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407 Saving a Company from Bankruptcy, Millions in Revenue, and Buying a 300,000 Sq Foot Warehouse w/ JD Ewing

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Release Date: 12/09/2019

449 Setting Safety Standards for Driverless Vehicles w/ Michael Wagner, CEO of Edge Case Research show art 449 Setting Safety Standards for Driverless Vehicles w/ Michael Wagner, CEO of Edge Case Research

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Michael is the CEO and co-founder of Edge Case Research, a company focused on making autonomy safer. Edge Case Research’s ECR’s products and services are geared for customers who build autonomous systems.    The company’s offerings include software that tests for gaps in computer vision systems and consulting focused on prioritizing safety into an engineering department’s culture.   Michael’s experience with autonomous vehicles started twenty years ago at Carnegie Mellon University where he built lunar rovers for Red Whittaker, autonomous scientific robots that...

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448 How to Sell a Midsize Digital Agency w/ Amanda Dixon (Barney) show art 448 How to Sell a Midsize Digital Agency w/ Amanda Dixon (Barney)

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Amanda Dixon is the cofounder of Barney, a mid-market M&A firm that helps entrepreneurs buy and sell digital businesses. They boast a database of more than 15,000 buyers and a dynamic portfolio of past mergers and acquisitions.    Before starting Barney, Amanda had previously started and sold two businesses. After successfully selling both businesses, Amanda became painfully aware of the challenges associated with selling a business worth less than $20 million.   Now, Amanda leverages her learnings to helping others exit their business in a way that is simple, focused, and...

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447 Climbing the Entrepreneurial Ladder & Equity Crowdfunding w/ Dawn Dickson (PopCom) show art 447 Climbing the Entrepreneurial Ladder & Equity Crowdfunding w/ Dawn Dickson (PopCom)

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Dawn Dickson is a serial entrepreneur that has launched four successful cash flow positive companies since 2002. Most recently, she splits her time between Flat Out of Heels (rollable flats for women to get relief from painful heels) and PopCom (a software solution to make vending machines more intelligent).   Dawn has an expertise in raising traditional and non-traditional business capital. In 2019, Dawn became the first female CEO globally to raise over $1 million using equity crowdfunding. This style of fundraising was made available by the JOBS Act, which was signed into law in 2012....

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446 Raised $2 Million for Paid Podcast Membership Platform Glow.fm w/ Amira Valliani show art 446 Raised $2 Million for Paid Podcast Membership Platform Glow.fm w/ Amira Valliani

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

In 2017, Amira Valliani created Backyard Cambridge, a podcast about the City Council election in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She interviewed the candidates, produced the episodes, and built a small audience.   When she attempted to turn the show into a viable business, she found that there was no easy solution for collecting subscription revenue from listeners willing to pay for content.   So, she founded Glow. Glow makes building podcast memberships easy and has raised more than $2 million in seed funding.   In this episode, Amira and Aaron discuss why podcasters can make more...

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445 Record-Setting Crowdfunder Building Tech Platform for Truck Drivers w/ Pierre Laguerre (Fleeting) show art 445 Record-Setting Crowdfunder Building Tech Platform for Truck Drivers w/ Pierre Laguerre (Fleeting)

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Pierre Laguerre is the founder & CEO of Fleeting, a startup building a digital platform to increase flexibility, dynamism, and efficiency for trucking companies and commercial truck drivers.    Pierre previously built two successful trucking companies operating trucks and staffing for other trucking companies. He’s been involved in trucking for nearly two decades and has learned the industry inside and out.   Since launching Fleeting in June 2019, Pierre and the team have generated over $1.5 million in revenue and raised more than $1.8 million. Additionally, Pierre became...

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444 Refugee Builds $10 Million Business w/ Gene Leyzarovich (JetStor) show art 444 Refugee Builds $10 Million Business w/ Gene Leyzarovich (JetStor)

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

25 years ago, Gene Leyzarovich came to Pittsburgh as a refugee from Russia. Within two years, he founded Advanced Computer & Network Corporation to build data storage systems for clients.   Decades later, AC&NC has installed their JetStor RAID (redundant array of independent disks) systems for over 4,000 clients around the world. Those clients include NASA, the US State Department, and a majority of the United Kingdom’s police force.   Now, ACNC does over $10 million in annual revenue and assembles its devices in Pittsburgh, PA.   In this conversation, Gene and Aaron...

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2 Week Hiatus show art 2 Week Hiatus

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Check out the Expand Your Mind newsletter   Watch the Piper Rundown & Vlog on YouTube

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443 Oxygen Tanks for Pets w/ Blake Dube show art 443 Oxygen Tanks for Pets w/ Blake Dube

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Blake Dube is the founder and CEO of Aeronics and the inventor of Pawprint Oxygen. Pawprint Oxygen is the world's first rescue oxygen supply for pets.   Blake studied oxygen as a chemical engineer at the University of Pittsburgh and expected to develop products for human medical applications. However, a chance encounter with his landlord revealed an exciting market opportunity to bring an oxygen tank product to market for animals.   Now, his tanks are manufactured in the US and sold in veterinary clinics around the country.   In this conversation, Blake and Aaron discuss the...

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442 Building a Multimillion-Dollar Web Design Agency w/ Mike Cleary (Huemor) show art 442 Building a Multimillion-Dollar Web Design Agency w/ Mike Cleary (Huemor)

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Mike Cleary is the co-founder and CEO of Huemor, a Web Design Agency that helps B2B and DTC brands communicate more clearly, connect with their target audiences, and generate revenue. His company has helped some serious brands, including Revlon, Live Nation, GEICO, United Nations, Centivo, Net2Phone, Briogeo, Glow Recipe, Square One Justice.   Mike has been in business for nearly a decade and has learned a lot about the systems of business and how to implement them as you grow.   In this conversation, Mike and Aaron discuss how Mike got started with Craiglist customers, how Mike has...

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441 Large Firms Need an Ethical Intruder to Test Cybersecurity w/ David Kane show art 441 Large Firms Need an Ethical Intruder to Test Cybersecurity w/ David Kane

Going Deep with Aaron Watson

Over a decade ago, David Kane realized that there was a painful gap in cybersecurity. He built Ethical Intruder to fill that gap.    Today, Ethical Intruder helps clients across financial services, DoD, healthcare, and nonprofits reproduce vulnerable paths a hacker may take, so they can shore up their defenses. David’s ethical hacker teams conduct simulated malicious breaches of a wide variety of business applications and web-accessible entry points.   David has built his firm to be technology-agnostic, which comes with two benefits. First, they aren’t selling a specific...

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More Episodes

J.D. Ewing is the President of COE Distributing, the largest furniture-only wholesale office furniture distributor in the United States. 

 

We traveled out to Uniontown, PA to record this interview at the company’s headquarters, which includes a 300,000 square foot warehouse.

 

The company also operated hubs in North Carolina and Texas, which allows it to serve the entire continental United States.

 

Over the last decade, COE has been growing rapidly. He bought the family business back after an acquirer ran into bankruptcy in 2008/09. Now, they are named an Inc. 5000 company and a Top 100 Fastest Growing Business by the Pittsburgh Business Times year-after-year.

 

In this episode, Aaron and J.D. discuss the start of the wholesaling business, when J.D. has been an opportunistic buyer, and trends in office furniture.



Pittsburgh’s best conference to Expand your Mind & Fill your Heart happens once a year.

 

J.D. Ewing’s Challenge; Optimize your life around work you enjoy.

 

Connect with J.D. Ewing

Linkedin

Instagram

Website

Office Source Furniture

 

Books

Becoming Your Best: The 12 Principles of Highly Successful Leaders by Steve Shallenberger 

Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty by Patrick Lencioni

The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip & Dan Heath

 

If you liked this interview, check out episode 396 with Kristy Knichel where we discuss family business, 3rd party logistics, and customer service.



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