David Nordell
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David Nordell

CEO of fintech startup New Global Markets, and also expert & consultant on cyber threats to financial industry & other critical national infrastructures.

Member since April 13, 2011
Changing the way the financial industry identifies and trusts its customers Quote_down
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1976 Southampton University , BS , Civil Engineering

I am a(n):


If you are an entrepreneur, why?

I want to change the world.

My favorite startups:

Waze, Wix

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

The biggest frustration is VCs and other potential investors who talk a lot about how interested they are, and how much they want another meeting, and then disappear without even a 'thanks, but' e-mail.
What's most rewarding is the potential customers (both enterprise and consumer) and the other stakeholders who hear what the start-up is doing, and respond by some variation of "that is fantastic, it's exactly what the market needs."
Yes, I've had plenty of both.

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?

Believing their own hype.

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?

1. That everything takes more time and effort than you expected.
2. That building and maintaining a team that can really work together without ego problems threatening to destroy the company is hugely difficult, and that therefore the founder has to be prepared to chuck out trouble-makers.
3. That your assumptions about the market's needs and behaviour, and willingness to pay for what you're developing, need constant validation both through deep research and face-to-face customer discovery, in order to ensure that you actually build the right product or service. And this means that you really need to understand, and care about, the customer's pain.

How important is serendipity in the success path of an entrepreneur or startup?

Extremely. In my own experience, I've often met or been introduced to the right people with experience and expertise in my field who have been able to help, or have joined my team of advisory board, or have become champions inside their own organisations. Similarly, reading a lot and doing extensive research, not only in my own field, has opened up opportunities. But serendipity is enhanced by curiosity and openness: the more you mix with other people and ask them questions (and tell them what you're doing), the stronger the likelihood that something good will happen.

Full bio

I'm a native Londoner but have lived in Israel since 1980. My degree in civil engineering helped teach me analytic rigour, which has helped a career that has also stretched across journalism (specialising in business & economics), consulting including government work on technology and economic policy, and most recently technology entrepreneurship. I was a partner in two previous start-ups, in agricultural biotech and then bio-informatics. Both failed: one because the scientists weren't  interested in working under startup pressure, and the other because one of the partners had to leave the country for a while. New Global Markets should have failed, because we started developing a game-changing business process in the global financial industry that depends on regulation, before the regulations actually allowed it. But my colleagues and I continued to believe that the market need existed and that the regulations would change in our direction, which they have. And by being forced by circumstances to take things slowly, we've been able to build a very strong business case based on real customer pain, and to get buy-in from some key stakeholders even before building the technology platform. In the meantime, I've been developing a side career as an expert on cyber threats and other types of economic terrorism, and speak regularly at conferences, including the 2012 national securty conference in Israel.