Jonathan Langer didn’t launch his first startup until he was 31 years old, but that hasn’t stopped him from quickly growing this important business into a global company just as it has become more important than ever.
During our interview on the DealMakers podcast, Langer shared how his early work experience prepared him for entrepreneurship, why he took the leap, the art of fundraising in our post-COVID world, the future of healthcare, and the critical elements of a successful startup.
Being Raised In Startup Nation
Jonathan grew up in Israel, the ‘Startup Nation’.
He recalls it as a fantastic upbringing, with plenty of sun and good vibes. His father was also a tech entrepreneur. So, from just six years old his vocabulary and surroundings filled with talk about fundraising and closing deals.
He saw the wins and the struggles. He saw his father have to try and try again to succeed, and learned the value of persistence.
Israel has mandatory military service. He joined at 18, and spent the next 13 years in the service.
In addition to his work which was mostly focused on large scale cybersecurity and tech projects, he also spent this time studying law. An asset which he says provided balance and a different perspective on business and ways of thinking.
On the show he listed four of his big takeaways which he has found equipped him for his future in startups.
1) A Culture Of Excellence
If you are dealing with military tech or executing on building an important new product, especially in cybersecurity or healthcare, you’ve got to strive for excellence.
There may be a lot of charging into the fray in a startup, and you must be able to adapt on the fly, but you can’t just wing everything without any plan. Strategy ultimately wins the fight.
3) Technical Execution
Strategy and execution go hand in hand. You have to be able to execute on the strategy and tactics well. Ideas won’t amount to anything until you put them into play and take action.
4) Dealing With Uncertainty
You aren’t going to enjoy being an entrepreneur much if you can’t learn to operate among uncertainty. Yet, just as with any military operation, you also want to keep reducing that uncertainty as much as possible. Jonathan says he exercises this with his team by regularly reevaluating the situation, assessing the market, sales and competition. It’s just like reconnaissance, collecting intel and then adapting to the new data.
Finding Something Meaningful To Do
When he was finally discharged from the army Langer’s biggest challenge was how to find something to do that could possibly compete with the personal fulfillment and excitement of those years.
The one thing that stuck out was launching a startup. So, he thought, why not just try it?
Some of his friends were also leaving the military at the same time. They started getting together and talking about what they could take on.
They knew cybersecurity, but also knew there were a lot of other companies trying to work that overall market. Even just from Israel. They wanted to be unique. For them, this meant specializing in something specific.
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