Ran Cohen: I Never Go for the Easy Solution, and I Don’t Take Shortcuts or Cut Corners, Unlike a Lot of Founders That Are Trying To Create Something Huge Too Fast, Only To See It Collapse

Ran Cohen

Ran Cohen of BridgerPay.

Tell us about yourself?

My 20 years of experience in the B2B industry taught me how to turn creative ideas into great products. Struggling with payments in my previous companies made me look for solutions and led me to creating BridgerPay.

I believe that by making payments easy and more transparent, we can empower online businesses to make more informed decisions and accelerate their growth. One side of me is the designer, I love working on the user experience.

The other side is the businessman that constantly strives to create a valuable and scalable product that people would buy and find effective.

What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?

Many people think that startups just collect funds from VCs, pocket user subscriptions, and basically do nothing all day. We sit by the pool with a drink in our hand.

Reality is much different. To build a successful startup, you need to put in more work and more hours than in any other kind of business.

You need to work to build a product, work to make yourself known, work to keep on top of the competition. I am telling you, startup life is rewarding, but it’s one of the hardest jobs there is in business.

If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?

If I could advise my younger self, I would tell him to eliminate distractions and focus on execution. I would have gotten where I am today much faster.

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What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?

I never go for the easy solution, and I don’t take shortcuts or cut corners, unlike a lot of founders that are trying to create something huge too fast, only to see it collapse.

For me, it’s all about building products that are new and game-changing, this comes with a lot of teaching a slow growth, but allows you to set trends instead of following them.

Also, it allows you to build a solid foundation for a business that will survive and thrive even in uncertain times.

What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?

To delegate ownership. I used to be very present in every step of the process.

I have learned to stand on the side and give my input, while leaving the team space to do the amazing job they do. It’s freed my calendar a lot, so I can focus on the long term plans.

Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?

Previously, I had an e-learning company that operated as a B2B. When we decided to open our courses to the end-user and turn into a B2C, it’s when the problems with the PSPs started.

I realized that there is a huge gap between products and the payment experience. I wanted to bridge the gaps in technology, user experience, and data transparency. This is when the idea for BridgerPay came to life.

Where do you see your business in five years?

We see BridgerPay adopted by the Late Majority. By then, we will have secured strong business ties with a wide range of enterprises and SMBs, across many verticals.

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This will prove that BridgerPay is the easiest and most effective way to automate payment flows and relieve companies of the burden caused by having multiple payment providers and a complicated payment stack.

What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?

Awareness. Unfortunately, many merchants are so used to dealing with the current problems in payment technology, that they don’t think there is a way out.

This is why we started Bridger Learn, a collection of webinars and free resources to spread awareness about the pain points in digital payments and how to solve them.

Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?

The Etihad PoC for sure. We won the HUB71 challenge and delivered a fully working, production ready payment operations layer to one of the biggest airlines in the world in just 8 weeks.

It was amazing to see the project come to life and receive praise from such impactful business leaders.

How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?

We are lucky to have solid Sales and Marketing teams. Our BDMs and BDRs can close deals, and Marketing delivers high-value materials to help them.

So far, most of our reach has been organic, and we’d like to keep it that way as much as possible. We found that, in our industry, word-of-mouth is incredibly powerful.

Sometimes, we have enterprises reaching out to us simply because they heard that we are able to solve the challenges they are facing.

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As for the second question, I am a bit of a salesperson myself, and with Yaron (CTO and Co-founder) we make a pretty good duo when it comes to talking to prospects.

What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?

Focus on your success stories and create more of them. Once you have a happy client or user, make sure to build a relationship with them and leverage it for mutual benefit.

Case studies are a great example, but sometimes a simple kudos on social may be enough.

In our experience, doing this kind of marketing has brought more leads from similar industries and has grown our user base significantly.

The other advantage is that it’s easy to do. Once you work out a framework, you can replicate it over and over, and soon it will snowball: the more success stories you have, the more you will be able to generate.

And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?

Both aspects are very connected. For me, everything is intertwined, work and life. My biggest hope is to smash the company goals and targets.

I want to create stable growth from one side, and from the other to continue innovating and introducing new capabilities and ways to improve payments.

Follow BridgerPay on Twitter or Linkedin.

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