Founded in 2009, i-KPI Software is still plodding along determinedly to improve the manufacturing industry.
Their app, FactoryKPIs, lets manufacturing executives monitor processes and deal with issues on the go from an iPhone or iPad.
Below, president John Nichols shars his slow-and-steady, persistent approach to entrepreneurship.
Tech Cocktail: What’s the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn so far?
John Nichols: Time and money go really, really fast.
Tech Cocktail: How do you keep your team motivated at the office?
Nichols: I regularly share and reinforce the Vision. They do the same with me.
Tech Cocktail: What common startup advice do you completely disagree with?
Nichols: That sleep is overrated.
Tech Cocktail: What’s the best entrepreneurship book you’ve read and why?
Nichols: The Steve Jobs biography. He overcame all kinds of obstacles and stayed true to his vision.
Tech Cocktail: If you had an extra $1,000 to spend on marketing, what would you do?
Nichols: Spend two hours with Guy Kawasaki and listen, write down, and learn how to get the right message to the right number of the right people.
Tech Cocktail: What’s your biggest personal weakness and how do you make up for it?
Nichols: Only one? Gee. I guess it's: I wake up many mornings with a sense of FUD (Fear, Uncertainly, and Doubt). I punch through it with morning exercise, coffee,and rolling up my sleeves and getting to work.
Tech Cocktail: What keeps you motivated on the hard days?
Nichols: I have a list of personal, professional, and fiscal goals I look at and think about many times a day.
Tech Cocktail: What do you wish someone had told you about startup life?
Nichols: It's the journey, not the destination.
I took me a while to learn it.
Tech Cocktail: What personality trait has served you the best as an entrepreneur?
Tech Cocktail: If you weren’t doing this startup, what idea would you be working on?
Nichols: Helping establish Asperger's self-help groups.
Tech Cocktail: How do you unwind on the weekend?
Nichols: Cookouts with friends, catching up on reading, fishing, camping, nature walks.
Tech Cocktail: What’s one quirky fact about you, your team, or your office culture?
Nichols: Since i-KPI develops mobile apps for manufacturing professionals, I like to be as mobile as possible myself. I especially like working outdoors.
Tech Cocktail: If your startup were an animal, which one would it be and why?
Nichols: Tortoise. Determined, patient, persistent.
Tech Cocktail: If your startup were a cocktail, which one would it be and why?
Nichols: Single malt scotch. It takes years to perfect and worth every minute.
i-KPI is a showcased startup at our Tech Cocktail Boise mixer in April.