Tech Talk: The man who said no to Microsoft

So why did Doron Libshtein tell Microsoft: Sorry, I’m leaving?

The WellBe bracelet measures your pulse, and when your body is overly stressed, it sends you a text message (photo credit: Courtesy)
The WellBe bracelet measures your pulse, and when your body is overly stressed, it sends you a text message
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Doron Libshtein began his career at Microsoft Israel. At first he worked as a software distributor and later as a manager in Israel and then in Europe. When he finally left Microsoft at the age of 36, he had 4,000 employees under his command, an excellent salary, a challenging position and a promising future at one of the most successful companies in the world.
So why one day did he tell Microsoft: Sorry, I’m leaving? Who in their right mind would leave such a dream job that most of us would die for? I was lucky enough to have met Libshtein a number of times, and on each occasion he seemed so calm and collected. He spoke well in front of a crowd. When asked whether he’d always been this relaxed, he replied that when he was young, he’d worked obsessively hard to move up the ladder at Microsoft and to achieve his goals. People he worked with apparently used to call him The Coach because of how he would rejoice when his colleagues succeeded on work projects.
One endeavor that Libshtein wanted to promote at Microsoft was making personal coaching available to the masses. He dreamed of everyone around the world being able to receive personal or business coaching that would give them that little extra push to help them succeed at work and in life.
“Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer spoke about developing Web services, and I wanted to develop this idea and use it for coaching Microsoft employees,” Libshtein says.
But unfortunately, management at Microsoft did not go for this idea, so he began preparing for his departure from Microsoft (they convinced him to stay another six months and even gave him an extra year’s salary) and developing his ideas further.
Mentors Channel
For six years, Libshtein worked on promoting his coaching venture but was not able to get it off the ground. Then one day he came out with a successful 21-day gratitude coaching program. Libshtein founded the Mentors Channel on which over 100 mentors from around the world help you choose a free meditation program, at the end of which you can decide whether you want to purchase.
In the first wave, 17,000 people paid for the meditation program, for a total of $45,000, and then it grew to 51,000 people and a total of $200,000. When Libshtein involved Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra, 670,000 people bought subscriptions, for a total of $2.7 million in just a few months.
There are currently more than 1,000 different meditations available on the site.
WellBe bracelet
Libshtein is currently working on another new project: WellBe. The WellBe is a lightweight bracelet and mobile app that uncovers your stress triggers and teaches you personalized meditation and other well-being exercises that help you release stress immediately.
The WellBe bracelet measures your pulse, and when your body is overly stressed, it sends you a text message that says something like: Now would be a good time to take a break from whatever it is you’re doing that is raising your stress level, and instead meditate or do focused breathing or guided imagination. The app offers seven-, 14- and 21-day programs from the Mentors Channel, which encourage you to adopt well-being as a habit and convert stress into calmness.
Doctors say that being under stress is very dangerous for our bodies and can even cause longterm damage. The WellBe bracelet comes in a variety of colors and can be ordered with or without the flow symbol. It is made from cork, and when cork, or the bark of oak trees, is removed, no harm is done to the tree, which means the WellBe bracelet is an eco-friendly product.
The WellBe app tracks when you’re stressed, helps you discern what is causing you stress and then offers personalized solutions for reducing stress levels. Studies have found that some people find soft music relaxing, whereas others prefer loud music. Some people prefer music with lyrics, and others prefer instrumental.
WellBe is currently conducting an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign.
It has already surpassed its 100 percent mark and has raised more than $125,000 in a short amount of time.
When I asked Libshtein how does one say no to Microsoft, he said his drive to succeed and his obsession with mentoring were just too strong. “There are currently 2.5 million people who are using our meditations, and I’d love to reach the 100 million mark,” he said. “We still have a long way to go.”
CommunicAsia 2015
CommunicAsia 2015 is the largest communications and information- technology exhibition and conference in Asia. It takes place this year in Singapore on June 2-5.
Twenty Israeli ICT (information and communication technology) companies will be showcasing their mobile technologies in the Israel Pavilion.
Israeli exports to Asia have grown threefold over the past decade from $5.8 billion in 2004 to $16.7b. in 2014.
The Israel Pavilion was organized by the Israel Trade Office in Singapore, in cooperation with the Economy Ministry and the Israel Export Institute, and 40,000 people from Southeast Asia are expected to visit it. The Economy Ministry’s commercial attaches have set up hundreds of meetings for Israeli companies with key decision makers from Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.
Thirty percent of the visitors at the exhibition are expected to be from Indonesia, with which Israel does not have diplomatic ties; as a result, normally there is not much economic collaboration between the two countries.
If you run a young start-up, have developed an interesting app or have a question, please feel free to contact
Translated by Hannah Hochner