Founder’s Friday featuring @ NakiNoku

Tonny Thomas

Please provide a brief description about your company.
NakiNoku is a product discovery platform. We manufacture and distribute sample sizes of packaged food such as sauces, spices, coffee and other foods, to enable consumers to discover small brands while reducing food waste.

Two hashtags that best describe you 
#determined #changetheworld

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Starting my current business – of all the things I have done in my life, this startup has been the most difficult, yet I believe the achievement of potentially the greatest impact. We were told that making samples at small quantities at a reasonable cost is impossible (which is why samples of small brands are so hard to find). We kept going despite the prognosis of our business and we’ve been able to find a way.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Taking a Sunday nap surrounded by the sounds of my children playing.

What is your greatest fear?
That my children will grow up to face a world that doesn’t see them for the incredible people they are.

Whom do you most admire?
My father in law. He lived his life by his principles and never wavered.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Attention span. I am eternally curious, so I’m often starting on new obsessions (BBQ being the latest).

What are your top tips for balancing work and life?
Take your time – we are told that everything needs to be done yesterday. But if we take our time, we will have sufficient time to balance work and life, and the end product of our work will be better. Busy does not always mean productive!

What is something new that you learned about running a business this year?
That I’m not alone – I am now connected to several communities (of CPG founders, of startup founders, etc) who share my experience.

What is your most marked characteristic?
Curiosity

What is your greatest regret?
Not spending more time with the people I love who have since passed away. We are always too busy, until there is no more time left.

What is your motto?
One day at a time – every day brings its own worries, but also a way to overcome it. So it’s best not to worry about everything and do what you can today.

What is a legal mistake you wish someone warned you about?
The Trademark review process – it is long and arduous, so it ought to be started early.

When running your business, what do you struggle with most?
Loneliness – in the early stages, it does feel like you are own your own.

What advice would you give to yourself at 25 years old?
Take the leap outside the comforts of large corporate life. It is much more rewarding and you learn faster in the world of startups!