David Schwartz is the founder and president of The Water Scrooge, which offers patented, maintenance-free water conservation solutions to homeowners and landlords. A native of Israel, David was inspired by the Israelis’ water conservation techniques and realized that U.S. markets lacked a tamper-proof conservation device for residential showers. His solution saves landlords an average of $500 per unit per year on water costs and has been installed in more than 40,000 apartments to date.
BusinessInterviews.com: Have you always been a good multitasker? Is that a part of your personality, or did you become accustomed to multitasking because of your role?
David Schwartz: No, that’s who I am; I am always checking around, obviously. I’m a multitasker.
BusinessInterviews.com: Is there a specific part of your personality that makes multitasking work for you?
David Schwartz: Yeah, I’m very energetic; I have a lot of passion. I’m always pursuing things and always on the run to find answers and to have solutions and to satisfy whoever I need to satisfy.
BusinessInterviews.com: What are some different roles you’ve filled at The Water Scrooge? Just reading about you, I’ve know you’ve done installations, customer service, and many other things.
David Schwartz: I deal with the management teams, I deal with the quality control — not on a daily basis, but from time to time. I go down to the fields to check out the installation. I also speak with the stores from time to time to make sure everybody is satisfied and everybody is happy. I like to hear what they have to say about the process, what they have to say about the job, how can we improve, and what we need to change. I hear that, and I take it into consideration. I deal with attorneys — patent attorneys, my corporate attorneys — I speak with accounting, and I deal with manufacturing that makes my products. Also, I deal with a lot of companies that want to, one way or another, try to venture with me. I’m all over the place. You name it, I’m there.
BusinessInterviews.com: What kind of perspective have you gained from getting down on the ground level?
David Schwartz: A lot. I’m getting a whole picture when I go down. With installation, I see tenant reactions, and I see my guys in action. I know how to improve it, I know what needs to be changed. I know what’s going on with the field in regards to the management companies, what they are after, what they’re looking for, and what kinds of complaints — positive or negative — they have. I’m always trying to stay on top of my service and to be on top of the game in order to make it as perfect as possible. That’s the advantage of going down to the field and to actual positions: to get a much better picture of what’s going on and what to do in order to make it better.
BusinessInterviews.com: What do you think it says to your employees that you’re willing to go down there and go through the process with them?
David Schwartz: It shows them a lot: It shows that I care; it shows that we have a high level of quality control. One of the guys isn’t just checking after them. The owner of the company himself comes down from time to time, always keeps them on edge, and always taps them on the shoulder to let them know there are no rounding corners. You always need to be on top of your game if you’re being checked by the highest authority of the company. Also, I share with them my thoughts and my provisions and my way of doing things. Even though each one has his own style, the general way of doing business is supposed to be with one form. It’s like with McDonald’s: They always come out with the same burger because they have an exact protocol on how to make these hamburgers. Same here. I’m making sure they’re following protocol, and I’m making sure each installation is to the exact situation they’re facing in the field. That teaches them a lot; it shows them a lot. I’m always down-to-earth with them; I’m not being high-level, just eye-to-eye. We’re working together, and they like it. They appreciate it.
BusinessInterviews.com: When people are busy and multitasking a lot and fill a lot of different roles, they tend to lose their heads in terms of getting pulled in different directions. Do you ever struggle with taking on all this stuff? If so, how do you deal with it?
David Schwartz: Actually, I’m just now in a situation and it’s too much, and I have a headache because I have too much on my plate right now. It’s not easy. I’m trying to get home and put everything aside to play with my family, to play with my kids, and have time to speak to my partner, who is a great shrink. Even though she’s my business partner, she has the ability to listen and to give me a positive boost and a positive perspective at looking at things, taking things into account and into consideration, and making priorities. When you have such a situation, you need to take a deep breath and stop and prioritize things and really appreciate what you have. The fact that you’re multitasking and you have a lot on your plate just shows that you’re doing things the right way, as you’re busy and you’re not sitting around watching TV. There’s a lot of responsibility, which leads to a lot of good things. When you have such a situation, you have to remember to take everything into perspective and just to know how to deal with the situation and to prioritize things. Then, you realize that it’s not the end of the world and the sun will still rise the day after and the moon will be there the night after and everything will be OK. You just need to remember that.
BusinessInterviews.com: Let’s say you were to give your job, being in charge of The Water Scrooge, to another person for one day. What are five pieces of advice you would give that person, and how would that advice help him get through the day?
David Schwartz: My five pieces of advice are:
1. Relax; take a deep breath
4. Open your eyes
5. Always put yourself in the situation you’re trying to fix. Imagine you’re not the one trying to fix the situation; you are the one in the situation, you have the problem, and you have to fix it: What will you do in the field, not behind the computer with the air conditioning blowing air on you? Think that you need to fix the situation first. You do not have that comfortable surrounding around you.
BusinessInterviews.com: Do you feel that has been the biggest benefit you’ve gotten out of running The Water Scrooge? Has being as involved as you are given you some perspective of how every single rung of the ladder feels?
David Schwartz: Absolutely. That part definitely plays a big role in who I am and how I think with the situation.
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