James Thomas is CEO of Internet Light Industries, based in West Lothian.
The company creates web software for consumers and business and has just launched its first product, broch, an innovative online life management hub. From home and belongings to travel and health, broch helps to keep all important life matters secure and up-to-date in one place, under control and at your fingertips.
K: Typically, how do you spend your working day?
JT: Per William Blake’s advice, I try to think in the morning, act in the noon, eat in the evening, and sleep in the night. The reality, as many entrepreneurs will attest, is more of a complicated jumble of the first three and very much less of the fourth! The Internet helps – there are so many useful, timesaving tools out there for small businesses and individuals, it makes sense to leverage that resource as much as possible. I like to think that broch is one of those tools.
K: Professionally speaking, what are your plans for 2012?
JT: My entire focus for 2012 is building on the success of our January product launch and continuing to develop and improve broch. That means a lot of communications work to introduce broch to a wider audience, to let them know how it can help make things a little easier, and getting out there to meet with the business community so we can develop our partner channel.
At the same time, we have started development of the next version of our product. This will take us into an emerging space around personal data control and monetisation. We are talking to the Scottish investment community to see where we can find support to realise this vision.
K: Outside of work, what are your interests?
JT: Answering this question is like trying to tack interesting things onto the end of your CV in an effort to impress! Fact is, in a start-up business, most personal interests are parked for a while. I do like to travel, and I try to make the most of the rare opportunities I have for a holiday. I visited New Zealand last year during the Rugby World Cup. That was a great experience.
K: What content/functionality would you like to see from KILTR this year?
JT: That’s a good question. I think that the true value of a networking resource like KILTR is in the value everyone derives from using it. KILTR has an opportunity to be different for reasons other than just its “Scottishness.” I think it should promote collaboration between KILTR users rather than, like so many of its predecessors, simply becoming a marketplace where everyone is selling and hence no-one is buying. How you transform that rather broad answer into actual features, I will leave to you.