Founders Column — Shimon Elkabetz, Climacell

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 Shimon Elkabetz, CEO & Co-Founder, Climacell.

1. What is a daily habit you love doing?

I love reading global news, usually through Twitter. I’m very focused on sport but I also enjoy reading about politics and economics, I love it. I care a lot about the countries I live in so I constantly keep myself posted.

2. What piece of advice would you give yourself when you started? What advice would you ignore?

A piece of advice I would give myself is hire for attitude, and not for skills. In the beginning, I used to focus too much on a person’s skills when hiring, but how people approach things can be so much more important.

3. What piece of content (book/podcast/Ted Talk) is your favorite or has influenced your life?

The Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz is definitely a classic and probably the best book I have read. I also recommend Venture Deals by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson for any founder.

4. What is the most valuable investment (time, money or energy etc.) that you’ve ever made?

Doing my Harvard MBA. Coming out of the military to the civilian world, coming from Israel to the US, understanding the culture… This experience really changed my mindset and also gave me the opportunity to meet great people, which I would never have met otherwise. It’s probably the best investment of time and money I have ever made, and not because of what I practically learned there.

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.

Putting things in perspective and understanding what matters in life is something I constantly try to remind myself of. Most of my military career I dealt with life and death situations. It really helped me gain perspective when I made the transition to business, because you understand that eventually it all comes down to making impact and money, and some things matter much more than that.

6. What helps you stay motivated on good and hard days?

Commitment to my employees. My number one goal is that everyone who is dedicated to ClimaCell sees their time here as a positive experience. So even if I’m having a bad day, my commitment to the employees and to the people who invested in the company is what keeps me moving forward.

7. What are you passionate about other than managing your own company?

I’m passionate about sports and soccer specifically (Go Maccabi Haifa!). I’m a huge soccer geek.

8. What have you recently thrown away or released from your life that made a positive impact and why?

Commuting to work. I didn’t really get to see my kids in the last four years, and now I get to work from home and spend time with them, and it’s amazing. Obviously I miss other parts, like seeing my team face to face on a daily basis and the camaraderie in the office, but I gain family time.

9. Share a failure you have experienced and what you learned from it.

My first managerial experiences were unsuccessful because I wasn’t focused enough on what really matters. I wasn’t connected enough to the vision of the organization and didn’t communicate its messaging correctly.

10. If you could have anyone in the world answer these questions who would it be and why?

Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam. I love the guy, he is literally an idol of mine, but could never really tell if he’s just a great artist, or also an interesting character.



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Startup for Startup by is a platform for sharing knowledge, experience and insights from one startup to another