Tom Copeman – Nara

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Thomas Copeman is the CEO and founder of Nara, a patented web-scale recommendation engine powered by a brain-like architecture.


Love over labor. The more you love what you do and find those who feel the same, the less you will labor. Passion wins over everything. Make sure your work is changing people’s lives for the better and not cluttering up the landscape of life or wasting earth’s precious resources.


I moved my family from sunny Southern California to build Nara in Boston because I wanted to be near MIT. Don’t be afraid to move your wagon train or medicine show to a place that will yield you the best talent for building your company. Often what we want and need are not right in front of us. Be very open to moving or changing your context.




Recruit physically, mentally and emotionally strong minded folks who can endure long hours, demand more of themselves and who can handle adverse situations. If you hire people who place more weight on what they are being paid, know that this candidate has a short-term view of your organization. Having true meaning in one’s work and feeling part of something that is bigger than oneself is far more rewarding than the money that comes in. While money is an important fact of life that one needs to live, it should be looked at more as a dividend or reward that comes from the pursuit of greatness and changing people’s lives for the better. Focus on the sweat, muscle and glory of trying to win and then you will find yourself be cheered by the grandstands after you have won the game. Don’t watch the clock on the board, watch the ball and look for where to pass and receive it while making a run toward a goal.


At Nara, we have a no diva policy, there is no “I” in the word “Team” – every resource level in the company has a purpose to drive the mission forward.


Our marketing mix is multifold on the consumer side. We drive consumer user adoption to our consumer site with PR, social media, SEM, SEO, and community events.

On our enterprise side of sales and business, we often get inquiries about our technology and have an internal team that follows up on inquiries. We are also developing a targeted sales division that will specifically call on key markets and verticals where we think our technology will make an impactful difference.


The need to be fearless is a major tenant to success in a startup culture. Do not fall victim to crowd control. Noise from the crowd or critical comments in the early embryonic stages of a new company can stifle life and cut off critical oxygen supply to the newly forming organism. Run down Alleyways, for they are much more interesting than the mass glittering lights of the boulevards. In an alley one can approach something from the back door, versus the conventional front door. Steer away from too many common conventions or you will end up thinking like everyone else and innovation will stifle. Focus on new discoveries.


Don’t follow a conventional path.

There is no perfect power presentation. You need to be able to tell your story genuinely with passion.

There is no formulaic way to make money.


Stay curious and open-minded to people that approach you.

Be conscious and aware to possibilities that prevent themselves to you.

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