brian-brackeen-profileBrian Brackeen is founder and CEO of Kairos, a company that sells facial recognition and emotion detection software for apps. The company was selected as “Start-up of the Year” in 2013 by the Wall Street Journal. The product serves multiple purposes, including providing valuable insight into customer reactions to products before launch and cyber security. In this interview, Brian shares his path to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Editor’s note: Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Florida Poly: What is the source of your interest in technology?

Brian: I am all about finding current, practical solutions to problems and using/ developing technology is always the way to make advancements in this space! 

Florida Poly: Any particular person or piece of technology that inspired you toward this path?

Brian: Steve Jobs and Apple. He was beyond brilliant, and my time at Apple deeply inspired my current way of thinking. 

Florida Poly: What were some of the challenges you’ve experienced on your path to becoming a CEO and how did you overcome them?

Brian: I was a poor student. I was always gifted, and very smart, but I’m sure I was not challenged enough in school to keep my attention. I recently attended some sessions at Harvard that applied the Case Study method of teaching, and I saw school in a completely different way. If I had gone to Harvard, maybe I would have applied myself more!

Florida Poly: What skills or qualities make a good CEO?

Brian: Empathetic leadership, and the ability to pick a great team. Your team is your lifeline, and no one will truly be invested in you or your business if you are a jerk.

Florida Poly: What encouragement do you have for struggling entrepreneurs?

Brian: Keep pushing, but know when to say when. Make the success of your business your entire existence, but don’t drown with a sinking ship. 

Check out this demo of the Kairos facial recognition product: