Forty Under 40: Kevin Ross, founder of Metova Mobile App Developer

Kevin Ross launched Metova Inc. with just $8,000 in 2006. In 2011, his technology company that develops custom mobile applications was among the fastest-growing businesses in the nation, landing on the Inc 500. Prior to founding Metova, Ross held top posts at two technology corporations.

What motivated you to get where you are today? Autonomy, mastery, purpose. I didn’t feel that I could reach my potential in the opportunities I found within corporations.

Of what personal accomplishment are you most proud? The personal lives of entrepreneurs are often sacrificed before seeing success. My personal accomplishment? Being a successful entrepreneur. I hope now that we have achieved some successes, my answer to this will be more significant in the coming years.

What kind of hobbies do you enjoy? Sim racing.

Tell us about someone who inspires you. Eliyahu Goldratt. His teachings have inspired us to be profoundly more successful.

What would you tell other younger business leaders to do to find success? To seek clarity in not only what they are building, but also why they are building it. Many young business owners have an idea of what they want to build; they understand their personal motivations, but they don’t know how to monetize their idea or who their customer is. While it would be nice, the saying, “If you build it, they will come,” doesn’t ring true.

What is the biggest challenge you are currently facing? Finding new space. We are growing so rapidly — we’ve added 10 new employees just in the last few months — that our current office space in Franklin is quickly becoming too small. Figuring out our next step in dealing with this growth is certainly challenging.

What has been your biggest professional mistake and how did you overcome it? Promoting someone into a position that they weren’t ready, willing or capable to fulfill. There are some people who can’t make that transition into management. Realizing that and only promoting individuals who have already shown the ability to perform and lead, before actually being put in that role, has helped us to continually grow and build from within.

What role has mentoring played in the development of your career? My “mentor” of sorts has always been Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints. Using his teachings and guidance through books has had a profound effect on me as an entrepreneur and business owner.


By Nashville Business Journal Staff

This article originally appeared in the Nashville Business Journal.