Interview with Phanel Petit who is a CEO and Owner of digital startup NAOSSOFT LLC.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Phanel Petit, I am the CEO and Founder of NAOSSOFT LLC of Miami, FL. I have been in the Information Technology space for several years.
Who or what inspired you to get into IT industry?
Answer: That’s a very good question because I went to school to become an aviation maintenance technician at first. Two years after studying aircraft airframe and powerplant at Broward College, I transferred to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach to study aviation business administration. It wasn’t until my last year in college while doing a minor in Information Technology that I realized I should have been majoring in IT all along. All of my computer science professors inspired me from programming to networking, I loved it all. After earning my bachelor, I did obtain an A.S. in IT from Daytona State and that has helped me greatly throughout my career- being able to understand everyone’s prospective. But I would say my biggest inspiration came from my mother, I got my strong entrepreneurial spirit from her.
What was the motive behind launching “Naossoft”?
Answer: I am not new to entrepreneurship, but I started NAOSSOFT for one specific reason: Innovation. After many years of working in the IT industry, and combating with the establishments to innovate, I decided to do something that I would have control of. Naossoft is driven under my collective aegis of technical, innovative, visionary, entrepreneurial, and strong leadership. We are on a fun journey to building innovative systems that can simplify and solve the most advanced problems of today, tomorrow, and light years into the future.
NAOSSOFT is all about creativity and innovation in technology. As I have said, I have been in the IT industry for a number of years, and I have not seen much innovation. You hear the word innovation gets thrown around all the time, and now it comes in different flavors too like open innovation — it’s easier said than done.
How would you define innovation?
I will not give you a book definition because as humans we stop being creative very early during our childhood. We started drawing on our own freely until that one moment when someone start telling us how to draw and judging our drawing negatively.
From that point it is all structured, the freedom of imagination is lost. Innovation is having the freedom to be creative, to do something different, to invent, not be a follower, but finding the best and most effective ways to do something. At Naossoft, we practice extreme innovation, sometimes too extreme!
What exactly are you doing at Naossoft, what are the key services?
I started Naossoft in 2017, it’s been a struggle but I have been focusing mainly on building the brand. I do so by being creative and innovative with our marketing campaigns which is probably how you heard about us.
Naossoft offers web, system, mobile, artificial intelligence development, media marketing, aviation and business consulting. Naossoft supports organizations to achieve their enterprise business goals by accelerating prototyping and deployment strategies relying on our in-depth knowledge of the IoT systems. We think big. We thrive on the impossible, embrace the insurmountable, and defy expectations at every turn.
What’s the hardest thing about being an entrepreneur?
That’s a loaded question. I still have a regular full time job that’s very demanding and a family to support. My regular full time job takes priority, and I love what I do as an IT project portfolio manager for a State agency. I even take work home with me the majority of the time. It took a while to find a good balance. In the beginning, I tried to do everything by myself even coding in my spare time. I learned overtime and have been able to build a great team at Naossoft. I am surrounded by so many talented individuals from all over the world. It isn’t as bad now that I trust my team, I can assign them tasks, empower them, and giving them the freedom to be creative. I am also not shy about reaching out to others who have certain talents. Most recently, I was working on a video commercial for Naossoft and reached out to a friend to compose the music.
I expected pouring support from friends and family, but unfortunately this isn’t quiet the case. It makes me more appreciative though of those who actually care. I am very grateful for those who have been supporting me. My girlfriend is not into technology, but she is my rock. I had told some of my friends and family that I was signing them up to become independent contractor account manager, some of them didn’t hesitate and agreed without any further explanation. But then you have those who would ask 100 questions and never follow through – what are you the next Bill Gates. It takes so little nowadays with the world of social media to support an initiative — a Facebook like, sharing a post, and help spread the word without walking door-to-door or passing out flyers.
In fact if you refer someone, Naossoft will share 30% of its profits gained from the deal with you. I read an article by Lewis Howes, a guest writer for the New York Times. Lewis wrote about how to deal with unsupportive friends and family as an entrepreneur. He mentioned that when you go against unconventional thinking and exploring the unknown, it scares or confuses people. Considering that 20-50 % of businesses fail, yes it’s a gamble.
Does it scare you?
No, not one bit. I am not afraid to fail regardless of how many times. I’ll get up and try again, and again, and again….
What’s the best part of being an IT entrepreneur?
It’s rewarding especially for what we do, clients come to us with a problem or specific sets of requirements. We make their dream become a reality, surpassing their expectations making it all worthwhile. Naossoft is a vibrant innovative company, technology is at the heart of everything we do. We will identify, design and implement innovative, high-value web technology solutions that can combine software applications with a client-facing role to solve problems that affect any business in the digital environment. We are at the forefront of game-changing solutions, we help businesses revolutionize the way they use technology to solve problems that affect global industries.
Technology is everywhere and touch our lives in diverse ways. Naossoft is where brilliant ideas and technological advancements are born. That’s what drives the discoveries we make and the technologies we create and implement.
Have you set some goals to achieve?
Last year, we had a number of internal applications that did not come to fruition. This year we are determined to complete them, and I am sure you will hear about some of them, we know how to make big noise. We are also working on branding and several marketing campaigns to further exposed our business. I think I have finally been able to put a great team together, we can now accomplish some amazing things together.
We start with innovation roadmaps and other tools to help in our innovation efforts. We identify gaps and opportunities for new kinds of innovation through our Xtreme Innovation (XI) process. Our mission is to build a climate and culture where creativity and innovation strive. We want to become a leading innovation brand for products and services in the markets we serve. Our goals is to drive improvements in processes, services and products offered by our clients through forward-thinking solutions. Naossoft is a vibrant innovative company, technology is at the heart of everything we do. We experiment with different approaches to creating ideas.