Gil Elbaz — TenOneTen

Posted on Wednesday, April 28, 2021
My partner Gil Elbaz joins to talk about his passion for data, building AdSense, selling to Google and then building Factual.
 
He also explains why founders should mentally commit 10 years to their startup before beginning. 

View Transcript

Hello and welcome to the LA Venture Podcast. This is Minnie Ingersoll, host of the podcast and partner at TenOneTen. TenOneTen is a seed stage fund here in LA. All opinions expressed on this show by me and my guests are solely our own.

Minnie Ingersoll

Gil Elbaz is one of my partners and co-founder of TenOneTen.

He was also the founder of Factual, a location data company, and applied semantics. The company that built ad sense Ad Sense, took him to Google where he led Google’s LA office and of course he is a Caltech grad go beavers kill. Thank you for hiring me at TenOneTen and for coming on the podcast today.

Gil Elbaz

Thank you. We get a lot of time to talk, but this time we’re being recorded, it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Minnie Ingersoll

Yeah, I hope so I’ve had David and Eric all on the podcast and we’ve talked about sort of making million-dollar investments into seed stage  tech focused startups. so with you, I thought I would start with applied semantics. Cool.

So, yeah, maybe just start with what was applied semantics and I’m really curious of your fundraising journey and like what did applied semantics look like when you raised your seed round?

Gil Elbaz

Well applied to man. Next was a natural language understanding technology company. We built a lot of products. We were sort of always in search of product market fit. Uh, we eventually stumbled on, ad sense. We built ad sense. That became our, certainly our claim to fame. We, when we were in the right place at the right time and Google had its eyes on further monetizing their ad network.

And, uh, so it added up well, and we were very, very happy to be in Google’s hairs because that became a terrific acquisition Yeah.  In fact, I don’t really know your funding history. How far along were you when you raised your, your first round of funding?

I had done a good job of saving money working up in Silicon Valley before I moved to LA I, I was able to pay the bills for about nine months. Uh, we had a team of 10 or 15, very low paid people, actually Um, right, no higher your brother, your younger brother, not paying much as clever way of getting, getting started.

Yeah. I mean, a brother, a cousin, a roommate. I mean, you know, they’re a bunch of people that were all living together in the same house.

Minnie Ingersoll

And did you have AdSense was, or what was working when you raise your capital?  the original application was searched and we built a search engine and the seed round was definitely raised on the idea that we could compete against Google.

Gil Elbaz

And at that time in 1999, they didn’t have a lot of users yet. They didn’t have a lot of traffic and we were getting attention and they were getting attention. Um, that ended up not growing nearly as fast as Google that’s. Okay. we had an ad sense product that, that helped us raise the series a, although it wasn’t generating money at that time, but I think that the idea was very big and attracted capital.

Minnie Ingersoll

and it was called your product was called AdSense. Wasn’t it?

Gil Elbaz

It was,  I mean, I think Aidan had a lot to do with inventing the idea, but I distinctly remember. That my co-founder Adam Weissman came up with the name. He liked the fact that it was a triple entendre, not just double,

Minnie Ingersoll

so it was a good name. It stuck. And then it grew into, you know, tens of billions. I don’t know. It’s some large percentage of Google’s revenue, right.

Gil Elbaz

Yes. I mean, it is in the tens of billions. when we got acquired in 2003, we thought, we thought we had really built an amazing network. It was in the tens of millions. Uh, we were profitable. We were very, very impressed with ourselves. I mean, I knew that Google’s distribution network would enable it to grow, but I had no idea of the potential scale  okay, so you were profitable. I didn’t know that. So you were profitable but didn’t you get down to, you know, having no money in the bank again, or

Definitely. So we only raised, well in our 2000 series a we raised 5.2 million that was kind of standard back then people usually raise money to last one to two years.

and uh, then you had with the.com bust, there was no more there wasn’t going to be any more raising money for a while. So we really had to stretch it. We had to stretch it three years in order to make our ends meet. But, but there were, yeah, there was definitely a point in time where we had to get to profitability.

There was very little money in the bank. We unfortunately had to lay off seven people, which at the time just seemed, just awful and a traumatic experience for all of us that had built this close knit family and built this company. But we had to do what we had to do in order to make it.

Minnie Ingersoll

Wow. so you went from laying off seven people to, I think it was Google’s largest acquisition for 1% of the company or 1% of Google or something. Right.

Gil Elbaz

I mean, it was one of the first acquisitions. I mean, I think blogger came just before, but, uh, yeah, it was, it was one of the first and the most significant at the time.

Minnie Ingersoll

Yeah.  what did they want when w what did Google want when they acquired you

Gil Elbaz

Yeah.  I think I had understood that they believed that AdSense, which is all the, all the ads that aren’t on. The Google homepage  So they understood that the rest of the advertising ecosystem was a big opportunity. So that was way up there. I think they liked the idea of having a presence in LA.

They had no presence and we became, we were Google Santa Monica, but now it’s you think of it as Google LA, because it’s a little bit more widespread. And then we had a very Google-y culture.

Minnie Ingersoll

Yeah. Yeah. I remember those early days. I remember when you guys were acquired. Um, do you remember like Amit, like standing on sandbags? Literally. It was like a bean bag. 

Gil Elbaz

you know, I spent most of my time in LA. I went to a few, a few of the, Google all hands.

Minnie Ingersoll

what did you take away from Google? What were some of the big things that stuck with you?

Gil Elbaz

Well, first and foremost, I mean this culture around values, values that can proliferate through an organization and enable an organization that even at, even at a very large size can still act. Like a startup. I think it’s all on the foundation of teaching people, how executives would think if they were in the room and, and teaching people that the user experience is the most important thing.

And the whole don’t be evil slogan and thinking about things at scale. And, there was a lot of talk about, don’t build, don’t build up a prototype.

That’s just English only. if I can’t scale to global languages and regions, that it’s not going to be very valuable

Minnie Ingersoll

yeah.  How about Doby evil? Um, so don’t be evil. I thought I came up a lot as a guiding principle, especially in the early days. Like, do you, does it sadden you at all? Are you concerned? Like, I think a lot of people would say, Oh, big tech has gotten evil 

Gil Elbaz

Uh, let’s see.   I mean, one of the things that I’ve learned is the genius of clever marketing, and there’s a lot underlying this concept of don’t be evil, but you can’t say everything that you want to say in a, in a value statement or a tagline or a slogan.

So there’s sort of a genius to coming up with the right sound bite that catches.

Minnie Ingersoll

yeah, the genius of marketing Gill. That’s I didn’t expect to hear that. I thought we’d talked about, you know, big data sets. I like that.

Gil Elbaz

yeah, I’ve definitely been on a journey at Google and post Google in terms of learning about the power of storytelling. I always heard about how Southern California has this talent here for storytelling, and it wasn’t my world at all. and I’m still on a learning journey around how to create emotional attachment, from the messages that companies send.

Minnie Ingersoll

Cool. So then you went to start factual.

Gil Elbaz

Yes. Just dying to do it again. I mean, I love Google, but I don’t think there’s anything like having a team. It’s your group. you’re connected at the hip, taking on the world,  to achieve some mission and you’re doing it together and you have each other’s backs and you carry be about each other and you care about the mission.

There’s just nothing like succeeding together and also sometimes failing together and having to figure out how to take a U-turn.

Minnie Ingersoll

I love that. Eric said that you, you gave some speech about that, that inspired him and that’s like why he joined ten one 10.

So tell us more, tell me more about factual. I know, I know some of it,

Gil Elbaz

Initially data was just a passion and an addiction, almost an addiction that I had from my earliest memories,  I mean, I had to wait to be driven to a library to get things answered and I just love facts. finally in 1981, We were one of the first families in the, I think in the country, to get cable TV.

And so with cable TV, I had streaming stock market data, streaming weather data.  And then sports. I mean, and these are the three things that I fell in love with baseball, weather, data, stock market data.

And I literally graphed this data. I know it’s quirky is a, like a 10 year old.   I mean, I know you pretty well. Gil. I remember sitting in the factual office with you when like the alert went off on all of our phones to say there was a missing kid,  and you’re like, I’m so annoyed. They should know where we are and know whose phone needs to get that alert.

Minnie Ingersoll

Um, but I see it in you a lot, uh, when data isn’t being used. Well, I think.

Gil Elbaz

It’s still very under utilized. And there are so many opportunities for people to share data and solve world problems together. And some of these problems are actually so easy to solve. It’s just a matter of  using some of the most basic statistical techniques to extract knowledge from data.

Minnie Ingersoll

Okay, so you wanted to solve that problem? Tell me about what factual does.

Gil Elbaz

the original idea with factual would be was that it would be the go-to destination. If you want to access. High quality data and for it to just be seamless and easy, and the, the metaphor might be the Amazon of data where you could just go in there and everything’s there for you. Or maybe we also thought about it being a little bit more like the Wikipedia of data in a sense that it wasn’t completely a hundred percent commercial.

There would be a lot of contributions because the world would have a desire for, correct information to be illuminated. and so we worked on that for a while. When we launched  we did have 600,000 different data sets that we automatically extracted from various sources. but what we learned is maybe the time wasn’t right for the Amazon or the Wikipedia of data, we understood that our customers wanted to know that we had.

Deep focus. If we talked to a hospital and we’d came in talking about health data, but on our homepage, there was data about tiger woods and all the championships he won. It’s somehow, somehow it wasn’t working from an enterprise storytelling marketing level. So at some point we realized we can succeed if we choose a vertical.

And we realized that location data in itself is going to be a massive multi-billion dollar opportunity. Just understanding how to stitch the online and offline worlds. what is it, every point on the globe? What’s the significance of being at a certain spot what’s happening there? What, what restaurants are there?

What, businesses there, what do people do there? What are the hours of operation and, and on and on and on.

Minnie Ingersoll

Yeah.  Who else has that data today?

Gil Elbaz

Well, Google, well, of course has built their own POI places of interest dataset, as part of the Google maps product. and they, they do have an API, but they’re not very focused on providing that data to support and enable other companies. So that created our opportunity to create a Google quality places, dataset, but be very, very laser-focused on helping every other, big tech company and every other fortune 500 company that realized that, well for tech companies, they want to build all sorts of products that can be personalized based on place or mapping products or et cetera, the rest of the fortune 500.

It’s really about this evolution where they can offer one-to-one services and really understand really being the head of their own customer

Minnie Ingersoll

okay. So you have this data set that maybe only Google has something as good as what factual has amassed in the POI data.

Gil Elbaz

Yeah. I mean, there, there were a couple other, I mean, depending on the country,  as far as global, uh, there were, there was another company,  also a company who was founded by someone that was at Google with me, whose own company has been acquired. And that’s Dennis Crowley and we kind of live these parallel lives, where we sold our companies to Google. And we both raised money from Andreessen at the same time.

And so I’m talking about Foursquare and they also had a, they had a different set of technologies that were, they were using, but they did also have a POI at places of interest database And, uh, to cut the story 12 years short,  uh, I had become close friends and really respected the culture at Foursquare, which for me is maybe more important than anything else.

And, uh, and so after lots of discussion, we ended up merging these companies together and forming what we think is the powerhouse, the location platform powerhouse.

Minnie Ingersoll

and you do this, I think not to put words in your mouth, but I think you do this because one, you think, you know, the data unlocks innovation, but also it sort of creates competition. Right.

Gil Elbaz

Well, first and foremost, we’re doing it to enable innovation across a whole realm of different use cases. I do personally think that it’s an issue when  one company has a monopoly on information and has too much power and they become the data have, and then there’s a lot of have nots and I think it really slows down development and innovation

Minnie Ingersoll

um, yeah,  but what’s the sort of creepy factor. How do you avoid  you know, potential downside of having this data?

Gil Elbaz

well, I don’t think there’s, I don’t think there’s any downside as long as consumers. Have control of their own data. I mean, as far as businesses go, businesses want to be found out. They want to be restaurants, want all of this information to be a surface into, we have a whole range of applications.

That’s a business I be found out. And as far as consumers, consumers want the opportunity to opt in and share their, their location with businesses that they trust that they can get better services.  So, uh, the hardest part I think is just getting people to share the data.

Minnie Ingersoll

So consumer control was your answer, which is as long as consumers have control. I actually don’t know GDPR and CCPA, all that well, like, are they doing a good job of forcing consumers to sort of opt in, opt out that sort of stuff?

Gil Elbaz

I think GDPR has moved the ball in the right direction and set a good precedent for the rest of the world, in terms of what it means, what does opt-in mean and how there’s stricter requirements around that? The pop-up itself has to provide some explanation for what’s going to happen with your data, and who’s gonna get your data.

Whereas in the U S before GDPR and before CCPA, you could get away with. Having something hidden in the terms of service, you also, it used to be that you could get away with, a contract where the contract requires. Let’s say someone to make sure that all data that’s being transacted, was opted in, but now there’s a much higher requirement for auditing your supply.

Like if you’re working with a partner,  they better have gotten an opt in and you better check in and audit that supply and make sure that everything’s on the up and up.  So I think it was a positive thing for the industry that the regulatory environment is catching up with what consumers deserve.

Minnie Ingersoll

okay, so I’m, I’m multiple questions on that, I guess I’m sort of skeptical that consumers that putting it on consumers to have control when I don’t know, whether consumers are actually being more informed or just clicking anything to make the popups go away.

Gil Elbaz

I mean, that that’s fair that there’s going to be some number of people that, that don’t read.  Are there any like ideal startups that you would like to see addressing the data aggregation, consumer control, this area of the world.

I think I would agree with you and it is difficult to take the time, the adequate time to understand there’s this company that’s offering me the ability to take Uber. They’re saying that if I share my location with them, they will promptly pick me up, you know, but, but what else are they doing with the data?

I trust them. I use them, but to read all of the legal ease is really beyond most of our capabilities. and also it’s incredibly time consuming and people are using new services all the time. I do think ultimately we need, AI agents act on their behalf that understand what our motivations are like.  do you want to just be given money for monetizing your data? Do you want better user experiences? what companies do you inherently trust? ultimately I think we need AI as to make these decisions for us.

And I do think that if humans released control of certain decisions to AI as if it would free up so much human time for more human endeavors,  I hope we don’t have to spend all of our time being lawyers and reading privacy statements.

Minnie Ingersoll

wait. So when you talk about, you know, NAI, you’re really meaning sort of like my personal AI,

Gil Elbaz

Exactly, exactly. I mean, there’s many, there’s many other things that this AI could do. They could be, and there are other, there are already products out there that might be, let’s say looking for, uh, uh, They know that you want to go visit South America and they’re looking for a cheap ticket that, that becomes available that meets your parameters.

There are already AIS like that, that are searching the internet to help you out. But I think we’ve only scratched the surface on that.

Minnie Ingersoll

very cool.  transitioning now into investing, but taking this whole data lens. you know, are there things that you learned or  when you talk to entrepreneurs about this, what are you looking for?

What are you not looking for?

Gil Elbaz

Let’s see. Well, there’s no, there’s no silver bullet to aggregating data. There’s, there’s so many approaches. Uh, I mean, I believe in open data, I believe that there should be public data. Uh, government funded data, nonprofit funded data.  I started impactful a hugely impactful nonprofit called common crawl that has the largest to my knowledge, the largest data set anywhere it’s measured in the petabytes.

It’s an archive of the web and we make it available for free to anyone who wants in partnership with Amazon. It’s sitting there on S3 and anybody can download it and use it for, for, uh, all sorts of research. Uh, the, um, uh, big, the GPT three, which is the well-known and respected a new AI model. Use this data to build, uh, this is open AIS, GPT, three model language model.

They, they used it to, to build it as a training set. Um, so I believe in contributing in nonprofit, I I’ve, I’ve worked with people that are working really hard to. Open up access to government data. I can, I could talk all about, you could talk for hours about that endeavor. Um, but then there’s, there’s a, there’s all sorts of technologies that can, can seek and extract factual data from the world.

Minnie Ingersoll

was, was a lot of data, you know, percentage wise was a lot of your data coming from government data sources or were they, was it paid data you acquired, you had to purchase or

Gil Elbaz

Like I said, it was, it was many, many sources. An example would be, uh, if you can find on the web multiple confirming sentences about the fact that this business is located at this address and has this phone number, if you can find many different web pages that have. Confirming information. Then you can use some algorithms to determine the, how factual this data is. Uh, and, and that’s the name, the name factual.

Minnie Ingersoll

Yeah. Um, anything else on, you know, with your investor hat on, things you’re looking for when we’re, you know, talking about making software and data focused investments,

Gil Elbaz

Well, yes, I love, I love the data moat, so I love, I love companies that have. Have been able to build a unique data set. Sometimes it’s because of a unique insight in terms of how they can build this dataset or unique relationship, or sometimes it’s this incredible. Maybe the best of all is this incredible feedback loop or virtuous cycle that they create when as the product gets used, people are inherently sharing and data back and it’s making the data set, right.

And it’s making the product better and obviously making the company more valuable.  I certainly personally love to see those. And sometimes modes are incredible

Minnie Ingersoll

Yeah. And you’re very helpful with them too. How about your, the most recent, um, founder of our group, what are you looking for in founders?

Um, as they approach their founder journey.

Gil Elbaz

Talk to a founder. I’m certainly looking for persistence.  I enjoy working with people who are. Uh, addicted enough to solving a particular problem that they can’t really, I couldn’t really imagine stopping regardless of the kind of roadblock that they hit.

And, and I do like talking about, uh, what I see is 10 year journey. it is possible that if you get, if you build a great team and you hit the market just right, it could inflect very quickly and power to you. But I think that the entrepreneur has to go in assuming that it’s going to take years before the market appreciates this incredible vision, that, that actually it’s going to be a full 10 years until you get through the entire cycle of finding product market fit  and if you’re not in it for 10 years and.

People around, you will see these cracks. They’ll see that you’re not going to be able to withstand, challenges. And it’s inevitably a roller coaster. I think if you have the tenure, patience and grit and persistence, you’re going to attract, you’re going to be a magnet for talent.

You’re gonna attract capital. And I think it’s almost magic. The other thing I think that’s magic is people talk about how unlikely it is that a seed stage company makes it to Unicorn status. I actually think there’s a bunch of reasons why I think the data is flawed and that if you only look at people that will not quit, no matter what, they’ll sleep in a sleeping bag on the street, if they have to, they will not stop working.

They will not sell the company. They will not do anything except continue you talking about it and working on it for 10 years. And I’ve, I’ve mathematically figured this out. It’s about 100,000 interactions over 10 years. Those are, those interactions might be phone calls, emails. If you a hundred thousand times in a row, do your best to do the right thing.

Follow your values, give it a decent effort. Don’t kill yourself. Just give it a decent effort. Don’t act like this conversation. Isn’t important. Take it seriously. Just do the right thing. A hundred thousand times in a row. I think it’s actually magical how much distance you gain and how many people aren’t as committed to that And how many people fall off? I mean, at applied semantics, a lot of our competitors. Just, we just outlasted them and they just, we don’t know where they went. They, they had technology, but seemed as good as ours maybe, but, they’re not, they’re not around anymore.

Minnie Ingersoll

I’ve heard you talk about this with passion. It’s great. Do you remember your John Muir trail analogy?

Gil Elbaz

Yeah. So at Caltech it’s a good school, you know, but, uh, it’s not known for their athletics. And so I had never run a mile in my life ever

Minnie Ingersoll

I didn’t know that

Gil Elbaz

until my junior year in college, I think in high school, they wanted us to run a mile, but I think I didn’t show up to school that day or something.

but somehow I decided that I’m going to join the cross country team. And at Caltech, I was allowed to my junior year. So the summer before my junior year I killed myself. I got very sick many times because I, I guess when you run 10 or 12 miles a day and you’ve never done it before, it’s hard on my body.

I got sick a lot, but I did stay with the team and I didn’t, it managed to, there was one meat that I wasn’t sick at.  But our, the most important, interesting thing about the story is our coach was the world’s best ultra marathoner at the time. Jim O’Brien and he ran a hundred mile races and he won them. And the one that I was part of was the Angeles crest, a hundred miler. And he was so far ahead of second place his time was so, so much earlier than they anticipated anybody, finishing the race. They didn’t even have the finish line set up.

but it was just very inspiring and it turns out somebody running a hundred mile race has to take right, right around a hundred thousand steps. It’s like right in that order of magnitude. Got it. So this is the, if you’re willing to do it a hundred thousand times, that’s that’s the that’s the 10-year journey is a hundred thousand meetings or emails or something interactions.

Yeah. Which in a way is a super easy recipe that I think a lot of people could do, but it does take, a tremendous amount of. Willpower, I guess, to do something a hundred thousand times in a row and not give up. Um, just to be clear when I gave Eric opera on that, when I did that talk and talk about that, you’re going to go.

You mentioned that Eric had heard that he was there at USC. Um, a lot of people afterwards were really impressed that I was this entrepreneur and also a hundred mile runner. I’m actually not, I, I mean, I have the persistence when it comes to five founding companies, I didn’t quite make it to a ultra marathon status.

Minnie Ingersoll

Yeah, no, I think it’s great though, because I think a lot of people in like the college setting or MBA students, I’ll say like, well, there isn’t that much downside to being an entrepreneur right now. Like you can, it’s less risky than it used to be. And you don’t have to pay yourself nothing And the problem is it’s 10 years of your life.

And so that’s fine. As long as you’re 32 today and you’re prepared to be 42

Gil Elbaz

Yeah. So yeah, you might think, Oh, there’s not a lot of downside to me dabbling with something, but yeah, I think if you, if you’re dabbling. you’ve cut your chance of success by, I don’t know, a very, very large number.

And a lot of people don’t have the 10 years to commit to it, and that’s understandable. And I have respect for people that want other kinds of jobs and add value. In other ways, a lot of people can, they can do very well and be happy and successful. But I think there is that more unique individual that realizes that they were put on the earth to do the thing.

And 10 years is what, only an eighth of your adult life.

Minnie Ingersoll

Yeah. Well, but then you don’t get to do some other thing if you’re doing this thing and you described it as sleeping on the street, so yeah, it’s, uh, it’s worth considering. Um,  how many years were you an, founder, CEO, many years.

Gil Elbaz

Yeah. So over 20,

Minnie Ingersoll

So you wanted to riff on the, um, the podcast episode with Omar, where he talked about Sequoia celebrating or not celebrating the, the YouTube exit.

Gil Elbaz

Yeah. I enjoy that chat with the Omar very much. Uh, it just, it just gave me something to think about when he was talking about YouTube.  to, what degree do you show support for entrepreneurs that feel like they do want to sell early? Or do you make them feel bad? about making this, this personal decision. And as much as we want our companies to go very, very long  I think the best formula for that is actually building a brand around supporting the entrepreneur and helping them on their journey.  I think when an entrepreneur feels really supported and feels like they have people around them that the show a lot of empathy, it actually frees them up to sometimes take more risks.  I think that I like to think that a formula that’s worked for us.

Minnie Ingersoll

what about the notion that to support them best, you have to give them the tough love

Gil Elbaz

Yeah. I mean, I, think you’re, you’re incredible and a, a type a mini and you seem to be very good at, uh, at providing the structure that, that people need. I guess, I guess we each have our strengths  for me. I think I grew up with parents that their, their lesson in life was the motivation is everything. You know, you can’t be forced. My parents didn’t make me to study piano and that didn’t work. I took it for one year. I told my parents I don’t like practicing.

And they said, it said, okay, Let’s find something else that you love Was that the right answer? I sometimes complained to them later. You should’ve made me study piano. I would, uh, you know, I would have been the life of the party, but, um, but they were all about figuring out how to tie somebody in with what they love with passion, so that there’s inherent internal motivation

And so that’s why I think so much about motivation, incentive, passion, love.

Minnie Ingersoll

wow. So how do we, how do we help our entrepreneurs though with motivation? Or is that just something that they have to find.

Gil Elbaz

I think they have to come with it. They have to find, but I think we can support it. And I think, I think there’s ways to put out that internal motivation. I think we have to support it and grow it and enhance it.

Minnie Ingersoll

that. I like that a lot. Um, well this is good. So, uh, do we need to talk more about 10, one 10? Or can we just delve into like you and your parents and, um, your brother? Uh,

Gil Elbaz

what, what direction do you want to go in? You throw a,

Minnie Ingersoll

minutes. Let’s talk. Let’s talk about, okay. Um, so Aidan, let’s talk about Aidan. Let’s pick on Aidan, cause he’s not here right now.

Um, how, describe how you and Aidan are the same or different.

Gil Elbaz

I think we’re, we’re pretty different. Um, yeah, we both studied engineering, but anytime it was the born salesperson,

Um, I mean, I love things that take a little bit longer. investing in culture strategy technology. I think he’s incredible when it comes to things that you can get done fast, aggressively reaching out to hire somebody, raising money, making  tough decisions.

Uh, I don’t know, somehow the, the metaphor of the tortoise and Hare sort of like, like there’s a, I think there’s, the reason that there is that fable is because there is a general, general bias that faster is better. but you know, I kind of represent a little bit of the, the tortoise, like do the right thing again and again for 10 years.

And so not to take anything away from, from him. I love the guy and we’ve gotten along so well and I was extremely lucky To have a brother that was also interested in the same things that I was with the startup and to be able to found a company with him.

Minnie Ingersoll

Yeah, it’s interesting. You are soft spoken. I would call you soft spoken, but very strong-willed. Would you agree with that?

Gil Elbaz

I think so. Um, yeah. I, I, I think I, I agree. I agree with that. I am very, very stoked.

Minnie Ingersoll

well, okay. Strong-willed maybe, but like you have a strong sense of values and direction and where you’re going. That I think people who don’t know you well,  But yeah, go on.

Gil Elbaz

There’s certain attributes that there are certain attributes. That there’s a bias in our society toward valuing. So for example,  if you follow Myers-Briggs, your classic CEO is probably EMTJ extroverted a fast decision maker. I mean, these are the things that are classically valued.

And I think,  I think there’s a lot of value in, uh, in P in perceiving the world and more slowly working to understand it so that you know, that you’re choosing the right approach and the right strategy

Minnie Ingersoll

yeah. Um, in my remaining two minutes with you, uh, I kinda like to touch on the X prize.  You’ve been on the board of X prize for a long time.

Now

Gil Elbaz

Yeah, for a decade, a decade and a half. So I just loved this X prize model of incentivizing of creating an incentive prize and having a big pile of money to give to whoever solves the problem. It’s opposite of the Nobel prize, where 20 years after you contribute something to the world, you’re recognized for it.

That’s great too, nothing wrong with that, but it’s not an incentive prize. It doesn’t sort of wake people up to go solve issues. And I mean, it’s just amazing to see the kind of impact X prizes had. working on global literacy, ocean cleanup or a cancer prize. I mean, it’s endless, I mean, I mean, how many problems do we have a lot?

Minnie Ingersoll

Yeah. And it’s a fun way to get, to spend your free time. I don’t know if that’s the right word, uh, Gil. I really admire how you operate. and I’m glad I get to work with you and, uh, and thank you for coming on the podcast.

Gil Elbaz

This has been fun. Thanks!

Real quick. It would be great. If you could spare a moment to give the podcast five stars or share with a friend Or I love getting emails. Send me a note, minnie@tenoneten.net. Thanks.