Live | Work | Love Colorado (TM). The notable entrepreneurs featured live with a SPIRIT immersed in Colorado. They work passionate, long hours, so these are not stories about “work-life balance." Colorado entrepreneurs know that some days you just get the view from your office, other days its a bike ride and beer with a client... in PROCO360 guests share their lessons, mistakes, and fascinating stories other can learn from. “LIVE – WORK – LOVE COLORADO” (TM).
Upslope Brewing Earned Its Success
“There is the fallacy that you can outgrow any problem. (You think) I’ll just sell more – that will solve the problem. Well, that’s not true.”
Matt Cutter, Co-founder & President, Upslope Brewing Company
Many of us are familiar with the stories of our favorite small microbreweries and of the huge Colorado successes like New Belgium Brewing which was acquired by Kirin. Regional beer makers (starting at 15,000 barrels a year) have their own niche – big enough that we know their brand and big enough to be in stores, and small enough to still feel like the term “craft beer” still fits. I love Matt’s comment that “Good brewers dump beer!“ referring to the need to throw out beer that doesn’t meet their standards. About a year ago, I interviewed Dave Thibodeau, Founder and CEO of Ska Brewing in Durango (episode) – it’s fun for me to contrast the style and the story of this week’s featured guest, Matt Cutter of Upslope Brewing.
Inside Angie's List and HomeAdvisor
Every job I've had before this I'd get bored after 4-5 years... fixing the home services business, fixing the experience for home owners, is an intractable problem that will probably outlast me.
Brandon Ridenour, CEO, ANGI Homeservices
Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor have always fascinated me – and until recently I didn’t know that the company that holds those brands and 10 others, ANGI Homeservices, is a Colorado-based public company. We discussed what makes me curious about these businesses: how they compete with Google and Yelp, and particularly how ANGI can serve BOTH the consumer and the advertising service providers with integrity. Brandon explains!
"Secret Drink Mix" Formula Gets Out
“We think about the consumer first and foremost and not about a business opportunity. That authentically resonates. What do you do after that – who the heck knows?”
Ian MacGregor, CEO, Skratch Labs
Ian at Skratch Labs was recommended as a guest by Dan Konigsberg of CampMinder (listen to that episode!) This is an episode you’ll enjoy if you still believe there is such a thing as “build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” In today’s world, that RARELY happens – it CAN – if you develop just the right product for just the right customer – and have a team working its ass off doing whatever needs to be done. It also takes discipline to stay focused on the customer, and a lot of humility, particularly by a CEO who got the job by default.
Focus, Drive, for Images That Take Your Breath
“I used to be embarrassed to charge for my pictures… It took many, many years to value my own work.”
Once a year I do an episode in which I feature three rising entrepreneurs with businesses and styles that I really like. I had intended that Guadalupe Laiz would be one segment of this episode. I am so enthralled with her work, her business one that I’ve been so curious about, and her story so heartwarming, that I decided to make it a standalone episode. I met Guadalupe in Aspen when Cheryl and I were drawn into her gallery. Honestly, her photos took my breath away. You can see them on her website and of course at her gallery. Watch for the “rising entrepreneurs” episode later this year.
Jump, Don’t Crash – There’s Work to Do
“My goal is to make passion and business line up... and usually passion wins out."
Adam Miller, Founder and CEO, Revel Bikes, Why Cycles
You’ll enjoy the interview with Adam Miller. It’s different from what you normally hear from a founder basing the business on a “passion” because Adam is passionate about business as well as his passion. This episode tells the story of a founder who exited his first business via a messy divorce and little financial gain. Adam doubted whether he needed a different life path, went back to his roots at a bike shop (remember when Rocky goes back to a nasty old gym after being beaten by Clubber Lang?). Adam soon reemerged ready to create two new brands that would build the best bikes in the world – Revel Bikes and Why Cycles. Outside Magazine agrees – the Revel Rascal was selected by as Best Mountain Bike, 2020.
No Sugar, Sweet Success
“A lot of entrepreneurs want to get into stores way too fast – before they have the consumer following… as quickly as they got on the shelves, they’re going to be off.”
Jane Miller, CEO, Lily’s Sweets
Consumer products companies are tough! For every home-started product like Bobo’s (PROCO360 episode) and Justin’s, there are tens, hundreds (thousands?) who fail. Lily’s is different. While its founder, Cynthia Tice, set out to create a product for herself (as most founders do), she set out to create a business at scale when she created a no-sugar-added product. With only three employees, including herself, Cynthia brought on Jane Miller, my featured guest. Jane is an experienced entrepreneur (including CEO of Rudi’s Bakery) with lots to share during our interview.