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The FORT with Chris Powers

Sep 7, 2021

Molson Hart is the founder and CEO of VIAHART, an educational toy company, and a co-founder of Edison, an intellectual property-focused litigation financing firm.

On this episode, Chris and Molson dive deep into the process of selling on Amazon. They talk about Molson's journey to China and how he was able to learn the manufacturing process and implement that into a successful Amazon store. They also discuss the difference between American and Chinese Business culture, how he chooses products to sell, the good and bad of Amazon, how to know if you're making a 'great' product & more. Enjoy!

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(02:47) - Molson’s Story Leading Up to VIAHART and Different Companies He’s Been Involved With

(05:10) - Molson’s Experience Going to China to Work With Manufacturers 

(14:03) - Was VIAHART launched at this point or were you just a guy selling a few products?

(15:00) - Chinese vs. American Business Culture

(17:50) - Do you gain more leverage in China the longer you’re there or are you always one step away from being screwed?

(19:34) - When did you make the shift away from brick & mortar and into e-commerce?

(23:07) - How did you know which products would be most profitable like glassware and towels?

(26:35) - What’s the process for ‘launching’ a product on Amazon at scale?

(32:15) - What’s your goal for Brain Flakes in terms of growth?

(34:42) - How do you add to your roster of 300 products and how do you do that with only 8 people?

(37:26) - Why is it a smart business decision to sell plush animals?

(39:26) - Is there a reason why you play in the toy category?

(40:23) - How do you fight copycats?

(43:15) - Is there anything going on in China that the average person getting into e-commerce isn’t thinking about?

(45:17) - Molson’s 8-person Distributed Team and How They’re Managed

(47:51) - How are your overseas employees different?

(49:08) - What’s the process of selling on Amazon?

(50:18) - What’s the good & bad about working with Amazon today?

(54:47) - Do you worry about Amazon copying your products?

(55:56) - Molson’s Story Getting Suspended from Amazon

(57:40) - Molson Going to Speak In Front of Congress

(59:05) - Are there Amazon alternatives that interest you?

(1:01:43) - What’s the process of same-day delivery like?

(1:03:05) - What’s your strategy for the business going forward?

(1:06:13) - What would make Warren Buffet or Charlie Munger want to buy Brain Flakes?

(1:08:35) - What advice would you give someone wanting to get into e-commerce?

(1:10:42) - How does someone with 0 product experience know that it’s being built the right way?

Twitter Questions

(1:12:31) - Why are these ships just sitting there and not coming into port?

(1:15:19) - Was China ever as locked down as America?

(1:16:46) - Why do you feel comfortable being combative on Twitter?

(1:18:13) - “Advice is BS unless it’s from someone who’s been there/done that” is that always true?

(1:20:01) - If you couldn’t buy products in China, where would you shift production?

(1:21:02) - Can we ever get to a point where automated toy production is possible in the USA?

(1:22:30) - How much better are Amazon conversion rates compared elsewhere?

(1:23:10) - How can people find you and your business?




The FORT is produced by Johnny Peterson & Straight Up Podcasts