As a kid, Isaac Gredinberg never stopped moving. Literally.
“I grew up being very active,” the entrepreneur explains. “Playing tennis, basketball, snow skiing, and skateboarding.”
Gredinberg immigrated to the US in 1980 from Tbilisi, Georgia with his parents. He’s lived on both coasts and now runs several successful businesses on the West Coast.
Gredinberg runs Fit For Speed, a gym focusing on physical training for pro race drivers and motorcycle racers. He’s also the co-creator of Goya Move, an app which forces young kids to take a timeout from screens and get up and move.
The busy father of 6 (yes, 6) sat down to discuss his light bulk moment with his app creation, actionable pieces of advice for every entrepreneur and how luck plays a role in business whether people are willing to admit it or not.
BB: Can you tell us a little about your background?
IG: I began my technical career working as a Network Engineer in the Medical Digital Imaging space, moving to hardware and storage and finally to Mobile Applications. My last position in tech was working for Verisign as an Applications Integration Engineer.
After numerous years in tech, I shifted gears and found my passion for fitness. I opened my own gym focusing on Personal Training which then led me to Fit For Speed.
As the owner of Fit For Speed Gym, we focus on training professional race car drivers and motorcycle racers. Alongside this business venture, and given my own upbringing, I also created a brand called Goya-Move which is meant to motivate today’s youth to be more active.
BB: Tell us how you first got into helping give parents control of children’s exposure to tech and why you founded Goya Move.
IG: In a household of 6 kids, with ages ranging from 12-22, screen time addiction and digital well-being was a big concern for us as parents.
I decided to take my background in tech and fitness and create a tool for parents to help manage screen time addiction and give kids a ‘technology time-out.’
BB: What has been the biggest reason for your success?
IG: Goya Move is the tool that parents have been asking for. There are many “Parental Control” programs out there, but none that encourage kids to get out and move. We took parental control a step further (literally).
We filled that gap with a simple to use app that parents love and kids don’t feel like they are being punished. It’s about teaching kids about moderation and accountability. It’s the tool that parents have needed to manage screen time for a while now.
BB: What has been the most significant barrier to your success?
IG: While developing the app, we learned a lot about the iOS infrastructure and its limitations.
We had to come up with many workarounds and get creative with the iOS app.
BB: What are the most actionable pieces of advice you would give someone trying to get into this business or any entrepreneurial endeavor?
- Measure 3 times, execute once.
- Don’t take “no” for an answer, network as much as possible, pick your dream team to execute.
- There will be miles of hurdles, but you need the endurance and power to get through them all.
- Find a need, gather the troops, build the solution, don’t give up!
- The best ideas out there never get brought to life because the first hurdle trips you up.
BB: What is the biggest mistake that you made that you would warn others about?
IG: Plan wisely from the beginning.
The biggest mistake I made was not following my ideas sooner. There are so many great ideas out there that just fall off the mind.
If there’s a need, DO IT! Do not wait, you will miss out on a lot of opportunities.
BB: What is the best tool you’ve found to help you in your day today?
IG: The BEST tools are my team! Each one plays such a crucial part of our technology, marketing, and business development.
Without them, there is no way to make this happen. I rely on my team each day for advice, knowledge, and execution.
We built our team with experts in each of their areas so that we don’t have to question anyone’s decisions. My team trains, me, I have never trained them.
BB: How important have other people (cofounders, S.Os, investors, etc.) been to your success?
IG: None of this would have been possible without our investors, to begin with.
We have partnered with some amazing folks at the National PTA and assembled the perfect group to build this app. My co-founder has a background in running the oldest electronics company in Silicon Valley, and our CEO is an expert on running a company.
We could not be even remotely close to where we are today without every person that’s a part of Goya-Move. Every single person plays a vital role, and without each one there, it would be impossible.
BB: How much luck do you think you can attribute to your success? Were you in the right time at the right place?
IG: Great question!
Want to talk about timing? Our app came to fruition at the most highlighted time of screen time addiction in children. The timing couldn’t have been any better.
I remember the day we were just ready to get our first build on the phones to test, and I got bombarded with about 20 phone calls from friends and family who heard the news about Apple’s investors threatening them with a lawsuit because their phones were addicting to children.
We were lucky with our timing!
BB: What are you doing today to take Goya Move to the moon?
IG: We are working on scaling this app to create even more tools that parents need. We are always brainstorming ideas to make the app better and provide more features.
We have a couple secrets up our sleeve that no one has done yet, so stay tuned. We are also starting our international marketing campaign as we saw that this app has been needed and loaded all across the world!
BB: How far do you look down the road when thinking about Goya Move?
IG: Technology isn’t going anywhere, and it’s only going to get better. Each day each hour, there is a child born, which means each day a child turns to that magic age when they get a cell phone.
We are looking to provide a tool for parents to keep up with all the technology to help assist in screen time management. Our goal for the app is to be installed on every handset on every carrier across the world!
BB: Do you think ANYONE can be successful at being an entrepreneur or does it take a specific “type?”
IG: If you asked me this question when I was 18, I would tell you that there is no way I would have ever been a founder of a tech company. I never pictured myself as an entrepreneur, but when that vision comes to your head, whether it’s opening a lemonade stand at age 10 or building your first startup at age 42. If you have a dream, follow it!
BB: How will you know when you’ve “made it?”
IG: When we built the app, lots of people told me “congratulations”.. This was before the app was even in the market. THEY knew it would be a success, but I didn’t. My response was always, ‘congratulate me when we get our first download.’
Now it’s ‘congratulate me when I get my 50,000th download.’ I’m sure my next reply will be to congratulate me when we have 1 million downloads.
The truth is, knowing that I helped one single family help their child with screen time addiction marks success for me. The rest is all extra credit!