Greg Kerber started out in finance, but the arrival of the Internet changed his career path. He and his team built the first block chain on a peer-to-peer network.
He invented a new kind of health and beauty soap line called Rad Soap which his family helped to make incredibly successful and runs to this day. Then Greg branched into a successful entry in the hemp sector with Gnome Serum – full spectrum hemp extract.
Greg, like many entrepreneurs, is an instinctive marketer. At the time (and still today) cabanas was considered a schedule 1 narcotic. He, his children, and ex-wife took advantage of the provocative attraction of the cabanas plant at the time and was very “in your face” with it at farmers markets and other venues selling Rad Soap.
Greg points out the hemp industry is going through a major shakeup. “A lot of pitch forks and shovels have been sold, but no one is getting rich yet.” In large part because the barriers to entry are low. If you’re growing corn, why not grow cannabis or hemp instead?
By the time Greg started in the industry, there were only 102 companies in the sector. By pre-Covid, there were 5,000.
To me this goes back to a theme I see happening again and again – the speed to commoditization is incredibly fast. Greg and Gnome Serum are finding ways around it, including:
- Formulation differentiation
- Marketing differentiation
- Sales differentiation
17:00 – Greg has thought a lot about entrepreneurs and startups. You’ll hear him talk about how disruptors can figure out what consumers need and get there faster than the big companies.
18:30 – Greg identifies a new concept that might lead to the tendency to be a disruptor: curiosity.
18:55 – Is it possible to build and maintain a culture of disruption?
21:15 – Challenges Greg had to overcome.
26:59 – Advice for up-and-coming entrepreneurs
Advice to Entrepreneurs
“Bootstrap it. Before you go for investment money, go to farmers’ markets, keep your expenses low, set up your company with the government, and give it a go.”
“Have a compelling story. People love stories. There’s a reason people love watching Shark Tank.”
The ending chat starting at 32:15 is one of my favorites. Greg likes to pay it forward by helping entrepreneurs succeed. He’s full of advice and has survived the scars to prove he’s a great resource and a highly successful businessman.
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