I don’t know where to begin, since this has to be the most difficult blog post to write in many years. Remembering someone close, after they are gone, is a difficult task – not because you have no words or feelings, but because you have too many.
I’ve met Ytzik in 2010 at a Digital Media Conference in New York and we immediately hit it off. He was determined, bright, with his eyes piercing right into you. He didn’t say much and mostly listened, but I knew then and there that we would be working together. He was talking about B&H, his last place of work where he was a Head of Digital, and was passionate about his work, citing digital photography, market opportunities, and social media avenues that he developed and deployed. But Ytzik was never a man of many words – he was always about doing something and seeing the best part of something. His ideas broke the box and leaped out in the open, making others wonder about what they might be missing.
His career was diverse – a Coopers Principal, Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist and a Social Media Guru. His approach was always grounded in something very solid and well-defined. If he focused on something, he delivered – that’s how I remember him. His early ideas on methodologies for ‘Social Media Enterprise and Scalability’ are now being implemented by many companies – he saw the Salesforce.com scaling into it, and many others. He could surprise you with great definitions, consulting approach, a process, which was logical and creative at the same time.
Ytzik was also a dreamer. He could easily run a much larger organization to manage all the processes and to navigate the growth. He dreamt of Social Media becoming a commodity and accessible to many, not just a few in the know. He loved the idea of Call Centers and Contact Centers offering Social Media services to those who couldn’t afford it or to understand it. He believed in venture and fortune and loved working with many startups.
On a personal note, Ytzik was a great and proud father. He never said much about his family, and I always had to dig information out of him, but once we became close, he always loved to talk about his Army days, his sons, his daughter and his loving wife. One day I found out that he used to be a Tank Commander in an Israeli Army, patrolling borders and fighting wars. He was very proud of his children and loved to talk about one of his sons serving in the Army. He was a concerned dad, but never talked about his fears or worries. “It will be allright, it will be all good”, he used to say, instilling confidence and projecting firm convictions. He never showed his pain or worry – he was always bright about things, always positive.
And that’s how I will remember him – a father, a bright face with a smile, a firm handshake, and a mensch! Rest in peace dear Ytzik – we will always remember you!