Warren Bobrow=WB: Please tell me where you are from? What did you want to be when you (grew) up?
Justin Johnson=JJ: I matured in Washington state, spending the majority of my youth in Spokane, which is pretty rural, a lot closer to Idaho and Montana than Seattle.
Obsessed with TELEVISION commercials from an early age, I went to Washington State University with the objective of becoming a creative director at a New York ad agency.
After graduating top of my class, I assumed no agency could withstand me and tried a move to New York with my best good friend to pursue the dream.
I eventually ended up in Seattle, where I landed a job at WONGDOODY, an extremely decorated imaginative firm I idolized in college. While my goal was always to be a “creative,” my mix of writing ability, strategic thinking, and digital smart got me quickly recognized by Michael Hoffman, our head of service advancement and one of my earliest mentors.
In a previous life, Michael was accountable for the launch of a little sneaker called the Air Jordan 1 with then rookie Michael Jordan and a fairly unidentified Spike Lee. He passed away last year, however I was quite lucky to have him as an employer and role model.
Within a couple years under Michael I was promoted to manage business development for our office in Los Angeles, where my appreciation for cannabis progressed, and social networks started to ruin the traditional agency model. As TELEVISION ad budgets dried up in 2008, my role altered from pursuing brand-new business to building know-how in brand-new services like web analytics, search engine optimization, social material creation, and early models of Facebook and Google advertising that dominate budgets today.
I ultimately left WONGDOODY in 2011 to join Lunchbox, where I ‘d supervise online home entertainment efforts in between Walmart and Unilever, ranging from top quality music videos with Slash to interviews with Kevin Hart about his new funny special.
Today I spend my days structure BudsFeed, promoting for the rights of marijuana consumers, and speaking with brands and start-ups. My spouse and I call Brooklyn home, but began investing in upstate AirBnB’s about 3 years back. We just finished redesigning a cabin in Wassaic, NY at the beginning of 2020 and have actually been living up here since the infection hit.
WB: Please inform me about your company? What is your six and twelve-month objective? What challenges stand in your way? How do you expect removing them?
JJ: BudsFeed.com is a website that surface areas the best brand-new cannabis associated products through the power of community. It’s a place for marijuana enthusiasts and entrepreneurs to share and geek out over the latest items, services, and content produced for the marijuana neighborhood. Any person or brand can sign up for BudsFeed and “seed” something they like, or something they really created.
Every Monday we celebrate the “Leading 5 Seeds,” based upon community upvotes, featuring those products throughout our website, newsletter, and social content. We likewise deal with brand names on more substantial content partnerships, consisting of blog posts, original animations, product demonstration videos, and features in our initial web series, “Buds Unboxing.”
We invested late 2019 and early 2020 concentrated on listening to early users, tweaking the experience, and structure features that motivated engagement. We also concentrated on developing a brand name that is useful, fun, and produces extremely shareable content throughout platforms. Whatever we produce and share is inspired by things users seed on BudsFeed– the community is the heart beat of business.
In the next 6 months, it’s everything about development and continued enhancement in the BudsFeed user experience. While our consumer audience continues to grow naturally every day, we wish to get more brand names taking part in the neighborhood and sharing new product drops. Our company believe that industry pioneers have always been at the leading edge of cannabis culture, and that is no various today. Whether we’re discussing flower, glass, or perhaps industrial distillation equipment, brands are driving innovation in the marijuana market.
12 months from now, I hope that BudsFeed will become part of every cannabis-related brand name’s product launch technique.
The most significant obstacle for BudsFeed right now is awareness, but that is something you can only change with an excellent method and time or money. As a bootstrapped startup, particularly one in marijuana, spending cash is not the smartest course to awareness. It simply takes some time, education, and consistent execution of the little things that make individuals enjoy their experience with the platform. We’ll continue to make it through barriers like we have more than the last year– keeping our head down, our ears open, and striving.
WB: What about preconceptions? Do you enjoy cannabis?
JJ: I have actually consumed marijuana nearly daily considering that I was 18- years-old, with a few length breaks in between. I’m historically a flower person, although I delight in the convenience vape pens, and have grown a whole new appreciation for edibles since delving into the industry. As someone who takes pleasure in the highs of THC items, I’m not a huge customer of CBD, but I do discover it works wonders topically for things like inflammation. If you find yourself too high, a nice tincture can also help bring you back to earth.
Having invested more than a years at advertising agencies in Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York, I’ve surrounded myself with a lot of like-minded individuals when it comes to cannabis. Others have grown more remote, feeling unpleasant having a public association with the cannabis industry, but I believe the preconception is fading quickly.
One of the most significant challenges I’ve encountered as a marijuana nearby organisation– and I’m not alone– is an absence of quality paid marketing channels offered.
What it comes down to is a lack of education at the greatest levels.
We hope BudsFeed can do its part to end the preconception and help marijuana associated brand names construct awareness, even when other social platforms will not.
WB: Do you prepare? What is your preferred thing to prepare? Do you have a food memory from youth that you wish to share? Preferred dining establishment? Where?
JJ: I actually delight in cooking and invested the majority of my teenage years operating in restaurants, where I learned enough to be harmful in the cooking area.
My favorite thing to prepare is breakfast. You can’t fail with some bacon, over simple eggs, hash browns, and possibly some biscuits or pancakes. I seem like breakfast food is generally tasty and something I can make in mass for friends and family. This is something I definitely got from my father. While mother would command the kitchen at dinner, papa took pride in whipping up a great breakfast on the weekends.
While I like cooking, I ‘d practically always prefer to dine out.
WB: What is your enthusiasm?
JJ: I’ve always been obsessed with developing experiences that connect people, specifically online.
Going back to my youth, long prior to Giphy, I was always producing animated GIF websites that I would show other kids in chatroom. Even into my mid 20’s I was consumed with platforms like Tumblr that permitted me to produce meme blogs that could garner a response from countless people over night.
Expertly I turned this passion and interest into developing digital home entertainment experiences for huge brand names, and became part of a lot of firsts in social media marketing. I found out a lot about constructing a brand name in the digital age from these experiences, and a lot more about the intersection of community, material, and innovation working with the likes of Facebook and YouTube.
Today I use that passion and all of my learnings into building BudsFeed, a location I hope everybody can feel welcome connecting over a mutual appreciation for cannabis-related items, services, and material.