NoCamels “Faces of the Startup Nation” will feature 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!
Doron Nir is the CEO and co-founder of HappySale, an Israeli app that promises “a fun new way to sell things online.” Nir, 40, an expert game designer, is also one of the founders of GameIS, the Israeli Digital Game Developers Association, and the director of the Garage Geeks, the largest group of entrepreneurs and tech professionals in Israel. He lives in Tel Aviv with his wife and two kids.
Who is your biggest inspiration? One of many: Shigeru Miamoto – He is not well known outside the gaming world, but Shigeru Miamoto, to gamers like me, is like the hand of god. He’s the person who invented Donkey Kong, Mario, Zelda and a multitude of other games millions play and love. The thing that’s so amazing about Miamoto is that while creating one monster hit game is already a very rare thing, Miamoto created more than five monster hit franchises that redefined gaming as we know it.
What were your first steps into the business world? Building Vgames.co.il, getting the writers, building the team spirit. It was an amazing journey and I still have many friends from that time in my life. One of them is my co-founder at HappySale.
What are you totally addicted to? Bamba. I have no idea what they put into that thing. If they discover one day that the secret ingredient is illegal I won’t be surprised.
Who is the one person, past or present, you’d love to have dinner with? Walt Disney – From everything I read about him, he seems like an amazing person with a wonderful ability to tell stories.
Falafel or Shawarma? Falafel, from “Falafel Hazkenim” in Haifa. Finish it off with Knaffe from Alenby st. It’s the best meal a person can hope for.
What are your favorite weekend activities? Spending time with my kids. Every Friday for the past year my son, who is five years-old, and I have been playing Super Mario (Co-Op mode). My wife and daughter are sleeping, and when everyone wakes up we go to the beach or pool. Doesn’t get any better.
If you were a selfie, what would you look like?
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What’s your hidden talent? Cooking. I won’t brag about it too much, but I can pretty much cook anything you can think of, in above restaurant grade level. Makes visiting restaurants a bit of a bummer, though.
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars. Definitely. Star Trek is too intellectual. Star Wars isnt even considered Sci-Fi. It’s more of a fantasy-knights-and-pirates kind of world. Much more exciting. Also, light sabers are the best invention in movies ever. How can you beat that?
Bar Refaeli or Gal Gadot? I’d take Shelly, my amazing wife, any day over these two.
If you weren’t an entrepreneur, what would you be? A full-time game designer, or a movie director.
If you were a movie character, who would you be? I would love to say Danny Ocean [from the Ocean’s films with George Clooney], but I think its more along the lines of Buzz Lightyear.
Tel Aviv or New York? Tel Aviv, definitely. New York is an amazing city, but Tel Aviv is home.
What’s the best advice you ever got from your parents? “You can do anything if you get the right knowledge and practice.” I try to teach that to my kids these days.
What’s your favorite Hebrew word? ‘Shalom’. It’s a bit tacky, I know, but I find it amazing that the same word describes the greeting ‘hello’ and ‘peace’. It shows a lot about what we really wish for as a culture.”