Episode 111
June 20, 2022

Stocks, Startups, and Seedlings

with Jacob Pechenik, Co-Founder and CEO of Lettuce Grow

About this episode

Joining the show today is Jacob Pechenik, Co-Founder and CEO of Lettuce Grow, an innovative farm stand that enables consumers to grow lettuce, herbs, and vegetables at home in just a few weeks. In this episode, Jacob shares with us his entrepreneurial journey from growing up in San Antonio, Texas, to starting his first tech company, to launching a film financing company, to building Lettuce Grow in 2017. He talks about the mistakes he made with his first startup, why his second company was way more successful than the first, how he started Lettuce Grow, and why he believes in team-led collaboration.

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In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • (3:00) What it was like growing up in San Antonio, Texas, having a curious mind, and aspirations to become a vet
  • (6:20) How he got super into stocks at a young age and learned how to take risks
  • (9:30) How he got into competitive horse riding and even switched schooling methods, ended up becoming Valedictorian of his class, chose MIT for college, and chose to be an engineer 
  • (17:30) How the idea for his first tech company, Tech Trader came to be at the age of 25
  • (19:00) The challenges faced in leading his first company, which failed and led him to start his next venture Yellow Jacket
  • (26:00) How he took the step and faced the challenges head-on with this second company, to then later launch his film financing company
  • (33:00) How he met his Co-Founder, Zooey Deschanel, and what prompted the idea for organic foods
  • (37:00) When the idea for Lettuce Grow finally came to be, and the realization of the lack of fresh produce 
  • (48:00) What he’s learned about building a brand, the advice he has for others, and what he's learned in being a leader
  • (58:00) What’s next for Lettuce Grow, including helping consumers within this lifestyle journey, and continuing to make it more environmentally friendly

To Find Out More:

https://www.lettucegrow.com/ 

Quotes:

“I had the innocence which allowed me to do the crazy trading and to start the company because I had this optimism and I was naive.”

“As an entrepreneur, it's hard to be as successful when you're not  totally gung ho.”

I didn't see them as stealing our ideas, or as like potential competitors, I really saw them as a way to build relationships.”

“I started to look at things a lot differently as a, you know, as a future dad and looking at the food that she was eating, the food that we were eating and just saw chemicals and everything.

“I thought about how organic farming is really inaccessible to most people, and why it cost so much,  so I got so focused on that.”

“Our problems in this country don't have to do with the growing of the food they have to do with getting the food from the farm to the people.”

“I realized if we could take that waste out of the equation, then we could cut the price of fresh food in half.”

“I knew this thing has to be beautiful, it has to be super easy to use, people need to be proud of having it in their living room or on their patio.”

“Never think things are over, there's always a way.”

“If you wanna go fast, go alone. But if you wanna go far go together.”

“Follow the bread crumbs of your passion.”

“You've gotta find that passion and that conviction, it's almost like in another universe this already exists and you can see through that universe and this belief and just go all-in.”

Read the transcript

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