Neil Amrhein of My Goat: “Artificial intelligence and robotics are the future”

Artificial intelligence and robotics are the future. I believe that software engineering will change the world as humans have to learn to manage, maintain and monitor these devices across all industries. In recent years, Big Tech has gotten a bad rep. But of course many tech companies are doing important work making monumental positive changes […]

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Artificial intelligence and robotics are the future. I believe that software engineering will change the world as humans have to learn to manage, maintain and monitor these devices across all industries.


In recent years, Big Tech has gotten a bad rep. But of course many tech companies are doing important work making monumental positive changes to society, health, and the environment. To highlight these, we started a new interview series about “Technology Making An Important Positive Social Impact”. We are interviewing leaders of tech companies who are creating or have created a tech product that is helping to make a positive change in people’s lives or the environment. As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Neil Amrhein.

Neil Amrhein is a serial entrepreneur who founded My Goat as a solution for labor shortage, cost reduction and environmental impact in the commercial lawn care industry. My Goat utilizes autonomous robotic mowers in a subscription service like Roomba meets Netflix Neil’s experience with labor challenges and software advantages was developed across the non-medical home healthcare industry, the hotel business and the technology sector.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory and how you grew up?

I was raised in southern California, moved to Georgia for college and have had the opportunity to live in 7 states in my adulthood. Over the last 2 decades, I have been a resident of Tennessee.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

My professional transition from corporate employee to entrepreneur in 2008. This decision was both frightening and exhilarating because the timing is never perfect to quit your job when you have a wife and young children.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

While I was in corporate America I was fortunate to have many mentors throughout the years. Once I built my first company large enough I had the privilege of joining the Entrepreneur’s Organization(EO). This group has continued to inspire, challenge and support my business journey.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

In my experience many quotes have impacted me. I subscribe to the following 3:

  1. You can only control your ATTITUDE and your OUTPUT
  2. Fear will linger but problems get solved…write down your GOALS and CHALLENGES
  3. Small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events and great minds discuss ideas

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

A friend of mine shared with me several years ago that all leaders need to LEARN, THINK and EXECUTE.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about the tech tools that you are helping to create that can make a positive impact on the planet and the environment. To begin, which particular problems are you aiming to solve?

Labor shortages, cost savings and environmental impact. As technology gets better, faster and cheaper businesses ought to be able to leverage technology hardware and software innovation to improve labor productivity, decrease labor costs and increase employee retention. In addition, battery operated, electric autonomous mowers reduce carbon emissions and eliminate noise pollution. Over 87 gallons of gas is spilled per year on an average golf course by traditional riding mowers. The carbon footprint of one HOUR on a zero turn mower is equivalent to over 300 miles driven in a Toyota Camry.

How do you think your technology can address this?

My Goat is a software company that improves labor productivity by 32%, allows for over 38% re-deployment of labor, reduces traditional mowing costs by 27% and impacts the environment by completely eliminating any noise and carbon emissions.

Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?

I have always been passionate about building things, leading people, improving the environment and disrupting the status quo via innovative ideas. My Goat has been a vehicle for me to accomplish all 4 objectives.

How do you think this might change the world?

Artificial intelligence and robotics are the future. I believe that software engineering will change the world as humans have to learn to manage, maintain and monitor these devices across all industries.

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

As machines get smarter and technology becomes more efficient, the traditional college education system will need to adapt. It used to be that people had to seek information. Now people have to learn how to filter data in order to become critical thinkers.

Here is the main question for our discussion. Based on your experience and success, can you please share “Five things you need to know to successfully create technology that can make a positive social impact”? (Please share a story or an example, for each.)

Let me share that my position about technology is that there has been very little new technology created since the Internet. I would argue that existing technology is being improved upon AND being applied in new and interesting ways. Camera/digital advancement, broadband improvement, GPS, streaming audio/video, and blockchain are only a few of the existing technologies that will make life easier, convenient, and more affordable.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

Why wouldn’t you?

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

At this point, Elon Musk — vsionary, unafraid and willing to act.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

www.mygoat.co

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success in your important work.

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