Five Lessons Learned by a CEO- Doron Ben David

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Doron Ben-David is a highly versatile and accomplished entrepreneur with a wide range of expertise in various fields. With a passion for innovation and a background in technology, he has co-founded multiple successful companies, such as Indoor Robotics and Israel Robotics.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Doron served as CTO for Avantis Team and Israel Aerospace Industries, where he gained extensive knowledge and experience in the aerospace and high-tech industries. His diverse skill set and entrepreneurial spirit make him a highly respected figure in the business world.

In a one-on-one interview, we discussed his journey as an entrepreneur, challenges, successes, and even about the future of robots.

Read the full interview for insight, useful advice, and tips to help you on your entrepreneurial journey.

Please tell our readers about yourself. How did it all begin? Who motivated and inspired you to be who you are today?

Since I remember myself, I was hooked on Space, Robotics, Physics, and, basically, understanding how the world works. Thanks to my father, I had access to electronics, computers, and mechanics ever since I was a child.

How did it all begin?

I always knew I will someday do something which is more than a hobby, but I understood I have some experience to gain in real-world applications first.

I was lucky to join the IMOD at a young age and be involved in the development of cutting-edge technologies. This certainly built me for the challenges I’m facing today at Indoor Robotics.

How did the idea for your current business come about?

Once I decided I’m going to do something in robotics, I’ve started mapping activities that are dull, dirty, dangerous, or difficult for humans to perform. I’ve sorted those into buckets based on the type of activity and the market value.
After doing that, I’ve run an analysis on what can be transformed into a robotic solution in the means available today (providing an immediate tangible value was my #1 priority).
As the market of cleaning robotics was quite a red ocean, filled with sharks from all over the world – I’ve chosen the market of remote monitoring.

After playing with some ideas, I understood a robot in this field should better fly, to avoid obstacles and different types of surfaces in a better way, and provide visibility in high ceiling use cases. That was when the idea of Tando was born.

What challenges are you facing these days?

The main challenge we face is growing. We just started commercializing our technology last year and building the organization in the correct way to support the customers is a challenge. When we had no customers, we had no one to disappoint – now, we set ourselves the highest bars of customer satisfaction.

Do you believe there is a method or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

I don’t believe in a one-size-fits-them-all kind of formula for founders. I do believe there are certain “must-haves”s for an entrepreneur. The hunger to see your baby blooms, the ability to pivot all the time and in all scales, the ability to get decisions in a super uncertain environment, the ability to survive this mental rollercoaster… Keeping sanity while navigating the business…

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What has been the most satisfying moment in your entrepreneurial journey thus far?

Having someone I don’t know approaching me in a random environment, telling me he recognizes me from Indoor Robotics and that he thinks our solution is going to change the world. 5 years ago, we had to spend a whole effort explaining to skeptical people why they need a drone to monitor their indoor environment – and today, people come to me at conferences to give me more use cases for our product.

make it official

How would you describe the critical elements of starting and running a successful business?

A startup company is all about solving a real-world problem that people are actually willing to pay for. Once you get that in place, you reach your product-market fit, and from that point – the challenge changes from proving to scaling.

What’s next? Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years?

10 years is forever for a startup company. I would say that for Tando, I hope that in 10 years I will see it installed in my neighborhood supermarket.

Is there any advice or tips you would give to young entrepreneurs?

The best tip I ever got from a fellow entrepreneur is not to listen to tips… Obviously, he meant to listen, but make your own interpretation and don’t blindly follow other people’s advice.

Other than that, the usual suspect tips for an entrepreneur:
1. Don’t get in love with your solution. Always make sure you solve an existing pain and that people are willing to pay for that solution.
2. Don’t get insulted when you get a “no” from a VC. Work in a data-centric manner to analyze those “no”’s… understand the pains of the people you come to ask for funding. Ask them what KPIs they expect to see. When will they feel comfortable meeting you again… and improve your pitch. Always.

3. A startup requires 100% of your time. You sleep it, breathe it, live it… basically – it’s always there. It means that it’s there when you are on a family vacation. It’s there when you have a newborn baby, and it’s there when you are ill or just bumped. Understand it BEFORE you dive into it. Understand it’s going to be like that for years… make sure your close environment understands it as well.

4. If you decide to start a company – go for it all in… 100%. I know almost no successful entrepreneurs who built their successful business “on-the-way” while doing something else…

5. And derived from the previous tip – make sure you are not hungry for money when you start. In the first year(s), your company won’t be able to pay you what you should get. That’s why you have your equity… you’ll always prefer to pay someone else before taking a salary of your own…

Wanna hear what we can do for your company?

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