From Start-up Success to Start-up Encore
Omri Yacubovich, Co-Founder and CEO of Lama AI
Omri Yacubovich is no stranger to starting something. In fact, he’s gone through the experience of founding a business from the ground up not once, but twice, making him something of a start-up expert. He is currently the Co-Founder and CEO at Lama AI, an AI-powered lending exchange, increasing small business accessibility to bank-rated credit.
So far, Omri has amassed over a decade of experience in the industry, having studied Law and Accounting at university. In spite of his academic studies, Omri always had the urge to pursue his real passion, computing, and had a specific attraction to high-adrenalin working environments, where creative types constantly have to show results.
Entering the Cloud
Omri took his first dip into the world of marketing at Atera, a cloud-computing platform, in 2010, serving as marketing manager there for two years. He started here, having had little experience of management or marketing. It was in this role that Omri learned the tools of the trade which he would need to start not just one but two businesses.
He had mentors to shape his career path, crediting the now-CMO of Gong.io, Udi Ledergor, as a formative figure early on in his professional journey. In 2012, the time came to co-found Commerce Sciences, his first start-up with two other people, where the aim was to revolutionise the online customer experience through personalised eCommerce activities.
‘You need an industry expert to be part of your day-to-day journey, and that could be maybe another founder that is already retired perhaps; that is a good signal for the industry in terms of how serious you are and how trustworthy the company is.’
PLG: Not for Everyone
Many start-up founders attempt to pursue a product-led growth (PLG) strategy, placing the product as the main force to drive acquisition, retention and growth. Omri, however, admits that a PLG-led approach as a start-up isn’t for everyone. Not every business can mimic the success of Monday.com or Slack, which meticulously focused on user experience before becoming the giants they are today.
To Omri, feedback on early-days versions of products does matter, but should be taken with a pinch of salt. In his view, creating something totally new often means hearing from people who are resistant to change. In short, some of the negative feedback is less about the quality of a product but rather dislike of something new and disruptive.
According to Omri, marketing adds the ‘G’ in PLG strategies. In his experience, a founder shouldn’t simply outsource marketing or sales to a consultant, especially when product market fit is undefined. Making a good sales hire is a matter of not just finding the right fit for the business, but also making sure it comes at the right moment in the business’ life.
Omri looks for candidates with an entrepreneurial spirit, who understand the solution Lama AI offers, who are ready to help the business in its next phase of growth. He thinks candidates who care more about commission and guarantees are less likely to succeed as their priorities will be elsewhere.
Want to hear more about James and Omri’s discussion?
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