Michael O’Malley – Curved Papers, Inc.
Michael O’Malley of Curved Papers, Inc. has been around the Cannabis industry dating back to his college days at MIT. After working many years in the tech, software development and business arena’s Michael saw an opportunity to blend his professional experience for his love of the Cannabis industry and he created Curved Papers, Inc. Not only has his product revolutionized the paper rolling industry, but it is also a true innovation in the space. The patent-pending easy to roll curved edge is transforming Cannabis and tobacco smoking all over the world. The simple act of rolling your own cigarette has been around for hundreds of years, but never before has it been this easy. In fact, experienced consumers, some of whom have rolled almost their entire adult life, love Curved Papers because it truly simplifies the process. It’s like power steering for rolling up cannabis!
What was the deciding factor for you to join this particular industry?
The specific deciding factor was actually a combination of timing and innovation. The invention of this new rolling paper paired with the opportunity in the Cannabis industry made entering the market almost a no brainer for me. Much of my career has been spent in software development, tech, design and business consulting. When the opportunity came up for me to combine all my professional experience to launch a new product within an industry I love I jumped all over it. However, we didn’t just launch a product to launch a product. We believe we have something that truly improves the smoking experience. Be it Cannabis or tobacco consumers have always, and will always, use papers to roll their cigarettes. Our product makes that experience easier and more accessible across the board so I felt it was my responsibility to make it available to the public. Simply put, we offer a more natural, simple and efficient product.
Luckily, I have a seasoned team surrounding me and we have had a ton of fun in the process.
What skills from your previous experiences helped you in what you are doing now?
In the broadest sense, being CEO of Curved Papers, Inc. has forced me to use every skill in my repertoire. In order to establish the intellectual property behind the business I have had to do everything from engineering and design to legal work and marketing, just to name a few examples. One of the most specific skills I have applied is through Computer-Aided Design(CAD). That program has played a huge roll in my career, and it has been a big part of Curved Papers. It is amazing how much goes into bringing a product to market, from inception to actualization. Luckily, I have a seasoned team surrounding me and we have had a ton of fun in the process.
Right now, what direction are you guiding your passion and energy toward?
Spreading the word of Curved Papers. We have laid the foundation for the business, designed the product and successfully tested it repeatedly. Now it is all about getting out there and letting people know that there is an easier, more efficient way to roll your cigarettes.
Describe your work ethic in one word.
What do you consider your weakness as an entrepreneur? Your strength?
My biggest weakness as an entrepreneur is that I care about people more than money. However, I might argue that has actually made me more successful. I really do enjoy the relationships I have formed with the people I work with. My strength would have to be my wide-ranging skillset and professional history. My diverse background in production and management has enabled me to maintain a big picture overview of Curved Papers. Every strength, in its own way, has contributed to the process of turning a product into a company.
How are you differentiating yourself from the competition?
In short, Curved Papers is the most innovative and unique product on the market. It is revolutionizing the use of rolling papers and has made the process easier than ever before. I’ve reached out to companies with hundreds of years of experience in the industry and they all agree. The product stands alone, all we have to do is show it to people and they’re hooked.
How do you find inspiration in this industry? What have you found that has inspired you?
Most of my inspiration comes from the people who have worked so hard over the years to lay the foundation for this industry, enabling it to have the opportunities we see today. A product like Curved Papers has the chance to thrive because of the market created from their hard work. More specifically, my earliest inspiration stems from the 1970’s and my time at MIT, where my friend Leonard Epstein and I were part of the Class of ’79. We were recreational Cannabis users. However, once we graduated, Leonard quit smoking and dedicated himself to the legalization movement. For over 35 years Leonard has worked on the political issues surrounding legalization. He has done everything from running for local offices to writing and recording music on the subject. Last year he got to reap the benefit of his work as he went to Denver and got high for the first time since college.
People and stories like this are what inspire me. Trailblazers like Leonard Epstein, Keith Stroup(NORML) and Tommy Chong, just to name a few, laid the foundation that this movement is built on. It is our job to maintain that momentum and build on the opportunity the industry has been afforded. I think modern day champions; like Bill Levin and Cheryl Shuman are doing a phenomenal job living up to this legacy and they continue to inspire me everyday. I have a deep love for this country and I couldn’t be more proud of where it is headed.
Curved Papers is the most innovative and unique product on the market.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
When I was a student in Boston I was really impacted by people like Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, both of who taught me to read and interpret media. Their impact enabled me to more confidently form my own opinions, recognizing the bias and ownership of media and government. By learning about bias and communication strategies I have been much more aware of our own company’s message and how I can more genuinely spread the word about our product.
Where do your great ideas come from?
My family and my support system are outstanding. I received a phenomenal education and grew up in a very innovative culture as the eighth of fourteen kids. Personally, I love discovering and developing my own ideas, but coming from such a large group of friends and family I get to constantly learn and contribute to their ideas as well. Surrounding myself with innovative friends and family really contributes to the creative process and I work hard to act upon all the great ideas I come across, not just my own.
What is most important to you, your mission, vision or core values? Why?
When I come up with an idea I think is great, I stay confident in it.
Core values. I believe one of the most important things you can do is stay honest with yourself. I try to practice this everyday, as it is a constant goal of mine. When I come up with an idea I think is great, I stay confident in it. I see it through and make it become real. Keeping your core values is the only constant in an ever-changing world. Your mission or your vision may change or become cloudy at times. But, if you hold on to your core values, those things will all reveal themselves to you. Not only that, but you will be ready to capitalize on them because you stayed honest with who you are.
What will we be seeing from you and Curved Papers in the coming future?
You will see a ton of action out of Curved Papers Inc. in the coming future. Not only do we intend to extend our brand and product line, but we anticipate utilizing our patent-pending technology to acquire licensing deals. It is important to us that we improve the experience of every consumer, including the ones who have yet to use our brand. We can do that by licensing our technology to any company that involves a rolled curved edge, as this technology can be applied to any shape or size paper. In addition, we will continue to come out with new, beautiful rolling papers that remain lighter yet more dependable that traditional competitors.
What’s the hardest part of using rolling papers for you? Have you tried Curved Papers? Comment below to join conversation!!