KimMic International – Solving the the challenges of the global, digital economy.

Kim Chandler McDonald is Co-Founder and CEO of KimMic International, she is a high-tech (FIA – Future Internet Architecture) entrepreneur and globally respected thought leader on disruptive approaches, transformational trends and international business strategies. Together with her partner Michael McDonald they have developed Fl@tWorld, which solves many technology issues related to our interconnected digital economy.

“Fl@WorldTM is a simple and cost effective solution that solves the challenges of: secure connectivity; realtime data unification of structured and unstructured data, providing search; compliance; auditability; and provenance control – all of which are imperatives in the global, digital economy.”

Tell me about KimMic International (Fl@tWorldTM)

We founded KimMic with the overarching view to being an exponential organisation, which creates transformational technology underpinning the global digital economy.

We were always aware that it was a ‘big play’; our aim was to create Tier One (Enterprise) infrastructure technology at a Tier None (SME) cost and capability level.

Fl@tWorldTM, the technology designed and developed by Michael sits at the heart of a world of interconnected data and devices (the IoT – Internet of Things). When we began the design and development of Fl@tWorldTM seven years ago, we were convinced that a data economy was coming and that new, vendor neutral, platform agnostic technology would be necessary to change big data into SMART Data for the data management (DMaaS) dimensions of rapidly expanding volume, variety and velocity. Every organisation no matter their size have systems, processes and applications that don’t work together. To make them do so, if its possible at all, is currently extremely difficult and expensive and this is exacerbated when businesses want or need to move outside of their own firewalls to work with external companies and their data. Fl@WorldTM changes that.

Fl@WorldTM is a simple and cost effective solution that solves the challenges of: secure connectivity; realtime data unification of structured and unstructured data, providing search; compliance; auditability; and provenance control – all of which are imperatives in the global, digital economy.

How did you come to be involved in the organisation?

Michael and I bring completely different, but complementary skill sets to the table. Michael is a technologist with a breadth and depth of business experience. It took all of this experience and acumen to build Fl@tWorldTM, which needed, full-stack engineering, deep learning understanding, and a complete understanding of business process requirements.

I come from the creative, collaborative milieu – this includes theatre, media, etc. To be honest, the story of Fl@tWorldTM is the story of us, it’s a love story – it had to be. Because we bootstrapped all of this, we had to be completely committed both to each other, but also to the outcome. There was no ‘half way’ in this – we were all in, all the time. That meant 16 – 18 hour days, more often than not seven days a week, particularly in the first five years.

While Michael was writing the code for Fl@tWorldTM I was writing books, which brought us to the attention of international thought leaders and influencers – a group of people we knew would be important to us as we neared completion. In fact, one of our Advisory Board Members, David Pensak (who invented the first commercial firewall), was an interviewee in my first book.

Is there anything like Fl@tWorldTM currently in the market – how does your solution compare with your competitors?

 Well certainly ‘big data’ is a vast pool where a lot of players are swimming. However, our competitors are all paddling in the same direction: the Extract -> Translate -> Load method – and that ETL method is both costly and complex.

Using ETL you still have to work out: what data to show and who to show it to, then you have to add in audit trails and, of course, then add in encryption. But, even then it doesn’t address the 3rd-party, Intellectual Property issues, nor does it satisfy third party auditors. It has to be done for each new data source and each new use/view of the data…. thus the cost and complexity.

The Fl@tWorldTM solution solves all of these problems as infrastructure. All you need to do is ‘bring-your-own data’ and it takes care of all of the complexity of arbitration between the various parties, data ‘flattening’, sharing, searching, security and auditing. It enables better segregation of duties and control, allows users to instantly integrate the data they buy, and it works with legacy systems. We believe it is exponentially more cost effective than anything else in the market and, because all of the ‘grunt’ has been taken care of, it allows IT departments to grow from cost centres to value centres.

What are your plans for the organisation?

Scale globally.

What Skills or Expertise are you looking to bring into the organisation?

We are looking to bring in expertise around finance, and marketing/PR. That said, with us it is of immense importance that the right person, as well as the right skill, is brought in. I don’t mean that we want people who ‘think like us’, however, we do want to work with people who have the same ethos as we do. We often bottom line it like this: If we wouldn’t want to drink a beer with a person, we probably wouldn’t want to work with them.

What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve had to deal with as an early stage business?

We were recently asked if we’d been looking for Venture Capital and we smiled, perhaps a bit ruefully, and said to get to where we are now, it would probably be better to have called it Adventure Capital.

When making ‘big play’s, where there is a lot of risk or no potential to ‘Fail Fast’ it is often difficult to gain the attention of backers. This is particularly true when you are ‘Capital I’ Innovating – you’re not building apps but, rather, the platform that the apps run on. We accepted this, pulled up our boots, tightened our belts and went ahead. There was never a question that we’d stop but its a good thing we learned how to run on a tight budget – at a certain point we even made our own bread. You don’t get leaner than we were – at one point we had a $50/week grocery budget – so we learned to make our own bread.

What advice would you offer other entrepreneurs starting out on their business journey?

 Do it. Get lean. Focus. Iterate, iterate, and then iterate some more.

Iteration isn’t failure, its fail-ful (full of learning possibilities and potential). Don’t be afraid to throw away and start from scratch. Learn from others – read a lot, listen more. Bring your passion to the table; your enthusiasm is priceless!

For more information about Director, Investor and Advisor opportunities with KimMic please contact Director Institute via the Job Board.

Biography:

Kim Chandler McDonald is an innovation and collaboration advocate and advisor. The Co-Founder and CEO of KimMic International, she is a high-tech (FIA – Future Internet Architecture) entrepreneur and globally respected thought leader on disruptive approaches, transformational trends and international business strategies. An award-winning author of Innovation: How Innovators Think, Act and Change Our World (2013) and Flat World Navigation: Collaboration and Networking in the Global Digital Economy (2015) Kim currently sits on Griffith University’s Enterprise Advisory Board, Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia’s Advocacy Committee and the Board of Governors of Frost and Sullivan’s Association of Growth, Innovation and Leadership Executives (AGILE), she is also an Academy Fellow of the International Entrepreneurship Academy and a member of the Heads of Innovation Forum.

The Co-Founder and CTO of KimmiC International, Michael McDonald designs and delivers next-gen digital infrastructure, focused on massively scalable and secure platforms for the demands of today and the future. Known as the ‘Code Whisperer’, Michael is a world leader in lateral thinking and digital disruption, combining tech and innovative organization to meet need. A ‘specialist generalist’, who combines deep knowledge of tech, systems and global business he is driven to give his clients a superior business result that can be implemented quickly & effectively. Michael is a full stack engineer, fully conversant in auditing and security controls, strategic and operational planning, budgeting and P&L management.