Welcome back to another exciting edition of We Give A FAQ. This week, we’re joined by Nico Steyn, the Co-Founder and CEO of South African-based tech megatron, IoT.nxt.
Nico is certainly one to watch as he pioneers the way through the 4th industrial revolution, with an impressive IoT, or ‘Internet of Things’ solution. With over 20 years of experience, this inspiring entrepreneur has his hands on a major piece of the digitalisation puzzle.
As a patriotic man of his country, Nico wants to bring wealth, jobs and prosperity to South Africa. Though he’s currently got his eyes on the globalisation of IoT.nxt, he stands by his home town and maintains a strong connection to his roots. His resilience is derived from achieving success on a continent that commonly faces connectivity challenges. He amusingly asserted “what works in Africa can work all over the world” during a recent interview on South African television.
Working alongside Nico are friends and co-founders, Bertus Jacobs and Terje Moen. As a trio, these guys are a force to be reckoned with. Their breakthrough technology is bridging the gap through digitalisation, optimising the way businesses use their data.
Q: What is company culture?
You can think of company culture as understanding what, how and most importantly, why your company do what they do. It’s essential to know on a human level, what the story of the company is and why it’s got to where it has.
Q: Why should businesses give a damn about it?
Because people are what make a strong company. The environment you create inspires people to be the best version of themselves, keeping them engaged, happy and productive.
Take a look at Netflix for example. As they become more and more ingrained in popular culture, it’s no accident that they’re now one of the best places to work. They avoid conventional office rules by trusting their employees to complete tasks on their own terms, with the goal of exceptional execution to drive them. With trust and flexibility, this unusually candid workforce come together as a dream team for the high-performing company.
Q: Tell us a bit about IoT.nxt. What do you do?
Our mission is to continue to develop a technology to facilitate an ecosystem-wide overhaul without disruption. The raptor we use physically and virtually allows us to connect to all devices, abstract their data and consolidate it.
Do or don’t, there is no try. Not at the IoT.nxt table, anyway.
We’ve been tackling the industry problem of integrating different technologies head-on. We want to make it possible for different new and old technologies to be compatible with each other.
Ultimately, our work has just started. The passion we have for our product and what we’ve built is flourishing. We will continue to innovate locally to a global market. Our product gives us a chance to optimize and upskill local people, so we see it as a duty of ours to create a more sustainable job market for South Africans.
Q: What does your company culture mean to you?
It means everything to us. Put is this way, as you walk through the front door of IoT.nxt, we’ll bet it’s not the impressive Star Wars wonderland you’ll find yourself in that will knock you into the future and beyond – but rather the people.
The story of IoT.nxt stems from what is imbued in Bertus, Terje and myself. It’s visible in the 200+ individuals hard at work in what we call our ‘arena’. We’re doing all we can to create a work environment fueled by passion. A place that makes you wake up wanting to rush to work to make a difference, because we know that, big or small, what we’re doing is making the world a better place.
We want to focus on maintaining company culture in a high-tech, high-pressure environment. We have an incredibly special group of people working with us to date and we ensure that as we grow, we will continue to instil the same core values that we had when we started.
Q: What makes IoT.nxt stand out from the rest?
Our technology is agnostic. By that, we mean that it doesn’t depend on any technology platform. We are able to give our clients the freedom to choose what technology they want to use.
We enable change, making complex things simple and the impossible, possible – but you already knew that, didn’t you?
Q: What’s some advice you would give to businesses looking to establish company culture?
It’s vital that you define your values. Create meaningful tangible values that people can internalise and live by every day. Hire people with the same values as you, to the point where you consider these values before their experience/qualifications.
Finding the right partners that share your values will also help to form genuine, long-lasting client relationships.
Live to your values.
Monitor your staff but trust and have faith in them.
Stay true to yourself.
Pretty Damn Good is a Brisbane-based fully integrated brand marketing agency. Check out our previous We Give A FAQ blogs on anticipating customers needs and brand marketing in the digital age.