Nir Dvash – CEO and Founder of Verbal Machines

There is no boundary for the things you can do on your own.”

Nir Dvash is the CEO and founder of Verbal Machines LTD, an electronics development studio specializing in embedded voice recognition solutions for the consumer market. Founded in 2007, Verbal Machines develops successful voice recognition products such as the Vocally voice dialer and others. The company also serves as a hub for inventors helping them to bring their ideas to life. Nir is an inventor by heart, an entrepreneur and an “outside of the box” thinker.

Where did the idea for Verbal Machines LTD come from?

Ever since I was a small boy I loved messing around with electronics, and specifically toys that can speak. One of them was the Speak & Spell from Texas Instruments. I loved the idea that a machine could talk! Many years later I founded Verbal Machines, still holding that same fascination!

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Every day I look at the world around me and try to come up with new ideas to improve and change it. Most ideas will end up as just ideas, some will get built up to become prototypes and yes, from time to time, one of these ideas will mature into a real life product other people can buy and use. I try to stay focused on my goal of not accepting things as they are now and remembering what my late mother always said – “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”

How do you bring ideas to life?

Every idea is first tossed around in my head for a couple of days. Then, when ready, I talk about it with the people I trust and hear their opinion. If they all say it’s no good, I let it go. If they all like it, I move forward to carefully detailing the idea and if not too complicated, I usually will go ahead and build myself a prototype to test it out. Then, it is a matter of finding the right partner to produce and sell the product.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I would say that it’s AI (Artificial Intelligence). I think that we are getting closer to a time where a machine could become your best friend, one that helps you when in need and that you can talk with, really talk. At one point, you may not know anymore if it is a real person or a machine (AKA Turing test)

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

When I set myself to achieve a certain goal, I will not stop. I keep pushing and pushing, myself and others involved, till that target is reached.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Always, Always follow your heart.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?

When a problem can not be solved, it is always better to take a step back, change your point of view and even forget about it for a while. The solution will arrive from a different direction.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Never let go. On every project there is a breaking point where you think you should stop. Don’t.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

There is no boundary for the things you can do on your own. You should not be afraid from reaching out to people and having them hear you out. You will fail most of the time but there is also a possibility of that break you were looking for. Be true, be nice, and most people will at least hear you out.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I had many. Most of them are about ideas I did not have the time to develop into products and seeing someone else bring them to the market. Today I’m more efficient with my time.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Creating a website like Airbnb but for errands. If I got something I need to move somewhere and you’re heading that direction anyway, why not deliver it for me?

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

A bit more than a $100, while in Italy last year I took a Lamborghini for a 20 minutes drive. Best spending I ever did!

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

Google. I search for things 😉

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I, Robot by Asimov. I think reading it can spark creativity.

What is your favorite quote?

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”

Key learnings:

  • When you set your mind on a goal, never give up.
  • Listen to your mother’s advice.
  • If a problem can not be solved, take a step back, change your point of view and return the next day.
  • Drive a Lamborghini at least one time in your life.

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