There probably aren't many Israeli men who have never heard of Bar Refaeli. The model and former girlfriend of Leonardo DiCaprio is fairly memorable – primarily, one might imagine, among her male compatriots.
But Yoni Bloch is not your average Israeli man (see Q&A below). In a country with a disproportionally high number of start-up rock stars, this actual rock star managed to create a service that has revolutionised the way music videos work. And now he's revolutionising the way movies work too with visual tools for choose-your-own-story type narratives.
Bloch and his band founded Interlude and then launched Treehouse, a platform for viewers to makeover classic songs, 21st-century style. Go to an Interlude music video version of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”, hit the play button and the music video takes the form of an old television set with buttons on the interface.
The viewer can then flip through any one of 16 channels, on each of which the people – from television shopping network hosts to real estate agents to sportscasters – are lip-syncing Dylan’s track in seamless synchronicity.
When he’s not producing, recording and playing music or doing his entrepreneurial thing, he’s apparently drinking tea and eating dark chocolate. That is, according to an interview he gave late last year to NoCamels, the leading news site covering breakthrough innovations in Israel for a global audience.
Falafel or shawarma?
Definitely shawarma – Maybe with one falafel ball, or two or four and without the shawarma.
Tel Aviv or New York?
Tel Aviv, much better coffee.
What are you addicted to?
Dark chocolate – I eat 12 to 15 pieces a day, every piece with a cup of tea.
What’s the best advice you ever got from your parents?
“Be with someone who ruins your lipstick, not your mascara”. I guess my father always wanted another girl.
Burger or green juice?
Green juice. Unless I’m hungry.
What’s your favorite Hebrew word?
Nu! It’s a great word that you can translate to “Hurry up!” but it somehow doesn’t have the same urgency.
What’s your hidden talent?
I am actually a very tall basketball player hidden in a small flimsy body.
If you weren’t an entrepreneur, what would you be?
Pet food tester – I want to make sure our animals eat something worthy.
What were your first steps in the business world?
When I was 16 I decided to sit in the business class section on my flight to Europe. It was a short flight before they noticed I’m not supposed to sit there but it was business.
Bar Refaeli or Gal Gadot?
Who are they?
Read the full interview and book for Design Indaba Conference 2015, which takes place from 25 to 27 February 2015, where Yoni Bloch will be speaking.