Venture Notes

Inside news from the Boston College entrepreneurship community

Learnings from Justin Robinson: The Value of the Grind

BC entrepreneurial legend Justin Robinson wowed the founders with a Fireside Chat focused on the startup grind as well as the value of not cutting corners.

Justin spoke on his lack of network and mentors when starting Drizly, describing how he and his co-founders worked at a liquor store for 6 months while forming the company. Justin stressed the importance of getting your hands dirty in the industry and understanding all parts of your supply chain – suppliers, distributors, managers, and customers. Trying his hand at all aspects of the business gave him unrivaled customer insight when pitching and promoting to potential vendors, as he was able to “walk into any liquor store and prove [he] knew exactly what [he] was talking about.”

Justin followed this same model when forming Lantern, Drizly’s sister company, by working at a dispensary for six months to gain a comprehensive perspective on the retail side of the cannabis industry. Justin recounted a valuable lesson: success is a product of embracing the unglamorous side of founding a company.

Brendan Guerin, CEO of Prism Analytic Technologies, reflected on Justin’s chat, saying “Justin is nothing short of a keystone in the BC entrepreneurship world, offering the 2020 cohort raw and insightful lessons from his early days bootstrapping Drizly that we can apply to our own ventures going forward.”

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