Introducing 20-Minute Leaders, a new video series on CTech
Israeli-born entrepreneur Michael Matias tells about his passion for learning and how it led to an impressive Covid-19 era project
Taking a subject you care deeply about and turning it into a project that benefits yourself and others is a staple of entrepreneurship and in the case of Michael Matias, it has become something of a way of life. From co-founding AnyMeal, a platform to help people discover restaurants and dishes suitable for their diets and eating preferences as a teenager, to launching a hackathon series for Gen-Yers, which landed him on Forbes Israel’s inaugural list of 30-under-30, to his current project in which he interviews hundreds of tech influencers to glean insights on how to build successful companies, Matias (24) seems to have things figured out.
Speaking to Ron Friedman ahead of the launch of his 20MinuteLeaders video series on CTech, Matias described the path that led him there and his main takeaways from the ambitious project.
“I remember myself as an entrepreneur from as far back as I can remember. My dad pulled me up on stage when I was 13 to talk about technology and how it's integrated into my life. What I wasn't aware of yet was how passionate I would be about the way technology is impacting our lives and how I want to leverage deep technology to improve the lives of a lot of others. That’s what really led me on this entrepreneurial journey,” Matias said. “It's that excitement of being an entrepreneur that really paved the way for me thinking about what I want to do with my life and I think that over the past 10 years or so that really has shaped who I am.”
The 20MinuteLeaders series started as a pure passion project, with Matias seeking out advice from established entrepreneurs and investors in the California tech and investment industry and meeting them in person in between studying for his B.S CS at Stanford and working at J-Ventures, a Silicon Valley investment firm, and as a Software Engineer at Hippo, hopping on an Uber and meeting them at their Palo Alto offices.
“Then March hits and I can't get into those ubers because there's nobody to meet me on the other side. The Stanford campus closes and I find myself going into lockdown, unable to do the same journey that I was hoping to do,” Matias recalled. “Then I thought, okay well what if I just hop on Zoom with these people.”
Like a true entrepreneur, Matias decided to pivot. As it turns out, people were very accommodating to meeting and talking to him on Zoom. The next step was simply to press the record button and instead of the meetings being one-on-one conversations for him to learn from, Matias was able to share the valuable life lessons with the entire world.
“It turns out that it's pretty easy for them to get on a 20 or 30 minute Zoom call to talk to a young hungry and ambitious entrepreneur and chat with them. Then I thought, okay well actually you know this conversation that I'm having with them is interesting not just for me but for a lot of my friends at Stanford and for my fellow veterans of Israel’s Unit 8200 military intelligence unit, so why don't I just press record on the Zoom call?”
In the 10 months since then, Matias pressed the record button again and again, amassing scores of interviews with some of the world’s most prominent executives, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders.
The result is hundreds of hours of recorded interviews with leaders from all walks of life, all in easily digestible 20-minute chunks that leave the viewer wanting more.
“I realized that in 20 minutes you can get so much knowledge and so much value out of a conversation. But the biggest value that you can get is actually getting inspired to dig deeper.”
CTech, the gateway to Israeli tech, shares Matias’s passion for inspiration and is proud to be collaborating with him in bringing the life lessons of the industry leaders to as wide an audience as possible. Starting this week, select episodes of his 20MinuteLeaders series will be available on CTech with more episodes being produced and published in the coming weeks and months.
You can reach out to Michael Matias via LinkedIn and perhaps be invited to take part in this ambitious and fascinating project.