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Yair Solow: I Think That What Makes Me Stand Out as an Entrepreneur Is a Combination of My Ability To Build Technology

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Yair Solow

Yair Solow of Centraleyes.

Tell us about yourself?

Before founding Centraleyes, I was a senior executive at Visa and led business activities in a number of European markets.

My passion has always been entrepreneurial. After helping spearhead the launch of Visa’s Innovation Hub in Israel in 2016, I saw an opportunity in the cyber risk and compliance space and decided to ‘disrupt’ the GRC market with a next-generation SaaS-based platform.

What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?

People think that it’s all about a great idea whereas it’s almost always about execution. There are millions of people with great ideas but far fewer who know how to build and operate a great company.

It starts with building amazing technology that actually works then it moves on to building a sales and marketing engine, all while hiring the right people and creating a culture and environment that is conducive to building and scaling a company in the tech space.

If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?

Do a lot more research and testing before building! Do not just go with your gut but rather try to find supporting facts without being scared to look the truth in the eye.

Very often entrepreneurs fall in love with their own ideas and aren’t listening to what the market is saying to them.

At the same time, I’d be more cautious to accept advice from others as well, especially from those who are not investing in my business, as they often don’t see the whole picture.

There needs to be a real balance between listening to external advice and trusting your own convictions.

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What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?

I think that what makes me stand out as an entrepreneur is a combination of my ability to build technology, to be part of the vision and execution team on the R&D side, while also being the person that can listen to the customer’s needs and sell.

I do all of that while simultaneously running and building the company: culture is at the epicenter of what we are building here. We don’t only hire talented people, we strive to hire kind and good people, and find that synergy to produce something great.

What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?

Prioritize your tasks and always make sure to have a healthy work-life balance. It doesn’t matter how hard you work – the work will never end. Schedule breaks and block hours for family time and make sure to stick to them unless it’s a true crisis that needs to be attended to.

You should try and make sure that tasks are completed. Very often in startups projects get started but fall short of completion when it comes to trying to win business, so it’s important to see things through to the end.

Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?

The company started from a true pain point I recognized in the market while talking to over 200 CISO’s and risk officers.

And that has truly set our path from day one: building a customer-centric automated risk management platform that helps eliminate a lot of manual tasks, problems and challenges that customers face.

We have a very unique and dedicated team who bring a variety of backgrounds and skill-sets to the table. Combining deep cyber expertise from the military with risk and compliance experts has led to a truly magical outcome.

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Where do you see your business in five years?

The threat landscape is growing rapidly, as is the sheer creativity of the attackers and instances of cyber attacks. The vast majority of organizations are deeply intertwined with their vendors and almost everything is operating online.

In parallel, cryptocurrency has delivered the perfect anonymous payment method for ransomware attacks.

When you put the pieces of the puzzle together it’s clear that the future of cyber risk is just going to grow exponentially, and Centraleyes has built the world’s most advanced and automated cyber risk management platform.

What we are already accomplishing today is completely disrupting the GRC space. This is why our customers, who range from mid to large enterprises, find our solution unique, taking only a fraction of the time to operationalize, yet delivering huge value.

For me though, the most exciting thing is knowing what is coming. The new features and solutions we are building will empower our customers to achieve increased security and a higher level of compliance without increasing headcount and resources.

What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?

Adapting and adjusting to unexpected world events. In the last couple of years we’ve seen how the pandemic forced everybody to re-assess and recalculate their route.

Now the war in Ukraine created a new geo-political situation and we are yet to see the full effect of it on our industry and life. Companies that will not adapt and change accordingly might not be relevant the day after.

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Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?

Seeing the product purchased by tens of enterprise customers in my first year of sales was truly amazing. Seeing some of the largest brands in the world adopt it is simply mind-blowing! We truly created this company from a vision that we simply never gave up on.

How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?

Our website and social media pages generate a steady amount of organic traffic. Especially our blog- which has accumulated many loyal followers. We worked very hard to build it and continuously put out strong relevant pieces.

I think I’m a pretty good salesperson but the truth is that the better the product is and the more it exceeds the customer’s expectations while remediating the pain points – the easier it is to sell it.

This is feedback we get from our clients everyday and this is exactly what the Centraleyes platform aims to do.

What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?

Don’t fall in love with your own product, and always test it against reality. Pivoting and rethinking during the process is not only a good idea but crucial to success.

And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?

I hope that with the help of Centraleyes and the raising awareness around cyber risk management, the future will bring a safer, more secure world, where people can leverage modern technology without the fear of compromising their most personal and valuable assets.

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