Love what you do: You can only master that which you are passionate about.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Socrates Rosenfeld, CEO of Jane Technologies, Inc.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with us the story of what first introduced you into this business or helped you get interested in the business?
A: I was first introduced to cannabis after I left the Army. Like millions of other veterans, I found the transition from soldier to civilian to be more challenging than expected. I found it difficult to bring down my intensity levels, and at the age of 29, I consumed cannabis for the first time. Cannabis brought me the sense of presence to find balance and to reconnect with my own self again.
At the time I was attending graduate school at MIT, cannabis was not yet legal in the state of Massachusetts — even for medical purposes. Knowing for myself the benefits of this plant, I believed strongly that technology could be the bridge that connected the people in need to the people cultivating, producing, and selling quality products.
Within a year of graduating, I had dreamt up what that software would look like. My brother (who is also an MIT alum) just so happened to know exactly how to execute that dream and iheartjane.com was born.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
A: MIT taught a class on our company, which was a very special moment for us. My classmates at MIT became my teammates at Jane. The very professors we looked to for guidance and insight were now using our model and our experience to teach their students. It was surreal.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
A: I make mistakes everyday — some more funny than others. I consider them iterations. Mistakes allow our company to learn, get better, and grow by making small constant adjustments. The secret is not to make the same mistake twice.
Are you working on any exciting projects now?
A: In the last year we have experienced rapid growth and expansion, working with nearly 500 dispensary partners across 19 states and US territories.
We also recently partnered with CanPay, the largest legitimate payment solution for the cannabis industry to launch the industry’s first integrated online menu and ordering platform with payments for cannabis dispensaries across the country. This marks the first time that electronic payments have been available to cannabis patients and consumers for their online orders.
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?
A: I’m grateful for my team. Every single team member at Jane has a personal experience that spurred their desire to move this industry forward. They are fully committed to building powerful technology that can help people find the products that have such a positive impact on their wellness and overall well-being. My team truly appreciates this, and it is directly reflected in the products we build and provide to the cannabis industry.
This industry is young dynamic and creative. Do you use any clever and innovative marketing strategies that you think large legacy companies should consider adopting?
A: Yes. Build a great product first. Worry about the marketing second.
Can you share your top “5 Things You Need To Know In Order To Run a Successful Company”? Please share a story or example for each.
- Love what you do: You can only master that which you are passionate about.
- Be honest: Your reputation is everything.
- Solve the hard problem: That’s where the value is.
- Take care of the customer: Everything else will take care of itself.
- It’s more than money: Create value first. Capture value second.
Aside from your particular vertical, which other ancillary industries do you think have very strong potential in the next few years? Can you explain why?
A: This industry is built on brick and mortar retailers who serve their local communities. The importance of developing relationships with their local consumer base is paramount for dispensaries, and I can see how loyalty and text messaging platforms will continue to be a critical piece.
As we move forward, the ability to understand the cannabis consumer will rapidly become the most important element. Consumer insights and other data analytics will play a large role in shaping what the future of this industry will look like.
What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
A: Invest in your people. We grow our business by fostering the growth of our employees. You can replicate products, but not people.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
A: Cannabis helped me to connect with myself again. I’m not saying that everyone should use cannabis, but I am saying everyone should do the things that help them get back in touch with their true nature, so we can begin to reconnect with those around us. You first need to find peace within yourself before you can spread it to others.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!