Iza Login is a wife, working mother of three, and tech billionaire who together with her husband Samo launched a kids app in 2010, which went on to become the world’s most popular app for children and led to Iza and Samo becoming tech billionaires in 2017. A Tamagotchi for the iPhone generation, the wisecracking, adventure-seeking virtual cat Talking Tom Cat has been described as the “world’s most popular cat”. Downloaded 13 billion times, the app is used by hundreds of millions active users across the world every day. Read on to hear Iza’s story in her own words.
In early 2000, my husband strongly felt that he should work on nonprofitable ecological problems, as the climate crises was already more than evident back then. Coming from south eastern Europe it was obvious that getting funds was an illusion, which is why he decided to co-fund a start-up with me and 6 other friends. Our strategy was to sell the company in five years and earn 100 million USD after taxes. With an additional two years of earnout, we could start working on sustainable projects in 7 years.
We started with the idea of working in the mobile app business as all of us 7 had a computer science background. There were a few not so successful projects at the beginning, but after 6 months, we launched the Talking Tom app that instantly went viral and the ball started to roll. After more than 15 entertainment and game apps, and more than 5 billion users of all ages and genders all around the world, we sold the company for 1 billion USD in just 7 years.
Our purpose “Why to earn money?” was strong and gave us energy and passion to build a strong and powerful team of 200 colleagues in offices all around the world. Our value-based culture, people first leadership, widely accepted manifestation techniques, endless fun while creating the Talking Tom and Friends franchise, proved to be the right approach to go with. My husband and I strongly agree that couples working closely together can move boundaries beyond the limits of the imaginable and seen. We have two kids that were involved in the business from day one, though both were in high school back then. Our younger son was too young to be left at home while we had to travel a lot, so he switched to a home-schooling system in LA (USA), regardless of us living in Europe. He was travelling with us all around the world and finished his high school program in less than 3 years’ time. It seems like a fairy tale today, but it wasn’t easy for any of us. For my husband and I it was a huge learning experience, as we hadn’t done anything like that before. And for sure there were mistakes and obstacles along the way, but we managed to overcome them all.
For the last four years our family has been running the Login5 foundation with the purpose (the “Why”): pure water, pure air, pure consciousness. If we’re thinking about the long-term survival of the human race, we’ve got to think about our planet first. If we don’t take care of that, we don’t stand a chance. We are working to create a world where everyone is free to prosper and live with purpose and love, where we act in the interests of nature, as well as ourselves.
Current projects focus to sustainable food production and development, as well as conscious leadership.
We have a technologically advanced brain research laboratory that looks for the answer to: “Why do we like to eat what we eat?” With empirical understanding, we might be able to develop food that will bring “the best ever” feelings and will be healthy for people and sustainable for nature. In Serbia, we run a huge farm with the vision to build a model for large-scale sustainable farming. We’ll share the findings, models and software tools for free for non-commercial and commercial use. We also cooperate with universities (Harvard and Oxford), research centres and like-minded companies around the world.
We’re publishing a book, 7 Unicorn Drive, that through our true story explains our approaches and ways to build and run a highly motivated and successful team. We combined all of our best practices in the Unicorn Drive Method, which we’ll share in the programs starting in early summer of 2021. Our aim is to build a community where entrepreneurs and leaders cannot just learn the methods we use, but share their experience and knowledge among each other.
7 Unicorn Drive: From Startup to a Billion Dollar Sale in 7 Years – The Adventure of Iza and Samo Login by Dani Polajnar is out now (Aphrodite, £15).