Signposts along the way

White Roads are those little roads that take you to where you’re going but with a little fun and adventure in-between. This “in-between” place is where we have probably lived a few incredible moments that then turned into our favorite stories.  We’d like to share with you so please feel free to follow along with us on the “how” and “what” led us to where we, and our partners are today. We’ll post up some stories, insights, pictures, vlogs, recordings, musings – and just about anything else around what makes us tick in general…….

Journal

“Thanks for Encouraging Me To Trust My Gut”

we come into contact with all sorts of wonderful people, brands and organizations on a daily basis.

when it fits right we get involved!  however, we can’t say “yes” to all of the opportunities we see because sometimes the fit isn’t right and both the investor and investee realize that.

with that said? there are some very special companies out there that we love despite the fact we may not get involved.

these special ones usually keep us posted of their adventures along the way and we welcome that and dig helping out from time to time. it’s very cool because it’s proof that people and product and relationships are paramount.

one of these special ones is Po Campo. a brooklyn based maker of incredibly  cool, versatile and functional bags that fit your life…especially on a bike!

maria, the founder of Po Campo has been looking for independent sales reps to grow her business. she recently sent a heads up email that was so nice….just had to share it…..

“Thanks for encouraging me to trust my gut. I was interviewing a rep this afternoon and part of me was like, “Well, I really want someone in the CO area” but my heart was like, “She’s obviously not excited about Po Campo and isn’t listening to you” so then I just said no thanks and have a good weekend. Previously I would’ve thought, “Well, this is the best I’m going to do”.

 Onward!!!”

 

the moral of the story? well…we’ll let you make that one up in your own head.

as always, thanks for letting us share…. ::))

 

 

expo west and the f***ed categories?

oh trade show how i love you part two…aka…the final installment

walk a natural foods trade show floor like expowest for a few days

and if you’re awake and aware while in the aisles, at the end of it all?

you should be able to make a list of the food categories that could be referred to as f***d?

for now let’s just call it the “screwed” category to be politically and swearingly correct

maybe we can play a quick fill in the blank game to succinctly explain ?

here goes….

if you’re going to get in the “blank” category you’re probably screwed

so let’s fill in that blank….here’s our short list

 

1-water

2-anything coconut….oil, water, snack, etc….

3-ice cream

then there’s….

-jerky

-energy bars

-chocolate

-kombucha

-nut butter

-popcorn in a bag

-yogurt

and

-granola* (with an asterisk because it’s been on the list for at least 2 yrs)

it’s not that these categories aren’t real or don’t generate millions if not billions in revenue in the natural foods universe

it’s just when talking to entrepreneurs, founders and new business types

if they have a product in one of the above categories?

just want to give them a loving hug and say

congratulations, you are so f***d….oops i mean screwed

 

interstellar irony right here and right now?

these entrepreneurial peeps are usually super smart, hard working, committed, mission driven, etc

but they are also willingly entering into the “screwed category”

a wild world of sameness with incredible power and strength working against you

so as a newcomer brand/product in these screwed categories?

if their product or brand doesn’t have “special powers”

it’s probably not going to work

point of interest? at all trade shows …

there are always places where the most of the cool, emerging brands reside

the 3rd floor or the basement or that one corner over there

it’s easy to get excited when you see the ones with special powers

and sometimes it’s a bummer….because you see many without the special powers

and you know next year they probably won’t be around

but why?

 

first…..most are in one of the above mentioned screwed categories

you’re going up against powerful competitors

that own the shelf, the trade spend, the consumers mind share and they most likely make pretty good product and margin to boot …

oh that’s right they also know how to deliver on time

so if you’re going up against the goliaths of the category you better have something really special going on or you are screwed

you notice i pluralized….goliaths…that’s an s on the end…..

two symbolism there……

-screwed starts with an s

-you can bet there’s going to be more than one goliath you’ll be up against.

figure a minimum of three!

btw

the screwed list isn’t exclusive to the natural foods world

in the outdoor world, stainless steel water bottles might be top of the list

and in the bike industry?

if you’re introducing a new high end carbon road bike in the u.s. market?

you’re probably screwed

btw….feel free to make your own list in whatever business world you play in

i’d like to see it…..

 

ok…enough, let’s close….the moral of this screwed story?

stay out of the screwed categories

and if you’re crazy enough to go in will you please build a brand/product with special powers?

because then and only then? you might have a shot at it…..

f***dlistscaryvideo

 

oh trade show…let me count the ways i love you…..

trade shows, energy, connectivity, and finding one?

we just got back from expo west…..it’s a lovely natural foods show…

live in person, no virtual reality, face to face, hand to hand, and lots of hand washing and hugs for the ones you know and love

expo is probably one of my fave trade shows despite it’s increasing size and humanoid density in the aisles

or despite the 3 min trade show aisle meeting we are forced to have

or despite the 10 miles of walking each day

or the 100 miles of talking ….as we all go home with sore throats and sore feet

in the spirt of the f word…focus

decided to skinny this weeks rant into the 3 reasons why we go to trade shows

number one

expo west is great because of it’s “energy” as the majority of attendees are on a mission mofo…

and that’s everything from changing how foods are grown and produced to the quality of food that humanoids put in their pie holes

and you can feel this energy and connection when you enter the hall

hyper competitive yet hyper collaborative….

it’s bi directional….it goes both ways baby

the big energy and the mission are fantastico

and let’s remember that “energy contains information”

so when you leave you can take some with you…

and it can last a while if you practice it daily

reason number two?

trade shows are a one stop shop…..

you can check out the industry landscape in one place

you can walk up and down the aisles and see who and what you’re up against

plus…

you can also visualize/hallucinate/make up in your mind where you think it’s all going

so trade shows are a great way to get present and possibly future snapshots of the industry

number 3?

if you’re lucky “you find one”

for us at wri that means we find something…get a lead, meet a founder or find a category that we think has promise and we can invest in for the future

for you as an exhibitor or attendee or a sales rep

you finding one might be a new retailer to sign up, a new employee to hire, or a company you may want to work for, etc…..

now….not to be a buzzkill….but here’s some reality check….

we personally attend a myriad of trade shows and i don’t care what industry or category you are in

more and more trade show floors are becoming a sea of sameness

same colors, same products, same claims, same positioning, same packaging

example? do we really need 30 different brands of kombucha?

however

don’t get too bummed out by this sea of sameness

as it’s a good way to figure out how to differentiate

as your enemy isn’t so much the competiton but more about the sameness

who knows by walking the aisles

you may figure out how to zig when everyone else is zagging

 

and speaking of zig vs. zag? on a trade show floor filled with the same ole blah blah blah standard exhibit booths….our lovely peloton company Herb Pharm decided to shake things up and set up an actual greenhouse from their farm to show the peeps how a company who is on a mission around plant based love really does it……!!!! ::))