Supply Chain Now Episode 438
The ‘TECHquila Sunrise’ Series on Supply Chain Now shares the latest investments, acquisitions, innovations, and glorious implosions in Supply Chain Tech every week. If you are looking for a podcast about ‘so-and-so signed a contract with such and such,’ or ‘they just released version 20 of that same technology you didn’t buy last year,’ this is the wrong podcast for you. But if you are looking for real news and innovation, welcome to the Sunrise.
Greg White (00:00:00):
This week at tequila, sunrise, we’re smoking and drinking. Yeah, we’re doing our first founder interview. And then
Greg White (00:00:07):
It’s a hot one, a cannabis
Greg White (00:00:09):
Industry, supply chain tech leader. I’m taking a step towards the dark side. Yeah. I’ll tell you about my newest gig and tell you why. If you’re a founder, you might just be as excited as I am. I’m also going to highlight one big mover in the supply chain techs,
Greg White (00:00:29):
Doc index. So listen up it’s time
Greg White (00:00:41):
And to wake up to tequila, sunrise, where unfortunately, without the aid of tequila, we opened your eyes to how startups and venture investing. Tech’s focused on supply chain tech every week, this unholy hour of the day. If you want to taste of how tech startup growth and investment has done, join me every Thursday,
Greg White (00:01:03):
Blinding tequila, sunrise
Greg White (00:01:07):
Wide here from supply chain. Now I am always happy, never satisfied, willing to acknowledge reality, but refusing to be bound by it.
Greg White (00:01:16):
My goal is to inform,
Greg White (00:01:18):
Enlighten and inspire you in your own supply chain tech journey. Hey, in case you’re listening in supply chain now main channel, you should know, you need to subscribe to tequila, sunrise, wherever you get, your podcasts will only be in the mainstream for a couple of weeks more. Go subscribe to tequila sunrise today. So you don’t miss a thing. Hey, you may have heard me mentioned biology. Openeth at Cooper, a venture capital in episode five, remember Paul Noble CEO at Verisign and introduced us biology. And I really hit it off over a couple of cold beers talking about what we thought could be improved in the investment ecosystem for founders biology shared Kibera is visionary founder, empowering investment philosophy. I found it a really refreshing approach as a founder, fast forward a bit. And when biology and James McKee and st Azore Lou asked me to join as a venture partner, I had to say yes.
Greg White (00:02:16):
So let me tell you why Kibera invest in early stage companies, seed stage and a rounds early company success we’re consultated investors for founders who are, re-imagining how we work. And we live who are building emerging technologies for future of work industry 4.0, and now after a couple of cold beers supply chain, a lot of founders have reached out to me to share their ideas, their companies, and there was, and I really look forward to talking to you if you need guidance, or if you’re considering a fundraise and you’re an early stage company, reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s U B E R a.vc. Alright, I’m pretty excited to get you to our guest for this week, but first let’s see what’s going on in supply chain tech this week. Hey, money seems to be slowly coming out of hibernation. And let me tell you about one investor, Cambridge capital Ben Gordon, who I’ve mentioned on the show and will be a guest in future weeks has already made three supply chain deals this year two in tech lift it, which we talked about a few weeks ago and bring that closed in April on 30 million in funding somewhere under $500 million in valuation.
Greg White (00:03:38):
So there is money in the market buck up little campers. There’s a big opportunity out there. All right, let’s talk about this week, 264 funding rounds for $7.3 billion 97 acquisitions for $12.5 billion. And this week I dug into supply chain deals. There were 10 rounds for $97.5 million. All right, let’s jump to the tequila. Sunrise supply chain tech stock index, because it is so easy to say it is easy to say that not much happened this week. Look nearly every stock is flat to up a little this week. As of Tuesdays close PTC park city group down slightly SAP is near its 52 week high that it hit on Tuesday and get this big commerce. New member of the index jumped $28 when it announced it’s Instagram integrations to over 104, there are some great and interesting deals happening this week. I’ll go into some detail next week and I’ll include them in the show notes at supply chain. Now radio.com/tequila, hyphen sunrise, but we have a special episode today. So let’s roll right into that and get ready for a little bit of transition from smooth jazz voice to zoom voice.
Greg White (00:04:56):
Hey, it’s time to bring in our guests. Colton Griffin, CEO flourish. One of the leaders in the cannabis industry. Let me tell you a little bit about Colton. He’s a supply chain veteran graduated Magna Coombe Loudy with industrial engineering from the university of Tennessee. Get this has Bechtel Schlumberger, genuine parts, which is Napa and Manhattan associates in his experience. And he stumbled into the cannabis industry by pivoting a prior company, to create this industry leading, I would argue track and trace company. So let me make one full disclosure. I’m really honored to serve on the board of directors of flourish. So I might be a pretty big fan, but what I’m really excited about is today, I get to ask Colton a bunch of questions that I have never really gotten to ask him before as a board member. So before we get started, do you have your shot glass? I do. Alright. Bottoms up. Okay.
Colton Griffin (00:05:59):
And this thing started,
Greg White (00:06:01):
Let’s get this party started. Look, you and I have known each other for a while now, but our listeners don’t know you and on tequila, sunrise, I want people to get to know you. So tell us a little bit about yourself, your hometown, a little bit about your childhood and, and maybe what type of kid you were. I have a feeling I know, but
Colton Griffin (00:06:22):
Love it. Well, thanks for having me on, uh, it’s, uh, it’s great to be here. So I grew up in rural East Tennessee, uh, between Knoxville and Chattanooga, and I definitely have an appreciation for the outdoors and country-wise, I actually went to boarding school in Chattanooga and got a scholarship and went there and left home in 14 to go to prep school, which was a world of difference from where I grew up, had a great experience. And then I was university of Tennessee and studied industrial engineering there, and then wound up at Atlanta at Manhattan to really kick off the career.
Greg White (00:06:56):
Any aunts, uncles, grandparents, anybody impart any significant wisdom on you? Or was there kind of a pivotal moment when you, that you can recall from your childhood? You know,
Colton Griffin (00:07:11):
I think my parents raised me, right. I have had a good, good foundation as far as morals and discipline and hard work. And, uh, and then, you know, when I was, I would say when I was in high school, I had a bunch of really like amazing mentors, a couple teachers who were just really well educated and have pretty world views. And I was a, I was an Eagle scout at the end of the day. I went to boy Scouts for four years, had a great scout master. We reactive, um, and the camping. And that’s something that minds talk firewood all winter and raise money. So there was a good number of influencers or one person from before I was in high school. I wrote a bio on, had a really successful career, ended up in 18 T, but earlier in his career, he had hiked across the country by himself. He grew up in like in the core West, Virginia tried to cross the country at 16. And then, you know, when I knew him, I used to do a lot of yard work for me, huge house and, uh, you know, had a kind of successful career behind him, but it was kind of interesting. Ran a bio on someone like that, that varied background.
Greg White (00:08:17):
Interesting. That reminds me of a friend of mine who did a similar thing. He’s about six foot seven and he drove a Volkswagen bug across America, kind of doing the same thing, couch hopping and, and then settled down, I guess. So does wild oats and settled down and started a business he’s Uber successful now? That’s really interesting. I’ve always told people, I feel like I wasted my youth not getting wasted. Maybe I should have done that more so well. So, uh, so let me ask you about some of the things you like. You got a favorite topic, or are you a fan of anything big? What’s your favorite hobby? I, you know, I used to be super involved
Colton Griffin (00:08:56):
In politics, uh, which was my, my, my sort of passion when I was doing the corporate job at GPC. How long were free time they have now a Donald, some of that back politics is, is even more divisive than it was five years ago or seven years ago. So that was even possible to keep up with how things were made. Uh, it’s been kind of neat seeing it from the inside and now I belong activist background from when I was probably, I mean, I grew up with internet, right. So, you know, as soon as I had access to understand what was going on in the world, it’s like, no one care about this. Like assign all these online petitions. I’m like 13, 14 years old, uh, you know, like suddenly was right there. So
Greg White (00:09:45):
That’s pretty cool. So that’s your, that’s your hobby?
Colton Griffin (00:09:49):
Yeah. I’m not a sports and tell you, I don’t like going to the games and having fun. I just haven’t ever, ever lashed onto a specific team. I mean, go balls. I enjoy football out there and it’s fun to go back for a game. And you know, other than that, now it’s nice to get away from technology some and just, uh, you know, is it the great outdoors during COVID it’s even that that’s all we got. So definitely been enjoying some, some outdoor activities this summer and spring.
Greg White (00:10:22):
So you’re in Cali, right. So you’re close to the beach,
Colton Griffin (00:10:26):
Um, like a beach in the block from the beach. I can almost throw the Frisbee and hit it. So, yeah. Uh, trying to, trying to learn some surfing, biking running right here, um, which is a pretty cool town it’s, uh, to me know, on the West side of LA here, have you hit the weights on the beach?
Greg White (00:10:45):
I think they took those away. Didn’t they
Colton Griffin (00:10:47):
That’s yeah. All the gyms are closed, um, including outdoor door. So muscles.
Greg White (00:10:54):
Yeah. That’s all right. Muscle beach, Venice. Yeah. That’s, that’s a cool area out there, but you lived in Atlanta before
Colton Griffin (00:11:00):
You moved out there. Right? A good years in Atlanta. Um, really loved my time there and a couple of years at Manhattan and then a couple of good years of genuine parts building out all their analytics and deploying that across the country. And then, you know, we did some consulting and continue to work with them being a past that past being a full time employee there. And, uh, yeah, really love, love Atlanta. It’s I think it’s even more on the radar than it was when I first moved there. Uh, but I was a big, big advocate selling, selling, and we still have the office there. It’s our official HQ. A lot of our team is in Atlanta. Yeah. Nice digs too.
Greg White (00:11:42):
Um, okay, so first got you. Question is, uh, what is your favorite word?
Colton Griffin (00:11:48):
Um, my favorite word, um, my word obviously is flourish. Wow.
Greg White (00:11:57):
Getting people have tuned you up, man.
Colton Griffin (00:12:02):
Uh, you know, um, but yeah, I don’t know that I’ve ever thought about that question. Yeah,
Greg White (00:12:11):
That’s a toughie. Isn’t it? If you come back, it’s okay. If you come back to it
Colton Griffin (00:12:14):
Later. Okay. Just flourish too, versus a good wine. I, we, I felt like we landed on a name that, that spoke a lot of what we’re trying to observe and empower and, uh, yeah,
Greg White (00:12:29):
For the cannabis industry, it’s a double entendre, right? Yeah.
Colton Griffin (00:12:33):
So I love it. Flirt the plants flourish and the companies flourish. We were, we were, we were very close to naming the company leafy and then we trickled it and realized there was already a big company in the space called Leafly, which would have been very confusing and a lot more than cultivation. Now, then that was the first product or piece of the product launch. So we landed here. It’s much better. Yeah. It’s good. Great looking shirt too, by the way, one of my favorites. So thank you for that as well. Wrath the brand. Um, so any, so aside from you
Greg White (00:13:12):
Childhood, maybe at Manhattan man,
Colton Griffin (00:13:14):
Maybe in college or, you know, or whatever, any mentors or any pivotal moments, I mean, anyone who kind of helped you become who you are today or have that sort of a pivotal moment or anything like that? Gosh, it’s been like a series a, of, of good mentors as I transition the geographies and, you know, stages in the career, you know, and it hadn’t, I think I was lucky to have management that was pretty supportive and I did a lot of self study and push myself to, to learn things a little bit past my job role. Um, but you know, our, our, um, my management there and VP there were, were supportive of, you know, doing innovation and, you know, allowing us to experiment and fail if we needed to, uh, even if we weren’t billing the clients for it. So that was, that was good.
Colton Griffin (00:14:13):
And then CBC, it was a bit more of a, an Island and a very large corporate enterprise. So, you know, I had a good manager there who also, I think just respected that the work was getting done and, you know, it was great to, um, to work with, you know, I think our, our board here has been really impactful. Um, you know, you and Tom and Mike, uh, uh, really, really, you know, I didn’t appreciate what a board was until we put it together, um, you know, over a year ago. And, uh, sounding that off in a structured way has been really, really helpful over the last year and getting some clarity on taking this company the next stage. I think that’s
Greg White (00:14:52):
Really good. That’s a really good observation for other founders, right. Is if you construct your board the right way, it’s, it’s as much mentorship as it is guidance and oversight, right. I mean, it’s somebody, you can bounce things off of, you know, and I think a lot of people, a lot of founders, I know a lot of founders see it as kind of an obligation kind of those pain in the asses and suits that you have to
Colton Griffin (00:15:22):
Every month or quarter or whatever. Right. But it’s a lot more than that. If you construct it right, you started a business to not have a boss, then suddenly you realize you have a lot of bosses. Right. But yeah, no, it’s, uh, it’s definitely, I think it’s a huge advantage if you do it right. Cause you, you know, especially if you bring people in that have done done it or observed it before, it’s key. Tell me why
Greg White (00:15:48):
It is. And, and, you know, I mean, I think it’s a joy for us, you know, Mike has done it, I’ve done it. Um, you know, I think it’s a joy for us to be able to help you get beyond those things, those dumb things we did, we can, you know, we can hear, we can hear them coming a mile away and help you understand, Hey, if you do this, here’s the consequence of that or, or here’s the upside of that. Or if you do this, do it that way. I think that becomes really powerful. At least I hope it is. Um, but yeah, I think if you have, and you’ve done a great job of constructing a board that has knowledge of finance, of supply chain of the industry, of the big players
Colton Griffin (00:16:34):
In the industry, Tom, of course from Oracle. Yeah.
Greg White (00:16:39):
And, and you’ve got a great diversity there, plus a couple of your cofounders
Colton Griffin (00:16:42):
Was on the board with you. So yeah,
Greg White (00:16:45):
A lot of inside and outside her view there. So that’s well done from that standpoint. So, um, okay. So I wasn’t really sure how to ask this question, but what I’ve seen with really, really successful founders and people who, particularly people who’ve found and lead companies is often they have a trait, you might consider a dysfunction, but somehow they make it work for them. So do you recognize that? Do you have something you think could be objective really considered a dysfunction of obsessive compulsive or whatever that you have actually harnessed and use to make you more successful?
Colton Griffin (00:17:31):
The abilities never turn it off. It’s like you’re a workaholic, which is something that I, I worked for like several years to get, keep in balance. But when I look back at, you know, the crazy amount of hours, not just me, but also co-founders put in, you know, some of the early stages of this. And we, you know, we kinda, it took us a while to get to where we are now. And we went through sort of a year and a sort of a challenging business relationship and, and spun album. So you’re in the wilderness trying to get our first product launched in a time in that process. Or even our first year with Whistler shear was pretty, you know, like there was a lot of bomber reasons why we should have failed, but, uh, you know, like just like the insane amount of time. And like, I, I’m very fortunate. I can sit down and like generally stay focused for like hours on end without even waking up and being attracted. It’s like the opposite of a D and D or a D and that’s always been good, you know, there’s noise and stuff around there. So that’s,
Greg White (00:18:44):
So once you’re dialed in, you are dialed. Okay.
Colton Griffin (00:18:48):
Usually. Yeah. I mean, that’s getting in the flow and getting in the, in the zone and then it’s just there to a follow up to some degree. So it has to be balanced out, like he wants a personal life, uh, which I do have, and I’m happy to have, but, um, the, you know, I think profounder perspective. You have to learn those lessons along the way.
Greg White (00:19:09):
Yeah. Well, I can see that you’ve got, I mean, I can see from observation that you’ve definitely got the ability to lock in. Um, I mean, I’ve watched you produce things we’ve talked about in relatively shorter. So I get that and that’s really powerful. I don’t know what you call that. I don’t know if you call that obsessive compulsive or whatever, but, uh, and by the way, I’d like to float a concept past you. So I think it’s incredibly ironic to call it obsessive compulsive disorder when most of the time obsessive compulsiveness is about order obsessive compulsive.
Colton Griffin (00:19:50):
Yeah. I agree with you on that one. Yeah. I think also the, uh, the ability to, to have imminent failure, like immediately in front of you, I for sometimes weeks on end and then completely just being able to shut that off and ignore and stay focused on what, what you need to do to your dine is also, I don’t know what I look back sometimes. And I’m like, like, why was I just sitting in my room crying at this point? Because it’s, you know, it’s like, it’s like, are you just insane? And you have no, no emotion to the process, like how bad that is, but are, you know, like from a risk perspective. But you know, I have to be able to compartmentalize that off, which is, I think a strength.
Greg White (00:20:37):
I think that, I think that is re really a strength. It’s absolute necessity in my opinion, for a founder to do that. I think, look, I think when we look at society, a lot of the great people had what you could arguably call a dysfunction, but in truth, they turned that dysfunction into something productive. So it just becomes a function at that point. So. Okay. So you brought it up. So I have to ask, I know it’s probably tough right now with what’s going on with COVID and everything, but what is, what do you do in your personal life? I mean, tell us, tell us a little bit about a day in the life, outside the office
Colton Griffin (00:21:20):
For coal side of the office. So getting into some beach time, uh, doing some, some, some very casual bike, riding, not a biker. I don’t think I can stand Exxon yet. Uh, um, I definitely worked in some hikes. I mean, fortunately to have a really good, I think, good social like friend group, uh, here and around the country. And so, you know, a lot of going to the bars and going out, although none of that is happening anymore. So now, you know, having people over, like maybe I should beach or, you know, or the house. I mean, I, I try to disconnect in a meaningful way regularly we’re during the work week is pretty focused on work, but, um, the normal stuff just trying to get out. And I mean, hopefully my, my escape from work is more than walking to Starbucks, getting a coffee and back a little bit more, more than that. But yeah, you know, I, I enjoy, I enjoy hanging out with friends.
Greg White (00:22:18):
Are you off when you’re off? I mean, you do, do you tune out, dial out for at least a few hours a day or,
Colton Griffin (00:22:25):
Uh, I would say a few hours a day. I would say, you know, maybe one to two hours a day, you know, I, I really do like getting in the gym. I feel like that’s the habit I’ve built more consistently over the last couple of years or some of those are closed as well now. So I’ve taken up running, which I don’t love, but it is actually the more you do it, the more you learn to love it. And when I do take vacation, I, you know, I, I do more, like I move all the apps off the first screen and turn off all the notifications and set that office. And, you know, you can always get in touch, but you have to, you have to do that level of, because otherwise it’s constant checking. So, I mean, I actually try to tell everybody on the team that they can be yada, if you’re going to disconnect and you disconnect really do it, reset periods are super important, you know, to be focused when you be focused.
Greg White (00:23:21):
Yeah. You’ve got to reenergize at some point. Right. That’s really good. So you turn off notifications and
Colton Griffin (00:23:27):
Move the apps onto the differential. That back for the sound sound. Yeah.
Greg White (00:23:32):
Wow. That is brilliant. I had not thought of that.
Colton Griffin (00:23:37):
Cause your emails right in front of you, otherwise, you know, you, you can’t even, you know, you want to try to even reduce like Facebook use I Facebook app, movie screens that actually would help me stop checking these apps because it’s trying to theory pick it up all day long. And you don’t know how many times you like, did you really check your email 500 times a day? Probably.
Greg White (00:23:59):
Yeah. I bet there are people who do, I mean, you know, if you follow a Twitter feed, man, you gotta wonder what else are some people do. And I don’t know how they can do it. I find it really cumbersome to do it, but I’m probably more like you, I’m a very inertial, right? When I’m on I’m 100% on when I’m off, I am more than a hundred percent off. Right. So it sounds like you do kind of a similar thing, not many hours off, but, but if they’re good hours off
Colton Griffin (00:24:32):
Accounts and if you love what you’re doing, then it’s, you know, when you’re working, it’s not, it’s not grueling. So
Greg White (00:24:39):
Yeah. So you mentioned a little while back, you mentioned some of the challenges that you had seen and maybe some of the challenges that COVID, or that, um, you know, the things going on in the cannabis industry now, I don’t know what, what might have challenged you, but this is a question I’ve heard asked and I, I love it. So I think people learn a lot when they take someone who’s been, when they hear from somebody who’s been successful, like you, and they hear about a moment that, you know, was kind of pivotal for somebody, it was go cry in your room or it was, you know, give up on your goals or it was feel crushed by something that’s happened to you. Can you tell us about maybe a moment like that and how you handled that? How did you come through it?
Colton Griffin (00:25:27):
There’s so many really,
Greg White (00:25:33):
I mean, like you said, you kind of detached from it. So I mean, arguably some of these could crush a particular person frequently, weekly, daily, even, I don’t know.
Colton Griffin (00:25:42):
Yeah. You know, especially, you know, doing, getting a company launched, like there’s, you’re just going to hit a lots of failures or mistakes and things just like sometimes don’t work and you know, you have to stay focused on the bigger goal and not let it completely consume you, you know, the first day of vacation, uh, this year. And, uh, I mean the year, um, we, uh, we had a big client that we thought was going to turn and that was gonna be really asshole and screw up a lot of projections, a lot of, kind of our fundraising story. And it was just like, why’d, you probably couldn’t have thought of, so I couldn’t have come up with something that would have been worse for us to, to get through. Um, and
Greg White (00:26:27):
Around Christmas time too. Right,
Colton Griffin (00:26:31):
Right, right. Right. Like literally the first day I had planned to take off, take off like four days, you know? So it’s like something that’s just, you know, you can set it aside. There’s really nothing you can do about it at that point, you know, over the holidays hand kind of consume you, you know? And so when you, you ultimately though we put together a strategy and then three backup plans, um, made some, some quick decisions, uh, you know, went through a really structured campaign to turn things around, you know, worried that something was going to go off the rails and trying to dig deeper and understand really where that was coming from. And maybe why we didn’t see it in the first place or, you know, what, what was really happening at the end of the day, it came out like much stronger. And we, we, we saved what we needed to save and we affirmed, you know, I think like even a better commitment, a better position than we are now and solidified things that maybe that needed to be discussed and had to be, you know, you’ve been, you know, checked along and not been addressed.
Colton Griffin (00:27:32):
And so, um, you know, like there was, there’s definitely moments where it was like the OSHA plan was really, really bad and really real. And, you know, I would say probabilities, like if you just had to pick numbers like that, that was like the 70% likelihood of where it was going. Right. But, uh, you know, pull the record and jump bail. Right. Just, um, that order, hopefully. Yeah. So, you know, um, I think that was like a huge challenge for us, for, we put a lot of work into something and thought it was all gonna fall apart. You know, a lot of things upside down, you know, and a known risk that, you know, became realized. And then ultimately though it was mitigated and turned around into something that’s actually a lot more positive. So, uh, I would say that even if you think you stake everything to one to one element of the business and, you know, instead of so core and you know, it’s something you kind of bust your ass over multiple years to make happen, you know, and you think it’s all gonna fall apart. It, um, but you also need to take some blinders off and realize that we can build is, is bigger than one, one piece of it. And, you know, if you just focused on the fundamentals, you turn that around, you know, works itself out.
Greg White (00:28:54):
Is that the big lesson that you think, I mean, recognize when you’ve got too many eggs in one basket.
Colton Griffin (00:29:02):
Exactly. You know, and also, um, you can, I think in relationships, internal and external with your customers, you can’t take for granted, it’s important to document over communicate. Uh, it’s important to set structure around that. So, you know, you think about like, you know, like we’ve had, you know, one or two really good people that ultimately left and left for better opportunities. And you’re saying maybe, you know, like those put those strategies in, you know, early, you know, that retention starts like way beyond way before, you know, there’s a flag or it’s for internal use and then for customers and, you know, in partners and that sort of thing, even if everything is roses and going really well, it doesn’t mean you can take those relationships for granted. You still have to it’s constant work to keep them. And diversification is important as well. It’s always nice to have those plans ready so that, you know, you can execute them when you need to, if you, if you think about in the business, what is the worst thing that could possibly happen and then plan for it, you know, when, when it does or if it gets even close to it, it, uh, give you ready to, to turn it around.
Colton Griffin (00:30:13):
Greg White (00:30:14):
Really poignant. They’re a great, a great, um, athletic coach, swim coach. Once once said to me, I can tell you with one question who my grades are going to be on my team. And that question is, do you love to win or do you hate to lose? And, and he said, universally, the greats hate to lose. Because with that mindset, you consider what it is that makes you lose. And you work hard to eliminate any possibility that you could lose. And by, by eliminating the possibilities of losing you win, and they sort of consider winning the job, these grades, right. And, um, recognizing that knowing what could go wrong, that’s a critical thing. And it’s really hard to do as a founder. Isn’t it? I mean, you, you want to think everything is roses and daffodils, right. That it’s all gonna go so well. Um, but you do have to consider the downside risk. Yeah. That’s a great lesson, man.
Colton Griffin (00:31:23):
All on a pieces to making the whole organization work and, you know, early stage or as you’re growing order, I mean, they all have to be there. I mean, you can’t function without, you know, um, so taking each one and figuring out what would happen if you, if you ripped it out, um, and how you mitigate that is, you know, it’s like a constant exercise, you know, and then yeah. But it’s, uh, you you’ve learned some of those lessons along the way. So, you know, everyone has missteps and things fall through that. You thought were, were sort of things, but at the end of the day, I mean, you know, like she got the right team in place and you know, the right, the right foundation. And, uh, it transcends that.
Greg White (00:32:05):
So, you know what I think, um, this is my observation on that particular topic, which we can’t go into a lot of detail on, but what I think you’ve really exhibited here is your, uh, desire or need or ability to own it, even when it’s beyond your control, because the situation, the specific situation that you’re talking about, there’s no way you could have had an impact and the, uh, strategic or political conditions that put that situation in play or well beyond even your, even your most powerful advocates area of area of influence within that company. So, um, I appreciate that you own it. I’m going to tell you, take it easy on yourself a little bit, because maybe there was some aspect of taking the, taking the relationship for granted a little bit, but the truth is the pivotal moment was well out of your control. And in the end it took resolving that particular pivotal condition to, to really save it, to save both your customer, I believe, and, and the relationship
Colton Griffin (00:33:21):
Between flourish and the customer. So, you know, we work in an emerging industry in a very chaotic landscape where there’s a lot of things, you know, in our customer base and in our, in our day to day that not in our control and for our clients as well as for us, right. Like, you know, who knows, you know, our regulatory change happens overnight and then suddenly, you know, people’s business models are flipped on their head, right? So we, uh, I think, you know, this, one of the big things around this industry is like, you have to be, you have to be super confident, recognize that you have control over things, certain things, and then things you don’t, you have to just be able to roll with the punches. Cause they’re there often, uh, I mean, you know, I like I’ve had prospects that were ready to sign and the freaking facility burns down the day before, you know, the, we, before we get a contract executed or, you know, somebody, um, you know, gets rated and something shut down or, um, you know, the permit that, you know, everyone was expecting to happen gets rescheduled for two city council meetings, you know, because of, uh, you know, a permit landscaping issue.
Colton Griffin (00:34:35):
It’s like, you know, or an inspector that needs, you know, something that happened. I mean, there’s just like so many things in this industry that, um, you know, or like a business, everyone thought was like, you know, doing well suddenly completely class, because it was all smoke and mirrors at the end of the day and it’s holding the bag and, you know, product or accounts receivable, that’s like not gonna happen. I mean, it’s like just the very wild West, um, you know, fast moving environment with, you know, with folks that kind of run the full spectrum of what you, what you can imagine. And, uh, you know, like you have to, you have to be very comfortable in that position here.
Greg White (00:35:18):
You have to be in control even when things are out of control. Exactly. Right. Um, so, so this leads me to th you created a beautiful segue because I really have wanted to ask you this, what in the name of God ever inspired to found
Colton Griffin (00:35:38):
Greg White (00:35:40):
I mean, you had a perfectly good, I think, right.
Colton Griffin (00:35:44):
Business with WM site, which was the company you kind of pivoted to become flourish,
Greg White (00:35:49):
But I know you had kind of an interesting experience in that,
Colton Griffin (00:35:55):
That caused you to do that. So can you share
Greg White (00:35:57):
With us, I mean, why this crazy cannabis industry, right. And why this, you know, this particular angle on it. So, you know,
Colton Griffin (00:36:09):
Traditional supply chain, the consulting was great green money. I mean, much better buying with some of the cannabis money we made, um, you know, enterprise it consulting. This is an incredibly lucrative and, you know, we know the whole reason why we we’ve formed WM site originally was because we kind of got tired of just building the same thing over and over, right? Like reporting analytics, tidy, or warehousing operations or fulfillment pretty, I mean, you know, after you’ve done it for a hundred clients, like it’s kind of like, are, do we really need, you know, to start from scratch consulting, feasibility the same thing for the last five people. So like we wanted to productize that, but we realized what we were doing was it wasn’t a nice app. It was a need to have, but it wasn’t as execution driven as we wanted. So we spent like almost a year trying to get a pilot, like fully deployed, you know, like not just deploying it, but just getting it through the hoops and realize this enterprise sales cycle was crazy.
Colton Griffin (00:37:08):
And, you know, just like it was, we didn’t start at this just to like, make some software and make some money. We really wanted to actually do something that meant something. Right. So like, you know, like this, this, these tools should actually positively affect people’s lives. And at work I personally have actually really, I think back to when I was actually in high school and had all these like, plans around like, wow, this is so amazing. You could can do all these, build these products with it. Like, why is it legal? Like why don’t use him to make clothing and fiber and materials to make with it because federal classification is insane. And so I’ve always, you know, always loved cannabis and always, you know, had a social justice. So when we really just completely accidentally stumbled into this industry and connected with our first client or who became our first client, you know, we had learned lessons about wanting to know we wanted to tie out taco market.
Colton Griffin (00:38:08):
We had a product that was ready to do something with, we had a team that worked really, really well together. We had really good processes in place to get built when we knew supply chain. So like when this, when this happened, like we went to the industry and we’re like, our competitors don’t even track non-cannabis inventory. So you’re only tracking part of the inventory and inventory management system. It was like, I listened to his stories and he was a couple years in, so legalization in Colorado and Washington, Oregon, you know, that already legalized California was kind of a year out from your program being launched. So in LA was bigger than the entire market, just LA County was bigger than the entire legal market. Um, and you know, one is a year away from opening and you saw this massive set of business that’s going to unlock.
Colton Griffin (00:38:57):
And the players here, the software is like, it’s really kind of terrible. And, you know, I mean, I think a lot of people don’t realize that in certain States cannabis in Colorado or California in Colorado, particularly cannabis has been legal for a decade or more. Yeah. Right. In some sense, all of America, certainly not all of our fellow supply chain professionals recognize that. So there is actually on premise technology, old on premise technology that’s out there. The point of sale market was really hot because you have to appoint us over retail, but upstream is harder in manufacturing and distribution. And in cultivation, you know, suddenly you started asking and you found that, you know, you knew a lot of people that were in the industry or knew someone that was in industry. So all these, all these folks and started asking them questions about what they’re doing.
Colton Griffin (00:39:51):
And software was just like this complete nightmare and cannabis. There’s a state track and trace mandate. So you have to document everything in really specific ways on the cultivation process, tagging the claim, inventory, August report system, the state interface that you deal with provides little to zero business value. It’s clunky and starting to Harvey used everyone, you know, like just forced technology adoption, everyone hates, and it’s consistent. It hasn’t really changed three over three years. We’ve been, so, you know, we, uh, we just said like, let’s, you know, let’s run for a walk and we worked our code and we started hacking together. Ultimately we came to platform cause we, you know, we, we, we got out here, we toured a facility or two, um, you know, we had a couple of medias with some guys who walk us through, you know, what, you know, what it meant to grow.
Colton Griffin (00:40:50):
Like, you know, what are the stages of cultivation for instance, and industry terms and whatnot. And we kinda just went through it, uh, went for it. And, uh, you know, our first customer went completely dark on us for at least a month, which is totally normal. I candidates say they’re too busy and just not pick up the phone for a month because you know, happens. Right. But ultimately we had two customers, one in California who were kind of, we bounced ideas off. Most of ’em designed this out and then got it, got it deployed. And then we had a third in Oregon, all three of these customers looked completely different and they did a slightly different stuff. They had different backgrounds, teams are slightly different, but we were really specific. We didn’t want to buy a bill for one person. We knew the building for the industry.
Colton Griffin (00:41:47):
So we really just kind of close them on. And, uh, it was, it was an industry who we could get a common, you know, with a lot of, you know, uh, cannabis, both recreational and medical and you know, and then him quickly falling follow that over the last, last couple of years. And it’s just, I mean, it’s so exciting to be part of actually making this happen. You know, if you’re going to do something, if you’re going to put in the hours, you want it to be meaningful. I mean, not that moving boxes, the warehouse is not meaningful because if you’re providing tools for people grow their business, but it’s cool to be working with people that are, you know, like they have a passion for cannabis for all their life. And now we’re suddenly able to own and operate a business growing this plan, you know, getting a, you know, distributed, you know, across the state and, you know, executing on it. And, you know, they need these tools to, to run the day to day and price a little bit more meaning than some of the other projects I’ve done over the years.
Greg White (00:42:44):
So there’s a couple of dynamics in cannabis that I think it would be interesting for people to understand. One is the strict regulation and tracking of the product and to the dynamics of regulation in the industry. I mean the laws change frequently. So can you share a little bit of that with, with the audience and give them, I mean, just maybe some examples or, yeah,
Colton Griffin (00:43:14):
So we track in cultivation, we tracked, we tag individual plants as soon as they’re kind of large enough to have a tag on them. Of course, every state has this decided little nuances that are different. So it’s not like we build it once and just apply it everywhere. We fly, turn on and off different flags and where we deploy it. And then we record any waste off of those plants. And, um, we take the way that in a lot of States, we, we weigh every single one of his planes. They cut it down and then it loses 80% approximately of its way to water. And then we assign you the tenant and, you know, the, the dried material gets trimmed out and it’s put on a package. So we call, we use the term package ID as license, plate number, um, LPN, um, unique identifier, and then everything in this, in the supply chain come from somewhere and go somewhere.
Colton Griffin (00:44:07):
So, um, it’s a hundred percent tracks to the barcode that, you know, this assigned to and all has a history. And you can go back through the history and look at it cause there’s like very strict testing requirements. So everything has to be sampled and people spend hundreds of dollars per test the sample, you know, to test things. I mean, like if your tomatoes were tested to degree in cannabis are tested, you might not be able to buy all this tomatoes you buy because, you know, it’s like very familiar seeing traces of pesticide that maybe weren’t even like weren’t even applied to the plant. But like, you know, operators have to be aware of, you know, res residue maybe in the air around it or what soil they put on their plants and might have something excellent got into it. Cause it’s very sensitive, you know?
Colton Griffin (00:44:52):
So, um, you know, the product to get to market has to go through that step. And then yeah, so the regulatory requirements are basically an over-engineered SOP for everything you can think of documentation for everything that happens like two then three and then tracking it. And then there’s weird and there’s cost associated with every one of those transactions. And you know, I’ve never seen so many people jump backwards to save 25 cents, but you know, when just 25 cents a tag, like it wasn’t some days or 45 cents a tag, you know, and you’re doing thousands, you know, a month. So it starts to add up and it’s like, it’s like, wow, you’ve been there backwards to do that. Or you have to think about how you separate inventory because you know, if something fails a test, which was a legitimate reason why it could be fail and then you have to reach out to another, you know, 500 bucks, maybe they could just stand and, you know, and eat into your margins or get to destroy something or you have to reprocess it in different way. And like, plus I’ve heard stories
Greg White (00:45:51):
Of laws changing in a single state, which by the way, that’s another dynamic. You probably ought to share audience, but laws changing in a single state
Colton Griffin (00:46:00):
Over a hundred times in a year and a new paperwork, you have to sign different. Sign-offs different. Like, you know, like requirements on, on facility, things like camera requirements and security claim requirements. I think right now they just like the GE basically everybody two weeks, I’m gonna say two weeks or four weeks, like very short amount of time to say that everything has to have a third party mandated test attached to it. Right? So you’re talking, you know, thousands of thousands of inventory items across, you know, some people have big players, you know, dozens, dozens of stores, suddenly everything has to have a new label on it.
Colton Griffin (00:46:43):
Or like a new SOP has to be designed, implemented, deployed in a matter of weeks. Right. And coordinated with third parties and systems. And like these changes can sometimes happen like that, like in that like, okay, we’ve released guidance and you know, now you have to follow this and you have 14 days before, you know? And like, so now we suddenly have to train 200 people how to do something slightly different or the product can be sold in the market. And this happens like every state has different set of rules and it’s sometimes localities also put additional rules on top of that. And you know, basically like illegal industry, he makes good money in this industry. I’ll say that you have to have a good attorney, your legal team because you got to interpret it, you know, and like packaging, you never would have thought packaging would be so hard, but like, did you screw up packaging?
Colton Griffin (00:47:29):
There can be a million dollar mistake I’ve seen the whole business. You know, there’s no way to re there’s no way to take oil out of a big car and put it back into another big car. Once you film 10,000 of them or thousands of boxes by hand. I mean, if you’re these nightmares of people, like, you know, something, it’s just like all these little details that they have to be, every detail has to be thought of in like a really dedicated way. It’s a lie. I mean, the operators, it’s a lot of takes to get a product from, to market and then keep it in market
Greg White (00:48:05):
Overwhelming. So, you know, I know, and of course you can’t cross state lines because it’s federal rules and then you go to prison for the rest of your life and you can’t interstate banking because that is under the purview of the federal government. And then you go to prison. So this has been largely a cash though. It’s evolving, it’s been largely a cash business. I mean, have you been paid in cash and large sums by
Colton Griffin (00:48:33):
Customers? Yes. I have a handle. I have a money counter in the house to, um, to, you know, sometimes count, you know, someone drops off $30,000 in cash and, you know, um, yeah, I mean, it’s, uh, we, we, unfortunately the customers we work with and it was customer, most people in industry are able to get some level of banking. There’s just an incredible amount of paperwork that comes with it.
Greg White (00:48:58):
And that’s just changed in the last,
Colton Griffin (00:49:00):
Last year or two ago, you know, and it’s getting better and better because banks are figuring it. It’s just there’s ways to do it. It’s just, it takes a lot to make, make it happen and, you know, there’s risk and procedure and, you know, frankly it has to be worth it for bank fees are crazy, but yeah, credit cards are really non nonexistent. There’s just, it’s one of the biggest, and shouldn’t be most easily solvable solution problems in this industry. It’s just like the very small legislative changes that we need to make to make banking accessible, to get billions of dollars in cash, out of vaults and safes across the country and into the banking system. So people can just transact and send invoices and, you know, we’ve, we lost one more benefit benefits companies. When we, who gave us a, I mean, it was like mid payroll and they said, sorry, you can’t run payroll. Um, your drops, right. You know, and how you, you know, your, your employees expecting their paycheck and suddenly you had a switch on payroll company, you know, and in a matter of days, you know, and we’re not even a plantation company, we have to deal with some of the challenges, but not as much as our customers.
Greg White (00:50:08):
I mean, you don’t handle any of the plants, any of the product at all. Right. So writing software to those that do.
Colton Griffin (00:50:15):
Yeah. So, um, but it’s a banking incredibly challenging. And then if you’re a multi-state operator, you know, you’re, you’re operating under a different set of rules in every state you’re working on, you know, you can move your hardware and your packaging across state lines, but you can move into your product across state lines. And, you know, and then even in, even in him, some, I mean, it’s fine to do all the commerce, but like some of the major carriers and stuff, won’t, won’t transport. It, there’s still barriers. It’s not frictionless frictionless, you know? And like even I was at a big customer other weekend, they do, they do some parcel, like some stuff that’s not on a truck or, um, is shipped through USBs sometimes. And like I said, yeah, it’s great. It’s fine. It’s legal. But then when someone doesn’t know what it is and then seizes it or hold it for two weeks and it sits there and then use your customer. It’s like, it’s like, even if it is completely legal document and everything, like, people still don’t even know how to handle it. Cause there’s not consistent guidance everywhere. These are all solvable problems. Hopefully we’ll see some of them be solved in the next next year or so.
Greg White (00:51:22):
Well in taxation is burdensome to say the least, right. I mean, to me, it just seems like all these States have made this enormous cash grab. So the S is standard operating procedures and, and regulatory compliance is unbelievably burdensome and expensive. Yes. Right. You’re you’re, you don’t get, um, you don’t get economies of scale in the supply chain because you’re bounded by the state lines. Um, and you’ve got an incredible tax burden. I mean, significant, right. I don’t know what is it
Colton Griffin (00:51:59):
I’m going to say in like up to 40% of that self prices taxes I was looking today, um, which isn’t like, I mean, every state has a different tax rates. Sometimes there’s local taxes on it. And sometimes there’s also upstream taxes that you don’t see as a consumer. But I think Colorado, the tax rate right now is like 20, 20%. So, and plus local tax on it sometimes as well. Uh, it’s, it’s a lot. It’s crazy.
Greg White (00:52:27):
Well, and part of the problem that, that produces at least this is my estimation of it is in California. You are probably aware that there are a lot of companies that blur the line or even cross the line back and forth between in compliance being completely legal and completely out of compliance, essentially being old school type drug dealers. So, and a lot of that has to do with this onerous burdensome regulatory environment and the incredibly onerous taxes.
Colton Griffin (00:52:59):
It is. I mean, I’ll say this, I feel, uh, build some financial models for operators, uh, in the States. And, uh, the, the tax implication can turn the business problem, uh, plan from profitable to not profitable pretty quick. And it was also, um, IRS regulations around not being able to actually the dots, you know, most of the, the general costs of bringing this product to, for your federal taxes. So as well. So like most of the things that you normally would be able to duct is normal business expenses. Uh, you’re not able to a, on your federal taxes, which is just another, I mean, it’s, it’s huge. I mean, you know, he can’t deduct your expenses from your revenue and you’re paying taxes on, on, you know,
Greg White (00:53:46):
It’s crazy, it’s no wonder it’s such a volatile environment. And really the, I mean, the only answer to making it fiscally feasible is, is federal, you know, as a federal law change, even even the States, um, need to be tempered. I think it’s somewhat in their tax and regulatory oversight.
Colton Griffin (00:54:11):
I mean, some things are just in, it’s just insane. It’s like, say clearly, you know, whoever wrote this, doesn’t have any idea of what it looks like in the physical real world. And then on the federal level, I mean, you know, like you’re talking over a quarter million direct jobs, I think we’re around a half million jobs in total that are directly, you know, already been created by this industry. And we’re like, wow, it is incredibly early, still. Um, you know, you say like, you know, 70, 80% of the, of the cannabis in California is not even in the legal market yet. You know, this isn’t slowing down and it’s, I think legislation is sitting there ready to be voted on.
Greg White (00:54:53):
I mean, we’re talking about weed here. So this is a fun topic, man. I mean, this sounds like really burdensome, but I think a couple, a couple of dynamics. One is I see the cannabis industry as a great model for what is necessary in the broader supply chain marketplace, because of the accountability, the provenance and regulatory environment that’s required and technologies like yours and other supply chain technologies. They have to comply with that and they have to account for that. So I can see this being a great model because we can see, especially after COVID the, the broader, the, the mainstream supply chain going that direction and recognizing the need for that kind of thing. What do you think?
Colton Griffin (00:55:40):
Totally. I mean, we can do a recall and like two clips and figure out where everything went. You think about an agriculture. I mean, what is it the latest thing they were recalling this, this last week or so it was like onions, right? Like dozens of people died because salmon, right. And then it takes the process to do that recall as is weeks on end. If it even actually ever happens by time, by the time you’ve recalled it, onions are no longer good. It’s already there, you know, from a safety perspective. I mean, it’s pretty incredible, you know, from a visibility perspective, I mean, having, you know, like what other industry, people like vertical integration to the degree that they produce the raw material and sell it to the retail consumer entering in between. Uh, it’s pretty, pretty cool to have, you know, we’re doing a big product, a big, um, a lot of work in cannabis and really connecting farmers with like the, the midstream extractors and distributors and sort of a, we call it like a partner pharma malt farmer model, or where you bring some level of light technology into the farms and giving them like direct connect to section two, ultimately is how they make money, which is getting their product into, into the market and consolidating that into a single point.
Colton Griffin (00:57:00):
And, you know, manufacturer, I think that’s really, really impactful and powerful. And, you know, people talked about like vendor linking and, you know, and having visibility to why, you know, what is coming in, clear communication and master data like share between companies. I mean, there’s a lot of good models here on how it’s working. There’s still a lot of, a lot of things that were through, but it’s, uh, there’s a lot that that’s parallel, man. All right. So we’re
Greg White (00:57:27):
Gears here in a second, but I got it. I got to know, tell me something misunderstood or even mythical that people think about the cannabis industry that, you know, better,
Colton Griffin (00:57:41):
Two things. One, I think people think that folks are making lots of money and that is the case for some people, but like, we’re just talking to all these challenges. There’s, it’s not, it’s a long journey to get there when you’re there, it’s there in a big way, but, you know, I think people think that it’s like, Oh yeah, it’s just gross weed and sell it. And you realize that that journey is a lot, a lot larger than it is. And I think people have also, the other thing I would say is, you know, I don’t know if this is across the board and you’re being in an industry long enough, like it’s us in the eye you’re thinking about or hear about that much. But I think people have a perception of who it is in industry, running the companies and putting the capital in running these operations.
Colton Griffin (00:58:20):
And I will say that like, whatever your you’re envisioning, your, your, what your, your operator looks like, there’s probably 20 other personalities that, that look completely opposite of that are in the industry. It really is incredible diverse, like background and, you know, and look and culture and, um, you know, uh, sort of makeup of people. I mean, diversity is something that I think the game industry is working on in general, but like, it’s, it’s everything from folks that have been growing for 30 plus years and, you know, keeping all of us happy with, you know, the, the legacy market, uh, we, to folks that are, I have like really, you know, corporate backgrounds that just operate and love what they’re doing. It’s like this really diverse set of operators.
Greg White (00:59:08):
Yeah, it is. And you know what, at MJ biz con, we had a meeting, a board meeting in Vegas at the same time as MJ biz gone. And I went to that meeting, went to that conference, expecting one thing and getting something dramatically different. I mean, there were all the typical things you would expect. Right. Um, but there were also my grandmother. I mean, there were ladies who could have been my grandmother there who worked clearly, I mean, clearly strong, strongly understanding the marketplace. I mean, they were driving the conversations with, you know, various of the, of the presenters and, and, um, you know, both holders there. So it was a, it was an awakening. I mean, when you walked in the front of the thing, there was an extractor device that looked like a small factory in it, right inside the front door. I mean, I was not expecting that. And it was really interesting to see how they’re such a plethora of approaches to the market from the very most basic exactly what you’d expect. A guy named Steve and dreadlocks in a, in a, you know, in a tie dyed tee shirt and, and a guy named [inaudible] in a, you know, in a double breasted suit standing next to $62,000 worth of steel. Right. It was just unbelievable what all there,
Colton Griffin (01:00:40):
I think there’s lots of it, lots of stereotypes to be broken. And, you know, I will also appreciate it given that we work really coast to coast, you know, how much like regional and cultural, you know, deepness there is in the industry and passion and, you know, everybody, everybody uses cannabis at some point or another. I mean, not everybody, but more people than they call it a knit, uh, event. And, um, if you haven’t been into a retail store and, you know, legal market, uh, I think you’d be really surprised about how much product diversity there is in quality of product and ways in which you can consume it that, you know, like maybe, maybe could replace a lot of the ambient and, and pain pills and add also stuff that, you know, like people I think are starting to incorporate it into their day to day. I mean, like from across the age and in common and race, you know, backgrounds, like I’ve all sorts of backgrounds that, I mean, some of them, it’s just really amazing to see how much cannabis cuts across every aspect of, of society.
Greg White (01:01:47):
Yeah. I think that that’s a really good point. And, and also the uses and the way you can administer it. I mean, I think gummies are by far the most popular way to, to ingest it. Correct.
Colton Griffin (01:02:02):
I’m not going to quote myself on a number on sales. I mean, I seen, I think sells flour, like wishes, you know, I’m just, but I think still tops, but yeah, there’s a whole edible category in the Bay bulbs for imports, but yeah, gummy is, there’s some good gummy companies out there. I mean, you know, there’s like nailers and powders and sub legals and tinctures that any drop on your tongue and there’s even like suppositories and creams and lotions. I mean, it’s, um, transdermal, patches, strength, uh, other infused it’s pretty incredible. And also, I would say the other thing is that like people think they have like cannabis all figured out. Uh, I would say the science is far from that. I mean, the, the, the science behind the plan with consistency and how you’re actually human body has been so limited. There’s not federal funding for this, like everything else, how many tens of millions of dollars we spend just to grow a better piece of corn, right. Or cropping think of that as, you know, millions and millions of millions, of dollars of federal research, money poured into state universities. They have entire departments that sit there and study the soybean production. Right. None of that. And so, you know, the science around what you can do with plants is, uh, is really, really early. And so, you know, just figuring that out is years away from really getting,
Greg White (01:03:30):
Yeah. I think that it’s really, I think that’s a good observation in terms of the uniquenesses or even the myths around this industry. It’s just not what you think it is. Right. It’s not the outside in right.
Colton Griffin (01:03:45):
A lot different. So, all right. So let’s, uh, let’s shift gears a little bit.
Greg White (01:03:50):
So I’d like some of our founders to be able to take away something that, you know, obviously you’ve given them a ton, but I would love for them to be able to take away some learnings that you’ve had. So, you know, if there was, there was anything, you know, now that you wish you would’ve known, then what is that
Colton Griffin (01:04:13):
Test everything, not just from a product testing, but your ideas. I mean, you know, you can’t make assumptions. Like I think, I think, I think if you’re doing two things, one is you focus on making sure that your team is taken care of and all line into that you’re solving real problems for your customer and problems for your customer causes problems. Your customers is willing to pay for. And that should be something that’s like the first thing you test. Like, so basically, you know, every decision you’re making, you know, like I even just learned this lesson the hard way and, you know, which was like, cool, we’re solving problems. We know we’re solving problems. We know this like fits in. We know this XYZ, you push this button, this happens. But like, is that something someone’s willing to pay for and this, or they say they’re willing to pay for it real until the money’s in the bank. So, um, that’s the, uh, you know, you see, you see, you hear so many awesome ideas and ideas are, are great. I mean, that’s what happens, but until that just someone’s willing to take some of their hard earned money and hand it to you, uh, in return for using that service or doing that product. I mean, it’s, it’s just an idea. Or it’s just a, it’s just an intellectual exercise or a project. So that’s, that’s the biggest thing is that, you know, has to be tied to that.
Greg White (01:05:30):
How do you think you get them over? How do you think you get a potential customer from the point of saying they’ll pay for it? I mean, do you know what the trigger point is that says, okay, they said they’ll pay for it, but I know they will.
Colton Griffin (01:05:45):
You discovered there, send them that invoice and get assigned. Um, I mean, it really is like, it’s, you know, in like even people that are customers, you know, you guys are like, Oh, this and this and this. And then they send the invoice until it goes through the process. And it’s signing, you know, even if it’s like sign contingent on delivering, right, until that signed and committed, you know, it’s just the discussion, you know, I play, I think it’s very easy and we still do this. I mean, everybody in business is doing this, right? Like they’ve committed to a, you know, you know, in the means they’re like, you have a great relationship. It’s all there. And then something doesn’t happen until it’s actually there. It’s not there. So if, uh, if you don’t have a confidence to send someone an invoice for what you’re doing, when you have rethink about what you’re doing, cause that’s also the thing you have to, it’s not comfortable asking people for money for some people, some people it is, but you know, you have to be able to talk money at the end of the day. You gotta, you gotta get there. And that’s, I think if you had you not know, I didn’t come from cells. I’ve been in Jeremy Green, worked in services. Like it wasn’t like I was thinking of shading contract, right. I mean, not earlier in my career, you gotta be able to talk money with folks and feel comfortable having the discussion and being like, this is what, you know, you have to advocate for it. Cause they’re not going to
Greg White (01:07:05):
What it takes. Right. I mean, this is what it takes to get the solution you want. Right. Yeah. That is really, really good advice because I think a lot of us, myself included I’ve fallen for it too. You’re very disciplined, right. When you’ve just been burned or something like that. And you’re like, okay, invoice goes out or this contract is signed, at least in the terms and a down payment or whatever you want to call it. Right. A, an earnest payment or whatever, before we do any work. And then there’s always that one deal where you go, this just feels right. And almost 100% of the time you are wrong. So yeah, that’s, that’s a really good point when somebody is willing to pay for it is when they will pay the invoice. Right. Almost on spec. I mean, you know
Colton Griffin (01:08:00):
Yeah. Do it that way. And you know, I mean, you’re creative with it, but you gotta, you gotta, you gotta do that early too. I mean, you know, we, you just have to, and it’s, you know, does anyone want to spend more money than they have on anything now, but ultimately in business and, you know, the value has to be attached to it and got it and got to have that conversation, man. That’s good advice. And that it’s a conversation we all need to have and hear more often, we need to just put this segment on a loop. Right? Sure. They want it until they have to pay for it. Right.
Greg White (01:08:38):
All right. So let me get a little bit more philosophical on you, man. So
Colton Griffin (01:08:42):
Tell me right now, kind of what your, um, you know, what you’re really, really a piece with curious or even concerned about just philosophically. It doesn’t even have to be with work. So I guess I’d say, I guess I’m at peace with sort of my physical health and mental health and balance somehow
Greg White (01:09:08):
Transport in these times, man. Yeah.
Colton Griffin (01:09:10):
Which, you know, is always the case, but I feel like it’s taken a lot of time to get there, but I feel good on a personal level just about where he said, feel really uneasy about where things are headed on a macro level. And, um, you know, and just having, I have, I have gotten some travel and vacations business development and, you know, four or five States over the last seven weeks. And I’ve seen a lot of small businesses and talk to a lot of folks about it and you know, we’re an industry that’s persevering really well through this whole situation, but it is insane to see how decimated small businesses, uh, all and a lot of, a lot of sectors in entertainment, food and services, and like how disconnected that is from the market. And like, it’s just, it’s just, doesn’t, doesn’t feel good.
Colton Griffin (01:10:03):
So, yeah, concerning the, um, you know, I think we’re sort of in the midst of like, I would say a global awakening around, you know, in this point, cause I work in cannabis that we talk about these things, but you know, around like, uh, you know, awareness and connection and, you know, having, um, I don’t know, some like some really good understanding of how we all relate, but on the flip side of that, you know, looking at how things travel through social media and the, just the, the misinformation or the deliberate sewing of division in our discourse and everything, right? Like, like things are not controversial, controversial things or like, you know, and being totally hijacked by people that are in government and, you know, other forces that are stirring the pie and how blind some people are to the fact that it’s just happening.
Colton Griffin (01:11:09):
I mean, it’s just like, I mean, I love being connected on social media is scary when you see people sharing or talking about things that are just so like disconnected from reality and people that just can’t even have a conversation about topics because they’re so, so divided and about things that are not, I mean, there’s, there’s, there are certain things as facts and we shouldn’t, we shouldn’t lose sight of that. That’s I think what is probably most concerning right now, the turmoil we’re having, I don’t know, I’ll say I’m looking for some leadership to actually provide some message to ’em that there’s a message of, of unity or vision for a society that looks, you know, safer and more stable and more prosperous. And also in tune with the fact that we’re not systematically destroying every ecosystem and national system and the planet, which, you know, we are, whether or not we want to, you can’t cut down 96% of the forest or dump millions of pounds of garbage into the ocean. I mean, it’s just, it’s just insane that we’re even discussing rolling back, you know, progress that has been swerving really made across the country and, um, and just completely ignoring the really deep impact we have on world. So, so,
Greg White (01:12:38):
So is there anything we haven’t, well, let me know,
Colton Griffin (01:12:41):
Let me start, let me go back.
Greg White (01:12:44):
Is there, do you see any disconnect because you
Colton Griffin (01:12:48):
It’s been physically traveling the country between what’s presented in terms of division in society, and what’s what you actually see in terms of you get everybody in the room. We’re all good. I mean, you don’t see people throwing fights and saying things like they do or online, you know, I think we just need to pick up the phone and talk to each other a little bit more. It’s really easy to log, you know, comments and questions from, you know, how your computer or your phone, but, you know, it’s like when people get in the same room, I mean, we’re all kind of wanting the same things out life. We’re not that far off. I mean, you know, and I think that that’s just really important. So I know I, you know, I don’t, I don’t think people are going to pick up their, their, their guns and start attacking each other anytime soon or something like that, you know, but like clearly there’s, there’s a lot of things that are really wrong with what’s happening.
Colton Griffin (01:13:43):
We saw massive social, uh, you know, uh, like demonstrations and every city of any size across the entire country, you know, for weeks on end and just happened out of nowhere and as a pretty broad based movement, you know, whether or not you agree on certain solutions of it, you know, it doesn’t, I think it’s pretty proudly, you know, recognize that they’re really, there are real problems that can be solved a lot of ways. It’s not one silver bullet. Um, but you know, there’s a lot, I think we’re all, I think there’s a lot more than the United States.
Greg White (01:14:17):
Awesome. All right. So just one final question. What would you like to share with our audience that maybe I haven’t asked you about, or we haven’t talked about?
Colton Griffin (01:14:27):
What would I like to share? I would say that, you know, don’t be afraid to, to dive in and try something new during this pandemic. And, uh, if you have a passion for something you pursue it, I mean, we’re still, you know, I think, I think, you know, despite everything that’s going on in the world, like it’s a, still a really amazing opportunity, you know, it’s so easy to go and just execute on your dreams right now, several easy to get there. But then, you know, there’s lots of tools and resources and people on capital out there. I still feel like, you know, being in a state as you know, we’re in the richest country, in the world, there’s more capital than people know what to do with. I mean, you know, I think that if you want to, if you want to be in a startup world, I mean, call a startup recognizes business. It takes a lot of work to make it all happen. Uh, and you know, and pursue it just because things seem shaky on the macro world. Doesn’t mean there’s not lots of problems we solve, solve still, and there’s not resources there to, to do it. In fact, sometimes there’s like an opportunity to do that reset. That’s a really good,
Greg White (01:15:33):
Somebody is making money in every market, regardless of what the macro conditions are. Right? Yes. You’ve just got to find a problem that you can solve there. That’s, that’s a good heads up. I think the other thing, you know, I CA I do this, sometimes I identify people’s super powers. Your superpower is as kind of what I was talking about before you like to eliminate every opportunity to lose you like to, as you said, plan for and understand the worst and figure that could happen and figure out how to manage that. And I think if you want to recognize those dreams, you’ve got to be realistic and mature enough to do that, to recognize that it won’t always be right, sunshine, there will be clouds, there’ll be rain, there’ll be thunderstorms. There will be a flood, right. There might even be a fire NATO in this day and age.
Greg White (01:16:27):
Right. But, but if you understand what those possibilities are and you build contingency plans like you do, and you communicate that to your team, but that is a great, uh, you know, that’s a harbinger of success. It helps boost your ability to recognize your dreams. So I appreciate you sharing all that is Colton man. That is good stuff. We haven’t gotten to have this discussion, um, too much. I mean, we’ve had kind of discussions around this, but we haven’t had this concentrated time about kind of what you think and how you’ve dealt with things and how you deal with them today. So I really appreciate you doing that. Appreciate it. And you know, the end of the day,
Colton Griffin (01:17:10):
It’s, it’s, it’s not just about one person. It’s about team. I’ll say that as Paul, I guess as a final final word is, uh, you, you know, you can only carry yourself so far, but it is the team that truly gets there that’s end of the day. So it we’re all dealing with people that’s another day. Amen. Got it. Thank you. Yeah. Thank you. All right. Big, thanks to you. Colton CEO and cofounder of flourish software, my friend, a great philosopher, great business person, making things happen. Look, if you can connect with Colton, I’m sure you can connect with him on LinkedIn, right? For software.com reach out. He may not be as active on Twitter. I think we just learned, so I still have to finally flourish, Twitter and Instagram, Instagram, and Facebook, and then Colin Griffin on Twitter as well. I’m pretty easy. Cool. All right. Thanks man.
Greg White (01:18:14):
All right. That’s all you need to know about supply chain tech for this week. Don’t forget to get to supply chain now, radio.com for more supply chain now series interviews and events. And now we have two live streams per week. The most popular live show in supply chain, supply chain buzz every Monday at noon Eastern time with Scott Luton, the master and me, plus our Thursday live stream to be named later where we bring you whatever the hell we want. Like a few weeks ago, when we interviewed our producer clay, the DOE Phillips, thanks for spending your valuable time with me and remember acknowledge reality, but never be bound by.
Would you rather watch the show in action? Watch as Greg introduces you to TECHquila Sunrise through our YouTube channel.
Colton Griffin is CEO of Flourish Software, a leading supply chain management and seed to sale tracking software solution for the cannabis, CBD, and hemp verticals. Prior to Flourish, Colton was a consultant at Manhattan Associates, a market leader in best-of breed supply chain software. There he specialized in business intelligence and data analytics for supply chain applications, helping dozens of companies optimize their operations. He moved onto Genuine Parts Company (Fortune #177) where he built and managed a reporting platform deployed to dozens of distribution centers as well as corporate inventory optimization and trade management systems. He started a consulting practice focused on this discipline and ultimately founded a startup to build a SaaS analytics platform for distribution center operations. Flourish was born from this endeavor. He graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a BS in Industrial Engineering.
Greg White serves as Principal & Host at Supply Chain Now. Greg is a founder, CEO, board director and advisor in B2B technology with multiple successful exits. He recently joined Trefoil Advisory as a Partner to further their vision of stronger companies by delivering practical solutions to the highest-stakes challenges. Prior to Trefoil, Greg served as CEO at Curo, a field service management solution most notably used by Amazon to direct their fulfillment center deployment workforce. Greg is most known for founding Blue Ridge Solutions and served as President & CEO for the Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader of cloud-native supply chain applications that balance inventory with customer demand. Greg has also held leadership roles with Servigistics, and E3 Corporation, where he pioneered their cloud supply chain offering in 1998. In addition to his work at Supply Chain Now and Trefoil, rapidly-growing companies leverage Greg as an independent board director and advisor for his experience building disruptive B2B technology and supply chain companies widely recognized as industry leaders. He’s an insightful visionary who helps companies rapidly align vision, team, market, messaging, product, and intellectual property to accelerate value creation. Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams to create breakthroughs that gain market exposure and momentum, and increase company esteem and valuation. Learn more about Trefoil Advisory: www.trefoiladvisory.com
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