Tech Entrepreneur Ken Clay Says Deciding What Not to Do is as Important as Deciding What to Do
Technology has been an integral part of how individuals are staying connected especially since social interaction seems to be at an ultimate distance these days. Brands are finding more suitable ways to engage with consumers that fit their current behavioral needs while effectively keeping the brand on-trend and relevant. As we continue to evolve into a touchless society, companies are leaning on forward-thinking ingenious masterminds like Ken Clay, the CEO of Trackit Technology, to advance their growth by delivering revolutionary solutions.
Trackit Technology develops customizable display software where brand correspondence and audience engagement intertwines. With an extensive professional network that ranges from executives of fortune 500 companies to professional athletes, Ken has quickly established himself as an upcoming business leader through various industries.
As a Black man navigating the predominantly white world of tech, he shares with us the importance of being his own boss and how to sustain longevity.
What successful entrepreneur has had the most influence on you?
I've never met this person before, but Jack Dorsey, the CEO, and founder of Twitter and Square. His ability to stick to his instincts and grow not one but two multi-billion-dollar tech companies is inspiring. I gravitate towards Jack because growing his businesses and following his passion wasn't just about the money. It was about creating freedom and putting yourself in a position to give back. For example, he is a HUGE advocate for minorities and females in tech, from donating 1 billion dollars to COVID causes him to team up with Rihanna and create a 4.2-Million-dollar grant for domestic violence victims amid the COVID crisis.
What has been your most significant professional achievement?
I would say longevity. It sounds funny as I've only been in business for five years; however, when I think back on what I have dealt with personally, what my company has dealt with, and some of the cards we were dealt along the journey. Being in business, this long feels like the most significant achievement.
What led you down the path of entrepreneurship?
Observing my first boss was what led me down this path. When I started out, I wanted to be a sports agent, but after watching how he carried himself and his approach towards things, I realized my real passion was in entrepreneurship. The idea of being my own boss and having the opportunity to put myself in a position to be constantly innovative spoke to me more than anything else had previously.
Looking back on your career, what would you say are the most important lessons you learned that you can offer to a young entrepreneur starting out today?
Never burn any bridges, because you never know what a person might have to offer you, as well as what you may need in the future. I would also say it’s okay to not always have all of the answers.
How important do you think is the process of innovation? Which is the strongest capability of Trackit Technology, what differentiates it from the others?
While it definitely is important, it isn't the end-all, be-all, especially when creating a new product, or trying to launch a new product. You don’t want to build for the sake of just building. It happens a lot in the world of tech where products tend to feature creep, which slows down the most important thing, which is deployment. In the end, if you create a product, and no one uses it, it doesn’t matter. Innovation comes from demand, as well as when there's a need. For my software and what makes it different, I’m proud that it can be customized for any industry or any business. We let it up similarly to WordPress or any other content management system, where you don’t have to be a developer to be able to deploy it for your business. The ability to plug in our software from any screen is what makes it unique, and it's simplicity for anyone to use is the most important feature.
How do you and your company stay involved in the community?
We work closely with a nonprofit organization called Open Heart Magic, and actually give a portion of our sales from the product to the organization. Open Heart Magic is a nonprofit that has volunteers that go to children's hospitals, usually in underserved communities, and entertain the children to keep their spirits high. I believe it’s very important to work alongside organizations like this, and outside of that, I try to partner with cities where I believe TrackIt can help generate revenue. Through revenue splits of ad sales, as well as drawing new business to local locations, it’s actually one of my bigger initiatives with this product to use it in order to bring more money into cities as well.
Why deciding what not to do can be as important as deciding what to do?
As an early entrepreneur, it’s easy to want to try to do anything and everything you can, which could easily be detrimental. It’s also difficult because knowing what not to do, won’t always be as obvious to you. One of the most important things for an entrepreneur to understand is that one of your most valuable commodities is your time. Because it’s easy to undervalue the importance of time and take it for granted, you need to learn to be able to say no, and one of the greatest pieces of advice I was ever given was to learn that sooner, rather than later.
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