[quote style=”boxed”]Trusting and releasing responsibility to those around me makes me a more productive entrepreneur. [/quote]
Aaron Salow is the CEO and Co-Founder of XOEye Technologies, a Nashville, Tennessee based company that produces end-to-end wearable tech solutions for industrial markets. Aaron oversees product development, long-term marketing strategies and investor relations.
Aaron’s working experience in industrial-collar and manufacturing companies allowed him to develop his vision early-on for how wearable technology can solve a number of the inefficiencies and safety issues in blue-collar environments. After nearly four years of research and development, Aaron, alongside a team of handpicked enterprise tech experts, launched an industrial-grade eyewear device that captures and streams high fidelity audio and visual content, enabling first-person point-of-view (POV) workplace collaboration. To complement the eyewear device, Aaron also drove the development of the company’s proprietary development platform (XOLinux) and cloud-hosted content management suite (Vision).
Aaron holds an MBA in Management from Belmont University in Nashville, TN.
Where did the idea for XOEye come from?
The idea for XOEye came to my father and co-founder, Chris Salow, while in church. He wondered what it was like to see what the pastor was seeing. This is what initially sparked our excitement to create a Point of View (POV) technology solution. From there, we referenced our long careers in manufacturing and realized the huge potential for POV technology in the industrial space. XOEye Technologies was then founded in October 2010.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A big part of my day is supporting the team and making sure there are appropriate people and partners in place so we execute efficiently. Throughout the day, whether in a media interview or making a business decision, I ask myself, “Am I ultimately adding revenue or will this reduce costs?” I also practice batching my tasks, which involves committing to tasks without distractions, such as email, phone calls etc.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I listen. I believe a good idea comes from listening, whether that’s my team, a customer or the market. I talk with the team about the idea, refine it, test on a small scale and then run with it.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The Internet of Things (IoT). I’m interested in seeing how we can connect people with machines, predict patterns of behavior and create conveniences and efficiencies in day-to-day living, both at home and at work.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Trusting and releasing responsibility to those around me makes me a more productive entrepreneur. Through trusting my team and delegating tasks, I can be more focused on what I need to do, while encouraging growth and leadership across members of the company.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
My worst job was working as a car salesman. I actually quit after two days. My manager/trainer lacked the kind of ethics I was raised with, so I sought a job that demanded a strong moral compass and integrity.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
From a business standpoint, I would have outsourced less. I learned the hard way that I can avoid vendor-related overhead by hiring smarter employees internally.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I work out every morning and have found that this inspires me creatively, increases my energy and reduces stress.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Focusing strongly on our end users, which for XOEye Technologies are those in the industrial enterprise field. This end user- focused approach has allowed us to define and understand our product better, see how it fits practically into day-to-day applications and continue its refinement.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
As an entrepreneur, I mistakenly hired solely based on experience, not taking cultural fit enough into consideration. Team work makes the dream work, and if the team isn’t working right, the product reflects that.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Wearable computing for the enterprise is rapidly growing. With that said, I think applications for the wearables will be an incredibly lucrative market.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
Not many people know that I am a youth leader at a church. I help lead high school kids to make better decisions, which is something I am passionate about.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I like to use Sitemason, which is a terrific service that helps build and scale our website. I also like to use Pipedrive, which delivers CRM and pipeline management solutions.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I recommend Lead the Field by Earl Nightingale. This book outlines key steps to success and does an excellent job discussing the value of a positive attitude.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Entrepreneur, Brad Feld, VC, Mark Suster and Oren Klass have influenced my thinking.