" I’ve always wanted to make an impact on the world..."
Where are you currently located on the planet: Johannesburg, South Africa
What is your business called and what does it do? Device Magic – we offer a software as a service platform allowing organizations of all sizes to quickly and cheaply build data gathering applications for iPhone, BlackBerry and soon Android devices. Find out more at devicemagic.com!
How long have you been operating for? 18 months
Why did you decide to start your own business? Serial entrepreneur – I’ve always wanted to make an impact on the world, even if it’s in a small way.
Name the toughest challenge of starting your own business? It becomes very difficult to separate yourself and the business; the two entities seem to merge. Often your mood is completely influenced by what’s going on in the business. (FirstStep.me says well stated!)
Do you see your business going the distance? Of course! But I’ve been wrong before.
What ambitions both short term and long term do you envision for your business? In the short term we’d like to build a great Web 2.0 offering and customer base. In the longer term we’d like to become synonymous with the problem domain, i.e. the SurveyMonkey of mobile data collection.
What has been the most insane moment of running your own business? I would say the daily experience of trying to analyse or plan with very incomplete data. It really is a leap of faith.
Do you believe that business is kick-started on a cup of coffee in the morning? No, probably several cups! (FirstStep.me understands!)
In terms of business which country do you feel is setting trends that people should take note of? The US, particular California and New York is where all the Web 2.0 and SaaS offerings are coming out of. In a very short space of time, the influential smartphone platforms have all become North American (Android, iPhone, BlackBerry).
Do you have any business mentors and what are they like? I’m lucky enough to have had a couple of mentors along the way. Often they force you to confront the things you’re avoiding or pushing to the back of your mind.
Any business inspirations that make you want to keep your business going? I get pretty inspired when I see the diversity of applications our customers are finding for our product. I do find other entrepreneurs inspiring – Elon Musk would be an example.
Finally if you weren’t in business what would you be doing and two if you could name your own planet what would it be called?
1) I think it would be pretty cool to try and apply tech breakthroughs into fighting difficult-to-combat diseases. Extending humanity beyond earth is another. Both of these unfortunately require a *lot* of funding!
2) Dagobah probably, but I’m also partial to Hoth. Yes – I enjoy Star Wars (don’t all tech entrepreneurs)?
Note: Device Magic are very keen to meet young developers (preferably with some Ruby Rails experience) who want to take the plunge and work for an exciting mobile start-up! Find out more on: devicemagic.com