Kamal: It’s also hard to stay relevant in LA. There are so many cool things that happen on a daily basis where if you can stay at the top of your game in LA or San Francisco or New York, then it’s sort of like training wheels to sort of expand to the rest of the country because at least you know that you have what it takes to do well in other cities. It’s very diverse. It hits, you know, all types of demographics and consumers, you learn a lot and you know, for the most part it’s pretty honest. So when they say, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere, I think LA has definitely proven that time and time again.
Boye: For sure. I think you hit on something earlier, LJ, when you talked about culture and I think a product like yours, I believe, makes sense. Right now, it’s how do you expand that beyond just making sense and having it really just touch the rest of the nation. I do agree that LA, even more so than New York or Austin, Chicago, all of these cultural hotspots really leads the trends. I was at an event the other day and normally they would hand out cocktails, right? Your Jack and Cokes or whatever, but they were serving pressed juice, pressed juice cocktails, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. And I thought that was so cool to be at this branded, premiere party event, and I could just get a pressed juice and that is just, that’s culture, you know what I mean? And it’s good to get to have you guys here. I’m curious, this is a startup and oftentimes people talk about what goes right, what are some hard moments that you guys have had and what did you learn from it?
Kamal: Here’s the one advice that I have and this is advice that I want to give to myself if I could go back in time. It’s the idea of like there’s a reason why you should pick something that you love because there’s actually no easy route. There’s no easy way to do something great. It takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears. So the only thing that keeps you in the game, especially when out of the month 28 days are really hard and two days are wins, is the fact that you actually have an intrinsic motivator. It can’t just be extrinsic, it can’t be money or a fame thing. It has to be something you really believe in. I would tell most people stick to your day job if you want to be happy, like you can actually do a nine to five, have a hobby, have weekends, but if you’re going to pick something, you gotta ask yourself, am I willing to do this seven days a week and am I willing to battle it out and lose or have little losses like, you know, 98 percent of the month, then go ahead and do it. So we moved to San Francisco, we drove uber. I think between the three of us, we’ve done 10,000 rides. That’s actually how we found our investors. We raised $3,000,000 driving Uber. We told everybody our story, I mean, we’ve had situations where I’m pitching somebody on our story and it got down to the point where we could tell our whole story in just a minute and they’re like, Oh yeah, I’ve met your co-founder LJ. It’s like we covered that city and so
LJ: That happened all the time. That’s scary when you finally been that deep in and you’re like Wow, they’ve met Kamal and Eric.
Kamal: I mean, if you think about it, when we moved to San Francisco, we ran out of money in six months. The city of like San Francisco was wanting to shut us down because they’re like, well, your technology doesn’t fit in our current laws and so we’re fighting legislation. Our competitor Juicero raised $100,000,000.
Boye: and they tanked
Kamal: And they tanked. And we can get into that.
LJ: I swear we were in every single boardroom like six months after them. It was like, Hey, we’re raising this much. We just gave this group this much. How are you ever going to compete? And we’re like, just so you know, it’s not going to work.
Kamal: And we can talk about like, why we saw as to why they weren’t going to work even before we raised our capital. But I mean at that time you gotta ask yourself like, okay, you moved to San Francisco, you’re driving Uber, your competitor has $123 million dollars, California the state and the city of San Francisco want to shut you down because your technology doesn’t fit into their current laws. It feels like almost an impossible task to overcome in every different direction, whether it’s legislation or business or your current day to day. And so the fact that our team has been through that and we’ve come out at least on top for this current moment, I think is a testimony to how much of an intrinsic love and motivation we have towards this thing. And it’s a story we haven’t yet told but I think that once we have a brand and our brand actually matters, because that’s what is most important to us first, and I think once people hear this story, they’re going to understand that there’s a lot of love that goes into this product. And so when you go up to the machine and people are excited and in front of it and they try the juice and they love it, that means so much to us because we’ve put everything we’ve had in the past four years into it. That’s why it’s really important to do what you love because it’s going to be difficult. It’s going to be really hard. And if it’s not for that, you will fail. During those really difficult moments, no matter how famous you think you want to get or how much money you think you want, it won’t get you through those days. And that’s why it’s really important to pick something you love.