Conrad Miller is a certified, professional engineer who chose the path of an entrepreneur by founding “Ideas to Innovation” which is a Web and Mobile App services. Recently we had an opportunity to interview Conrad regarding his entrepreneurial journey and business success. Below is the interview and he even shared the challenges he faced. We hope this will be another interview that helps you in gaining more courage, ideas and motivation to achieve your goal of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
1. Hello Conrad! Please tell us about yourself.
I am a certified, professional engineer and innovation enthusiast who loves to bring out the creativity in others. It is against that background that I founded Ideas to Innovation. In my 9 to 5, I enjoy my role as Engineering Manager at a powerplant here in Jamaica. I am a father of two who enjoys writing, music and launching new projects.
2. Why do you refer to yourself as The Business Engineer and what inspired you to launch “Ideas to Innovation”?
Throughout my entire childhood, I wanted to be an engineer. Any engineer would do; mechanical, electrical, civil…but it had to be engineering. I ultimately decided to go with becoming a Mechanical Engineer, and after that degree, when I decided to take my studies to the next level, I again went with a Masters in Engineering Management. I was very certain I had had enough of school when I got the crazy idea to do a doctorate. But this time!…in business. I recently completed my doctorate (July 2022) which was focused on Strategy and Innovation. This sudden jump into the deep end of business, with a strong engineering base, is why I see myself as The Business Engineer. The unusual mix of skills has given me a unique perspective and has made me ambidextrous (so to speak) in these two very critical but different aspects of strategy and business/product innovation.
When I first came up with my first mobile app idea, I.A.N (Interactive Audience Network), I thought it would be easy to find someone to develop it. After all, getting the idea is the hardest part, correct?? No. First, it was difficult to find capable developers, then I received very expensive quotes and finally, it took several months to get that project started due to many miscommunications and waiting on persons who could get the job done. The problem actually was that I am not a software engineer. I do not know how to code.
It was that day that I decided to help others who may have app ideas intended to make the lives of others easier or more fun. Imagine how many people think of innovative ideas DAILY but leave that seed unwatered because they do not know how to make their innovative idea a reality?! The first thing I did was write a free e-book documenting everything I did (and mistakes I made!) when developing I.A.N and shared it with as many people as I could. Then I launched Ideas to Innovation (i2i) which I have already started helping people bring their web and mobile app ideas to life.
Check and download our free e-book: https://innovatetocreate.ck.page/
3. Please tell us more about i2i (Ideas to Innovation) and its services.
Ideas to Innovation currently offers two main services:
- Coaching Services- Helping others explore the feasibility of their web and mobile app ideas. Helping others to protect their ideas through intellectual property rights as they implement and explore these ideas. Helping others bring their ideas to life.
- Services through the apps that I have myself made. I have created apps that help content creators extract much more value from interactions with their audience. Whether through their comments or through their reactions. I believe that we are leaving a lot of value on the table in the way we currently interact with our audiences, both in live settings and in recorded (e.g., youtube, Tik Tok and other platforms). The apps I have created so far add value for teachers, comedians, public speakers, YouTubers, tik tokers, and everyone who has an audience that listens or watches them and have feedback that can help them grow/improve their offerings.
4. You are an Engineer and a Mobile App Innovator. What makes you become an entrepreneur? Please share more about your journey.
I imagine to all who knew me as a child, seeing me as a ‘Business Engineer’ and entrepreneur must be quite a shock. I avoided everything business-related growing up because I was 200% sure ‘business’ knowledge was unnecessary. It turns out that engineers convert ideas to designs, but designs need business concepts and applications in order to market those ideas, bring them to life and make them profitable. The day I realised how important understanding the business side of any product is, I immediately began delving into the power of entrepreneurship.
I travelled the same journey as an Engineering Manager. I started out as a young engineer, totally enthralled in how things worked- the powerplant operations and maintenance. This, of course, was very interesting. However, I quickly realised once the plant was running, the greatest impact on the bottom line of the company was business acumen and strategy. A whole new world to explore and my journey to become Dr. Conrad Miller had begun.
5. What are the challenges that you faced in your journey as the Founder of Ideas to Innovation (i2i)? How did you overcome these challenges?
I have found that many people take their ideas for granted. They do not realise that thinking of a different way to solve a simple problem is often the opportunity they may have been praying about. That is, it could be their way to give service to thousands or millions of people and of course, receive their fair compensation for doing so. My challenge has been making others see that there is a lot of potential in just exploring these ideas that casually come to mind.
Another mental barrier to overcome is thinking that one cannot create amazing things without being the expert in that field. That is so NOT true. Gone are the days where you have to dedicate your life to writing (for example) in order to become a best-selling author. There are thousands of 3rd party services ready and willing to take your book idea, help you structure it, publish your book and watch the magic happen. They get paid of course, for assisting in making it happen, but this is a small price to pay for helping you make a tree out of your seed of an idea. They are, however, nothing without the idea that you almost kept to yourself!
I am overcoming these challenges by doing everything I can to make others know that they are much more innovative than they realise. I do this through my social media accounts and book(s) that I write.
And the greatest challenge that all business-minded busy- bees usually face is time management. As a father of two, an engineering manager, doctoral student and entrepreneur…I can definitely say that I could not achieve these without the support of my fiancée. Having someone who understands your ultimate goal and supports you in that is an absolutely critical success ingredient.
6. Tell us more about I.A.N, and how other people or entrepreneurs can identify when they have a good app idea.
Let me start off with app ideas and innovation in general. Every single innovation in this life has stemmed from someone identifying a problem and trying to find a suitable solution. Every single one. A few years ago, I was sitting in a line at a car wash, here in Jamaica. I waited for 2 hours to get my car washed. While I sat, feeling quite flustered I couldn’t help but think “There must be a BETTER way!”. I thought of how many busy people might also be frustrated at having to choose between having a dirty car and wasting hours waiting in line. It was then that I thought of starting a mobile car wash business where I would visit persons in the comfort of their homes and offer them quality car clean-up services. Unfortunately, I never did, which is the issue with many entrepreneurs- a lack of follow through. But this is the way that naturally innovative people (all of us) need to see opportunities through our daily frustrations and dissatisfactions. By asking “How might an app make this easier?” Or “What service could I offer to fix this problem for others?”.
Now to my app, I.A.N. The idea for creating an app that could harness and report feedback from an audience first came as I was participating in a Toastmasters Meeting. Toastmasters is a club for persons who wish to improve their abilities and confidence in public speaking. I saw that there was an opportunity to offer better feedback to a speaker by tapping into the minds of the listeners. Not just as a summary survey at the end of a speech, but second-by-second as the person spoke. I.A.N was born. I then expanded the use and value of I.A.N into more than just public speaking meetings. I encourage everyone, entrepreneurs or even if you do not consider yourself an entrepreneur…explore every single idea you have (even casually). I promise you, you will either enjoy the feeling of exploring your own creativity or make a bunch of money doing it. A quick shout out to all my entrepreneurs and Innovators out there. Keep Innovating!
7. How do you plan to release your app I.A.N?
I.A.N will be released in app stores in the middle of August 2022, and anyone interested in being early testers of the app can do so for free by contacting me on my website.
Thanks, Conrad for this interview.
You can read more about Conrad Miller, “The Business Engineer” who founded “Ideas to Innovation” (Web and Mobile App services) by visiting his website: https://ideastoinnovation.com/
Tik Tok : https://www.tiktok.com/@doctor_i.a.n2