The man in the ‘shuk’.
For the last three years, every morning on my way to work I would wander through the shuk of Tel Aviv. Just like any middle eastern market, it was vibrant and amazingly loud. Through the ‘surround sound,’ I would always hear the fruit vendor’s daily question:
Fruit vendor: Where are you going?
Me: To work
Fruit vendor: Why?
I always had a great answer. But after three years, what seemed like a very naive routine conversation ended up being a huge turning point: I couldn’t find a reasonable and clear reply to his question.
So one Thursday, I quit my job.
That fruit vendor’s name was Nissim. He was a humble man in his 40’s, selling onions during the winter and watermelons in summer. This man inspired me to leave behind 12 years of my professional life as a creative in the advertising world. I detected trends for brands and had one of the coolest job titles ever. But Nissim inspired me to finally embrace entrepreneurship and jump into the startup ocean.
He was the first trigger for PersonalHeroes — and kicked off my first day as an entrepreneur.
Everyone has a Nissim in their lives. In fact, for every person in the world, there is at least one personal hero—someone that has influenced us, a random human being that in a very selfless way makes a mark. From a coworker giving you good advice at work to a complete stranger giving you back your lost wallet to the one that saved your life.
More than 1/3 of the content being spread within social media is related to a GOOD act: ordinary people, performing extraordinary things. That trend has a name: the hyperdemocracy in heroism.
What is more surprising is that in a world where we tend to believe that we are overwhelmed by news of Evil — war, crime, disasters, — content that is related to Good is 93% more engaging than any other content. More than that, a research by Edelman confirms that for the first time in the U.S, consumers believe that “people like me” are the ones responsible for addressing societal issues, bypassing government and corporations. And if that cultural shift is not enough, then let’s talk about actions: 60% of global society is personally involved in supporting a good cause.
The big question is: why do we keep building and investing in systems that tell us how BAD people are? Why don’t we build a platform to tell us how GOOD people are?
Why don’t we build a platform to tell us how GOOD people are?
What started as a small story and an idea about rewarding acts of good became a much larger vision & passion for me. I wanted to create a score based on collective intelligence that can measure the positive impact that people, organizations and places have on other people. I wanted to bring Science to the conversation of Kindness.
As @coreyford says “everything big started small.” He is right about ideas, but this phrase holds an even deeper truth about entrepreneurs: We are all constant prototypes of our best version.
That’s the magic of entrepreneurship. Once you find an idea — that undeniable truth about yourself that is completely in sync with your humanity,
- You breathe it.
- You grow with it.
- And you simply cannot abandon it.
But an idea doesn’t simply happen because of its people like it. It happens when a series of systematic decisions, talent, and partners converge. I wanted to join Matter not only because of their deep understanding of the forces that are shifting media, but to be part of a community. A community with a unique perspective on the value of stories, and how those stories make an idea portable and spreadable within tribes. I wanted leaders that could guide me in the drunken walk of entrepreneur, or Schizopreneur.
But most of all, I wanted the right home for my startup. Because it takes an entrepreneur with SPINE to start an idea, but a good home to raise a business.
Today, PersonalHeroes has a new home, and it’s here.