Software Free Radicals with Lior Kanfi

Creating a software company has never been easier. Software engineers are increasingly seeing entrepreneurship as a viable career path. But the path to being an independent software developer is not always clear. 

Most engineers spend some of their career working at a software company. Even an engineer who intends to build a company someday can thrive within the right environment.

Lior Kanfi is a software engineer and the founder of Tikal, a company he started at the height of the dot com bubble in 1999. His initial vision for the company was to build a product around managing knowledge and people within a company. 

When the dot com bubble burst in the year 2000, it became much harder to run a product-focused business. Companies were not buying lots of experimental software, and investors were not aggressively funding new software companies. After the market collapsed, Lior shifted Tikal from a product-focused company into consulting, in order to have a more reliable income stream.

Today, Tikal is a successful software consultancy based in Israel and the Bay Area. Lior describes the engineers within Tikal as “free radical” software developers: independent people who want to learn about new technologies and build experience interacting with clients.

Lior joins the show to talk about his 20 year journey building Tikal and the differences between engineers in the Bay Area and those in Israel. Lior also hosted the Full Stack Tech Radar Day in Tel Aviv, which was a great conference I attended.


  • FindCollabs is a place to find collaborators and build projects. FindCollabs is the company I am building, and we are having an online hackathon with $2500 in prizes. If you are working on a project, or you are looking for other programmers to build a project or start a company with, check out FindCollabs. I’ve been interviewing people from some of these projects on the FindCollabs podcast, so if you want to learn more about the community you can hear that podcast.
  • New Software Daily app for iOS. It includes all 1000 of our old episodes, as well as related links, greatest hits, and topics. You can comment on episodes and have discussions with other members of the community. And you can become a paid subscriber for ad free episodes at Altalogy is the company who has been developing much of the software for the newest app, and if you are looking for a company to help you with your mobile and web development, I recommend checking them out.
  • Upcoming conferences I’m attending: Datadog Dash July 16th and 17th in NYC, Open Core Summit September 19th and 20th in San Francisco.
  • We are hiring two interns for software engineering and business development! If you are interested in either position, send an email with your resume to with “Internship” in the subject line.


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