John Michael, founder & CEO of iStorage
John Michael, 49, founded iStorage, which designs, develops and assembles secure data storage devices, in 2009. Alongside blue-chip companies such as Google and BP, the firm’s customers also include the Ministry of Defence, HMRC and the Metropolitan Police. It ranked at No 93 in the 2016 Sunday Times Tech Track 100.
What inspired you to start your business?
Government officials were losing people’s sensitive data on trains, taxis, cafes and bars – this made me think there must be a secure and easy way of storing sensitive data and protecting innocent citizens.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Not having the resources available to develop as many products as we have ideas for.
What has been your best business decision?
To develop our own IP to ensure we have the world’s most secure portable data storage devices.
What has been your worst business decision?
A few years ago we tried to enter the consumer market place, but we were too early. We will be addressing this market again in the coming months.
Which business leader would you most like to share a meal with, and why?
Richard Branson. He started from nothing, overcame significant challenges, beat major competitors and remains on top of his game. I also admire how he commands respect, dedication and loyalty from his staff and remains as humble as ever.
What company do you most admire, and why?
Apple. Started from a garage, it has become one of the world’s largest companies with one of the best-known brands.