Team and organizations development

Leading with Passion: Hillel Fuld’s Guide to Tech and Startups

In this interview, Hillel Fuld, a well-known tech expert and startup advisor, talks about his love for technology and what drives his various roles in the tech world. Hillel shares his experiences promoting Israeli tech, the importance of genuine passion, and what makes a great startup team. He also discusses leadership, focusing on humility, the need for market research, and keeping up with industry trends.

Tune in for practical advice and insights for future leaders and entrepreneurs in the tech industry.
Daria Rudnik: Thanks for joining, Hillel. Let's start with your diverse roles. On your YouTube channel, you mentioned working with startups, being a speaker, a content creator, and collaborating with multinationals. What unites all these work streams, and what is your superpower that drives them?

Hillel Fuld: Honestly, it might sound cliché, but my passion for technology is as authentic and deep as you can imagine. I think most people love technology today, but my passion started well before it was cool. When I write about tech, it doesn't feel like a task or a burden. It's what I love to do. When I work with startups, I aim to get their tech into consumers' hands. When I work with enterprises or speak about tech, it all stems from my deep passion. I think this passion is what makes me successful as a speaker because it's so obvious when I speak.

Daria Rudnik: What is your most favorite project or activity so far that has given you the most energy?

Hillel Fuld: When I promote Israeli tech, I'm promoting tech, but really, I'm promoting Israel. I've positioned myself as the Israeli tech guy, and after the war, this focus became more obvious. Now, I'm more focused on defending Israel online. This is the project of my lifetime. It feels very fulfilling, and the results are incredible.

Daria Rudnik: From what I see, VCs and investors say the most important thing about a startup is its team. How do you define a great team? How do you know a team is great?

Hillel Fuld: That's a great question. There's no scientific answer, but I believe technology can be copied, but you can't copy people or talent. I once spoke to an investor who was the first investor in Uber. He met Travis, the CEO, and despite the challenges, he believed Travis could do it. Talent is something you have or don’t have. It's about recognizing that and recruiting people who are talented, not just skilled.

Daria Rudnik: So, is it more about the leader or the team that supports them?

Hillel Fuld: It's a mixture. I love this quote: "When I talk to managers, I feel like they are important. But when I speak to leaders, I feel like I am important." Good leaders empower those around them. A leader without people to lead is less effective, and an amazing group without a leader won't be effective either.

Daria Rudnik: You’re a thought leader in the media space and a business leader. How are these roles the same or different for you?

Hillel Fuld: I don't differentiate between the two. In order to lead in business, you have to lead in branding and be an authority in your space. Content marketing is crucial because you can't position your company as a leader by just talking about yourself. Producing content about the industry helps position you as a leader in branding and business.

Daria Rudnik: When you work with CEOs of startups or companies, what is the most important thing they need to focus on?

Hillel Fuld: It's similar to a politician serving their constituents. CEOs need to understand they serve their company, not the other way around. Humility is crucial. Ego is destructive and too common in leadership. Leaders should know who they report to and lead with humility, not ego.

Daria Rudnik: What advice would you give to aspiring leaders who want to lead with their values in a competitive market?

Hillel Fuld: Many entrepreneurs skip over the foundations, like market research. They should be excited and believe they can change the world, but they must also understand their market. Without market research or competitive analysis, their idea has no legs. The fundamentals are crucial. Don’t skip over the less exciting parts; they are incredibly important.

Daria Rudnik: Is there anything else you want to share?

Hillel Fuld: The world of tech is undergoing a massive transition. AI has made companies like NVIDIA incredibly successful. People fear AI, but it's not going to replace humans. Humans who use AI will replace those who don't. As a leader, stay on top of market trends. A good product isn’t enough if you ignore market trends, like Blackberry did. Focus on internal growth while staying aware of market changes and be willing to pivot.

Daria Rudnik: Thank you so much, Hillel.

Hillel Fuld: It was great. Thank you for interviewing me.

See Hillel's website and follow him on LinkedIn, YouTube and X (Twitter)