Title: founder and chief executive officer of Chiedo Labs, a web and mobile app development and consulting company based in Harrisonburg

Born: 1990 in London

Education: bachelor’s degree in computer science, James Madison University, 2013

Career: “I started Chiedo Labs as a student. But while studying computer science at JMU, I worked as a software developer intern from 2012 to 2013 and as the lead web developer at JMU Technology and design during that same period.”

In which part of the metro area do you live: “I live in Harrisonburg but travel to Richmond each week to be surrounded by a larger community of professionals from whom I can learn.”

Best business decision: “The best business decision I ever made was hiring a chief operating officer. I hit a point in my career where I realized an entire list of things I was terrible at. My chief operating officer filled those gaps, and we’ve tripled our team size within a six-month period since bringing him on.”

Mistake you learned the most from: “In 2016 and 2017, I launched three new businesses without the systems and processes needed to scale them. At that point I was 25 and hadn’t hit the limits of my time and energy, so I launched those businesses without the necessary time and energy to dedicate. The long story short is that those additional businesses no longer exist and every business I build in the future will be scalable.”

First job after college: “Launching Chiedo Labs. I took the leap. I took it all wrong and I’m still surprised we’re where we are today in hindsight, but things worked out.”

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently: “If I could do it all over again, I’d start my company with a complementary co-founder. Someone like the COO I brought on last year. At the time, I had no idea what my weaknesses were, but in hindsight, I’d do it with a partner who complemented my skill set. But then again, who gets to do it all over again?”

Book that inspired you the most: “The Bible. It drives how I think about everything. It’s how I regulate myself when I start feeling too prideful and what drives how I think about expanding my business and the role I play in this world. I got dealt a lot of the right cards in life that I played no part in dealing, so I need to stay humble and stay thankful. The Bible and my faith drive the appropriate mindset and responses to my experiences in this world.”

Favorite/least favorite subject in school: “My favorite subjects always had to do with computer science. But my favorite classes always depended on the professor. For an engaging professor who drove interaction and conversation, I’d go to the moon and back. For a professor who just read slides, I’d do the bare minimum and play the grade game.”

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