We recently had the chance to sit down and get to know Ronen Yaari, CEO of OpenMoves…
What was your background before starting OpenMoves?
I came from the content side; before starting OpenMoves, I was an editor at TechWeb’s custom publishing group, which is part of CMP Media. We had over 100 print titles and needed to leverage them online. Our group packaged the content so sponsors could brand it and create online advertorial micro sites. That was the beginning of my interest in online publishing.
When did you start OpenMoves? What was the inspiration?
In 2000, our company was bought out and my team and I found ourselves out of a job. I decided that rather than pursue another corporate job, I wanted to work for myself so I could spend more quality time with my young family. So in the summer of 2001, I launched OpenMoves, along with several talented people from my team, and we began creating web sites and email newsletters for our clients.
What is your approach at running a successful company?
The key to all of the success we’ve had thus far is having the right people on board and building a strong team. For example, bringing Amir Chitayat on board was a huge win for OpenMoves. He brings lots of experience and a high caliber of management skills to our small company. Amir started out as an OpenMoves customer and when he sought a lifestyle change, we quickly saw the great potential of our partnership.
In fact, many of our friends have become clients and many of our clients have become friends. We like to say we come from the same “urban tribe” of people whose personal and professional lives overlap and coexist, especially thanks to the new freedom of working from anywhere. If you haven’t already read Daniel Pink’s Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself, I highly recommend it.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Quite literally, I get up and do yoga 4-5 mornings a week. I practice Ashtanga yoga, a form of vinyasa flow, which involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of postures. It strengthens the body physically while the meditative aspect helps me clear my mind for the day’s work ahead.
What’s your vision for the future?
My vision for OpenMoves is to provide best of breed technology and business practices to small and medium sized businesses. There are many big agencies out there that work with large clients, but we thrive on the immediacy of working with business owners and making the latest e-marketing tools understandable and affordable. On a personal note, I have been very fortunate and want to give part of the bounty back to the community. To that end, we’ve done several pro bono and discounted projects for non-profits like the Saint Bernard Project, To Bring Us Home and AdoptUsKids. I also continually strive to make OpenMoves as green as possible and to help our clients create and publish information about their efforts to conserve and protect our planet.