Faces Of The Startup Nation: Q&A With Assaf Harel Of Jovie
Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Assaf Harel is one of most successful TV creators in Israel. His diverse career includes creating four comedy series (all of which won the Israeli Academy Award for “Best Comedy”), hosting a daily late-show and directing the first Hebrew speaking animation series. He is best known for creating the series “Mesudarim” (‘Loaded’), which told the story of four young entrepreneurs who sell their startup for $217 million. The show was widely viewed in Israel and encouraged an Israeli youth to pursue the hi-tech dream. One of them was Assaf himself, who decided to take a break from television to open a new startup named Jovie, which is trying to re-invent video creation on mobile phones.
Falafel or Shawarma? Shawarma with yogurt – the Turkish way. Unfortunately this is not exactly kosher so you won’t find it in Israel.
What were your first steps into the business world? I’m still taking those steps. I have been shocked to discover an unspeakable truth about business trips: in the first years of a startup you’re flying coach!
What’s your homepage? Gmail – my work account. My second page is also Gmail – my private account. The third is still Gmail. Then everything else…
Who was your first celebrity crush? David Bowie. Actually he was my sister’s first crush, but I was imitating whatever she was doing.
Startup or TV show? Did them both. It’s funnier to do comedies.
What’s the best place you’ve ever traveled to? Sinai. The garden of Eden, which we were expelled from because of eating the forbidden fruit, which some call occupation.
What is your favorite weekend activity? Going to the beach with Lily, my daughter.
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars. Still got all the first edition action figures. Always remember the Yogurt quote from ‘Spaceballs’: “Merchandising, merchandising, where the real money from the movie is made.”
What is your biggest inspiration? Scale. Whether it’s a product, a technology, a TV program or a song – creating something that reaches hundreds of millions will always excite me.
Tel Aviv or New York? Autumn in New York, Winter in Tel Aviv, Spring in New York, Summer in… neither. What about Miami?
NoCamels “Faces of the Startup Nation” features the leading entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and visionaries to give you an exclusive peak into the movers and shakers of Israel’s innovation scene. If you want to suggest a “Face”, write us in the comments below!
Photos: courtesy/ David Bowie