There’s a term of art in the business world—dogfooding. It means if you’re going to propose a solution, you should use that same solution to help better understand problems the end user may encounter. Our guest today is familiar with dogfooding, both as a business process and from literally making food for pets. Isaac Langleben made the leap from consulting to leading Open Farm, a sustainable pet food business. We talk about that leap, the Canadian Startup Scene and have a news roundup with John Ruffolo.
About Isaac Langleben:
Isaac Langleben is the CEO and Co-Founder of Open Farm, a premium pet food brand on a mission to deliver exceptional pet nutrition while driving a positive impact on animals and the planet. Isaac leads Open Farm’s team across Canada and the US in bringing innovative, healthy products to pets through over 6,000 pet stores & online. A serial entrepreneur, Isaac has also co-founded two other pet product companies – Canada Pooch, a leading pet accessories company and Diggs, an innovative pet supplies company.
Prior to being a pet entrepreneur, Isaac was at Clairvest Inc, a Toronto-based private equity firm with over $2.4 billion of equity capital under management, and a consultant at Boston Consulting Group.
He has two bachelor’s degrees from McGill University.
In this episode, we discuss:
(01:02) News rundown with John Ruffolo
(02:08) Developments and challenges in quantum computing
(04:18) Analysis of Microsoft's investment strategies
(06:12) Microsoft's approach to innovation in technology
(07:24) OpenAI's expansion and its implications
(08:12) Challenges and opportunities in AI and consumer technology
(10:26) Impact of GPT-4 Turbo on AI development
(11:06) Competitive landscape in AI startups
(12:58) New AI technologies and privacy concerns
(14:07) Role of AI in modern technology trends
(15:21) Isaac's journey from law to pet food industry leadership
(17:13) His private equity experience and insights into the pet industry
(18:44) Evolution of the pet food industry
(21:02) Strategies for scaling and diversifying in the pet industry
(23:41) Challenges and opportunities in business growth
(26:18) Different investment and growth approaches
(28:18) Open Farm's commitment to sustainability
(30:21) Challenges in global expansion and market entry
(32:20) Strategies for customer base expansion in the U.S.
(34:22) Open Farm's future growth and sustainability goals
(36:15) Alignment of Open Farm's mission with business objectives
(38:44) Role of investors and strategic partnerships in business growth
(41:51) The Canadian startup ecosystem
(44:29) Encouraging entrepreneurship in Canada
(47:20) Navigating supply chain challenges during COVID-19
(49:38) Isaac's advocacy and educational initiatives
📰- Favorite Newsletter / Blog: Axios
📲- Favorite Tech Gadget: Traeger Timberline
📈- Favorite New Trend: Return to work and Brazilian jujitsu
📚- Favorite Book: Every Night is Pizza Night
🤔 - Favorite Life Lesson: If you see something, just go for it