Supply Chain Now Episode 554
“Just because an investor turns you down, doesn’t mean that you’re not worth it, that you don’t have a good idea, that you don’t have a good product. The only proof is in actually providing value to customers.”
– Farah Ali, CTO & Co-Founder of FreightWeb
The most important idea is not always the most revolutionary one. In many cases, the most important idea is the right solution for a specific company or industry applied at the moment of readiness. This approach to problem solving makes it possible to pull ideas from very mature industries into ones that are a few years (or decades) behind: not reinventing the wheel, just strategically reapplying it.
In some ways, this is exactly how Farah Ali, CTO & Co-Founder of FreightWeb, has made her mark. From gaming to technology to transportation and logistics, she has experience in a number of different companies and verticals, and this allows her to recognize similar needs and transfer solutions to address them.
In this conversation, Farah tells Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton about:
· The opportunity created by the highly fragmented nature of the U.S. trucking industry
· How FreightWeb started with a visibility challenge, moved to an optimization challenge, and the work they are now doing to help carriers become more data driven
· Why failing fast and being “customer obsessed” are critical to building a successful startup
Farah Ali is Co-Founder & CTO of FreightWeb a VC backed startup focused on innovation in hardware and software solutions that drive profitability and efficiency for transportation companies. She is also an Advisor at Embedded Ventures a new kind of VC Fund, Co-Founder & President One Good Act, Co-Founder and Advisor Pakistani Women in Computing, . Prior to founding FreightWeb she was Vice President of Engineering for the Player and Developer Experience group at Electronic Arts reporting to the CTO. Prior to that she has held leadership roles at eBay and Microsoft. She has a passion for technology, for making an impact on the world and for building innovative products that solve compelling problems. Her engineering experience is diverse; she has worked on everything from shrink wrap products to online services, large scale distributed systems and machine learning. She is a seasoned technology leader who has experience building and leading cross functional teams. She is super passionate about diversity in the workplace and is a champion for inclusive practices. She is also an angel investor, passionate about championing causes close to her heart, an avid traveler and lucky mom of 2 wonderful girls.
Kara Brown was one of the first employees at Echo Global Logistics. Echo grew quickly in three years and her name is on the company’s 2009 IPO press release [NYSE: ECHO]. At a Nashville-based supply chain management company Kara weathered a major communications crisis with almost no market exposure before moving home to Chicago to start a family. Kara arrived in Atlanta in 2016 and started SmithBrown Marketing with no network. SmithBrown marketing is a team of marketing and sales enablement consultants specializing in all the pieces of the B2B conversion cycle: mar-tech stack building (CRM/Automation), sales/marketing operations and enablement, inbound/outbound content, SEO/SEM, social conversion, and measurement. Less than two years later, she has a team of four full-time employees and a client list that includes Atlanta heavyweights. Kara is also an active force in cultivating Atlanta’s female economy, being a Co-Founder of CloseHer, a community for women in sales. In 2017, Kara joined forces with Will Haraway to kickoff LeadCoverage, a PR and lead generation consultancy focused on supply chain, heavy industrial and tech. Learn more about Lead Coverage here: https://leadcoverage.com/
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