What is it like to move your entire life 5,800 miles?
When my co-founder and I started DigitalOwl in 2018, I knew it was going to happen. And a few months ago, it did. I moved the headquarters (and my family) from Tel Aviv, Israel, to New York City, NY.
I remember standing outside my empty house in Israel leaning on a mountain of boxes containing everything we have and thinking to myself "how hard can it be?"
Moving to NYC made a lot of sense. Our US client base grew rapidly from month to month, most of my management team was based in the US, our major investors are in the US and the company's future lies within the US.
Although it meant closing her 12-year-old, self-made business in Israel, my supportive wife said "let's do it" with no hesitation. My kids (8, 3) negotiated hard but finally agreed to move for two Skittles and an M&M, and the hardest part was convincing our beloved dog, Fossee, to go on the plane.
After 11 hours in the air, two hours in the immigration line and one hour driving, we arrived at our "new" home.
Before we moved here, I flew to New York once every three weeks, but for my kids, it was their first visit. Seeing the city for the first time astonished them. Through their sparkling eyes, I had the opportunity to experience again the excitement of being in New York for the first time.
We slept on an inflatable mattress for more than a month because it was almost impossible to find beds and sofas (supply chain issues). Each morning, we woke up with back pain, but with a smile on our faces.
Now, my kids have started new schools and are learning English, my wife is breaking records for watching the most Broadway shows, my dog loves sitting in front of the fireplace and I enjoy spending more time with my family now that we are in the same time zone.
But what exactly does this mean for DigitalOwl and our partners?
To put it simply – a lot. I may not be in the same time zone as the majority of our clients, but I’m at a max three hours ‘away’. This will give me the opportunity to meet with them more often, hear their concerns, address their challenges and better advance our technology to meet their everyday needs.
This move has also brought me closer to most of our management team here at DigitalOwl. In Israel, my brother and I were focused on a lot of the behind-the-scenes work at the company. Being in the US not only creates the opportunity for more interaction with our clients, but it will also allow me to get to more industry events, conferences and speaking engagements. As we all know, these are the events that bring the industry forward, and I’m excited to be more involved in that prosperity as we head into 2023.
- Yuval Man