Stashstock Party – When did you know you wanted to start your own business? I always wanted to have my own business, but finding something that I could build from the ground up was the hardest part. We started StashStock in 2015 after realizing that the cannabis industry needed better technology. Coming from both the cannabis industry and the tech industry, I know that technology has a lot of room to make an impact in this emerging industry. What was your original idea for this business and are you still doing (or doing), if so, what is the new focus and why? Initially, StashStock focused on retail solutions for dispensaries. Everything from online booking to managing a busy lobby, providing anxiety-inducing information to bidders and customers to improve decision-making skills. about the potential anxiety of each user. When the legal hemp industry arrived in Michigan, StockStock focused on farm equipment to help open up a new market. There are significant gaps in the currently used hemp control system – especially on the agricultural side. Most of the monitoring activities are done during the planting season and there is simply a lack of technology to help farmers monitor the plant. Many states use a system that requires an RFID tag to be affixed to every plant on the farm. This system alone does not provide the tools to use RFID tags, especially in the field of agriculture, so we decided to focus on it and build a control solution based on RFID. Today, we are a commercial software service that provides compliance with state laws in the fastest and cleanest way. How long did it take you to complete the jump and what made you go over the wall? I injured my back in my sophomore year of college and was bedridden for about 9 weeks with ongoing problems for the next few years. Michigan just passed a medical cannabis law and I got a sick card. At this point I started growing myself and also expanded to help 5 patients. I continued to grow during my 5 years as a software engineer. A friend and colleague approached me about putting together a team to build for the cannabis industry, and it immediately resonated. I saved enough money to get into the cannabis industry and that was it – I quit my job and started working on software for the cannabis industry. Who inspired you to follow your dreams and why do you think you believe in yours? My mom always helped me with everything I did – even growing weeds in the basement. He always encouraged me to go further and do more and really strive to be the best at everything. I also received great support from the teachers, friends and colleagues I met on this journey. I had a successful career leading an engineering team, building a large platform, a business-critical platform, successfully growing cannabis, so I think it was easy to see it as a natural fit. Who is your favorite mentor and why? They can choose any direct mentor or not, I choose Gordon Ramsey. While yes, he can be a lot on his show, it shows in his life and what he imparts to everyone he helps. I remember watching Hotel Nightmares and a familiar theme kept popping up. First, there is love. I’m passionate about technology – building user-friendly, efficient and valuable software. I am also very interested in cannabis and this new industry. This passion fuels late nights, hard work and a motto of “no excuses”. I’m in control, so any delays are directly my fault. When you work for a big company, you can blame the management for not getting anything done, but when you’re running the show, it’s up to you. Second, if you stop every day, you will not grow. You need to find someone to help you, someone you trust, someone who is passionate and let them run your day while you focus on the big picture. It really helped me take that first step of getting paid fortnightly and taking on the responsibility of building a business. What was the hardest part of starting your business and what did you do to get through the early stages? My job is to find and hire the right people. I believe in empowering employees and preparing them for success. I believe people work best when they have direction, but they can perform as they see fit. But not everyone wants to. Many people want to know exactly what to do, and many don’t think about how, why, or how to improve. Ultimately, we decided to partner with a technology company to hire talented people we knew. What was the hardest lesson to learn? You can’t win everyone over. No matter how good your product is, no matter how good it is for customers, no matter the price, sometimes people don’t want to work with you for whatever reason. You just have to accept it and move on. Of course, if you get negative feedback from customers, it could be a sign that you need to change something, but you’re going to get negative feedback from time to time no matter what, and you should be prepared to discuss it with yourself. is, learn what you can. If there is something to learn and always improve. What was the most surprising thing you experienced while running this company? It’s been great meeting people from all backgrounds, with cannabis playing a particularly big role in mine. company. It’s a completely different experience working with someone and carrying that company’s banner. For me, it’s really an extension of myself and it’s an incredible feeling. What was the strangest thing you experienced while running this company and how did you react to it? Perhaps the strangest thing that has happened is that the user does not want to use it. Our service than other clients we have. I never expected a company to not want to work with us because of the other clients we work with. This made us more careful about who we were working with. Instead, try to determine market share or licenses under management. What was the best decision you made while running this company? Most of our decisions are made as a team, so I can’t take full credit for a lot of things, but the best decision we made was to identify a real pain point in the industry and focus on it and focus on it like we do. Switch between solutions until we get specific tools and features that we can call each time. Advanced features that provide significant user value. It’s very easy to build things in response to potential customers and businesses. It takes a lot of effort to stay true to your core principles. Of course, you need to be vigilant and keep an eye out for new opportunities, but you also need to know which opportunities align with your mission and vision. What was the biggest mistake you made in running this company and why do you think it happened? The founders began the first year of product development and marketing until we couldn’t go any further without outside help. In addition, the company’s first structure and parameters ensure that all parties maintain a constant contribution to the company, be it money, time and skills, communication, etc. This is a first venture for most of us and we just weren’t prepared or didn’t want to believe that we needed more margins and better investments to begin with. How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your business? We found little effect on infectious diseases. At first it was more difficult to find new customers. While cannabis is a viable business in Michigan, that hasn’t been the case in every state. We lost some customers during the initial shutdown period, but we were able to continue serving our current customers. Trade shows are a great source of meeting new customers, and due to their cancellations, in some cases it is more difficult for us to find leads. What makes you feel good about your business?
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