In conversation with Igor Shoifot – Serial entrepreneur, Investor and Lecturer at UC Berkeley

In a recent interview from San Francisco, California, Jenya Ivanushkina from YourStory had the opportunity to talk to Igor Shoifot, serial entrepreneur, investor and lecturer at UC Berkeley and UCSF.

Igor discusses different aspects of entrepreneurship: how to make a startup successful, role of luck in business and the personality traits every entrepreneur should possess.

These are the key takeaways from the interview:

  • Igor thinks that the most important thing to do when building a startup is to focus on growth above and beyond everything else. Although building a product and working on features is extremely important, growth is the key. It can be viral growth, growth through partnerships, PR, through unique services that you offer – whatever it takes to make your product/service more popular.
  • Igor believes that idea is not the most important factor in the startup success. He points out that very few of the successful startups came up with a new idea. What differentiates Facebook and WhatsApp from their predecessors is the focus on growth, ability to build the product and the viral mechanism that helped the product/service to spread out. Igor mentions that idea factors to only 1% in the startup success while the delivery is 99%.

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  • “I’m a very lucky person. And the harder I work, the luckier I get,”- says Igor. He thinks that luck plays an important role in the short term, but doesn’t help in a long term. Igor’s biggest advice is to forget about luck and focus on the things like, hard work, emphasis on growth and choosing the right team who will help you deliver your idea.
  • Later in the interview, Igor talks about the personality traits that make you successful in business. He emphasizes the importance of being driven and focusing solely on the startup. Another significant quality is charm, including the sexual charm. A person will be a much more successful CEO if he can charm his team so that they believe him/her and deliver the best results, charm his customers and distribution channels to increase sales, charm the investors so that he raises more funds. Last but not least, Igor thinks that sense of humor and easygoingness play an important role. You need to laugh at your mistakes, take things easy, not get angry at people and be able to admit mistakes.

If you have any questions after watching the video, please leave them in the comments below!

To find out more about Igor and connect with him, visit his website at

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