Tomer Bar-Zeev, Co-founder & CEO at ironSource

Age: 44

Lives in: Tel Mond (Israel)

Significant others: Married + 2

Company’s main offices:
HQ in Tel Aviv, with offices in San Francisco, New York, London, Beijing and Shanghai.

What does your company do and why is it unique?
ironSource solves the app discovery challenge, helping connect users with the apps they want and need. With millions of apps already available, and thousands more being added to stores every day, making sure the right app ends up in front of the right user at exactly the right moment is a huge challenge. We’re in a unique position to solve this problem because of the deep understanding we have developed of how users interact with apps – an understanding which is powered by a huge amount of data. We see almost a billion users at multiple engagement touch points every month, which allows us to build a very well-rounded picture of how people engage with digital content.

What are you most proud of in your company?
The people.
From the start, ironSource has been a company that operates in a “bottom-up” way, and we’ve worked very hard to ensure it stays that way. ironSource employees tend to be self-starters, comfortable with taking initiative and looking for personal ownership and accountability in everything they do. This means that the company has often evolved in surprising and unexpected ways, but we’ve found that if you give talented people the leeway and resources to realize their vision, everyone benefits. Much more than any given innovative technology, impressive product, or sales deal, I’m most proud of the group of incredibly talented people we’ve gathered here.

Who inspires you/who do you admire and why?
My co-founders.
I am lucky to have more co-founders than most, and I constantly find reasons to be inspired by them. While we all share the same underlying DNA and believe in the same vision (which is critical to successfully bringing on so many co-founders), we have radically different interests, talents and ways of doing things, which makes for a very interesting work environment.

Tomer with some of his ironSource co-foundersTomer with some of his ironSource co-founders: Omer Kaplan (ironSource CMO and Co-Founder), Arik Czerniak (Supersonic COO and Co-Founder) and Tamir Carmi (ironSource COO and Co-Founder) (click to enlarge)

Which other companies do you admire?
>WeChat – for using communication as a base for building a much larger business. WeChat understood that as people, we’re built to communicate, and that communication forms the basis of every other interaction or action we make. As a result, they successfully built an entire ecosystem of services around their communication product, which goes far beyond communication itself.

Amazon – for their diversity, efficiency and perfection. The company started with one vertical and just kept going. It’s amazing to think that Amazon started as an eCommerce company and now offers one of the leading cloud platforms out there. Those two businesses have little to do with one another on the surface. I think the reason they are so successful is because everything they do is perfectly executed. If you operate in a tough business with small margins, you need to perfect your offering to secure your position, and Amazon have done an excellent job of that across verticals.

What do you do for fun?
I love to surf. I used to skydive, but ever since having my second daughter, I’ve been afraid of taking unnecessary risks.

iPhone or Android? Both!

Favorite Food: I love all food, but I have an especially soft spot for really good (thin crust) pizza.

Favorite TV Shows: Currently – The Good Wife.

Favorite technological gadgets/apps right now:
DJI Drone
Kindle Fire (I have an iPad but I don’t touch it)

Favorite go-to websites/blogs for news on your industry/technology:
Techcrunch, The Wall Street Journal, Geektime, and all the Israeli papers.

The best business advice you ever received:
“Listen to your intuition.”

What do you think would really surprise people to learn about you?
I lived in Peru for 9 years and speak fluent Spanish.

Tomer Bar-Zeev on what he's most proud of at ironSource