David Neundorfer is the CEO of Open Book Extracts. David Neundorfer is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Mr. Neundorfer provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of Open Book Extracts. David Neundorfer joins other leading Bestselling Authors, International Speakers & Entrepreneur, CEOs and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team is delighted to have David join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview.
Let’s start by telling us about your business.
Open Book Extracts (OBX) is a leading cannabinoid processor and formulator serving CBD Brands, Consumer Packaged Goods companies, and multi-state Marijuana operators. Our calling card is transparency, professionalism, and reliability, all intangibles we ourselves were not able to find when we entered this business five years ago.
Please tell us how you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
OBX delivers cannabinoid product consistency and innovation that our brand clients need to stay on the forefront of a rapidly growing industry, and we compliment our supply chain reliability with exceptional customer service that enables long-term partnerships and open innovation to leverage the “best of” capabilities of multiple parties. Of course, we exist to ensure that the end consumer has a great cannabinoid experience–we enable that with product efficacy, batch-to-batch consistency, and finished good formulations that make it easy for consumers to incorporate cannabinoid-enabled health and wellness into their daily routines.
Please tell us the one thing that separates your business from the competition?
Our team. Our team is humble, nimble, and extremely hardworking, committed to our mission to unlock the therapeutic power of this special plant through education, quality control, and operational excellence. Of course, we turbo-charge our team with access to a world-class facility and state-of-the art equipment to deliver best-in-class purity and never-ending innovation. Today, we now serve most of the leading CBD brands in the market, and our reputation has grown to the point where both new clients and top talent in the industry seek out OBX. We are very grateful for this virtuous cycle and are honored to be in a position to help shape the future of this industry.
And to finish this section, Please tell us what is the one major key to your company’s success?
Innovation. We are constantly skating to where the puck is going, not where it’s been. For us, this means producing all of the non-THC ingredients that the market demands, including the commercially and therapeutically promising “minor cannabinoids”, and then working with our formulation team to give our brand clients a first-mover advantage on consistently pure ingredients and proprietary offerings. We are actively investing in the research needed to inform and validate function-specific products so that consumers can move beyond the “use CBD for everything” phase of the market and graduate to using products that support specific needs, from immunity, to sleep, to anxiety, and pain, to name a few.
For our readers just starting to build a company, what advice can you give entrepreneurs just starting out with a new venture?
We live in a culture that romanticizes the entrepreneurial journey with movies like the “Social Network” and shows like “Shark Tank” and constant media coverage of Bezos, Zuckerberg and Dorsey. The reality is that start-ups usually fail, often take more time and require more capital than expected, and rarely produce the straight line success that is often envisioned at the outset. With that perspective in mind, have passion for and conviction in your vision and recruit a team that does too; be open to market feedback and market-driven course corrections; and, have the patience and persistence to overcome what can feel like a never-ending set of obstacles to make your vision a reality. Oh, and find ways to enjoy the ride!
For entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what big piece of advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
First, build a culture that can endure the challenges, that has a long-term vision that keeps everyone’s eye on the truth north amid choppy waters. Second, remember that entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies have a finite amount of energy. The key to building a successful company is developing the pattern recognition and judgement needed to focus that energy on areas that most directly drive success. Without that judgement, entrepreneurs, especially the perfectionists, will burn out. A good example of misdirected energy that I often see in young entrepreneurs is the ceaseless haggling over valuations and dilution for a capital raise. The cost of delayed access to capital can be far greater than accepting a lower valuation and using the immediate access to capital to accelerate the business.
In today’s fast changing business environment, how do you stay abreast of things?
We often joke that the cannabinoid market moves in dog years. To stay abreast of the constantly evolving market dynamics, I ask questions–of myself, my business partner, my team, our clients, consumers and counsel. Curiosity and humility go a long way. While you might not always hear what you want to hear, openness and objectivity will always pay off greater than unchecked assumptions about your business and product.
What is your “Why”? In one sentence, why do you get up in the morning?
It is the joy of a lifetime to work with a dedicated, high-performing, high integrity team to help professionalize a nascent industry that helps people realize their health and wellness objectives with safe, efficacious products.
In one sentence, what is the most important thing one has to do to be a great leader?
Give all of yourself to the team and to the mission, without hedging, without compromise, without reservation–take full credit for the failures and give full credit for the success.
In one sentence, describe how important your customers are to your business?
Our customers are extensions of our team as innovation partners with whom we are building better experiences for the end consumer and, in doing so, raise the bar for the overall cannabinoid industry.
In one sentence, describe a positive way that technology can make the world a better place?
Now more than ever, technology needs to be coupled with ethical leadership that uses it as a tool for truth and transparency.
In one sentence, tell us something positive to motivate our readers?
Despite all of the existential crises we are experiencing–a global pandemic, global warming, worldwide populist and isolationist movements, and extreme social inequity–I find daily, if not hourly, examples that reinforce my belief in humanity and each of our individual capacity to do good in the world.
In one sentence, tell us how you start your day to get ready?
My day usually starts with our 5-year old crawling in between my wife and I for a 5am morning snuggle, which kicks off a process of strong coffee, meditation, and (depending on when our 3-year old wakes), some journaling and a morning workout.
In one sentence, describe how you handle rejection and setback?
I welcome hard obstacles and have become adept at maintaining an abounding sense of optimism and perspective that rejection is not only natural, but a welcome part of my personal growth journey and character development.
In one sentence, describe what your hiring philosophy is?
Hire people that are smarter than you (note: that’s my marrying philosophy as well …) and give them the ownership, accountability, and freedom to execute.
In one sentence, describe how you keep your sanity in a competitive business environment?
In addition to being a producer of products that help keep one sane, exercise, meditation, and a healthy diet are the three legs of my sanity stool.
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David, thank you so much for participating in the DotCom Magazine Entrepreneurs Spotlight Series. We really appreciate your answers and letting people know more about your business, leadership, and entrepreneurship, Please stay healthy, and thanks again! Best of luck with your amazing company, Open Book Extracts!