Earlier this month, Battery Ventures, together with 8200 EISP, Israel’s leading entrepreneurship accelerator program, hosted 140 entrepreneurs for a gathering in a Tel Aviv bar. At the event, Battery General Partner and former entrepreneur Itzik Parnafes led an interactive discussion with Eldad Farkash, co-founder and CTO of business-analytics company Sisense*, about the long and bumpy road to building a global business.
At the August event, Farkash recalled starting Sisense and the company’s ‘garage stage’ when he and his 4 co-founders sat in a one-room office busy writing code—and got their initial startup funding from Farkash’s dad.
Farkash also discussed what he might have done differently in starting Sisense 11 years ago. “Start speaking with your customers as soon as you start writing the first line of code,” he advised the audience of entrepreneurs. He also emphasized the importance of using customer feedback to achieve product-market fit. And “choose your ‘adopted parents (your investors) very wisely, as they are here to stay,” he added.
During the discussion, Battery’s Parnafes also shared some of the reasons he decided to invest in the Sisense team early on. Battery led the company’s Series B financing. Despite some initial differences with the founders over issues like product pricing, Parnafes and Farkash both agreed that the ‘zero friction, no frustration’ go-to-market strategy the company pursued from day one has been a key factor in the company’s success.
Farkash and Parnafes’ final answers, when asked about how to know if a new product or service idea is one that an entrepreneur should pursue, were simple: When you are solving a problem for a mass of users, you are on the right track. “Start working on your solution only after realizing you’re going to change the world, or at least a large enough portion of it,” said Parnafes. “If you find yourself telling the IT manager that she has a problem your product can solve that she didn’t know she had, that’s not a good sign!”
*For a full list of all Battery investments and exits, please click here.