How Hillel Fuld Earned The Trust Of The Worlds Most Successful Startups

To Give or Not To Live, That Is The Question!

At least that’s the question Hillel Fuld asks himself every morning.

Ok, maybe he doesn’t literally ask it, but all one needs to do is look back at his day, and it is clear he starts it with a mission of selflessness and living for others.

For those who don’t know him, Hillel Fuld is the guy who helps Israeli Tech Go BOOM!

In a tech startup world that glorifies doers and makers, there is only one type of person that rises above the crowd, and that is the multiplier, the person who empowers others to do and make great things. The person whose contribution exponentially grows everyone else’s.

It’s not every day that billion dollar startups beg you to take stock in their company, but sometimes, someone contributes so much, that giving them stock, makes owning less shares worth even more.

When a company issues stock to investors, advisors or employees, they are not diluting themselves, they are increasing the value of their shares to the point where less stock is worth more money.

When a startup unicorn like Flipboard, tells Hillel Fuld, we NEED you to take stock in our company, not just for your sake, not simply because you earned it, but because you owning shares, makes all of our shares more valuable…you know he did something right, somewhere along the way.

At this point I am sure you are wondering What makes Hillel Fuld so special?

What makes his advice so valuable that companies beg him to join their advisory boards?

I’m here to say, it is nothing special, it is no big deal, it is so head-smacking simple that you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself. Most importantly, it’s something you can start doing right now. Not tomorrow, not next week, but right after you finish reading this article.

But first, how do I know his secret? Well, you see…

When Hillel isn’t busy turning ponies into unicorns, or interviewing the Woz, he can be found helping out average Joes just like you and me.

For example, he took time out of his extremely busy schedule for me to interview him, (and I am not exaggerating about how busy he is, he spoke to me during his commute to work. He literally made, not found, but created the time for me in a day where there was none to be found.)

If I had to distill his secret down to one key concept, it’s… He NEVER asks, “What’s In It For Me?!”

He just gives and gives and gives and never asks for anything in return. Not only does he not ask for anything in return, he often refuses to take even when it’s offered.

He has written thousands of blogposts, many published on the most influential websites in the world, including sites like TechCrunch, Mashable, The Next Web, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, Venturebeat, and many others. All this, without asking for a dime in return.

He mentors at every major startup incubator in Israel, including Google, Techstars, Oracle, Microsoft, The Junction, and others, all while never asking for anything in return. He has literally helped hundreds if not thousands of Israeli startups and multitudes more around the world with his blogging, mentoring, social media conversations, and vlogging.

In fact, vlogging is how I discovered Hillel Fuld. I was so inspired by his video advice to leverage interviewing others to grow your audience that I dropped what I was doing and executed immediately.

I quickly tracked down his email address and emailed Hillel to ask to interview him. He didn’t blink an eye. He offered to help me and my audience, without blinking an eye, without knowing who I was or even wondering whats in it for me.

He heard the call for help and he came running to answer the call.

I once heard the definition of responsibility is, “The Ability To Respond.” This means that anyone, anywhere who has the ability to respond, has the responsibility to respond.

By this definition, Hillel is literally the most responsible person in Israeli Tech. The most accessible. The most approachable and Most importantly, The most helpful. Don’t take my word for it.

Just look at the 60+ people who vouch for him on Linkedin.

They proclaim things like,

“Hillel is a rockstar – one tweet from him can launch a company – or topple a server!”

Many of his selfless acts started with simple but genuine social media conversations.

His Linkedin is full of testimonials like this one,

“It was an honor to have connected with Hillel over Social Media networks and I have become increasingly pleased that this happened. Hillel begun by offering advice and consultation for the Inbal Hotel’s submission into the social media arena and since then is always available both online or off for ad hoc questions or further advice.”

How does he have the time? How does he have the passion? How does he stay the course and offer so much of himself for free? More importantly…He does all this, while running his own podcasting startup and serving as a trusted advisor to startups that are rocket ships like HomeTalk, FlipBoard, Fitness22, ZUtA Labs and a dozen others.

How does Hillel offer 98% of his time, energy and expertise for free, with no expectation of anything in return?

That’s the point. He doesn’t ask himself those questions. He just does.

He simply gives and gives and gives…and guess what happens?

He gives so much that people feel like it’s time to give back, especially when they feel “giving him” equity will end up with them getting more of his time and advice. . He gives so much, that Unicorns like Flipboard (and many others) realize no matter what they give Hillel, they will always feel like they got the better deal.

More importantly, this strategy attracts a certain type of startup. It attracts the startups that are always striving to give and give and give to their users and customers. They give so much that their customers can’t help but gush about them, can’t help but spread the word about them, can’t help but become evangelists for their brands.

The most trustworthy forms of marketing are when the message is congruent. Congruent with the medium, congruent with the brand, and congruent with the context of the user.

For example, I am a search engine marketer, so if I take out an ad in the newspaper, you will wonder, how good can he be if he has to advertise in print? However, if you search in Google for a PPC Expert, and see this amazing ad that stands out on the page and compels you to click, you are going to think…this guy really knows what he’s doing.

The medium is congruent with the message. This congruency breeds inherent trust.

There is a beautiful cycle happening here. Hillel gives and gives and gives, which attracts the best brands that give and give and give. These brands trust Hillel, because they see he lives the strategies he proposes. He leads by example, and his client lead by example, and you know who really wins? You and me, and all of their users. We will always download their apps or buy their products, for one simple reason, they give us so much value, that we trust them so much that we know no matter what, we are always going to get the better deal.

Give your customers the better deal, and they will literally beg you to take their money. Why wouldn’t they? After all, they are getting the best of you.

If I had to sum up the essence of humanity and human connection in one word, it would be, “Gratitude.”

We all crave connection and we all thrive on appreciation. In essence, connection is another word for the process of giving and being appreciated. When people feel appreciated, they want to give more. They want to contribute to others. When people appreciate what is given to them, they want to give to others as well.

There is a beautiful process in giving and gratitude that grows organically. Each time you give and are appreciated, each time you connect, both sides are compelled to give more. This is literally what makes the world go round.

Gratitude is the currency that moves the world.

In fact, if you really think about it, money is a codified version of gratitude. It is a medium of exchange that says, I value your contribution to me more than the contribution I provided elsewhere in exchange for this money. It is not zero sum, it grows and builds on itself exponentially.

If I had to distill down the purpose of business in one phrase, it would be “Serving Others.”

We were not meant to go through this world alone. We are meant to need the help of others. We are meant to go through this journey together. The amazing world we live in was built by people who realized there is only one way to make the world a better place, and that is to give of ourselves to others. It literally makes the world go round.

The tech startup world is on the forefront of powering how we help each other build a better future together.

Israel is on the forefront of this amazing movement, and one man is leading the charge.

Raising his banner high and proclaiming, “Who Is With Me, Who Is With Us?”

And I am proud to say, “Hillel Fuld, I am with you, I am with Israeli Tech!”


About David Melamed

David Melamed is the Founder of Tenfold Traffic, a search and content marketing agency with over $50,000,000 of paid search experience and battle tested results in content development, premium content promotion and distribution, Link Profile Analysis, Multinational/Multilingual PPC and SEO, and Direct Response Copywriting.

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