In this series called Member Showcase, we publish interviews with members of The Oracles . This interview has been Mike Feazel, co-founder and CEO of Roof Maxx , which uses plant-based technology to revive asphalt roofs. It had been condensed by The Oracles.
Who are you? Mike Feazel: I was raised in a little farming community just north of Columbus, Ohio. I moved away for some time, however now I’m back, and I’m the 3rd generation in my own family here. I’m dependent on travel, adventure, and exploring new cultures.
We’ve a patent pending for our plant-based roofing formula, which is environmentally safe and prevents asphalt shingles from blow drying, increasing their lifespan. I’ve never done anything as disruptive as what my company does right now. There were highs and lows, but I really like the challenges and rewards of growing a business.
Roof maintenance and rejuvenation is an enormous market that’ll be worth $11 billion when it’s fully mature. The necessity to protect and restore asphalt roofs is recurring – there’s no “one and done” – therefore the business opportunity is here now to remain.
What exactly are you more skilled at than a lot of people on earth? Mike Feazel: My biggest skill is identifying talented individuals who fit our culture and permitting them to do what they do best. I’ve learned never to micromanage. Failure is simply as important as success. Provided that the team is learning, growing, and correcting quickly, it’s okay. There isn’t a rulebook when you’re disrupting a business.
What exactly are the core values that guide your business, and just why did you select them? Mike Feazel: I don’t see business and personal values as separate. They are one and the same. Running a business and in life, treat people fairly and with respect, try your hardest to accomplish the proper thing, and stay positive, particularly when things aren’t going the right path. That’s the most challenging of most.
What’s your preferred quote? Mike Feazel: I’ve significant amounts of respect for Richard Branson and how he lives his life and runs his businesses. Among the best quotes from him is this: “Respect is how you treat everyone, not only those you would like to impress.”
That which was your biggest challenge starting in business? How did you overcome it? Mike Feazel: Our biggest challenge has been skepticism that you could rejuvenate an asphalt roof. There’s always skepticism about new ideas, but doubts fade as knowledge of the theory grows. When that happens, we expect to double or even triple in size. Early on, Elon Musk gave Tesla a 10 percent chance for success, but electric cars are here to stay. That’s our story too.
The skepticism remains but it’s steadily decreasing. Awareness around bio-based technology keeps growing, along with demand for products that impact the surroundings in a positive way at a lesser price. Our partners are global leaders in biotech and sustainable technology, so their credibility has helped us overcome this challenge. Battelle Labs, the biggest private research and development company on the planet, created our soy-based formulation. We also partner with America’s farmers, Ohio State University, and the Ohio Soybean Council.
Our partners have helped us grow from a small number of dealers and employees to a lot more than 400 locations and a big staff that’s growing weekly. I really believe we’re still in the bottom of the hockey stick with regards to our potential growth. At our current pace, we’ll surpass the biggest roofing company in the united states by topline revenue in 2021.
How can you define great leadership? Mike Feazel: Great leadership isn’t about control; it’s about empowering people. I rarely insist things are done my way. Instead, I hire talented people and escape their way. There’s no one inside our company who isn’t amazing at what they do.
My role is to provide the vision, especially in the first stages, when things can transform by the hour. Every day, there is less ebbing and flowing than initially. Then I have to communicate the vision to the team, obtain buy-in, and if needed, debate it and adjust. It’s a team effort.
How can you identify an excellent business partner? Mike Feazel: An excellent partner is someone you can trust and respect who has your back. For me personally, that’s my brother, who’s also my co-founder. He’s been my partner for 30 years, and I wouldn’t own it any other way.
We’ve nearly closed the business enterprise twice. To pull through, we’d to understand hard lessons that gave us the abilities to achieve success: stick-to-it-iveness and patience. There’s no chance we’re able to pull this off otherwise.
How can you prevent burnout? Mike Feazel: I stay active by mountain biking and paddleboarding. I also want to read and research new technologies that are shaping the world.
I get inspired by the amazing business types of companies like Uber and Airbnb. With Airbnb, you progress service and an improved experience for less work, hassle, and money. Why would you stay somewhere else? That’s how I see Roof Maxx. We are “Uberizing” roofing in a grand way, and we’re only at the start of what technology can do.
What do you want to be doing in 3 years? Mike Feazel: Within the next three years, I’d prefer to choose small solar powered energy company. Moore’s Law states that computer processing speed doubles every 2 yrs as the cost is halved. That principle pertains to all technology, especially solar.
Environmental sustainability and solar powered energy are so important. If you’re burning natural resources, you’re ruining rainforests and putting plastic in to the ocean. The usage of solar powered energy is likely to double within the next five years. Soon, you won’t have the ability to create a home in California that isn’t powered in this manner. I believe the brand new “land grab” would be the rooftop, and I visit a bright future.
Connect to Mike on LinkedIn or visit his website