Thanks for Stopping By

Latest posts by Andrew Field (see all)

As a new blogger at StartupNation, I thought I would introduce myself. Your time is precious, so hopefully I can help you decide whether to invest any more of it reading this blog from time to time.

The main thing to know about me is that I founded and still run Most of what I know I learned while at PFL, or in the two companies I started before PFL, or the 20+ other jobs I’ve had, starting as a teenager. But PFL is where I’ve made the transition from raw startup to a high-growth “midlife” company, which has given me some perspective on the startup phase of a company’s — and an entrepreneur’s — life.

We started just over 10 years ago in a rented former creamery building in Livingston, Montana, 50 miles north of Yellowstone National Park. We’ve grown from six people back then to about 160 really great people today. (Great people will be a recurring theme. Finding them. Keeping them. Growing them. Dealing with the ones who won’t be great.) The initial capital came from my previous startup, a company that distributes specialty automotive chemicals (for antifreeze recycling, fuel injector cleaning and the like) to repair shops. The capital for that one came from the one before combined with creative use of credit cards.

Along the way, I’ve had to learn something about a ton of different things, from hiring great people to creating remarkable customer interactions to managing very different types of people (don’t treat a technical person the same way you treat your sales people) to venture capital, childcare rules, electricity (480 volt 3-phase is very different than standard 120 volt – who knew?), humidification systems, intellectual property, dogs, and databases. While re-learning how to snow ski (it gives me a reason to embrace winter in Montana.)

A good way to get to know me and PFL would be to check out what others have said about us. And this being a blog, where better to check than with Robert Scoble, a pioneer blogger. He has the distinction of being the first result to come up when you Google the word “Robert.” He not only wrote us up, but he did a nice video blog (“vlog”) at his new gig, PodTech. It is a walking tour of our new facility nestled in the mountains of Montana. About four careers ago, I was the mechanic who fixed Robert’s mom’s Subaru. We met when he was here last summer, and he was delighted to find a “geek” in the boonies, so he came through with his video camera.

Robert was accompanied by a number of people who trekked to Montana just to hang with him. One of the most interesting was Christian Long. I appreciated his great pictures and insightful comments about our space, culture, and learning.

Starting and running a high-growth business is fun, thrilling, scary, and hopefully rewarding. I’d love to hear from you, especially with questions about your business or ours. I may shoot from the hip, but you’ll always know what I think. And if you’ve read this far, thanks.

Previous Article

It Still Smells at StartupNation HQ

Next Article

The Power of "You"

Related Posts
supply chain
Read More

How to Keep Vendors and Clients Happy During Supply Chain Hiccups

Supply chain breakdowns are happening due to global disruptions, rising costs and increased consumer expectations. Businesses can't always stop supply chain hiccups, but they can learn from them and limit their impact on vendors and clients. How a business responds to a supply chain issue can have far-flung effects. A company that is proactive and...
home-based businesses
Read More

The Value of Home-Based Businesses to Economic Recovery

The challenge of America’s economic recovery, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, is to spread it to every community – and especially those that have been historically excluded. The key to meeting that challenge is to appreciate the civic and economic value of an overlooked resource: home-based businesses. There are about 16 million home-based...
Read More

How to Support Employee Mental Health and Avoid Startup Burnout

When it comes to finding the right job — and staying there — candidates are looking for a lot, especially in a virtual setting. Gone are the days where foosball tables and free snacks constituted benefits. Of course, we still love them, but there has to be more that matters. People are primarily looking to...
top fintech startups
Read More

Top Fintech Startups in the Midwest 2022

The Midwest is rapidly becoming home to some of the best fintech startups in the country. Chicago, for instance, is becoming a top tech hub for fintech startups, seeing massive growth and funding for its companies. In Columbus, the city’s long history with top banking institutions has created a fertile ground for fintech startups to...