Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.

Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.

Below is our interview with Paul Appleby, CEO at Kinetica:

What does your company do?

At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Angela Merkel described data as the raw material of the twenty-first century. Kinetica is the company that transforms that raw material into incredible innovations that are powering the fourth Industrial Revolution. Companies that are leveraging new technologies such as connected devices, wearables, mobility, robotics, and more are able to leverage the power of artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, and advanced location-based analytics to power new services in industries such as healthcare, energy, telecommunications, retail, and financial services.

What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?

As the CEO of Kinetica, I am passionate about aligning technology to solving the business problems that matter. To me, this is about turning real-time analytics from a science experiment into technology businesses can immediately put to use and understand. Whether helping pharmaceutical companies bring life-changing medicines to market sooner, improving risk management and fraud detection for banks, or reinventing the real-time shopping experience across the digital and physical worlds, Kinetica is accelerating these initiatives for companies all over the world. To achieve this, we are building a great team of innovators, thought leaders, and problem solvers across all aspects of our organization. So basically, what I love is building an incredible team and working with amazing customers to solve some of the world’s most complex problems.

What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?

In the technology sector, we are often guilty of focusing too much on our product. It’s time to shift from talking about what our products do to the amazing new opportunities our products create for our customers. Whether improving route efficiency for a logistics company or using real-time bidding to reach millions of users across devices, there is no limit to what you can do with your data, no matter what industry you’re in–as long as you have the power to play with it instantly. Our plan is to measure our business by our customers’ success rather than our own. We’re also in a very competitive marketplace, and the best way to recruit talent is to build our brand as a cool, innovative, and fun place to work.

If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?

Take yourself out of the picture. If you focus on great outcomes for your customers, employees, partners, and shareholders instead, you are much more likely to succeed in the end. Also, I would have moved to the Bay Area sooner. San Francisco is still the major hub of innovation, disruption, and technology that is creating seismic shifts in the way we live our lives and operate our businesses. This is the best place in the world to build out a team of motivated, dynamic people with big ideas.

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