In this episode of the How To CEO podcast, I had a chance to catch up with Uri Haramati. Uri is a seasoned product manager with over a decade of business knowledge and experience in diverse capacities. Here is a new venture with a serial entrepreneur.
A serial entrepreneur, Uri founded Life on Air – the company behind Meerkat and Houseparty. He has been working on a new venture: Torii. Torii’s mission is to help modern IT drive their business forward by making the best use of SaaS.
The Importance of a Great Team
Uri has been the co-founder of several companies, meaning he’s already experienced the pains and challenges of the founder’s journey. So I asked him what inspired him to become a founder/CEO yet again.
“Yes, I’ve seen the pains and the rollercoaster,” Uri told me. “But then I had an idea: There should be software to manage all SaaS software, and I just wanted to make it happen and build it. He told me he was blessed with two highly talented co-founders who helped him build Torii. Their help has taken enough of the load off Uri to fill the responsibilities of CEO.
Prepare for “Chicken and Egg” Rejections
I asked Uri about the type of personality someone needs to become a great CEO. He told me that you need to have thick skin. The journey is full of surprises and full of rejection. The rejection can stem from people you hire, from customers, from investors, and other places.
Thick skin is needed for “chicken and egg” problems that are always present in the startup life. For example, “why would a first customer join you when you have no other customers?”, Uri explained. “Why would a first employee join you when you have nothing? Why would anyone invest when no one has invested in your company before?”
Founders face such issues every day as they’re trying to build and grow. So it’s important to be passionate for your product and for solving problems and dilemmas.
A Whole New Category
I asked Uri how exactly he’s solving the problem of managing multiple SaaS tools. To give me some background, he told me that this field is a new category, and his product solves a pain point that companies didn’t experience just a few years ago. So it’s a challenge for Uri and his team because he has to do a great job of educating the market.
Uri and his team built Torii to automatically map all SaaS apps that a company is using. It lets you see exactly which SaaS apps are being used within your company, tells you who’s using those apps, and lets you track spending for all the apps. Then, users can take advantage of Torii’s layer of insights, action items, and automated workflows.
Sometimes, Needs Outweigh “Sexiness”
I asked Uri about his motivation for choosing SaaS tool management as his current venture. After all, this field is not “sexy,” especially compared to the excitement of his last companies, Meerkat and Houseparty.
He told me it’s very true that this isn’t an exciting field, and it’s even an area that’s not well understood by everyone yet. But he saw that SaaS management is a real problem that many companies face, and his solution is necessary even though it’s not full of excitement and hype.
Uri talked to me about many other things, including the reasons he moved to New York rather than Silicone Valley, the journey of his funding success, CEOs who inspire him, and more. Be sure to listen to the entire episode to catch all of Uri’s insight.
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