Founders Column - Moran Price, IRP Systems
Every week we send the same list of questions to a different founder from companies of all sizes. Each week we get new answers, insights, perspectives, and tips on how we all can shine a bit brighter. This week we spoke to Moran Price, CEO & Founder of IRP Systems.
About the company: IRP is driving e-mobility forward and proud to be part of the electrification revolution that is changing the transportation world and helping us all to breathe cleaner air. The company is developing high-performance and affordable electric powertrain systems for a variety of electric vehicles. IRP has 35 people, most interdisciplinary engineers, and they just closed $17M in series B funding, bringing its total funding to $26M.
Moran lives in Ness Ziona, Israel and enjoys music, art, ski, hiking, hosting family and friends, and traveling to interesting places.
1. What is a daily habit you love doing?
I love watching the sunset from my balcony. Now that the sunset in Israel is almost at 20:00, I manage to watch it almost on a daily basis. Those few minutes of shift from day to night emphasize the essence of time and of constant change, but also help me to slow down and reflect for a moment.
2. What piece of advice would you give yourself when you started? What advice would you ignore?
Always listen to your instincts and don’t try to satisfy anyone. It’s important to listen to other opinions but eventually, only you know what’s right for you.
When I did my MBA we were taught to diversify risk. I think that as an entrepreneur, you cannot diversify too much — in order to succeed you have to invest all your energy and resources in one coherent path because this is the only way to turn it into something huge.
3. What piece of content (book/podcast/Ted Talk) is your favorite or has influenced your life?
I am very much inspired by people who managed to reach great achievements although they faced limiting conditions and an unsupportive environment. “Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly tells the story of 3 “computers” (back when computers were actually human) that were working at NASA in the ’60s and had a key role in the first space missions. As black ladies, they had to fight for the very basic rights that we now take for granted and yet managed to push the boundaries of technology and to solve complex problems that no one has solved before them.
4. What is the most valuable investment (time, money or energy etc.) that you’ve ever made?
Every hour I spend with my family and friends, and most of all with my kids is valuable and recharging. At work, the most rewarding investment is in young team members that grow into great experts, managers, and leaders.
5. Is there a quote, mantra or message you live your life by and that you resonate with? It can be someone else’s as well.
There is a quote by Shimon Peres that I really like — “People who have no fantasies, do not make fantastic things”. Innovation is born from those strange ideas that everyone thinks wouldn’t work.
6. What helps you stay motivated on good and hard days?
First, we are doing something meaningful in order to protect the environment and to keep this planet sustainable for the next generations. This mega task is always driving me forward.
Second, we are a part of an amazing and quickly evolving electrification ecosystem. This ecosystem consists of enthusiastic people from huge corporations, small startups and research institutes around the world, all working hard to shift the world of transportation and mobility to clean energy solutions, and this common goal is a huge driving force.
7. What are you passionate about other than managing your own company?
I’m passionate about art, and especially the impressionists who changed the history of modern art. I’m also very interested in education and society and meeting people from different cultures and find the common denominator as human beings.
I am also passionate about wine, as it takes patience, knowledge, accuracy, and luck, to reach the perfect result, and the most ancient ingredients of the world — sun, water, and soil — are reflected in the end product.
*See Avi Eyal, Founder of Entrée Capital’s answers and how he enjoys his passion for art.
8. What have you recently thrown away or released from your life that made a positive impact and why?
In recent months we were all forced to give away many habits and to get used to a different reality. I was forced — like everyone else — to reduce consumption and to reduce travel. I learned to manage with less, to improvise, to find the positive aspects of staying in one place, and not to take anything for granted.
9. Share a failure you have experienced and what you learned from it.
There were certain market segments that first looked very appealing but turned out to be unsustainable or not ready for adopting new technologies. Luckily those lessons were short, but I learned that before we engage our resources and adjust plans we must validate the market need and market fit. I also learned that validation can be achieved only by ongoing interaction with the market, because in reality, the customer needs may be very different from the ones you would think of as a solution provider.
10. If you could have anyone in the world answer these questions who would it be and why?
Angela Merkel — one of the most influential and inspirational leaders in the world, who manages to keep humble and human. I would be happy to learn what drives her to face the huge challenges she has taken upon herself.