Yossi Fishler is the co-founder and COO of Andy OS, a virtual android operating system that allows users to run mobile apps directly from desktops and enterprises to stream apps directly to mobile devices. Follow him at @AndyroidNet.
What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
The No. 1 distinguishing quality between startups that succeed and those that fail is grit and an unwillingness to give up.
Your idea or product may not take, you may not be able to raise money or enough of it (or worse, you may run out). These things are ultimately out of your control and depend on the will of others. Giving up or not is a decision all your own. And there are many periods during a startup’s life when you’ll want to give up.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
Don’t abandon a model just because the first execution failed. In our case, this was our first attempt at monetization. We almost walked away from the model. But we succeeded with different/better execution. Have the perspective that allows you to see the difference between a failed model versus failed execution. Abandon a failed model. Learn from and improve upon failed execution.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
Read. Reading at the beginning of each day is the equivalent of putting gas in the car. The knowledge gained can inspire, teach, heighten awareness and generally stimulate action. And I enjoy it on a personal level. The tech industry and our software segment is completely fluid and shifting daily, so it’s important to stay up to date.
What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Critically evaluate every expense, even when the bank account is flush with available cash. More often than not, the thing you think the company needs now can wait. And when you hold out and stretch, you’ll have the available cash for when you really do need that thing.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Find a really good advisor who understands your space and ask him/her to evaluate your strategy and tactics (they don’t have to be a board member or even an investor). At worst, they will validate the path you’re on, giving you greater confidence to double down. At best, they will help you see what your proximity to the business doesn’t allow you to see. Often, only someone who isn’t living in the business every day can clearly see the decision you need to make or the path you need to be on.
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
When we have a repeatable and predictable model for acquiring new users and generating revenue. Selling or going public are the obvious choices I suppose, but I define startup success as the point in your company’s evolution when you can decide to raise more money or not for strategic or valuation purposes — not because you have to.