We had the good fortune of connecting with Ara Aslanian, Co-Founder and CEO of Inverselogic, and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ara, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I believe taking risks is part of being alive and it’s in an entrepreneur’s DNA. In business, risk is everywhere. Most smart entrepreneurs take calculated risks but they are risks nonetheless. Risk has played a big role in my journey, since I have started a few businesses in the tech sector. Some have been bigger financial risks than others, but none of them would have been started if I didn’t decide to commit money, resources and, most of all, time to the effort. The biggest risks have the highest rate of failure, but they also have that small chance of turning into a thriving venture. When talking about risk, I am always reminded of a quote from Warren Buffett who said, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful”. Although this quote is about investing in the stock market, I believe it also relates to risk in general.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have founded several companies, including Inverselogic, which provides IT, networking, infrastructure, application development, and cybersecurity services for small and medium-sized organizations in important sectors like healthcare, finance, defense, and education. We have had the great fortune of being the primary IT provider to clients such as the Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Broadway Video, KPMG, and Habit Burger, to name a few. I think what sets Inverselogic apart from our competitors is our longevity. We have been in the business for almost 25 years and are still serving customers from our early days. We are also at the forefront of innovation and have created our own tools that have become their own ventures, such as reevert and remind force. The key to any successful business is the commitment of its staff. We have been truly blessed with having the most dedicated employees who have been with us for a long time, some of them celebrating 12 years at the company. In our industry, this is simply not the norm. I am also a strong believer in giving back to the community. I have been on the board of the Community Center of La Canada Flintridge for the past 11 years and served as Chairman of the Board for 10 years. I also serve on USC’s Master of Business for Veterans Board of Counselors and as a mentor. I also currently Chair the Verdugo Workforce Development Board, which provides training and job opportunities for displaced workers.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am somewhat heartbroken to answer this question during a pandemic since most of my favorite spots are either closed or not what they used to be. I am a huge fan of the culinary arts and wine. Los Angeles had started to become one of the most interesting food destinations in the world before COVID, but unfortunately, we all know how devastating it has been for that industry. I will try my best to list out my favorite spots in Los Angeles before the pandemic, with the hope that we will have a chance to return soon. A must-visit location would be a dinner before sunset at 71 Above, which is on top of the U.S. Bank Tower in Downtown. With 360-degree views of the entire city and amazing food, wine and drinks, it is my favorite destination to take a newcomer. You have the entire city under you, and after sunset you see the magical lights of the city. Our beaches and mountains, with the beautiful L.A. weather, are other favorite destinations. Santa Monica Mountains with a view of the water, or a day trip to Santa Barbara beaches and wineries for wine tasting, Another favorite would be some of our beautiful and historic theaters in L.A., like the Alex in Glendale, to see a performance of the L.A. Chamber Orchestra, the Disney Concert Hall or the majestic Hollywood Bowl in the summer.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This is a hard question to answer, I feel there have been so many through my career as an entrepreneur. But when it comes to mentorship, I have to say my clients played a big role in shaping my success, specifically the first few clients when I had just started Inverselogic 24 years ago. I learned a lot from them, by watching their business processes, how they would conduct meetings and deal with staff issues, and what they would look for when hiring new team members. For young entrepreneurs, I think learning from clients is key. You have access to years of knowledge and experience in many different industries to draw from. Don’t be afraid to ask questions from clients. In fact, I have learned that most are happy to share their knowledge and help. As far as books, I have read many great ones. But the book that I felt helped the most in my early journey was “Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive” by Harvey MacKay, which provides key business skills such as how to negotiate with others and motivate yourself and your team. I am sure its lessons are still relevant today.