Reports from the Field

Interview with Benjamin Levy – CEO Gymglish

Benjamin Levy
Who are you, what do you do and what did you have for breakfast?

I’m Benjamin Levy, I live in Paris, France, I’m co-founder and CEO of (funny language courses online).

For breakfast I have a glass of red wine orange juice and a cup of coffee, in which I dip tasty tartines and occasional croissants.

What did you get up to last Tuesday at work?

Last Tuesday I fell out off my bed unexpectedly, rode my bike to the office and got in super early (8am). I checked my unread holiday emails, replied to some of them, angrily deleted others, and archived many. Had a hangout (video conference) with a colleague who’s working from home, then checked out the sales figures for the month (it’s Sept 1st, pretty bad sales in August…). Went to my Tuesday boxing class, met my coach by the door whilst smoking my usual pre-sport cigarette, punched a lot (got punched even more), had lunch at some cool local bistrot, got back to work on various tasks that had amounted during my holidays. Then back on the bike, then home. How exciting…

Who or what inspired you to do the job you do now?

My Dad: a self-made man and entrepreneur.
My passions: languages, surfing, unset itineraries (off path?), groovy curves, jazz, jokes, funny people and situations.
My life needs: independence, freedom, longevity.
My desire to have an exciting collective adventure, explore new areas, countries, meet people, work with a small talented team, have grateful customers (and a growing amount of them!).
And the most important: having fun on a daily basis.

That, and try to earn more money of course. For my team and for myself.

What is needed to succeed in your career?

Technically, no qualifications or experience are required to start a company.
Wait.. maybe one thing: master the art of subtraction – earn more than you spend.
Of course qualifications and experiences are all welcome (especially failures!), they always have a lot to teach. Still it’s possible to start a company without those, and grow experience along the way.

If you could go back and change one thing, what would it be?

Where to start? So many things!
Let’s not look too much into the past. Or only for positive vibes and memories!

What is your proudest moment?

My proudest moment: when our product Gymglish, for the 7th consecutive time, once again lost some start-up/IT award that we had been nominated for. I’m proud of our consistency! We also think objectively that the dice are loaded.

What is your favourite quote?

I have many favourite quotes, including:
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”“C’est la vie !”“Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien” (Difficult to translate! It means that a good thing can be spoiled by trying to make it better.)

Written by Benjamin Levy 2015

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Benjamin Levy
Posted on: 27 Jul 2016