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Thinking big and fast: Ami Dror, CEO of BriBooks

The founder of BriBooks, a creative writing app for kids, on productivity, the importance of showing kids that storytelling has financial value, and more

Founder and CEO of BriBooks, Ami Dror.
Founder and CEO of BriBooks, Ami Dror. (Courtesy Ami Dror)

Entrepreneur Ami Dror’s creative writing platform, BriBooks, is unique in its positioning in that it caters to children of all ages. The idea is to help kids write, publish, and sell books, and earn royalties on them. In just over a year and a half, Dror claims that his AI powered app has been used by over 10 lakh children. 

“The BriBooks technology is on the borderline between AI and psychology,” says Dror. “On one hand, we are trying to make the writing journey enjoyable, fast, and almost addictive; on the other hand, we are using AI to predict what one wants to write at any given moment in order to facilitate easy expression. By predicting a range of thoughts one might want to write about, we allow the author to stay true to the story,” he says. 

Clarifying that the app is not connected to any blogs, and that self-publishing is just one of the many components on offer, Dror adds that the idea is to make writing an enjoyable experience. “Writing and reading are the bedrock of education, the most essential critical skills of all critical skills. What most people don't know is that writing for pleasure (and not just writing), is the most effective way to become a lifelong writer; and (this applies to) reading for pleasure, too.” With his app, he hopes to “initiate a chain reaction of writing and reading for life”.

In this edition of Monday Motivation, Dror talks to Lounge about the importance of letting children know that storytelling skills have financial value, how he never scheduled meetings or appointments, and his multitasking mantra. Edited excerpts.

Who do you consider your mentor and why?
I have too many to count - most of them are my friends that drive social change around the world.

Also Read: Gynoveda's Vishal Gupta on why one mentor isn’t enough in today’s complex world 

One major insight or change you implemented or worked on with your mentor's guidance.
Being extremely efficient and fast. Acting fast, even if you made a mistake, is much better than acting slow and doing the right thing too late.

What does being a mentor mean to you? How do you mentor your colleagues at work?
My only role as a leader is to inspire, nothing else. Once you inspire your teams, 99% of your work is done.

Describe your morning schedule. 
Taking care of my kids (for breakfast/school), answering people who contacted me during the night, briefing calls with my management teams, going for a one-hour run, time with the kids, and starting the second part of the day that is more USA-centric. Generally speaking, I work 24/7 because I work with the entire world, so every day when I'm not flying, I will have hard stops from my kids and from sport.

Also Read: The work-life balance concept is a bit dated: Dhruv Agarwala,
What's the one positive work routine you have developed during the pandemic?
Nothing, I kept working as if there was no pandemic. 

The one physical tool/object or thought/mantra that always stays with you while you’re working. 
Thinking big and fast and while doing—always multitasking.

How do you unwind? Do you pursue any serious hobbies?
I unwind by running 10KM almost every day. Most times, I'm holding my conference calls while running, always trying to multitask.

What are some of the productivity principles you follow that have made your professional and personal life much easier?
I don't have an office and I don't schedule appointments. My door is always open, so people can come in, talk for 2 minutes, and leave. This means that my calendar is usually completely open and people can simply jump in. I don't do meetings. This forces my team to be extremely fast and adaptive, and also ensures that I have time to think, while some people simply live from one meeting to another.

How would you advise young writers to not fall into publishing-pressure and write for the sake of expression?
Many kids actually find the "business" part of writing even more enjoyable than the actual writing. In the BriBooks journey, we show the authors that their storytelling skills have financial value, that people are willing to pay for their stories, and that they can make a wonderful profit. In fact, this is very similar to a YouTuber who realizes that if their videos are popular, they will earn money from it. The outcome? The young authors are trying to be as creative as possible as they want their books to be popular.

Monday Motivation is a series featuring founders, business leaders and creative individuals who tell us about the people they look up to and their work ethics.

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