It is exciting as a newer business to discover your target market. There are so many variables when it comes to finding the right target of people that will be interested in your products and services, and on a consistent basis where a business model actually makes sense. In this clip, Farooq talks about his background a bit, and the size of the GroGuru market. Take a look:
Patrick: I saw this IBM Watson commercial about agriculture technology a week after I met you. Tell me about that. What does Watson do? Are they aggregating other data? Are they doing things like you’re doing?
Farooq: I’m on the non-optimistic side as far as Watson. I’ve been reading articles where IBM is hyping up Watson quite a bit. In reality, it should be looking at data from the soil, above the soil, the type of plant, and combining the information. That information keeps on changing over the life of the plant. What we are doing is what they should be doing.
Patrick: This is a hot area. How big is the market for something like this?
Farooq: In the US alone, it is about $2 billion annual revenue. Think about outside the US. We have been talking to some people who are very interested in taking this technology to the Middle Eastern countries, India, South America and South Africa. The opportunities are endless outside the US as well.
Patrick: Talk about your entrepreneurial journey? What got you into smaller companies like On-Ramp Wireless and then eventually to the decision to start your own company?
Farooq: I used to work with larger companies at the beginning of my career, including QUALCOMM. I wanted things to move faster. I wanted to make a real difference in the lives of end customers. That’s when I joined a startup. It was about seven years ago. I was with them for six years. I also saw the potential that was out there as well as some of the challenges.
I also had the itch to start taking control of my life, and the difference that I could make in the lives of farmers. That’s when I made the jump and started this entrepreneurial journey. There are definitely ups and downs. It’s not an easy journey, as I’m sure you realize. It’s much easier from the outside.
You have up days and down days. Sometimes the high that you get on the up days more than makes up for the lows that you have on the down days. That gives me the energy to keep going forward.