We recently sat down with Craig and thought we’d share his responses on business, family, and life.
Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood? Where did you grow up? I grew up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania — steel country. My grandparents were the last in agriculture. Then everyone worked at Bethlehem Steel Co. until it went under in the 1980s.
Did you always want to start your own company? What gave you that push? Yes and no. I had planned on a career in the military, but that ended when I was medically discharged in 2001. There was always a part of me though that wanted to own my own company.
What helped you decide to enter the business world after your time in the military? In the Marines, you learn to do more with less. Large corporations are never as lean and agile as small organizations. I wanted to use what I learned in the Marines to build an organization that could be powerful yet stays lean and dynamic.
Transitioning from the military to civilian world is a process many veterans struggle with. Is there something in particular that helped you? Not really. My faith has been a big drive in that transition; knowing God had a plan for me to do something outside of the military with the experience I learned while in.
So, given your technical background, what drew you to agriculture? It was kind of an accident. I went to a John Deere developers conference in the fall of 2013 with a pair of Google Glass as one of the original 800 Explorers chosen by Google. Everyone there seemed fascinated by its out-of-the-box capabilities to simply take pictures and send them to someone by using their voice. Coming from a 20+ year technology background, I knew so much more was possible. So I saw a window… and went through it.
If you have a personal motto, what is it? Hmmm….that’s a hard one. I kind of have three. 1) “It’s 90% mental. You can do anything if you put your mind to.” 2) “The key to success in battle is effective communications.” and 3) Proverbs 27:17- “iron sharpens iron as one man sharpens another.”
What’s one book you’ve read in the past year that influences you daily? “It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work”, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
What’s one piece of “conventional wisdom” that you have totally debunked in your life (found false)? That no one cares about you outside of your core friends and family. No one does and you better get it through your head early in the game if you’re wanting to be an entrepreneur. You’re not special. No one cares about you. There are no favors. Nothing is free.
Which bear is best? Well, there are several schools of thought… but I say Kodiak.
What’s one thing you’d like people to know but have never been asked? Can’t say anything comes to mind. I’m not that special of a person. I put my pants on like everyone else each day.