Ami Ben David is the Co-Founder of Everything.me, an innovative mobile launcher, whose aim is to “adapt to the needs of the user”. With its Dynamic Phone platform, your phone constantly adapts to what you are looking for by suggesting the apps you need at any time. This launcher has been downloaded more than one million times on the Google Play store and it is the leading technology in the recently launched Firefox OS. The company’s headquarters are in Tel Aviv, Israel, whose startup scene is growing day by day and has begun competing with Silicon Valley for the number one spot for tech innovation.
We are all about Entrepreneurship and our readers love it, we usually start an Interview with the easiest and most interesting question. So with that in mind, how did you come up with the idea behind Everything.me?
Interestingly, one inspiration behind Everything.me and more specifically Everything Home (our Android app) was the famous Apple quote “There’s an app for just about anything”. I was thinking, if that was true, why am I actually really only using the same 10 apps all the time? Where are all the other millions of apps when I need them? We thought a smartphone has to be smarter than that, why can’t it just get me everything exactly when I need it? And so we built Everything Home to do exactly that.
We think Entrepreneurship is all about believing in something and trying to achieve an aim, so what’s your mission?
We want to change the relationship between people and their mobile devices. Smartphones are the biggest invention since sliced bread (probably even bigger), they deliver all of the world’s accumulative knowledge, services, entertainment, functionality – all in the palms of billions of people. But they are locked in a first generation interface that only exposes a fraction of the power of these devices to their users. Phones can be so much smarter and can do so much more for us, that’s where we come in.
When do you plan to be out of the beta stage?
No rush. We have some amazing new functionality in the pipeline, so every version we deploy is still chock full of new stuff. This week, for example, we are deploying the ability to place Widgets inside folders (so stuff appears exactly when you need it), and a new powerful learning system that delivers the apps you need without you even having to ask for them.
I am Italian and I love apps, but at the moment Everything.me is not available in every country, why haven’t you chosen to deliver to a broader audience first?
In order to deliver the best apps for every need, we have a content team that verifies and check the quality of the apps, we will therefore roll out country after country. Through our partnership with Firefox OS we are now rolling the service into many more countries, but I’m afraid I don’t yet have an exact launch date for Italy.
Why did you also choose to develop your product on Firefox OS and how do you see this innovative and new Operating System in the next future?
Firefox OS was a natural fit. We always believed in open platforms and the web. We are very excited about Firefox OS and invest a lot in it’s future. We believe that over time, Firefox OS will dominate the lower-end of the Smartphone market and then move upwards. The secret weapon of Firefox OS is how it utilizes the web technologies that Firefox is so famous for, with Everything.me Dynamic Phone technology, to pack simplicity and power into a phone that billions of new smartphone users can now afford and will enjoy.
Mark Zuckerberg has recently denounced HTML5, saying it was a big mistake, but you seem to strongly believe in it. Where do you see this technology going in the future?
HTML5 is used for two main things: building the mobile web and building native apps more efficiently. Mark Zuckerberg was talking about the latter. The mobile web is growing, in both number of mobile sites and in number of users – in unprecedented rates. Two years ago only 10% of websites were mobile optimized, today, over 80% of top 500 US sites behave on a mobile phone much more like an app than like a traditional website. Over time, the distinction between a mobile website and an app is slowly disappearing. So in fact, if you count the number of mobile web sites using HTML5, I believe there are already more HTML5 web apps out there than Android and iPhone apps combined.
Fundraising is a huge part of building a company and you guys, according to CrunchBase, have done a great job. What’s your best advice you could give us about pitching and finding investors who believe in your idea?
If you really believe in your company, even after asking yourself, your teammates, and the market, all the hard questions, and answering them with
brutal honesty, then you don’t really ask the “how to pitch” questions too much, you already know. You just share your story and vision as openly and professionally as you can, and then choose the investors that you believe in, people you admire and respect. That’s always a good start.
What is the best approach to recruit someone? How can you be sure
that he believes in what the company wants to achieve in the next years?
It’s almost impossible to say in advance, and always very easy to know after you start working together. This is why the best recruits come through people you or your teammates or your close circles already know.
At the 2012 edition of Startup School, Tom Preston-Werner said “that three Ps are important in a company People, Philosophy and Product”, how do you relate to them?
I’m the product guy so I live and breath products, and having the right people is clearly (by far) the most important success factor of a startup.
That leaves philosophy. I think philosophy is overrated – stop philosophizing and start getting things done. 99% perspiration, 1% philosophy.
We have been in contact with a few startups in Israel such as Vodio and Tawkon, how do you see the startup scene there and do you think it might be the next Silicon Valley?
I believe it’s now the number two startup scene in the world by some parameters, but its not about position. It’s more a combination of a feeling in the air that everything is possible, that taking risks to build a startup is super cool, and that failure is both “not an option” when a company is started, and “OK, so you’ve learnt a lot, try again” if it fails. Couple that spirit with years and years of successful startups and tech companies which pushed tons of experience, expertise, professionalism and smart money into a small area and you get a startup scene.