Shmulik Weller, Co-founder & CEO at SundaySky

Age: 47

Lives in: Tel Aviv

Significant others: Married + 4

Company Headquarters: Our main offices are in New York and Tel Aviv and we also have presence in London and Tokyo.

Shmulik Weller, Co-founder & CEO at SundaySky
Shmulik Weller, Co-founder & CEO at SundaySky

What does your company do and why is it unique?
SundaySky invented a new type of media that we call SmartVideo. We all know that video is the most appealing media and the best storytelling tool, but SmartVideo takes it to the next level by turning video into a scalable, dynamic and most importantly – personalized media. SmartVideo disrupts the world of engagement with customers and prospects, and opens up a new set of opportunities for marketers. Our customers use SmartVideo to interact with their customers and prospects at every touch point throughout their lifecycle, and their customers (the viewers) LOVE to be engaged via SmartVideo.

What’s unique about SundaySky is that it operates in the cutting edge intersection between creative and technology. Every day we learn new insights  on SmartVideo which is genuinely exciting and fascinating.

What are you most proud of in your company?
The people and the culture, and the fact that we already have 2 couples who met here and then got married. Two and counting…

Who inspires you/who do you admire – and why?

Socrates. His questioning technique is inspiring to me, as is his mantra that “he knows that he doesn’t know”. Socrates would always say that although he was considered to be “the smartest person”, he didn’t actually feel that way. So he thought about it and realized that he is “smart” because he knows that he doesn’t know (אני יודע שאני לא יודע), meaning that he knows that he doesn’t have the answers to everything and even when he thinks he does, he could be wrong. When he’d meet people who were sure they have the answers, Socrates would take them through a process where he’d ask them a lot of questions until they basically realized that they don’t really know what they were sure they knew.

George Harrison. I watched a TV show in 1987 about 20 years since Sgt. Pepper’s. In it, a few thought leaders from the 60’s were interviewed and at the end were asked an identical question: “Is love all we need?”. Most of them replied that we need more than just love and that when you are rich and famous (like the Beatles were at the time) it is easy to say that. The only one who replied differently was George Harrison. He said, “Absolutely. I believed it then, I believe it now and I’ll believe it till the day I’ll die”.  Almost 30 years went by since and his answer still moves me.

Which other companies do you admire and why?
Salesforce. They virtually invented SaaS and cloud technology and were completely disruptive to the software world, taking it into a new era and paving the way for others.
Criteo. Although it’s a one trick pony, they do it best. A non-US company which is able to sustain its position as the biggest shark in a very red ocean.
Adobe. They are the only ones who were able to demonstrate sustainable success in a very challenging world of tools and become the defacto standard. Plus they have reinvented themselves with the marketing cloud.

What do you do for fun? Spend time with my kids. I know it’s a cliché but what can I do, it’s the truth!

iPhone or Android? Android (for now)

Favorite Food: I like falafel, vegetarian sushi and all types of chocolate.

Favorite TV show: “That 70’s show” (I know, I know, I like stupid comedy sitcoms). I also watch a lot of sports events on TV.

Favorite technological gadgets/apps right now:

Favorite go-to websites/blogs for news on your industry/technology
Ben Horowitz’s blog

The best business advice you ever received: Don’t quit.

What do you think would really surprise people to learn about you?
I play in an amateur rock band
I really like zombie movies
I have cockroach phobia (a very severe one)
I spent 7 days in military prison
Hi-tech was always a temporary thing for me (what I always really wanted to do is to be a wild animals researcher)

SundaySky - SmartVideo