First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Craig Ganssle: We’re good. As a family who has always homeschooled our children, not much changed for us. Everyone is healthy, and we’re doing our part to keep others safe as well.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Farmwave
Craig Ganssle: I have a 25-year career in technology. I got into agriculture by accident, but ultimately we seek to add value through innovative AI solutions where we can have an impact for the greater good of humanity.
How does Farmwave innovate?
Craig Ganssle: We’re built the first imagery database dedicated to plant pathology. In addition, this core system performs visual-based counting sequences, and we use this on things like counting kernels of grain on the ground left behind by machinery. Harvest loss was a $1.4B problem in 2019 in just the corn crop in the United States alone. We’re an autonomous measurement tool for real-time adjustment.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Craig Ganssle: This was supposed to be year one for commercializing out new piece of hardware for combine harvester loss. In addition to shipping times being an issue for getting in parts and getting deliveries on time, we’ve had some clients back-out of orders because of how it has changed their business for the year.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Craig Ganssle: We had to scale back a little bit; control the burn rate… but that’s business. Sometimes it’s just what you have to do to survive. I think we learned that the trickle-down effect is going to make it to you at some point. No one is really immune to it. Globally impacting situations like COVID will have an impact on your business one way or another.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Farmwave in the future?
Craig Ganssle: Stress and anxiety are part of being an entrepreneur. This is not new to me. There are few permanent changes we’ll make for something like this. As a small company, these things will always come out of nowhere, and our reaction plans will remain the same. We learn to adapt and overcome on the fly. You have to.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Craig Ganssle: Well, we don’t really have any that do exactly what we do, so I think we’re still leading the AI revolution in agriculture. There’s many trying with different results but there in it for a different reason, so if it fits their business model, then it’s good.
Your final thoughts?
Craig Ganssle: If you’re a start-up, small business, or even a large company… these things will happen. It may not be every year or every ten years, but preparing for the worst keeps you ready for anything.