Guest post by Clayton Mooney.
Startups are hard. My mentality when building companies is that every day is day 1. I’m bad at celebrating wins.
So, here goes a couple of brags about how we’ve built a rocket ship at Nebullam because of our team.
In 2020, our software team was all remote, and no one was dedicated to Nebullam full-time. It was not productive. In Jan 2021, we recruited our top candidate to lead all of our software engineering, full-time. Our software team has never been stronger. And no one is remote.
In May 2021, we recruited our top candidate for leading our production. They were also a perfect fit to expand upon our #BuildingInPublic initiative. Their dedication is huge—I think this is because they grew up on a dairy farm. Dairy farmers know how to work harder and smarter.
In June, we let our delivery team member transition to PR because they wanted to land all the stories. They’ve landed us every major Iowa publication and news channel because they care about and are passionate about our mission.
In July, we embraced one of our subscribers who was looking for a career change, for an operations role. Now, about 6 months in, the processes they’ve built are compounding and they’ve helped me to think in terms of scaling 10x more clearly. From subscriber to Operations Lead.
By August, we had a dedicated delivery lead join us. They embraced the chaos and have now set an unparalleled level of face-to-face customer success. So much so that they’re likely transitioning into a Chief of Staff role and will train other delivery leads.
By September, we had recruited our top candidate in horticulture. They’re an expert in indoor tomato production & have helped us go from reactive with growing, to proactive with growing. This is now a necessity, as our tomato demand has grown 13x in the past 4 months.
By October, we had recruited our top candidate for our Chief Data Officer. Their expertise and abilities have already set us apart from most other indoor farming companies. Their work is reducing CAC, labor, and increasing our knowledge base exponentially. They also invested.
By November, we had recruited our top candidate for VP of Logistics. They’ve built and executed upon the architecture for companies going from 1 location to 100s. On their 2nd day, they showed me why we should have already launched in CR. They also invested.
This past week, we recruited our top candidate for VP of Finance & Procurement. They’ve previously helped us secure 6 figures in capital. Their technical & soft skill set combination is unmatched. Margins will improve, and buildout costs will decrease, thanks to their leadership.
Nebullam has a 100% different team than it did 1 year ago. That’s because we’re a different company. The new business model brought new opportunities.
We are now a supply chain and logistics company, on top of a data company, on top of a vertical farming company.
In the past 4.5 years, Danen and I have gone through 2,000+ investor rejections. 2 floods. 1 fire. And we’ve run out of money 3 times.
Danen is like Wolverine. I’ve watched him design & build until the job was done—sometimes pulling multiple all-nighters in a week. He’s put literal blood, sweat, & tears into building Nebullam. He’s a mad combo of plant biologist and engineer. But also a family man and good dad.
Me? I run in the woods for 50 miles at a time, have been beaten up in boxing more times than I can remember—from Denver to Dublin to Iowa. & as a former poker pro, I know I make my own luck. I’ve also previously built a co & launched a physical product in >50 countries worldwide.
The rocket ship has been built. We’ll be searching for the fuel (VC money) soon, as we’re about to hit 500% subscriber growth in 2021.
If this sounds like the craziest team you could ever join, and you understand the demands of a startup, maybe we’re looking for you. In 2022, we’ll have many positions opening up. From horticulture and production, to mechanical and software engineering, to logistics and city launches.
Reach out if you’re looking.
A players only.
We’re building indoor farms that will replace the produce aisle.
Clayton Mooney is the co-founder of the Ames-based company Nebullam and is a familiar face in the Iowa startup ecosystem. This story was originally published on Substack.