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This startup founder took inspiration from ‘War Dogs’ and it … worked?

The founder of Texas-based Bob's Containers watched enough YouTube videos to prove his credibility in the shipping container industry and landed a government contract to launch his startup. Hear his story on the Founder's Forge podcast.

Bob's Containers. (Courtesy image)
This is a guest post from the team at Founder's Forge, a podcast by software consultancy Axon Collective.
Robert Balderas had a problem.

He wanted to break into government contracting, specifically on a construction project downtown. The city wanted to use old shipping containers to create an affordable and modern office park, and Balderas felt he was the man for the job.

The issue? Balderas knew nothing about shipping containers.

So Balderas did the logical thing — he took inspiration from the hustler film “War Dogs.” He borrowed his friend’s office, putting his own branding over their signs. He then spent a full day on YouTube watching everything he could on how shipping containers were manufactured and sold. By the time the city representatives showed up, Balderas looked and sounded like an old hand in the biz, and it worked — he got the contract.

From this unlikely start, Bob’s Containers rapidly grew into a prominent supplier of consumer-use shipping containers before pioneering a new generation of custom-build container homes. They have a blisteringly fast turnaround — six weeks — in an industry where six months is considered fast.

On this episode of the Founder’s Forge podcast, learn how Balderas and his team literally faked it until they made it, and how they rapidly iterated, using lean methodologies to transform a murky industry into one where anybody can buy a shipping container with the same ease as placing an order on Amazon.

Building a company isn’t easy. Founders Forge chronicles the unfiltered stories, struggles, and successes of early-stage founders as they are forged into the leaders of tomorrow.

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