Starting a Brewery Is No Different Than Founding a Tech Startup - 1

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Starting a Brewery Is No Different Than Founding a Tech Startup - 1
One of the first things that people like to assume when they find out that I own a brewery is that I sit around and get trashed all day at work. But it's the same for you, right?

"A tech startup!? Man, I LOVE ping pong and foosball!"

Not that all of you necessarily go out of your way to contradict that notion.

But hey, neither do I.

Starting up a brewery is different than starting a tech company in one major way: All of that work that you did at home, at a coffee shop, on your couch, or even on the back of a napkin while dreaming up what it would be like to be your own tech super-power is all work you can take with you when you go big.

I homebrewed for 12 years before I finally opened a brewery and I couldn't ever sell any of that product. Those recipes don't even scale to a large brewery without a lot of work. There's only so much of a groundwork you can lay before going into the brewing business.

In most ways, though, startup is similar. You need a lot of money, more time than you can possibly manage, and people you can trust to have your back when it counts. You need to be innovative and smart and know how to create a niche in an already crowded market. You need to know how to make a splash, how to use—but not overuse—social media, and how to get people's attention with a product that they might not necessarily understand. You lose sleep over elevator pitches and wonder how the hell you're going to pay the bills next month. You need to figure out how to part people with their money while still pursuing an idea that you have a passion for. It's a business, after all.

Watch this space and join me, a reformed tech geek, as I break away from the keyboard into a brick-and-mortar startup world and find out that everything old is new again. I'll be sharing the journey we've taken from a glimpse of a spark of an idea up through current day and sharing our growth, some of our strategies and decisions, and how we think we'll make a run at being successful in a crowded market.

For some of you, it'll be a great way to take a break from a busy day thinking about your own businesses and get you thinking about how much you'd like to have a beer right now (I would), but others of you will see reflections of your own businesses and maybe—hopefully—gain new perspectives or ideas that can help you get a step ahead.

And a beer, of course.