Josh Hix, Co-Founder of Plated
Favorite Foods: Beer and ice cream “Doesn’t matter if it’s light beer and Carvel – it’s all delicious.”
Plated delivers everything you need to start cooking chef-designed recipes straight to your door, with a new menu every week featuring fresh, ready-to-cook foods. From co-founding ZeeWise, a software tool for retail businesses, to co-founding PlusScrn, a media ad building platform for mobile, Hix is an old hand in the tech industry. So you’d think that he knows the ropes. But with every venture comes its own special challenges and pains…
“I’m an engineer and an entrepreneur,” Hix began. “which means I think I can do anything. Let me tell you about the first time Plated almost died…”
He and co-founder Nick Taranto were literally packing the first Plated subscriptions in a Manhattan living room and decided they needed a dedicated space. The problem was that landlords wanted to see five years of rent and a balance sheet, and it was still early days for the service.
“We convinced a guy to rent to us on a month to month basis.”
It was an underdeveloped warehouse space, and the pair decided that they were going to build in their own refrigeration unit, since buying and putting in a proper unit was way out of their price range. At the time, they were only shipping ten subscription boxes a week. But if you want to get big, you’ve got to think big, no?
Sometimes, not so much.
“I’m a software engineer,” Hix reminded the crowd. “I can build anything.”
Their solution: buy giant ACs and put them into the wall. It was going to be great!
And then they turned them on. Or, Taranto did, anyway. It was 6 am when he called Hix: the backs of the units were dripping water. (The solution, of course: buckets.) The temperature on one side of the warehouse got down to 65 degrees (it needed to be 45 degrees) while the other side was 105 degrees – and Taranto came down with pneumonia.
Not to mention that the electric meter was spiraling out of control. There was no way to salvage the situation. Although entrepreneurs are a scrappy lot and always manage to find another solution.
“We decided to use a refrigerated trailer,” said Hix.
That was nearly washed away by Hurricane Sandy.
Speaking of trials by fire, water counts, too.