The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.
I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.
Can you please tell everyone your name?
What is your job role?
Founder and CEO Thomson & Scott
Tell us about your company?
We are changing the way people drink one beautiful bottle – and can – at a time. We are a lifestyle business, leading the global Transparency in Wine movement by creating a company that gives consumers as much detail as possible as to what’s in their bottle; By example, we produce Champagne and Prosecco, as well as a new non-alcoholic sparkling, Noughty, with organic and vegan credentials as well as little added sugar as possible.
What do you love most about your job?
No two days are ever the same. I get to travel the globe and meet some of the most exciting innovators in the world, as an entrepreneur in the start-up space. As others come around to our way of thinking, I already see positive change in the industry. My motto is “Drink beautifully. Or don’t drink at all” which resonates perfectly with the next generation who take truth as a given.
What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
The monumental but straightforward fact that I am shifting an entire industry.
How do your co-workers inspire you?
By their focus, their warmth and their passion, not to mention their willingness to give the extra 1% at all times. The space where the magic happens.
How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We like nothing more than self-deprecating humour – there’s no room for ego in our business. And blind wine tastings can be really fun – they don’t have to be snobby, honest!
What are some of the challenges of your job?
Jeez, where to start… It’s not easy taking on the global wine business with an entirely radical approach. But like all the best business ideas. It’s often the ones that seem so simple that can be most successful. Like, can you believe I am the first person globally to ask you what exactly is in your wine bottle? (Clue: not just grapes turning to alcohol!)
What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
That’s it’s an extremely fine line between success and failure and that sometimes all that matters is getting up and staying focused on putting one business foot in front of another and not falling off that tightrope. We let our cash burn run dangerously close the wrong way before a much needed fundraise – something almost all start-ups go through, but I certainly wouldn’t want to re-live that stress again. I would recommend founders worry less about dilution at the fast-growth stage and more about smart cash reserves remembering how long a raise take to start to finish.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Be bold, be brave and above all, be resilient. It’s not easy. If it were, everyone would do it.
Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:
@thomsonandscott and @thomsonandscottusa (Instagram)