host, Tyler Wagner. Today, I have Yariv Levski with us. He is the CEO and co-founder of AppReal-VR. So, welcome to the show.
YL: Thanks, Tyler. Thanks for having me.
TW: Of course. Thanks for joining us. We’ll dive right in.
The first question I have for you today is, what is the best story from your life that has an underlying valuable message?
YL: I think being an Ironman. I’m not really an asset, I’m not fast, I’m not strong, and most of the people will beat me in the 100-meter race. The only reason I am an Ironman is because I am determined.
And I think life is like a long race. If you will attempt to win the short distance, you might lose; it’s all about the long run. So, I think being able to race and finish an Ironman competition, I had to fight many things like injuries, doubt, mentalities, and fear. But I had to stay focused on the final goal, exactly like real life.
Being an Ironmen, you know, taught me a lot about entrepreneurship — the need to build the plan while you know you that you will face challenges that you didn’t plan before. So you need to ask yourself every time, ‘will it serve my goal, will it help me in reaching my goal or not. So for me, being able to become and Ironman means that everything is possible.
TW: Yes, yes! And what is the most valuable piece of information we should know that is within your expertise or industry?
YL: You know, I work within VR and AR. I think people who work in development — games, applications, whatever — they need to stay “platform agnostic”. No matter which platform you aim for, whether it is HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Gear VR, Daydream, now Oculus Go, etc.
You never know what the future holds, you don’t know which device will be launched next. So in order to launch a product that will be useful even in six or twelve months, you need to be “platform agnostic”.
TW: Yes. And what is your best piece of overall business advice, not necessarily industry specific?
YL: So it might be the opposite from what is being taught in business school, but I think sometimes you get to ninety-five and you try to get to one-hundred. And everyone thinks one-hundred is a must. But if you think about it, the economic cost to improve from ninety-five to one-hundred is not necessarily worth the price. Whether it is money, months of development, or anything else — it’s good to be an optimizer. You should not always aim for one-hundred; ninety-five might be good enough.
TW: And if you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
YL: I would say, enjoy the ride, don’t be afraid to take risks. I opened my first company at the age of 41. I could have done it ten years earlier.
TW: In your opinion, what is the key to happiness?
YL: I’m not sure I have this answer! Let me know when you find it!
TW: I will.
YL: I think the best thing to do is just work at what you like, and you never feel that you are working, you know?
TW: And what is the best book you have read, and what is the number-one thing that you learned from that?
YL: The best book that I read is not science, it is based on a historical story. It is about Ernest Shackleton. He was a polar explorer. He lead like three British expeditions to the Antarctic. He was trying to cross Antarctica from sea to sea.
The ship was called Endurance and it was trapped between ice and was slowly crushing. He had, I don’t know, maybe a couple of tens of people on board. After the ship had collapsed, still they managed to cross seven-hundred miles with only rowing boats. They arrived at a place called Elephant Island. So what, for me that was really, really fascinating beside than the story itself, is that they faced many, many challenges, but Shackleton — the Captain — managed to keep the motivation of the team. No one lost faith. With this huge adventure and the challenge, no one died. He lost no one. So I think the team spirit is very, very important when you are facing challenges.
TW: And what is your favorite quote, and why?
YL: One of my favorite quotes is, ‘a ship is safe in the harbor, but that is not what a ship is built for’.
TW: Yes. I actually love that quote, by the way. And thank you so much for coming on. The last question I have for you before I let you go is, where is the best place for people to find you online?
YL: I think LinkedIn — ‘Yariv Levski’.
TW: Perfect. Thank you, again, for joining us. We appreciate it.
YL: Thanks, Tyler.