[quote style=”boxed”]I would not think about scale at all early on, I would focus on acquiring knowledge first and foremost, even if the best way to acquire knowledge isn’t the scaleable business model it will likely produce it. [/quote]
Nait Jones is the CEO and founder of AgLocal.com (recently named “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Food-Tech 2014”). Before founding AgLocal, Nait served in leadership roles at the highly esteemed Kauffman Foundation and Gartner Research. Nait along with Co-Founder Mike Hsieh started AgLocal with the foundational belief that e-commerce provides the most efficient way of rebalancing markets for the benefit of small businesses and consumers, and that protein producing family farms represent a valuable market opportunity for both farms and consumers. AgLocal’s mission is to remove market intermediaries, so that family farms can benefit from better margins and greater reach, and so that consumers can benefit with consistent and convenient access to higher quality meats with transparency of sources and practices.
Where did the idea for AgLocal.com come from?
From being around family members that were professional chefs and others that work in agriculture.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A typical day is atypical. They never go as planned. Most days are spent trying to stay as high level as possible on strategy and on raising capital, training and hiring staff, influencing the culture of our people and our products, and motivating via goals and intended outputs.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Courage, courage, and more courage and a plan.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
e-commerce via mobile devices. This is an exciting area of growth.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Ignoring email and focusing on the one thing that I do best for the company and doing it well.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I’ve worked some pretty bad jobs, but the worst job I ever had was working in a battery factory inside of a huge oven curing wet lead to dry. I learned that if you are desperate you can do what ever needs to be done. So do what needs to be done today versus being forced to do it tomorrow under less than ideal circumstances.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would not think about scale at all early on, I would focus on acquiring knowledge first and foremost, even if the best way to acquire knowledge isn’t the scaleable business model it will likely produce it.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I help people. I connect people to others. I am a connector and provide value to others without needing an outcome for myself. This has a reciprocal effect of creating an outcome any.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
There is no single strategy. There are a million small things that grow a business. But the one thing as CEO that I can affect to make sure that more of the small things happen correctly is to hire well. I am getting much better at that.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Doing too many things spread across too many geographic areas at once. I lived in KC and had ops there, had engineering in San Francisco and customers in New York City. This was a very bad mistake. I would recommend starting slow and having all of your personal business and company business in the same place so that it limits stress and speed learning.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
It would be great if someone could could figure out a way to disrupt the entire car buying process. If a startup was created where a group of people could pool together and buy and share a car that would be pretty awesome.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I was actually born and raised in England. My mom is British.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I use lots of stuff. Really like the ipad app Grafio for design, I like Haiku for presentations, I like All Trails app for finding great hiking trails.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. Its written towards the unique challenges faced by CEO’s but I feel it has nuggets that are widely applicable to anyone facing any particular challenge
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Ben Horowitz and his blog Ben’s blog: www.bhorowitz.com
Brad Feld – Feld Thoughts: www.feld.com
Balaji Srinivasan – has an out standing twitter account
AgLocal on Twitter: @AgLocal
AgLocal on LinkedIn:
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.