We’re about four episodes into my new podcast Experimental Garden Group, or “EGG.” Co-hosted by my former business partner, current shareholder, and longtime collaborator Marcus Estes, we’ve also roped in an engineer and Tom Carroll is our producer. With EGG we’re exploring alternative investments, meaning anything outside of stocks, bonds, and cash. And by exploring I mean we’re actually investing our money into things.
I care a lot about investing. As a publicly traded person I’m a little biased, but I love the idea of owning a small stake in a bigger venture. But I’m also very community oriented, so I want to put my money into small things. I want to own a small stake in a small venture! That’s not so easy…
Single Player Hot Sauce
Back in 2016 I wrote If We Save Pizza, We Save America. This was when I was a co-founder of Chroma and I wanted to fix capitalism. The tl;dr is “it would be nice to be able to invest in small pizza shops so we could have more of those instead of Domino’s.”
Pizza is just a stand-in for small business. Today I think a lot about hot sauces. There is an infinite number of hot sauces, and most you will never try because they will never be more than a regional product. Hot sauces can succeed on a smaller scale and, unlike pizza, the “Hot Sauce Ecosystem” is not yet dominated by garbage. Even top brands like Tapatio and Tabasco are better hot sauces than mainstream pizza like Domino’s. Hot sauce is strange because there is both more competition on store shelves and garbage hot sauce hasn’t yet won the day!
I’m not trying to save America anymore (it might be too late?), but I am interested in finding ways to take a small stake in small ventures. Rather than start a company and build a platform we’re starting by just telling stories. That is the podcast part. Hopefully you are motivated to make an investment in a small business.
This is what I think of as “Single Player Mode.” Encouraging you as an individual to seek out some of the opportunities on these crowd-investment platforms and put some money into a smaller venture (maybe even a hot sauce company).
First comes discovery, aka, finding investable hot sauces. Instead of buying shares of McCormick & Company (NYSE: MKC) I want to follow…