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Movers & Shakers Interview with Sean Henry



Sean Henry

Tell us your name and a little about yourself.

My name is Sean Henry and I am the co-founder & CEO of STORD, integrated warehousing, and logistics network. We are on a mission to change how companies distribute their products globally.

What exactly does your company do?

Our mission at STORD is to help companies distribute their products better at scale. We operate an integrated network of independent warehouses and distribution centers that we connect through our online software. We deliver our customers a single source dashboard for inventory management, order management, analytics, and supply chain optimization, and through that dashboard, our customers can warehouse and distribute their products through our network of 200+ warehouse locations. Our goal with our customers is for them to use our software and our network of warehouses to optimize and improve how they distribute their products.

What were the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?

The largest challenge for a B2B software company is to gain your first customers. As a founder, you have to be relentless in your execution and realize that, when you start, your number one job is sales—to get your product in the hands of customers. Once you have even a small rate of user adoption, you can focus on learning, iteration, and scale. To combat this at STORD, I spent more than the first year as our primary salesperson working every day with our network of warehouses and with our customers who are shipping products through our network.

What piece of advice do you wish someone had given you at the start of your career?

There are two pieces of advice that I hold closely to me that I learned in recent years. Primarily—always be iterating. Nobody ever has the exact idea or product/market fit from square one. It takes constant iteration and feedback cycles to reach a scalable model that your customers need.

The second piece of advice follows closely in line with the first—build a distribution channel, not just a product. Rather than just narrowly focusing on one product that will be phased out of the market when a new one is introduced, the best thing a company can do is generate a distribution channel such as an audience of customers. Utilizing this audience, the company can focus on delivering industry-leading products by focusing on their customers and iterating as the market changes. This strategy has enabled giants to grow like IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, and many others.

Who are your biggest influences and people you admire and why?

One of my biggest influences is Elon Musk for the reason that he is relentlessly innovative. Regardless of industry or business type (manufacturing, technology, etc.), he is able to generate industry-leading products and build successful teams. Additionally, his story is one of extreme conviction where he reinvested all of his PayPal earnings into his next ventures because he had true belief in the products he was building.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

There are two groups I am thankful for: my friends and family as well as a variety of mentors. From the beginning, support from your immediate friends and family is crucial as it will help give you the confidence to get off the ground. From there, it is pertinent to develop a network of mentors who you know and trust. Without a variety of mentors that helped me from the beginning, I would be at a very different stage.

What do you see as your greatest success in life?

I would have to say that my greatest success in life is not giving up—moving from failure to failure without the loss of passion and drive. It took 5-6 years and many different business attempts before I started the company that I run today. Even with my most recent company, it took over a year and a major pivot to achieve any sort of product/market fit that enabled us to grow. An entrepreneur has to be confident and enthusiastic to make it through the inevitable failures.

How can people contact you?

Founder & Editor-In-Chief of Kivo Daily Magazine