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August 30, 2010

2010 40 Under Forty: James Peret

President & CEO, Founder, Owl Power Co.

Company location: Boylston

Residence: Boylston

Age: 34

Career highlights: In college, I was interested in everything and learned the basics of all the engineering disciplines, including chemistry, computer science, robotics, electronics and materials. My degree is in mechanical engineering. I have always filled the jack-of-all-trades role in whatever position I was employed, continuing to learn a little bit about every discipline I worked with. My last position, with Insight Product Development, involved translating crazy ideas into practical applications. Having walked the process numerous times with many great clients, I launched Owl Power Co. to walk the product launch and development path myself.

Community involvement: In our spare time, my wife and I run a website for a local cat shelter, which has helped more than 2,000 cats find new loving homes.

Biggest success: Bringing my company to where it is today has to be my largest professional success. It has been three years since I first had my crazy idea. Today, I have an award-winning international corporation. But that is the 100,000-foot view. Product development is about the little successes. The first time the engine ran, the first export of power, the first week of hands-off operation, were all successes for me. You need to celebrate the little successes just as much as the big ones.

Biggest challenge: Efficiency. Time and personal energy are limited resources and need to be managed just as much as cash flow. Employees need guidance every day and the priority list needs to be constantly addressed.

Hidden talents: I’m really good at Tetris. I am a pilot. I make a mean tortellini soup. I enjoy throwing pottery and mixing glazes. I can take apart devices and processes to understand how they work. But my true hidden talent is my sense of curiosity.

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