Mapping Your Wine Journey with Dr. Jeff Daiter and Josh Daiter

by Drew Hendricks
Last updated Feb 15, 2022

Legends Behind the Craft Podcast

Mapping Your Wine Journey with Dr. Jeff Daiter and Josh Daiter

Last Updated on February 15, 2022 by

Dr. Jeff Daiter

Dr. Jeff Daiter is the CEO and Co-founder of InVintory Wines, an augmented reality wine collection platform for locating bottles. Dr. Daiter received his medical training from Western University and the University of Toronto, served as the Medical Director for York Region Sleep Disorders Centre and Oak Ridges Dermatology Centre, and is the CEO and Founder of Canada Addiction Treatment Centre.

Josh Daiter

Josh Daiter is the Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at InVintory. He graduated from Queen’s University with a Bachelor’s in Engineering and Master of Management in Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Artificial Intelligence. Josh was an iOS Engineer for Alliants, Co-founder and CTO of Skipp Technologies Inc., and iOS Engineer for Prosper before his role at InVintory Wines.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Dr. Jeff Daiter and Josh Daiter share how they solved a problem in the wine industry by developing an app for wine enthusiasts
  • How to create a platform that caters to consumer engagement and learning
  • Josh explains how they used augmented reality to create a 3D map of wine cellars
  • Dr. Daiter talks about the value of community reviews to enhance and recommend products
  • Josh details marketing techniques aimed at consumer education
  • Dr. Daiter and Josh discuss their different palates and wine recommendations

In this episode with Dr. Jeff Daiter and Josh Daiter

Are you feeling frustrated with the organization of your wine collection? How can you have instant access to your collection anywhere?

Dr. Jeff Daiter and Josh Daiter created an InVintory solution to your wine location troubles. Through their app, you can create an interactive augmented reality of your wine cellar to locate wine in real-time. So, are you ready to make a map of your bottled treasure?

On this episode of Legends Behind the Craft, Drew Thomas Hendricks sits down with Dr. Jeff Daiter, CEO and Co-founder of InVintory Wines, and Josh Daiter, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of InVintory Wines, to discuss their entrepreneurial journey towards developing an interactive wine map. Together, they talk about the innovation behind the platform, why listening to reviews and recommendations is more potent than ratings, and the importance of consumer education to scale your brand.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:03  

Welcome to the Legends Behind the Craft podcast where we feature top leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry with your host Drew Thomas Hendricks. Now let’s get started with the show

Drew Thomas Hendricks  0:19  

Drew Thomas Hendricks here. I’m the host of the Legends Behind the Craft podcast where I talk with leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry, from tech companies that enable wineries to run at optimum efficiency to today’s guest, Jeff and Josh Daiter, who have made it their mission to create a cellar management program that ensures every bottle of wine in your collection can be quickly located when needed. Today’s episode is sponsored by Barrels Ahead. At Barrels Ahead, we work with you to implement a one of a kind marketing strategy. One that highlights your authenticity, tells your story and connects you with your ideal customers. In short, we help wineries and craft beverage producers unlock their story to unleash their revenue. Go to today to learn more. Now I want to give a big shout out to last week’s guest Joe Wagner from Copper Cane Wine and Provisions. Joe shared some great advice they learned when he sold Meiomi wine brand. This was the largest non asset wine sale to date. After that, we talked about his vision for maintaining a portfolio of wineries across the West Coast while keeping them unique. This is your first time tuning in. You want to go back and check out that episode. Now, I am super excited to talk today with the co founders of InVintory. Jeff and Josh Daiter. Now these guys have accomplished what many seller management programs have tried to do and failed. Their patented technology allows users to quickly locate a bottle of wine in their cellar using 3d modeling technology. Now Dr. Jeff Daiter is an avid Wine Food enthusiast. And as his collection grew, he struggled to find his treasure vino hiding in his cellar and his French being a problem solver. He spent the last few years developing the InVintory platform. And he couldn’t have done this without the help of his co founder Josh. Josh is a computer engineer that not only holds a master’s degree in entrepreneurship, and a master’s in artificial intelligence as well. Now Josh is the chief product officer in InVintory. And also loves to have a good glass of wine. Welcome to the show, Jeff and Josh.

Josh Daiter  2:18  

Thank you. Thank you for having us. It’s great to meet you.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  2:22  

Thank you so much for being on so you’re coming to us from Toronto.

Dr. Jeff Daiter  2:26  

Yes. Warm, Toronto. Yes.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  2:29  

It’s warm. It’s cold here in California.

Josh Daiter  2:33  

Yeah, we’ve had kind of a longer summer it feels like it’s been not too cold lately.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  2:37  

Mm hmm. Yeah, I was in Colorado last week. I’m at a digital agency experience. And it snowed. Didn’t expect it this weird about 10,000 feet. But man, whether it’s been a little wacky,

Josh Daiter  2:51  

I actually heard that it was supposed to be like the most brutal winter this year, something like that I was reading annoy. Well, here’s this winter. Yeah.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  2:59  

You know that. If from what I saw in Colorado last week, I might agree. Every single day with rain and snow. I think it’s probably one of their now but So Jeff, tell me a little bit about yourself. And then well, it just explained what’s tell let Josh explain about himself.

Dr. Jeff Daiter  3:17  

Yeah. So I’m a physician by profession and spent my whole life practicing medicine but also enjoying wine. I retired recently from medicine and had really planned on writing screenplays, and drink all the wine that I had accumulated over the years, only to find I couldn’t find my wine in my cellar or my fridges. And this was frustrating. I always say, well, wine, the taste of wine should be complex. The enjoyment of wine should not be complex. There’s no way I shouldn’t be able to find the wine that I’ve collected. And this was the problem. And I scratched all my hair until it fell off. Those who can see me I have no hair but and I turned to Josh and I said you’ve got to help me. I paid for all your education. You certainly got a lot. You’ve got to help me find my bottles in my cellar or

Drew Thomas Hendricks  4:07  

fridge. You.

Josh Daiter  4:10  

I do I guess

Drew Thomas Hendricks  4:12  

I like that note, I this probably isn’t your slogan, but no one left behind.

Dr. Jeff Daiter  4:17  

No One Left Behind. It

Josh Daiter  4:18  

can be a little secondary slogan.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  4:22  

So So, Josh, tell me about your background.

Josh Daiter  4:26  

Yeah, so I, I’m a computer engineer, I graduated from Queen’s University. And while I was there, I actually have always been into entrepreneurship in business, you know, watching Dragon’s Den Shark Tank always into those kinds of shows and just wishing that I could be up there and pitching my own business. So in university, I actually tried to start an app with one of my buddies, who’s in the same program as me. And we kind of just taught ourselves how to build an app. And from there we learned Jeff actually gave us a little bit of seed money. We learned from the school of hard knocks how to go out and sell some thing and build something and have that whole experience. Unfortunately, we did not get as far as we did with InVintory. But I guess you could say it was a launching point for us. And then I decided, you know, I actually want to study this, going into my master’s degree. So I did a master’s of entrepreneurship, where I learned, you know, how to raise money, how to sell how to just all the business stuff that I feel like I needed to fill in the gaps with and, and then I said, You know what, I, I love school so much, not actually, but if I’m gonna go even further and do a Master’s of artificial intelligence, because it’s sort of a hot new space. And I love that that whole area and learning how to build models and predict things. And I just think it’s cool. So after that started InVintory with Jeff, because, as mentioned, he needed an app to help them locate his wine. And I like wine too. I love drinking wine. So yeah, it just works out that way.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  5:47  

Awesome. Yeah, I wanna, I definitely, we’re gonna dive into InVintory. But I also hold a Master’s in entrepreneurship. My background is in philosophy. And then I went into wine store and sold wine and Rana Rana agency. Before that, I realized I had zero business experience. So I thought I’d go back and learn it. Um, Josh, what, um, how was that entrepreneurship degree helped? You

Josh Daiter  6:13  

know what, I was actually going to ask you the exact same question. Because I feel like entrepreneurship is one of those things that I, I’m still debating if it can be taught or not. Or if it’s something that you have to go out and learn. And I feel like to business, there’s definitely those those like pen to paper, open the textbook, learn this kind of thing. But there’s a lot of things you actually don’t learn. And I feel like everyone’s journey through business is so different, circumstantially what skill set you have and what you bring, like, everything’s so different. So I’m still on that journey to discovering whether the degree was useful or useless. And so I guess we’ll find out.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  6:52  

Yeah, I can see that because a lot of the my, my students or colleagues, a lot of the people in the program, they took on the marketing track, and I’m not sure they wanted as much I, you already have the kind of the science and the computer background and the math, I philosophy at a Greek, I didn’t have any real math. So I really did a real finance track entrepreneurship, and where it really helped me was deal structuring, writing business plans, and really figuring out how to how to build a company so that you can actually exit and then be be have the right lingo when you’re talking to VCs and investors.

Josh Daiter  7:27  

So that’s definitely where it helps. I would agree with you. Yeah. Yeah, that’s

Drew Thomas Hendricks  7:31  

what that’s what I got out of it. So the idea of InVintory. Jeff, you’re losing bottles. You’re frustrated. You want to find that wine? How did it start?

Dr. Jeff Daiter  7:44  

Well, it did actually started. Simply by me expressing my frustration. Josh and I were on a family vacation at down in Mexico. And Joshua, you know, this looks simple. I could put together an app and you can InVintory. And I said, Yeah, sure. I you couldn’t do it. Anyways, he did put together I don’t know how you put it together over a weekend or so. I showed it to my friends who were also collectors, a Wine Enthusiast, and they loved it. So we said, You know what, for a whim, why don’t we just put it on the app store and see what happens. And within a few short months, we had 20,000 downloads and a 4.7 reading on the App Store. So I said, You know what, maybe we’ll we’ll we’ll we’ll do this. I mean, obviously, there’s a need out there. I didn’t know why it was so big. I didn’t know. There were so many people were having the same kind of problems I was having. So basically, I said, Let’s do this. And I ended up taking 80 People from the 20,000 people creating what was called a premier blue group. And I said, let me just pick your brains. Let me listen to what you really want to see in a collector that and we spent two years really listening to them developing all we could in terms of the proper UI and proper UX, and really trying to come up with the best platform for wine collectors. We could and we hope we’ve hit the mark. But we’re just beginning. We’re just we’re iterating as fast as we

Drew Thomas Hendricks  9:04  

can talk. And that’s that talking about iteration, like version Done is better than version none. People just wait too long to release something. And by then it’s by then, almost a lot of times it never gets released. So it’s so great. You’ve got that kind of continuous improvement process from the start.

Josh Daiter  9:24  

Yeah, going back to like entrepreneurship, I think, I think that’s a huge problem a lot of entrepreneurs have is, you know, just having the resilience to see it through. Because as ideal people, you want to just go to the next thing. You see something new, especially if you’re maybe halfway done a project and you’ve hit a roadblock, you’re like, Oh, I just want to go build this next thing, but you just have to, you know, put your head down, see it through and stick with it and go forward.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  9:48  

Absolutely. So Jeff, what so what was the feedback you got from your collector society?

Dr. Jeff Daiter  9:54  

Well, the biggest feedback was that many of them were on an app that exists right now but it was There’s an order I hadn’t iterated in probably 20 years. And I said, I knew exactly what you’re talking about. And my goal now was to, I think there’s room for many platforms in the space, but to not do the same, do it a bit different and offer people something more. And they came to me and said, well, we want to, we want a better a better user experience. We want better functionality in the app. And this ability that you’re talking about Jeff about finding a wine, well, if I can find a wine in a virtual world, either through augmented reality, or through a 3d reconstructive model, that would be a game changer for me, because I have the same problem you do finding my ball. So this was the impetus for building it, it was it was the idea to say, let’s start with becoming the best collection app out there. But we also have different pillars in our company, we want to engage our users create a social network for people who share common ideas about wine, and then also enhance the learning experience around wine. So we’re really across these, these three pillars management, engage and learning. And that’s really our focus.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  11:04  

That’s, that’s a good focus. And you’ve got some pretty I mean, your bigger competitors would be cellartracker. And then vino. Yeah, I saw that you’ve got a very unique, you can import your wines, which is the huge barrier to entry. A lot of people like they’d locked into the system. They got all the wines in there. And they they’re hesitant to move to the next platform. Yeah, sure. That helped adoption.

Dr. Jeff Daiter  11:25  

Well, that was that was the biggest the biggest problem onboarding people’s collections. I mean, that is the hesitancy so Josh was brilliant enough to come up with a whole idea where we could import both cellartracker and vino. Now we don’t really compete against Zeno so much I view them as discovery, I think they’ve done very well where they are, you know, people take their app, they walk into a liquor store, bottle shop, they take a photo of gives a crowdsource reading, they say I’m going to buy this, they have gotten into selling wine lately, which is a little bit of a different sort of business direction. cellartracker, I envy them. He’s done extremely well, I respect the gentleman. He’s, you know, I can never knock somebody who’s done what they’ve done in the sea.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  12:08  

He has done an amazing job back when I had VineCat, my solar management program, he was already dominating it. And it just, you know, we went with the food pairing side, and he dominated the solar tracking side. Yeah.

Josh Daiter  12:22  

Drew, I’m gonna flip this on you for one second, I want to hear a little bit more about VineCat and sort of what where you got to at that, and what what the reception was,

Drew Thomas Hendricks  12:30  

we didn’t get adoption, we definitely didn’t get 20,000 users, I’ll tell you that. I spent, it was pretty much my biggest learning experience in version Done is better than version one, right? We got a version out. But I spent way too much time trying to my goal for VineCat was to someone could look in their cellar, because I come from the wine store background. And my goal is to look at my seller, pick a wine and then see exactly what kind of foods would go with it. And vice versa, you’ve got a different type of meal, you could pull up the amount of wines in your cellar, and it would recommend the right wine at the right time for you. Right, it wasn’t so much the collecting aspect, it wasn’t so much the community aspect. It was more like a cellar song type thing. Yeah,

Josh Daiter  13:14  

I actually really commend you for solving that problem. Because it’s something that’s so challenging for us still to, you know, recommend food that pairs with certain wine because at the end of the day, you know, we’ve talked to a lot of somms about this in somms and our team. It’s it’s really what you like and what your palate is that does parallel with this wine. So I think it’s a challenge for us for sure. We do our best based on like, just what generally people think but yeah, it’s definitely a challenge. I

Dr. Jeff Daiter  13:40  

mean, we’re at the point now where you can filter down on your collection, and you can filter down on okay, I’m having a read tonight. It’s a cab, it’s from Napa, it’s gonna I’m gonna have more than two of these bottles. It’s this price point. And I’m gonna pair it with beef or fish or poultry or via the food categories are very generic. And yet our somm say, no, no, I want you to pair it with this particular mushroom sauce or this particular stew. So we’re trying to figure out if we can import these sorts of really food dishes with with the white parent. Interestingly enough, we have one collector as a sidebar, who pairs his wine with music. Oh, I like every so he’s always contacting us and said I just have this Barolo. It’s from here. It’s from and I just put this song to take a listen to this. And I’m going Wow, that’s fascinating.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  14:31  

It’s funny you should mention that I just got back on the way back from Colorado I went to Caduceus cellars. The owner of it is Maynard James Keenan from lead singer tools and all of their all of their tasting notes have recommended songs on it. Wonderful. Wow.

Dr. Jeff Daiter  14:49  

That’s the next Parent solution. That’s Yes.

Josh Daiter  14:51  

actually taught not to get technically technical here but we’ve talked about like a Spotify integration and how cool that would be if you were fantastic. Why on InVintory, and you can see like, here’s a Spotify playlist that goes with this line, I think that’d be pretty cool.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  15:06  

That would be great. That would be the next step. So yeah, we’re back with vintage Vaseline I’m VineCat it with the vision was a little grand for the time it was back in 2007. So the, I think today, I think today it would have, there’s a little more tools in the chest, and it was really dependent on the user, it was overly dependent on the user filling out a complex set of tasting notes. So it would learn their their likes and dislikes. If at the time is that to this time about this location based patent that you have,

Dr. Jeff Daiter  15:44  

yeah, so we actually started off with something called vinner, which was trademarked and patented vinner was then an augmented reality. Because this is what we want to do. In fact, we have the technology by using the seller, where you would be looking through your phone, at your cell or your fridge, and the light would shine on a particular bottle you are after, we actually wanted to launch this. And then of course what happened COVID COVID happened and where we had to launch this with people going into people’s homes to set them up with the AR wasn’t as intuitive. Josh again, I’ll give him full credit for this have the brainchild of Vinlocate creating a 3d model of your wine cellar or wine fridge that showed up on your phone. And it would give accurate pinpoint placement. So if he said it was on the left wall in the third column, the second row to deep delight, which show you exactly where it is. So now I just go upstairs, I want to find my bottle I type it in, I press locate. I show whoever I want to go down to my seller and get it for me. They know exactly where it is. You’re not there for more than 20 seconds in the cold environment of a of a seller and boom, the ball comes up and you’re enjoying. That’s fantastic.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  16:54  

Oh, yeah. That work? I mean, how gotta walk, walk the listeners through this, how this works. This isn’t

Josh Daiter  17:02

Yeah. So I was actually as Jeff was speaking, this popped into my head, I don’t know if you remember, Jeff, when we came up with the idea to use augmented reality to find a bottle we were we were in Florida, at the kitchen table. And I remember I was just using this, I download a bunch of AR apps because like I was really into that space and, and you can go on the App Store, go to like the AR section, just download all the apps and play around with them. And I remember I saw one where you can place an object in 3d space through your phone, like you just tap on your phone and you can put like a circle on the ground. And as you walk around, that circle actually stays in the same spot as you’re looking through your camera like through phone. And I remember thinking like, wow, we you know, not to sidebar again. But we spent a lot of time looking at RFID for looking bottles. And that’s a whole other story we could talk about after why that didn’t work. But then I said, Wow, this, this AR could be the the actual solution to finding bottles in a cellar liquid, we can, you know, place a pin in the real world and have it stay there as you walk around? Like why can’t we do that, you know, 1000 times as bottles. So essentially, that’s how it works. You have to like scan your room so that we can build this 3d map and understand your surroundings. And then we’ve actually built this, the patented part is where you can use the I don’t want to get this wrong, I think it’s the I’m not even gonna say it, I’m gonna get it wrong, whatever the device in your phone is that measures like angle and gyroscope the gyroscope phone, you can actually tap the corners of your cellar, and you build a wall in 3d space. And then we know how big that wall is, how many slots there are and all that and we just populate everything. So that’s how then our would work.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  18:49  

That’s amazing. So for from a user’s perspective, how did it so they tap the walls? It’s created all the slots? How does it figure out? If there’s two slots deeper?

Josh Daiter  18:59  

Yeah, that’s a great question. So this, this was why we built Vinlocate, because we actually learned that having a user understand what they’re doing, right, like launching right into AR probably isn’t the best experience for someone who has never seen an augmented reality platform ever in their life. So we said, You know what, we’re gonna build first 3d models so that the user can wrap their head around the concept of, I’m building a wall, the wall is, you know, 18 rows, three columns, or whatever it may be, and it’s 3d. And they can see that through InVintory today that exists. AR brings that to the next level where they’re basically just placing that wall in the real world. You know, they’re taking an already pre built wall and just layering that into the 3d world through augmented reality.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  19:46  

Very interesting. So I can definitely vision the a wine cellar with the single bottles, but about the old school guys that just kind of store cases or mix bottle cases.

Dr. Jeff Daiter  19:55  

Right. So So that’s me I have. So I have both configurations in where individual bottles going individual positions. But then I have bins, where we put cases. So we allow people to put wine in sort of a bin location without defining exactly where within that Bennett is because a bin is where you’re just going to put 12 bottles or so it’s just a mass storage area. So even in some of the nicer wine coolers, or wine fridges these days, usually at the bottom, it might be almost like a bin where people just piling your wine, but on the rocks and putting them in individual spots. So it’s, that’s how we deal with that whole big issue.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  20:39  

And that’s exactly that’s exactly the way we did it in 1995. So we used to sell wine cellar wines for a lot of the people in San Francisco, please guys have a couple 100 cases, but it all being in just cardboard boxes. And we’d have each box numbered 1234. And then on the Excel sheet, we would have box one, one slash 12. So it’d be the first one slash, you know, eight. So the first row in the

Dr. Jeff Daiter  21:04  

right, all we’ve tried to do an InVintory is mimic what happens in the real world on a digital platform. I mean, people want to have their wine cellar, or many people do on their mobile device, or at the comfort of their desktop, you know, see their whole wine cellar. And one of the beauties of InVintory with this 3d model, we can also see where you don’t have balls yet say so if I’m in the local bar, or wine store. And I say should I buy this bottle? Or where can I put this? How many bottles can I buy? It tells me right away how much I can spend where I can go and so on. So we’re very, we’re very into not having hoarding. We don’t want people hoarding wine. We’re working its way up the staircase. We want it sort of in the cellar resting in its right spot.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  21:48  

It’s great. So what’s your vision? I mean, so what we got thinking was Spotify is a long, long, long vision out what’s you just launched? So today is, you know, start of October, you just launched the United States and had a tremendous, tremendous reception for that.

Josh Daiter  22:07  

Yes, it’s all take this question. I mean, it’s really amazing how the vision has evolved since we started, you know, back, when I built the first app, the vision was just to help Jeff, you know, that was the vision like it’s just so small,

Dr. Jeff Daiter  22:20  

he was myopic, they were very myopic.

Josh Daiter  22:24  

And then fast forward all the way to today. It’s it’s we want to be the hub for wine enthusiasts and collectors. We want InVintory to be the digital place to go for anyone who just absolutely loves wine. That’s, that’s our grand vision InVintory

Dr. Jeff Daiter  22:38  

right there. Once we once we sort of get through the f being experts at the management of wine, we really want to engage that monitors. Yes, we want to create a social platform that’s responsible and respectful. We want circles want people talking about community reviews, we want people to become better educated on the wine they buy. You know, I was out yesterday playing golf with somebody. And they asked me what I did. I told him about InVintory. They said, Yeah, but you know, Jeff, my problem is I go into a shop, and I don’t know what to buy. You know, do I look at the little plaque card on the wine bottle that says Christie’s favorite? Or or do I go in there with a pre conceived knowledge of how am I going to be an educated shopper. So we want people to know what they’re buying to go in there and say, This is not only a wine, it’s in my price point, or a wine that I think I’ll I’ve heard of this a wine that I know by will enjoy. So we’re taking the wealth of data we’re accumulating right now we’re following a million bottles in our in people’s cellars, we want to follow $2 million, 3 million bottles and anonymize the data and use machine learning which Josh is an expert in. And then have a true recommender use look alike sellers. If I have 1000 bottles, there’s 100 Other people like me, who have the same look alike seller, but may have two or three different bottles, and I do and it would recommend a bottle to me that I don’t have that they have. And it almost guarantees that I would like it. It’s not based on price. It’s not based on moving a bottle off the shelf, from pressure from a winery or distributor. It’s about what I actually will like

Drew Thomas Hendricks  24:10  

that’s a that’s a great, that’s a great angle to take. A lot of them are based like on ratings and let’s model where these people watch so many different movies just like you you’re probably gonna want watch this movie, right. Do you have do you have a rating a mechanism in

Dr. Jeff Daiter  24:24  

your, in your we talked about ratings? You know, ratings have been somewhat controversial. I mean, to distill wine down into a number that you know, one expert says is this another expert says is that I think it diminishes the wine. I think if you look at famous wine critics like suckling or Parker, I think you need to read what they said about the why not the score that they’ve attached to the wine. It really diminishes that. So we’re trying to stay away from ratings. We have community reviews where we allow people to write a review, and then we allow much like Reddit to up vote that review and so it gets the top To the pile, or if you’re not a noted expert like a song, or a wine master or a winemaker, we allow that notary to live at the very top. So we’re hoping people will type in the wine that they want to buy it, look at the community reviews, look at the most relevant review that’s been uploaded the most time to say, that resonates with me. Or if that doesn’t resonate with me, I’m going to buy it or not buy

Drew Thomas Hendricks  25:24  

that. That’s, that’s great. I’m very happy. Like over the last few years, that kind of the rating rating, home type thing has really been played down. And back to VineCat, how we got way over complicated and what we’re doing, I would have a section on the weather, because the weather totally affects the way wine tastes. And even back when I was selling wine, I’d sell like a great wine. And then the customer would come back and go I hated it. I’m like, cloudy outside. No, I drank it on a 90 degree day. I’m like, well, that probably wasn’t the right day to drink. That heavy. No. We needed to chill Beaujolais. Try it again in the winter. So you’re so right, you get wine, top scores in that particular perfect lunch wine 72 degrees and then try it skiing. And it’s just horrible.

Dr. Jeff Daiter  26:08  

100%, I agree with you the experience of wine is just as important to us as anything else about that wine. So I’ve had the exact same one same vintage from the same case in two different settings. And I’ve wondered what is wrong with this wine? And it was just so fantastic. The other night, you know,

Drew Thomas Hendricks  26:27  

that’s great. The guys recognize that. So going back, going back to the early days of starting this, how did you how did you guys ramp up to 20,000 users?

Dr. Jeff Daiter  26:36  

Yeah, it was it was, you know, we put it on the App Store. We we basically said Where should we even market this? You know, we put it on. And we Josh again, he can speak to this, but it was really trying to use Instagram and Facebook as marketing drivers. However, they’re really passive drivers of people’s behavior, you have to be on Facebook, Instagram, get an ad thrown at you. And then oh, maybe I’ll go click on that ad, where now we sort of our figuring we will go to more search engine where people actually typed in wine fridge, wine cooler wine cellar, type in a wine and then the advertiser will come up. But at the initial aspect of we went on Facebook, we went on Instagram, we talked to people went to wine clubs, and just started amassing a following of people who had the same problem. So to say that it just happened overnight. I wouldn’t say I don’t want to leave anybody with the impression that we threw it up there. And the next morning, we woke up and there 20,000 users Yeah, it was, we were we were getting about 1000 people a week, it wasn’t critical.

Josh Daiter  27:37  

And before, you know, before we actually did put some money behind advertising it, we did spend a lot of time building it inside and making sure that what we were building people would generally like so we didn’t, you know, take that first prototype that I built on the family vacation and throw that up on the App Store. And that anyone dealt with this, we we made sure to really take our times that we were going to go out with something we were proud of. But something we actually learned with the Facebook and Instagram ads is a lot of it is just it’s feeding the top of the funnel and the people coming through. It may be a great cost per install or a great acquisition. But the retention of those people were actually much lower than if we were to do what Jeff is saying like, like more action driven advertising, like search or, or getting people in the right context, I think works a lot better than just, you know, showing someone an ad and then they go download it and realize, wait a second, I didn’t even know that this was for my collection. I thought this was just a wine app that did something else. So we want to make sure that our messaging is really clear. And that, you know where we advertise is also also part of

Drew Thomas Hendricks  28:42  

that. Wow, that’s fantastic. So that’s what to distill that down and advice, some advice that the next person wanting to do in an app, what would you tell them?

Dr. Jeff Daiter  28:54  

No, I just did this on the weekend, someone had called me had seen our app and one the same advice. And I said what you really have to do, whether it be an app or a web app or an Android, whatever it is, put out an MVP, just you can often suffer from founders delusion, thinking your idea is the number the next big unicorn out there. You have to you have to put our MVP tested, see if there’s an audience for your product. If it is, then pour the money into it, then go down that path but don’t make the mistake of putting a lot of money towards something that really nobody else is interested other than your own self deluded mind.

Josh Daiter  29:33  

Yeah, that’s really great point. And I would also add to that, that don’t undervalue design. People love to look at something that is nice. Obviously function first, make sure that it works. But the second you layer on good design, it really makes your product stand out from the rest of them. So I would say early on whether if you know your idea is going to work and you put up that MVP and, and the concept is sound go up and hire a designer, whether that be on Fiverr, or, you know, any freelance design website or someone you know, and have them really sit down with you to spec out the product and make sure that it’s it’s built for a good user experience.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  30:15  

That’s great advice.

Dr. Jeff Daiter  30:16  

After you’ve judged credit for that, because you know, he put out that fledgling app, as I mentioned at the beginning, and in my eyes, that’s good. What I mean, we got to hire designers. I am not spending money on design, we don’t need designers. And of course, as soon as the designer came in, I thought, oh, had we missed the boat, prior designers, everything in this game. So

Josh Daiter  30:35  

yeah, shout out to all of our designers at InVintory. They just kill it with us. Yeah,

Drew Thomas Hendricks  30:39  

that’s great. How big of a team do you have right now.

Dr. Jeff Daiter  30:42  

So we have right now 12 developers, to designers, Android developers, Unity developers, iOS developers, I’m most proud of them. But I’m also equally proud of, we have a team of 18 Sommeliers that work with us constantly. My whole goal was during the time of COVID, when people were sawed were farms who who fell out of work. And I thought, That’s not if I can in some way, engage them, employ them, keep them earning some money, that would be a good thing. And it turned out to be such a fantastic thing that now I’m thinking, I’m going to keep them on board and get more songs involved in this app. I’m not trying to create a platform that replaces songs, I’m trying to create a forum that engages songs so that they feel part and connected to this. I also went on to hire three, four people from an Autism Society and try to employ people who basically couldn’t get employment or that had a unique neurodiverse skill around database and image detection and so on. And so they work full time with us. So we’re a team now of about if we include everybody over 20 people or so so it’s a pretty large team. Funnily enough over this day and age with with again, this pandemic. We haven’t really met that often. We meet every morning on stand up, we meet for coffee and creations for drinks and demos on Fridays we talk every day. Last week, I brought everybody into the office as kind of as a one day thing, put it we rented space and brought everybody into this office. We didn’t get a tissue work done. Everyone’s got to talk to each other. I thought this is a disaster. You know, I can’t have an office setting because you know, you get

Drew Thomas Hendricks  32:15  

back on. What do you guys use for your morning? standups?

Josh Daiter  32:22  

Oh, we use them. We’re big Zoomers. Every time someone sends us a Microsoft team’s invite, it breaks Jeff’s computer and he gets really mad.

Dr. Jeff Daiter  32:32  

I look foolish here. I’m with a tech company. I can’t get my mic to work. It just overtakes my mic for some reason.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  32:37  

It’s the same with me with Google meet. Whenever I have to get on a Google meet. I don’t know why we I use the full Google Suite for everything. We all use it for everything. But for some reason, whenever I get on Google meat, there’s something about it that I just can’t do it. And it looks like it’s the first time I’ve ever been on a video.

Dr. Jeff Daiter  32:52  

Right? The same problem. It’s,

Drew Thomas Hendricks  32:55  

I was on the phone with a Google Ads person the other day, and we had to switch to zoom. Really Wow. Like that.

Dr. Jeff Daiter  33:05  

But yeah, we were so dependent on technology, I mean, coming into this from from getting on Zoom to using slack to using clubhouse to using all these good tech companies to to basically help us navigate through this wonderful world of living independently and trying to put up a ticket. And it also goes to a model whereby people you know, inside an office, you see somebody you see if they’re working, we changed our whole sort of Gestalt around that work philosophy. We have two weeks sprints. Everyone has to get the work done in two weeks. It’s obvious when we get to coffee creations or drinks and demos, we coffee creations, our morning demonstration. And demos are evening, Friday evening demonstration. But they’ve got to come with that sprint complete. And it’s we don’t give them too much or too little Josh is in charge of all of that. They agree to the work prior. But if someone’s not doing the job, it’s obvious. But I have to say in our team, in the day and age of when tech companies are being stolen from companies, I mean, down and telecoms, they’re reaching all over for tech people. We’ve not lost a single developer from our team. They believe in the product, they love the product. And they’re fully engaged with us, which is, which is just awesome. It’s not all about what I paid them. It’s about the product and the team around them.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  34:22  

If you can find a mission driven employee base that believes in the product, I mean, that’s a

Dr. Jeff Daiter  34:28  

kudos. Yeah, yeah. Right there. Oh, one of our one of our top back end developers, he contacted us I didn’t know who he was. He contacted us and said, You know, I’m I’m a developer, but he loves one con. He was on the platform loves one. So I said who

Josh Daiter  34:42  

are you? And he just messaged us on Instagram. So we

Dr. Jeff Daiter  34:45  

met him turned out to be what I think is probably one of the few people who love wine as much as he does and is a highly skilled, almost savant back end developer. So you know, and now he works with us. He’s fully committed to this. So the fact that he likes wine also keeps them engaged.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  35:00  

Oh, that’s fantastic. That’s fantastic. So talk about wine. When you’re not developing the best seller management program out there, what do you drink?

Dr. Jeff Daiter  35:09  

Well, drinking wine is is near and dear to my heart. I have to say that my wine taste has evolved over time and then come around in a complete circle. You know, when I was young, I was a big white wine drinker, as many people can probably relate to that I moved, of course, probably because of the huge marketing pressure into the Napa cabs, the Napa Valley wines and, in fact, a lot of my sellers still has a lot of that. But as wine tastes evolves, you get into the Bordeaux’s and the brunellos and the Burgundy’s and that’s where I am sitting right now sort of loving these, you know, earthy tones and these complex wines that have aged beautifully, although I’m coming full circle back into some shout bleeds into some some stairs and the triangles and Riesling. So people asked me what wine I like and I embarrassingly say or maybe I say I like a wine. I don’t have a favorite. You put a glass of wine in front of me. It’s just a different experience for

Drew Thomas Hendricks  36:00  

I agree.

Josh Daiter  36:02  

That’s a great answer. Actually.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  36:05  

I had the hardest time trying to figure out when people asked me what I’m drinking. Like last night, I really really enjoyed the sparkling panache for Merkin sellers that I picked up Arizona comes in a camp. It was fantastic. But you Josh, what are you drinking these days?

Josh Daiter  36:19  

Yes. So I feel like my journey with wine is a little unique. I you know, I got more into wine because of InVintory. And actually, I started I discovered my favorite bottle because I was outside drinking with a friend and Jeff came out and said, you should try this this bottle of submission. And we opened it up. And we both had a sip. And we were like oh my god, this is like the best wine ever. It was so sweet.

Dr. Jeff Daiter  36:42  

It was so it was a big bowl of jam. It was a bowl of jell O

Josh Daiter  36:45  

and and that just shows how complex my tastes and wine is at that time, which was not that long ago, maybe a year and a half ago. And we had three bottles of it that night. But we loved it so much. And then I kept drinking it and drinking it. And then I started to hate it because it’s way too sweet for me. Like I was like, Oh, I don’t want this sweetness. It’s kind of like making my mouth feel weird. So then I started going into more, you know, well balanced wines, more complex wines, some some French wines. I do like white wine, but I’m still early in my journey with wine. So we’ll see where I end up. But I’m sure I’ll take a similar path

Dr. Jeff Daiter  37:18  

where Josh is different than than I am is. You know, people put a wine to their nose and I struggle like I struggled with people who say Oh, I smell this apricot smell. I love the smell. I don’t smell the thing. Josh though from an early age has been able to he’s been a coffee connoisseur he can offI he can taste coffee. He likes his coffee black because he doesn’t want to take coffee with any other

Josh Daiter  37:40  

like, taste. Yeah,

Dr. Jeff Daiter  37:42  

I think his tasting wine is much more sophisticated than mine. I’m like, Just give me wine. I like it. I hate to say that it sounds poor for somebody using with a wine. But I just like wine. You know, I’m not. I’m not embarrassed to say necessarily. But Josh has a much more sophisticated palate that I think he can challenge I’ll never get there. I think my taste buds have been destroyed over the years. But he’s early in his journey. And I envy the fact that he might be able to sit next to people and pick out the the grape or the the domain even, you know.

Josh Daiter  38:15  

Thanks. Appreciate that. I mean, I love beer too, like coffee’s the same as beer for me. Like I just I love the taste of different beers. And I can very much find the difference in taste and smell and whatever when I drink it. And I just got into Guinness actually about a year ago. I love Guinness now. Yeah,

Drew Thomas Hendricks  38:33  

yeah, no, I last week I had a it was a barrel aged Imperial IPA from Carver brewing company up in Colorado. And it was it was mind blowing. Like, oh, wow, the whole variety of beers. It’s a whole nother and I’m also in a bourbon but just the whole different tastes and complexities. It’s it’s fantastic.

Dr. Jeff Daiter  38:53  

Yeah. But people people have talked to us about putting they collect Beer. Beer doesn’t have a lifespan, of course that wine does, but certainly with liquors like bourbon like scotch, especially whether we start putting scotches on people or collecting them and Scotch is so heavily traded amongst lovers. So we’ve turned our mind’s eye to that whether we want to, you know, we really want to stay in our lane, but we recognize that it is a it is a slight crossover, but we’re thinking about it. I mean, it’s been so hard in wine, getting every wine in there and getting the hundreds of 1000s of wines that people the gym Pandora’s Box. Exactly. There’s just so many records out

Drew Thomas Hendricks  39:34  

there. It’s crazy. You kind of have to know when to say no, I mean, have a beer collection, you’re kind of on borrowed time. So many one age,

Dr. Jeff Daiter  39:44  

and we’ve had those emails come to us and say Listen, I got a lot of beer in my basement. I want to InVintory I said just drink it.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  39:53  

Got to 1977 Coors Light hold on to that one. Yeah,

Dr. Jeff Daiter  40:00  

It’ll be worth something one day.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  40:03  

So guys, as we’re wrapping down, I was like to express gratitude. And is there anybody who really want to who you admire right now in the wine industry?

Dr. Jeff Daiter  40:11  

Yeah, this may sound odd coming from me, but it is genuine, I do admire you. And we talked about the beginning, I’m knowing the battle I’ve just gone through to get this up, I can only imagine where he’s been in. And again, kudos to him kudos to what he’s created kudos to the community that he’s brought into his, his platform him. You know, I never had like the idea of competing with somebody in that, I think, again, the space is large, I would love to shake his hand one day and, and just give him my best.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  40:41  

Well, that’s, that’s, that’s very good. And there’s definitely different apps for different folks. I mean, there’s solar management apps. And

Josh Daiter  40:50  

yeah, this might be a kind of a weird answer, as well. But I actually admire all these athletes getting into wine, you know, for people who need to train so hard and perform at their best, and they still have time to enjoy wine and sit down with friends and you know, have those experiences. I admire them for doing that. And a lot of them are making careers out of it. So kudos to them.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  41:10  

No, that’s fantastic. Now, guys, where can people find more about you?

Dr. Jeff Daiter  41:15  

So they can I mean, they can certainly go to our website, That sort of goes to our website, we’re on Instagram, they can find us on the App Store at InVintory, you can connect

Josh Daiter  41:27  

with both of us on LinkedIn. We’re both on LinkedIn on we

Dr. Jeff Daiter  41:31  

connect with people directly. I love meeting people who love wine. I mean, I just finished a zoom call with a collector just before this, and I could have spent three hours with him on the phone. It was just great to be on Zoom. Great to speak with him.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  41:43  

That’s fantastic. Guys, thank you so much for joining us today.

Dr. Jeff Daiter  41:47  

Thank you so

Josh Daiter  41:48  

much for having us. It’s just a great time.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  41:50  

Thank you. You guys. Have a great day. Cheers.

Outro  42:00  

Thanks for listening to the Legends Behind the Craft podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.