Greenbits Roots Series: Ben Curren
This is part of a regular series featuring our team, their personal story, and their path to the cannabis industry.
We know and love Oklahoma — some of our senior leaders called it home. Our Founder, Ben Curren, lived in Tulsa for years, and Bridgett Millican-Thurston, our VP of Finance, was born and raised in Oklahoma. This feature highlights one of our Sooners-in-Residence.
- What’s your name? Ben Curren
- And what’s your role at Greenbits? Founder & Chair
- Where do you live now and where are you from? I live in Los Gatos, CA but am from Tulsa, OK.
- Before working at Greenbits, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had? While attending Edison High School in Tulsa, I had a brief job as a dishwasher at Bodeans Seafood restaurant on 51st. I realized very quickly that restaurants are hard work and I wanted to find an office job.
- Who or what inspired you to pursue the career you have today? As an aspiring programmer in 1999 I went to a presentation about ‘eXtreme programming’ by Kent Beck. At the time, he had a very different way of building software products and I loved it. He’s been a real technology inspiration for me and someone I still look up to.
- What has been your favorite project at Greenbits? In the early days of starting Greenbits, it was critical for us to expand our POS in WA. I took a multi-week road trip with our co-founder Matt Beckley to visit as many cannabis retail stores as we could in the state. It was amazing to see many of the stores we visited saw the value we were creating and eventually signed up for Greenbits. We now serve over 70% of WA cannabis retail stores.
- If you could get a new skill in 10 minutes, what would it be? I’d love to learn how to build custom furniture made from wood. However, as a lifelong learner, I’d still be obsessed with constantly learning and trying to improve.
- Your home state recently legalized cannabis sales. What advice would you give to someone getting into cannabis retail in Oklahoma? Focus on what makes your store, products, and experience better than your competitors. Now, relentlessly focus on delivering on those attributes that make you great, and never stop. Oh ya, don’t get shutdown for something stupid like not following all the complex government rules. Luckily, Greenbits can help with that.
- If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be? I would love to be a SpaceX aerospace engineer helping put astronauts on Mars. I originally went to college as an Aerospace Engineer and switched to Computer Science after I had to learn Fortran (programming language) for my Aerospace curriculum.