To quote an old cliche, Necessity is the mother of invention. And this was true in the case of a new, emerging company called KOJAMI. Ike Nwaneri and Randall Olade launched a marketing and technology firm called Keadworks. The name comes from a combination of both founders' names and their continuous "workaholic" attitude. Though gathering great success, the two co-founders noticed a persistent problem: they needed a way to automate and enhance the mobile marketing for Keadworks' clients’ events.
Thus KOJAMI was born to help organize and manage events through mobile platforms. With Nwaneri and Olade behind the helm, KOJAMI too is proving to be a competitive success. Nwaneri, the CEO of Keadworks, and COO of KOJAMI, has an M.S. in Systems and Computer Science and years of experience in consumer behavior, project management and events planning. Olade, the second co-founder and CEO of Kojami and the CTO at Keadworks, has an M.B.A. in Global Management and an M.S. in Systems Engineering. As you can see, their expertise stems from their educational backgrounds as well as their daily experiences.
Q: Tell us about KOJAMI.
Ike Nwaneri: "The new product is called KOJAMI. It is an all-inclusive events management, promotion and discovery platform. Some applications help you create events. Some other applications help you to manage large events, but are customized to that large event alone. Some applications enable users to discover events and locations around them. Other applications allow you to purchase tickets for events, then print and show your tickets upon arrival. KOJAMI enables its users to do all of the above for all different types of events…..all from one simple easy dashboard and in minutes. It is not just a web-enabled but a powerful mobile enabled platform".
Q: What makes KOJAMI unique?
Ike Nwaneri: "It may seem like a lot for one platform to accomplish in minutes, but we had to invest a lot of money, time and expertise in understanding the science of events. We had to understand and study all the different possible types of events, what the organizers behind each of these categories of events wanted to solve and the most important factors that mattered to the customers accessing these events via mobile and web. After handling numerous tests and studies of the customers' behavior and the different organizers needs, we got to work.
Q: Why was KOJAMI necessary to create?
Ike Nwaneri: We simply launched KOJAMI to solve a problem the world is still having today: the inability to easily create different types of events for all demographic types, promote the events and manage them all via mobile and web…in minutes. Doing this and providing an unmatched user experience are our two greatest milestones achieved.
Q: What is your vision?
Ike Nwaneri: Our vision is to live in a world where from anywhere and at anytime, we discover, interact and manage events with so much simplicity yet enjoying an experience that creates an immense value for the users, organizers and even external brands, organizations or companies.
Q: How has the response been to KOJAMI?
Ike Nwaneri: It is under a year old and being used by numerous event organizers in different cities all over the country. We have received requests from other countries outside the United States as well, but are pacing ourselves. KOJAMI has simplified the way people create any type of event and SHOVE it to their networks and beyond. It injects steroids to the term “Mobile word-of-mouth”. It has also successfully eased the way event organizers promote their events, brands and companies. Thirdly it provides external sponsors and advertisers a great opportunity to be seen and experienced by their “actual” target demographic in events taking place in different geographic locations.
Q: Any new developments at Keadworks?
Ike Nwaneri: At Keadworks, we are always striving to make the business operations and marketing goals of our clients cost-effective, creative and innovative, while monitoring their performance closely. This is originally how KOJAMI was birthed. It drastically reduced the expenses of our clients and enhanced their marketing and promotion strategies altogether. Through the year and beyond, we are constantly designing products, developing methods and implementing strategies that focus on this core value of our company. We are making things easy and simple for the customer, introducing a fitting level of creativity and innovation and tracking everything along the way so they save dollars and make more in revenue.
Q: What is next for KOJAMI?
Ike Nwaneri: KOJAMI is going through a long journey of product development. Through its designed phases, we will introduce its new features that fit the timing and market accordingly. At this point, anyone can easily create events of all sorts, sizes and privacy levels – and then publish, broadcast or in our own term “SHOVE” their event to their networks and beyond. Facebook shares, Twitter tweets and KOJAMI shoves. We selected this term because it is more powerful in meaning and this defines the true strength of this feature. Events can be shoved to email inboxes, social networks, direct cell phone numbers, sms text messages and many more mediums.
Q: What is your business mantra?
Ike Nwaneri: A core value we have is – Solve BIG problems simply. At Keadworks, our slogan is “Your business and marketing dreams delivered” – This is simply what we strive for. If it can be dreamed, it can be done. So let us deliver it to the customer. At Kojami, our slogan is “Reveal the world around you” – Through events, people will have a deeper understanding of the world and everything going on around them.
Q: What is your take on Business partnerships?
Ike Nwaneri: Find a business partner that has similar personal values as much as similar business values. It will become a huge clash at some point in my opinion if the personal values are way off.
Q: What is key to building a successful tech product?
Ike Nwaneri: When you run into issues during product development, the higher the hurdle, the greater the opportunity in the long run. Enjoy and savor the most difficult times.
Q: What is your secret to building a successful company?
Ike Nwaneri: Always stick to your company core values. It could take a while to figure this out perfectly. When customers discover and relate to the soul of your company, they stay as advocates for a long time. Competitors and competition: they are always friends in the long run. Track them closely and learn from them daily.
Q: Where do you see marketing going?
Ike Nwaneri: I see marketing like biology. People will graduate with the degree and since there is so much they can get into today as a career path, they will have to focus on specializing on a few and proving their skill continuously. Many people will also claim to be different types of marketers but it will not last long. That gold rush will soon be over and only the specialists will truly thrive and survive.
Q: What is the future for social networks?
Ike Nwaneri: There are many more to come because there are so many aspects of life not yet tampered with. The only question is how many will become real businesses and companies that make sense and provide lasting jobs?
Q: Arrange in order of importance - Customers, Shareholders, Employees, Yourself.
Ike Nwaneri: Customers, Employees, Shareholders, Myself.
Q: One stage moment you would love to have before you die?
Ike Nwaneri: I embarked on a recent journey to the United Kingdom and Africa. I visited great cities on both continents and some very less fortunate and poor cities as well. I even talked and engaged in conversations with many very poor people. Some people might never know about the Internet for the rest of their lives. So I have two. Actively assisting and changing the lives of many less fortunate on our planet and speaking to the graduating class at my alma mater, Howard University, expressing how much they should value their education because many would kill to be in their place for 24 hours. And hopefully Barack Obama and wife Michelle would be guests of the event.
Q: What is one thing you would change if you could start your life as an entrepreneur all over again?
Ike Nwaneri: Nothing.
Q: Nothing at all?
Ike Nwaneri: Yes...nothing at all.