About Me (The Long Version)
The early years
I was born in 1980 and was raised as an only child. No wonder that growing up I thought the moon, stars and planets hover around me in constant movement. I could probably even convince Copernicus he had some wrong ideas.
School was pretty uneventful. I started programming in BASIC on my parents' knockoff Commodore 64. We had a huge Basic programming manual in English, which I couldn't read, so I just typed away commands and saw what happened on the screen. For all events and purposes, I was a script baby.
There was one thing I found out very early. I already saw that something is wrong with typing 'GOTO' and that it's not going to take me very far. I had not idea what procedural thinking was but I despised the way BASIC worked back then.
Enter 3rd grade. I got my first IBM XT computer. That's when I insisted to go to programming school and a few weeks later, I managed to make a sad looking turtle draw fractals on a monochromatic greenish screen. I cut my time spent on King's Quest to 70% to make text based choose your own adventure games in writing and in code.
Being quite the geek, I also discovered science fiction and fantasy books in the early years of elementary school. I read the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, some basic Asimov and Heinlein and one too many World War 2 novels. I also discovered D&D, taught my entire class how to play and opened a small fantasy club at the local community center. This was probably my first venture business, but despite its success, it wasn't very profitable.
Highschool was mostly about writing stuff. I wrote and edited the school newspaper, I wrote fan fiction for books that I read and I distributed a self created fanzine called Rave in local record shops.
Not having access to the Internet I found out about Bulletin Board Systems. An active user for a while, but then, a happy BBS operator. I used a program called PCBoard to open Radio GA GA BBS which was kind of a hit back in the day. The song did well too. I forced my parents to put on a second phone-line at home, and years after I shut Radio Ga Ga off, the phone kept ringing in the middle of the night, waking us up, and making someone who really wanted some Warez really disappointed.
First access to what we currently call the internet - I was 14 and went with a friend to my mom's university to access the internet from their computer room. We used Netscape and the best designed website we found was made by a boxer's brand called JoeBoxer. We read about it on Wired magazine.
That's also about the time I built my first website. It was on Geocities, it had a blue spinning genie, and it had a major impact on the rest of my career.
The early years
I wasn't sure if my future was about being a smart ass philosopher or a smart ass journalist. It wasn't about being a smart ass programmer, that's for sure.
The cards played in a way that I did a little bit of both for a while. I took Philosophy and Political Science at the University, and did my Masters in Digital Philosophy. I actually wrote my mini-thesis about the ethics in Google's advertising algorithm.
In parallel, I was working for Haaretz daily newspaper as a technology correspondent. Some highlights of the job included writing about flying cars and people who created million dollar homepages. Both creators were a bit weird, but so is this guy.
Another fun gig I had in my early 20s was writing travel guides. One book that I successfully published (and actually sold a few 10Ks of copies was Provence & Cote d'azur about France's beautiful riviera. I can probably say it was the worst money I made in my life, but I had a lot of fun and actually got quite a few thank yous for sending people to have a great time in southern France.
Those were the early day of an internet phenomenon dubbed web 2.0 by insiders, or just the birth of user generated content platforms like del.icio.us, Flickr and others. Techcrunch just launched what became the number 1 tech blog of those days, and I launched my own technology blog, which I kept running for a few years. I also ran a niche website about coffee, a blog about Paris and a food journal.
I was part of an elite team that launched Google's operations in Israel. While focused on bringing advertising money, we did a little bit of everything at the time: launching Google's products, marketing, liaising with the community and whatnot. Completely regardless of what I was hired to do, I helped launch AdSense in Israel, wrote the initial bad-words list that Google flagged on search and convinced our executives that bringing spoon bending Uri Geller to a client event was actually a good idea. It wasn't.
I did different jobs for Google but mainly I was working with startups helping them navigate in Google's products ecosystem and pour money inside the machine. I analyzed their business, consulted, went deep in and was probably directly accountable for the boom of internet companies putting huge money on advertising in the first decade of the millennium.
Funny thing about not working for Google. You pay for your coffee. That's the first thing one notices when leaving well cushioned corporate life to build a business. But also, no corporate mumbo jumbo, no meetings about meetings, no endless discussion about work-life balance that crashed my work life balance, and the feeling of being accountable for my own successes.
I built a successful media business helping software companies effectively distribute their software and ran some successful marketing operations for more than 8 years.
In 2019, I launched HUMANS, the biggest repository of personal websites in the world. It is used by thousands of professionals and internet creators looking for inspiration to create their personal home on the web.