September 2013 marks SYNAQ's ninth birthday, and to kick off the company's celebrations, we asked co-founders, David Jacobson and Yossi Hasson, to reflect on the past nine years and share with us what inspired them to start SYNAQ at the tender age of 22.
What motivated you to start SYNAQ in 2004?
David Jacobson, Technical Director and Co-Founder (DJ)
"My passion for Linux and open source software played a major role in my decision to start SYNAQ. The idea of turning my hobby into a company was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.
"But it was Yossi's drive for business and my brother's belief, that being my best involved me doing something in IT, along with his financial, networking and support backing that allowed me to start SYNAQ.
"Fast-forward nine years and I have grown and changed, as a result of my involvement with SYNAQ. I love entrepreneurship, love and believe in South Africa's potential and continue to learn daily about business and technology."
Yossi Hasson, Managing Director and Co-Founder (YH)
"For me, SYNAQ is an opportunity to make a real positive impact in South Africa by embracing open source technology and giving clients a real choice. David and I have long shared the belief that the world would be a better place if it were more open; this is why we believe in Linux and open source software.
"Starting SYNAQ was an opportunity for me to be an entrepreneur and to be the master of my own destiny. It's also a home for people who are really passionate about technology and the possibility it offers to improve South Africa and the world.
"We were also tired of only hearing about cool overseas tech companies and wanted to make a mark on the South African tech landscape. But mainly, we thought it would be lots of fun."
What does the future hold for SYNAQ?
DJ – "My dream is to build SYNAQ into a world-class technology company, respected by international players and loved by local businesses. Also, I'd like to continue contributing to the movement of driving awareness around Linux and open source in the South African business landscape."
YH – "I'd like SYNAQ to reach our next 1 000 clients in half the time by launching new products and expanding into new geographic regions. And to grow our team of passionate people and see them expand and grow as we make our mark on the ICT landscape of South Africa.
"As for me professionally, I want to continue to learn and grow on this journey and better serve the company and its people by becoming a stronger leader."
What advice would you give your younger self?
DJ – "I would inform my naïve younger self that the journey I was embarking on through SYNAQ would be bigger than I could possibly imagine.
"However, I wouldn't propose any advice to younger me, because the best knowledge and learnings I've acquired has been as a result of well-intended mistakes and I wouldn't trade that for anything."
YH – "Live with your parents for longer – it helps when cash flow is tight. Get a mentor as soon as you can – having someone who's done it before and someone you can talk to, will save you from making lots of mistakes. Don't chase the money; chase your passion and where you add the most value. Finally, great people build great businesses; immerse yourself in learning how to attract and grow them."