Authentic Achievements Episode 4 With Special Guest Asaf Nevo
From Bestselling author, currently writing the forthcoming book Authentic Achievements – The 7 Secrets to Building Brave Belief, Unstoppable Sales, and Turning Your Leaders Into Talent Magnets for Guaranteed Sustainable Growth, this show shares advice, stories and inspiration to help you achieve exponential growth personally and for your business. Featuring interviews with industry leaders and a separate series on #confidencehacker to help you build authentic confidence.
In this episode, I am delighted to be joined by Asaf Nevo CEO & co-founder of Pico – Get personal, data-driven SaaS marketing platform helping brands across the globe identify and engage their digital audience. After opening and operating a successful night-life company where he found interesting ways to intersect tech into the night-life space, Nevo decided to focus on tech full time which is when Pico was developed and launched. Nevo and his team of founders are revolutionizing consumer-marketing and in turn, consumer experiences. With 80+ international clients, Pico is leading the industry shift in consumer marketing, data management, and creating opportunities for personalized experiences that strengthen and encourage relationships. To find out more on how your brand can collect first party data visit their website: https://www.picogp.com/contact-us/
If you want to find out more check us out at www.kimadelerandall.com or www.authenticachievements.co.uk
Authentic Achievements – With Special Guest Asaf Nevo
Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of authentic achievements. And it’s my absolute pleasure to be joined today by as Asaf Nevo, who is the CEO and co-founder of Pico, which is about getting personal data-driven SAS marketing platform, helping brands across the globe to identify and engage with their digital audience, which now is so important. What’s fascinating is that you’ve got into this having opened and operated a successful nightlife company, where you were able to actually find interesting ways to intersect tech into the nightlife space, which has got to be in of itself. And then you decided to focus on tech full-time, which is where Pico was developed and launched. And now alongside your team of founders, you’re revolutionizing the consumer marketing and in turn consumer experiences with over 80 plus international clients, worldwide Pico is really leading the industry shift in consumer marketing data management. But the bit I love it’s about creating opportunities for personalized experience that strengthen and encourage relationships because relationships are what we’re all about. Aren’t they is what drives us as human beings and also drives our business. So as a thank you so, so much for joining us, I’ve got so many questions, but I’m going to start with, can you tell me a bit about your journey? I’m fascinated to hear about how you moved from nightlife in, into technology. That’s got to show real innovation of spirit.
Yeah. So first Hi Kim and thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure. I’m really humbled to hear everything you have to say about what we’ve built. So now so far, so I’m blushing, blushing a bit. It’s a, it’s a very, I can try and make it short. It’s a pretty long answer because I’m, I’m now 37 and 38, almost still. I’m still saying 37, but then all 38. And I’ve been doing entrepreneurship pretty much when, when I was 15. So it’s, I think part of my nature to build, as, as I’m growing up, I’m realizing this probably at the very core, I’m a builder. I like to see problems and solve the problems and then sometimes get my hands dirty about solving and building the solution. So if I’m trying to kind of like oversee the entire journey of the things I’ve went through in the last, I dunno, 20 years when 15 of them are really my professional career, then I’ve always been building. I always been solving problems. It was different problems every time. But in my mind, it’s all part of the same growth journey of getting to bigger and bigger and climbing up the letter.
Guess it’s having that, like you say something that focused on a solution, isn’t it saying? You know, w what is it that where that people are trying to achieve, whether that’s a need that they’ve got, or a want that they’ve got, because sometimes it’s not what they need. They just really want something like, I really want a night out versus I desperately need one, but I guess you’re trying to find that solution to create that experience for them to meet those wants and needs.
That’s I would say that’s, that’s true more on the later years they grow up. I think at the beginning, it was what I need and what I wanted. And when I got to say, it sounds very self-centric, but when I got into the, into the nightlife business, it wasn’t because I have had, because I had a very specific dining idea that they wanted to make it happen. It was more, I was working in this industry for a while. I saw a different type of thing that I like more and different types of things I like less. And they had this vision in mind of how cool would it be to run a business that works flawlessly without all the things that I don’t like, where I’m coming from in Israel, at least back in the days, we were talking about 2007, I want to say 2005, 2007, the nightlife business was, or the dining business had a very like bad reputation.
Like I remember that when I was trying to rent an apartment, people didn’t want to rent it to me because my job was to own the bar. Although the vowel was not a one was not a shady place and it was a hundred percent legit. I came to it with a state of mind that I really want to be able to create something with a good reputation to make sure all employees get the right payments that you have all the approvals you need. You don’t, you know, you do everything you need to do in terms of IRS and Texas and all that to make it really clean. So, so the initial, the initial incentive, the, the, the, my, my passion was about proving myself that this could be made. I was less focused, honestly, on the experience and the solution, like you mentioned, as much as I was focused on proving that this is possible, because I was seeing so many failures that they wanted to show that they can actually make it right. You know, in another way,
I lived that, but I guess to an extent, there was an element of solving the misconception that it couldn’t be done. That, that actually the only way you could do it with the vulnerable way, sounds like was perhaps a bit more prevalent in the industry when you opted out, but say, it’s gotta be a better way. There’s gotta be a different way that this can be done and done well, and that we can change the reputation of the industry and therefore make it easier for the people that work in that industry to have a better reputation by default, because it sounds like possibly working in industry impacted people’s reputations when they were trying to rent places like you did, because the industry was tarnished by default, almost the people in it became tarnish. Would that be fair?
Yeah, I agree. There is obviously a solution component for that. And yeah, it was focused on trying to make, I wouldn’t say this way. It wasn’t, my, my goal was not to change the world of the industry, but they wanted to prove myself. And then to the industry that, that this could be done different. And I remember for a long time, people from the industry told me I was, I was like 23 back then. They told me you’re a really cute kid, but it just cannot be done. Like, like there’s a reason why, and that, and that’s, that’s a lot of the time we were thinking about the state of mind and how important it is, the way you were thinking about things. And the one thing people are always saying, mostly people who haven’t done things in their lives. I’m not saying it’s great, but people who didn’t build anything on their own, they’re saying, if something is working the way it’s working, there’s probably a good reason for that.
And as you grow up and as you’re getting gaining experience in building and disrupting things, you realize that sometimes things are just broken because they were broken. Not because that’s the way it’s supposed to be. And if you have enough courage or it’s even not courage enough, have enough passion to try and get your hands dirty and see if this is, if this is really have to work that way, or this is just how people used to acting, then, then you usually found like amazing things and amazing opportunities, understanding how much market failures you see on the way and how better you can actually make it on your own. So
I love that. It reminds me of it. Yeah. I made my career, asked him what I used to call the dim girl questions. So going into organizations again, w why, why did we do it like that? Because we found the biggest change. People were doing it like that. Cause it had always been done like that. Not, and therefore they’d stopped questioning it. And it reminded me of a quote from Einstein that was, I’m not particularly intelligent, I’m just passionately curious. So wanting to kind of dig in and go really, is there lots of other ways, is there, is there not a way we could change that? If it isn’t something that we enjoy, we like, or we think adds any value and it sounds like you’ve, you’ve really,, summized that kind of thinking that mindset in how you’ve, how you’ve approached your entrepreneurial journey. So what would you say has been your proudest achievements so far?
Wow. There’s many things I’m proud of. I’m not always that good at like celebrating successes. So I’m not always good at putting the spotlight on, Hey, look at this. This is amazing. I’m more always running fast forward. I think when I remember one very proud moment at the bar, and we were talking a lot about the bar, because it’s a, it’s a big, the big fundamental of what builds me as an entrepreneur. It’s been struggle. It’s been a big struggle for a couple of years until we got to a place and it’s profitable and it’s something we can actually make a living out of. I remember this night, it was Friday in Israel. Friday’s like, how do they at the rest of the world, we don’t work with those work. So it was Friday night and the place was packed. It was packed. There was people standing in line.
We had a very big staff running around serving food and alcohol. And I remember lifting my heads up, seeing that and telling myself like, yeah, okay, we got, we got there. We were working very hard to get to a place when it’s packed. Now what it’s back now, what’s the next game is what’s what’s our next play. But I remember this moment is something that I was dreaming about for a long time. And in my entrepreneurial journey, things are usually didn’t just happen to me. Like everything was part of a very hard work. Again, as I’m growing up, I’m hearing that this is the case for everybody. Some people like to show that it is, it was very easy. Most people struggle until they get to the right solution. And when I got there, I was very proud. I think the other moment is, is here at Pico.
I think the first, let’s say a couple of very big clients. We closed some very, very big brands and supports us in a very delicate situation of, of managing their communication and data about their audiences. That was also a very proud moment. There’s this, you call it coin drop, like you drop the coin and you realize that, Hey, I’m working with this unbelievably great enterprise, which I was looking up to for so long. And now it’s here and now I have close relationship with these people and they trust me and I trust them. And there’s, there’s a, there’s a thing going on here. Every time I have this wow moment. This is where I’m very proud.
I love it. And some great things to be proud of. I mean, if you think about the, you know, the first one, when you got your business to be full and brimming, not only had you achieved that goal, but it must’ve been proud to look around and realize that you were providing work and supporting so many other people in their careers as well. And now when you think about what you’re doing with Pika and people are trusting, big brands are trusting you with some of their most valuable assets, their client’s data. And we know that that’s one of the things that we hold so precious, isn’t it, it’s, people’s personal data. So that must also be a really proud moment. And those elements where I think you’ve, you’ve visualized and you’ve dreamt about what you want to achieve. And then you suddenly see it in your reality as where you almost need to pinch yourself.
Isn’t it, it’s almost this like, this really is this really happening to me and you’re so right. You know, we, we, I think particularly in today’s society, we sometimes downplay the struggle. The fact that actually success doesn’t come overnight, even if it appears to, it comes at the end of learning and trying and being resilient and getting back up every time you get knocked down and go, well, hold on, now, I’m still passionate about what I’m trying to achieve. So even if this way didn’t work, I want to keep going, because I still believe in the goal. I still believe in what I’m trying to achieve. And I mean, for, for decades, we can find examples of that, but it’s lovely to see that still going on in today’s society where people are going, yeah, no, it’s not been that easy, but you know what? You can still get there. You can still do that. And, and that resilience must be something that you’re equally proud of to be able to see that you’ve survived a hundred percent of the challenges life’s thrown at you and you’re still going strong.
I absolutely agree. And I, and I couldn’t agree more about the society aspect of thing. And I think, and I’m always thinking about that, thinking about my kids and the way they’re going to grow up. And I think that at the end of the day, life is challenging as, as, as a, as a journey, it’s a challenging journey. It’s not a bad thing. I’m not saying I’m not, I’m very optimistic and I’m not trying to make anybody down or something, but life’s life is challenging. And, and the way maybe the society works in terms of school, and then in Israel, we have army. But after that, you have university and, and all that kind of like try to, to draw a path to success. And this path to success also creates like a real, I forgot the word. Like, it’s great. You like attention of how it’s gonna look like maybe a misrepresentation of what success looks like.
And sometimes things that if you, if you go through the entire steps of the process, there is a shining gold waiting for you at the end. And it’s not always the case. And as I’m growing and then getting, and I’m getting not older, but then growing up and I’m, and I’m seeing my friends around me and everybody getting up, I see many cases of people around me that suddenly around their forties, understand that what they have been promised is not necessarily what’s going to happen. And there, there is a big aspect, depending on what they are going to, how they’re going to navigate their life and not necessarily how the path has been leading them through. Like, there is a big aspect of what do you take out of this whole process? So, absolutely. I think it’s a big portion of everything.
I completely agree. And likewise, I know we were chatting just before the show and our children are similar ages. I think it just drives you, doesn’t it, it drives you to think what can I do now to help them be set up for success, to have a better opportunity to move forward. And, you know, I always reminded, my Nan told me for many years, every day is a school day and God bless her. She was right, because actually in every day we’ve got an opportunity to learn. And it’s only if we keep learning that we remain relevant, that when we keep going and you look at it and say, you know, some things we learned didn’t go, well, some things we learned went really well. So let’s repeat those, but the things that didn’t go well, does it mean to say we can’t achieve them?
It just means we can’t achieve them that way. We’ve got to go back and look at it and go, was it the whole thing that was wrong or was it just some thinking what I was doing that needed to be, to be changed? And it sounds like that’s sort of what you, what you do is in, in the way that your mindset and your ethos is, is warden. If there’s a problem, there’ll be a solution. So how do I, how do I solve that? If that didn’t work, what else could there be? And that drive to make things better, perhaps underpins your resilience. Would, would that be a fair summary?
I would say that’s probably one of my best qualities. And also probably my most annoying one is that they always think that there is a solution. Like I almost never give up. I had a conversation with a friend about something unrelated and he told me don’t give up. And I told him, it’s not that I can’t give up my, my, my character, the way I’m built internally does not allow me to give up on things that they care about. I need to actively seek myself. And this is maybe the toughest thing for me to give up to say, I don’t do it anymore. I’m losing my grip. And I’m just stepping aside and not touching this anymore. When the, this is the things people are sometimes doing very naturally when something doesn’t go well for them, I’m like, like almost, almost addictive, addictive to the situation of solving this.
And, and I’m, I’m obsessed with finding the solutions sometimes exhausting myself from the process, but it’s, it’s not even, it’s not even a choice. That’s how I’m built. So it’s like a cliche to say, I never give up. It is, it’s a cliche, but there’s also, it’s also part of my character to always find a solution. I don’t do it for any everything. I do it for the thing I care and the thing I want. And I have passion around things that they don’t, I couldn’t care less, but I focused on this thing I’m doing well. And I like like doing so
The beauties aren’t they? So, you know, the things that sit with your value set. So the things that are important to you, that you’re passionate about, that you value most in life, then they’re going to be the things that drive you to be resilient from, from what I’m hearing. Whereas some of the other things they don’t, and they’re okay to be left along the way, cause they might be passionate of somebody else’s. But if they’re not a passion of yours, then it sounds like you’ve been able to do is really focus in your passion and your attention on the things that really do ignite passion, make you want to push on and move forward in, in the journey, which is probably why you’ve been able to achieve so much. So we’ve talked about the things that you’re proudest of. What has been your greatest lessons so far?
Oh wow patience, I think things, things requires time. This is a lesson that we’re learning on a daily basis. Probably the last 20 years. I’m not very good at sitting down waiting. That’s not one of my qualities. And it’s funny sometimes to say, because during my career, things have taken a long time, but, but the one place I’m very bad at is just to sit down and wait. I have to be in movement. So I think I’m getting a very good lesson at being patient and wait and also understand the power of being able to wait and being patient. This is something that I was always very stressed to get to the next step. And I’m learning to take a breath. And there is lots of power of being able to put something aside for a while and wait for it to happen. And to believe that, although you’re not touching it on a regular basis, it will still be okay.
And it will come back on the right time. And I think the other lesson which relates to this is things have, have their own way of fixing up the universe, God, whatever, whatever works for you to, to define it has the way of, again, if you’re doing the right things. And if you’re a positive, when you’re going to the right directions has its own way to fix things. So sometimes things look like as the, as the worst crisis. And then the retros press retro perspective two years after you realized that this was actually the best thing that happened to you, which led to a sequence of other things that got you into a better place. So it’s all around patients and weight and being willing to observe and then wait for a second.
And I guess being, we are willing to take that step back, isn’t it. And see, what, what is this trying to teach me now? One of the, the things I always say to my little girl is life only makes sense in the rear view mirror, when you’re going through it, it doesn’t always make sense. You’re like, why is this not what I wanted it to? Where is this not heading? But when she, you look back at your life, like you say, you know, a couple of years down the line and you realize that that diversion was actually for your benefit. Even if at the time it didn’t feel like it, it felt like, well, how do you taking this away? This is what I was looking to. Do you realize what it opens you up to is meeting new people, meeting new opportunities, getting new ideas that might be even more aligned to your passion than what you were focusing on before.
And, I love all of, I love one of the things that’s coming through really strongly for me is it’s that mindset piece. It’s that being really committed to your purpose and say, actually, what I’m trying to do is important. And because of that, I’m going to focus myself on what that is. And, and I’m going to learn that sometimes it won’t come at the pace I would like it to, but I’m going to learn that in that waiting, there is an opportunity to also learn and to grow and to develop, which yeah, because you’re giving space, aren’t you for that, for those lessons to come in before you,
I absolutely agree. I definitely see see the same thing.
So if you could give advice to your younger self, if there’s something you knew now that you wish you’d known 15 years ago, what would it be?
Oh, that’s, that’s a really good one. I think that as a kid, I wasn’t that good at school. Like mostly again, retro perspective. It was mostly because it was not interesting enough for me and the, the it’s not that I’m smart and it wasn’t so interesting for me. It’s not like I knew, you know, mathematics and physics so easily just wasn’t I had no passion for that. So it lost my interest and I didn’t enjoy it. And you know, the 12 years of school kind of like I was spending the time waiting for it to end and I failed a lot. I failed a lot of tests and I failed a lot at everything, which is the complete opposite of how I was when I was growing up at university. I was, I finished one of the Dean list and so on. But back then, I wasn’t, I didn’t have the passion to what school was I to provide.
And I think as I’m, as I’m kind of like looking into myself, trying to think what parts of my state of mind, what makes me, what drives me is the fact that I’m not taking failure so hard. Like I’m failing. I have, like you said, resilience. I know how to wash my face and move on. Obviously it depends on what the crisis is, but in general I have resilience. And I would say my, my younger self that my younger self, that the fact that you were failing and you’re feeling uncomfortable around about that. It’s actually going to turn up to be a really good quality and the lesson I’ve learned very young failing tests. And I got some very embarrassing grades at some, some of the, some of the years in school, maybe towards the end, I was better because I wanted to get to get to the finish line properly.
But I had many years of school and, and teaching was a very bad place for me, not, not socially from a, from an education standpoint. And I think this is one of the, one of the strongest foundations I have in my entrepreneurial character that I’m not taking failures too seriously. Like I’m taking them, I’m taking them hard. But after I fail, I know I already know that, that I’m letting myself sink for a day or two or whatever time needed. And I know that my mind is going to come up. We’ll we’ll surface up solutions or ideas of what we can do now. And it comes from not taking failures too seriously. It’s not devastating. It’s not defining myself when I’m failing. It’s a failure and it has its start. And it has, it ends it’s, it’s hedge. I’m, I’m, I’m putting this inside the, the proper box and it allows me to recalculate.
So I think letting my younger me to know that this is part of my growth process. So don’t fail purposely. I don’t want my kids to fail. Speaking of how you look at your kids, but if you failed, there’s also a lesson here and I know it’s a cliche. Everybody speaks now about the importance of failure, but I really think that the big portion of me is, was the fact that I wasn’t the best. And I wasn’t, I wasn’t the, the most sharpest, the smartest and whatever. It was hard for me, school was hard. Education was hard. It wasn’t interesting. It couldn’t find my passion that, you know, the, the schools does not know how to handle kids, at least back then maybe today they do. But back then, they didn’t know how to handle kids who are not interested and not following the right path. So it was really long time of feeling a failure. And I somehow never felt like a failure. I was always raising up out of this. So that’s my, my advice to myself.
I know I left that because I think w we do, sometimes we label things too much. Don’t we? And then we lift by the label. So, you know, I’m supposed to be good at everything. And our education system is set up for us to be an all around it, but we might not be a very good hall director, maybe really passionate about one thing and great at it and not great at some of the other things, but we kind of, we compare ourselves don’t we to others and then find us, find ourselves lacking. And it reminds me of chatting to you about the fact that it’s not the mistake that defines us, it’s what we do with it. So it doesn’t matter that we got it wrong. It matters. What we did with that is that we learnt from it, that we did something different as a result of it, because that’s how we develop and grow. Isn’t it, it’s how we, how we learn. And, you know, I talked to some amazing people like you all of the time. And one of the things that comes through is, is that often the lessons come from the adversity. so your Eureka moment or the breakthrough, or the new idea comes as a result of, of something not going the way it was planned for certain things, not going, how you thought and having to take that step back and think differently.
Oh yeah. A hundred percent agree. And if we take it back to, to the challenge, the challenges you have in life, when you’re looking at this in an old number games, statistically speaking, when you start a startup company or even a bar, you will have statistically two and a half years, at least in Israel, that statistic statistics two and a half years when you’re not going to make any money. In other words, you’re going to fail. So we need to fail for two and a half years. You need to have the stamina to go through this. If you start a startup business and you need to go, and fundraising statistics speaks about meeting 60 investors who will not say yes. And only one that will say yes after the 60. So you need to be able to be resilient enough to go through 60. People will tell you that what you’re doing is a complete rubbish and that you need to change your course.
And, and sometimes they’re right by the way. But, but the fact that they’re saying this should trigger something internally to recheck what you’re saying. You need to take the best from what they said. You need to ignore that you relevant because there was a lots of noise and you need to build up and you need to be strong enough to get past those 60. And it does not change as the company grows because after you raise money, you have sales. When you’re running sales funnels, statistically, a good sales funnel will convert at what, 20%, 30%, 40%, you still have 60% of customers not buying in yet. So it depends on how you look, how you look at those things. And if you have the resilience and you understand that you need to focus and hyper focus on those percentage that are going well, and you need to invest in those and scale them. That’s where success start to come. And in order to go through this process, you need to be able to be resilient. And in my case, and I know it’s different from entrepreneur to entrepreneur. In my case, I think the foundation is around one of the failure part and around the part that I am sometimes obsessive with finding solutions for things I care about. So those two things are my drugs.
I left that and I lived the fact that actually it kind of almost summarized this isn’t, that what we say in life. It’s not what we focus on. We get more of, so by focusing in how I’m understanding it on the positives, the fact that my sales funnel might convert at 10% or 20%, rather than focusing on the fact that like gets me 60 or 80%, that it’s not focusing on you actually going to improve that conversion because you’re focused on the positives and more positives will come. Whereas when we start looking at the fact that we’ve got this part that don’t want us, we actually just start changing what it is we’re doing. Don’t we level we appeal to nobody because actually there was always an epi, an element of people that didn’t want us, that it didn’t fit, that we weren’t a solution for what they needed, but by being connected with our passion and solving something that we can see needs solving, we will find the right clients to be able to support and help. And I I’m guessing that’s part of Pico’s ethos, isn’t it? Which is to personalize those experiences, to say, your customers want, want to have an experience that feels like it’s for them, that recognized who they are and what they’re looking for. And you support people in being able to deliver that. But at scale,
Absolutely. And our customers are using our technology to scale and work with it in the millions of people. So we have to provide them with a very unique approach of like you said, our thesis, about how things should go about how you build again, personalized experience. It’s very, it’s a very buzzy word, but at the end of the day, it’s about knowing who is in front of you and understanding their strengths and weaknesses and, and how their internal funnel will look like. And how do we focus them on the positive sides and not on the sides of the thing that they don’t like, and how do we create a good experience for everybody? So it’s definitely starts with us for promoting this to the brands, and then we’re helping the brands promoting these to their audience.
Amazing. Well, as I’ve, it’s been an absolute, absolute joy, I’ve learnt so much. I lived the whole ethos of knowing your passion, making sure that you commit to it. I lift your drive and not wanting to give up when it’s something that you’re passionate about with them. I will find a solution, even if potentially for some people might be a challenge I’ll occasionally give up. I, I love that. And the fact that you are using every day to learn and develop and grow, it’s been an absolute joy. So how can people get in touch with you?
I’m highly available pretty much across any channel, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, if they can email me, you can share my email address. I’m very easy to find if they want to.
Well, we will make sure we drop all of that in, in the show notes. And thank you so so much for joining me. I look forward to our next conversation and until next time, thank you all very much.
Thank you, Kim.
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