#124 Andrew Carter of Smallhold: My Favorite Books, Tools, Habits and More | 20 Minute Playbook

In Episode #124, we deconstruct Andrew Carter's peak performance playbook—from their favorite book to the tiny habit that's had the biggest impact on their life. Andrew is the Co-Founder & CEO of Smallhold. We cover eliminating the ego, building around community, and creating lasting relationships.
Last updated
August 17, 2022
Min Read
Before founding Smallhold, Andrew focused on hydroponics and vertical farming at companies like Re-Nuble and Agritecture.
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About Andrew Carter

Smallhold | Twitter | LinkedIn

“Build around community. You want to focus on the people around you, and the people that you're servicing, however you're servicing them.” – Andrew Carter

Andrew Carter is co-founder and CEO of Smallhold, which is upending the food industry by growing mushrooms and Michelin-star rated restaurants, and grocery stores, and through their network of on-site and macro farms. Smallhold is inverting the way food is traditionally grown and distributed. Today, 68% of all mushrooms consumed in the United States come from a single town in Pennsylvania called Kennett Square. That's 400 million pounds worth of mushrooms per year to be exact, which means that most mushrooms are transported across a vast distribution network to reach stores all around the United States.

Smallhold knew there was a better way, so they spent years creating a proprietary set of technologies that could allow them to grow mushrooms in an incredibly small footprint, their cases, which are their on-site farms are about the size of a small standing cabinet. The first Smallhold on-site farms went up in restaurants around New York, which was followed by on-site farms at grocery stores including central market stores all across Texas, where their on-site farms sit right next to where the mushrooms are sold in the grocery aisle. Smallhold is an incredible example of what the future of food looks like, and they're just getting started. In this episode, Andrew shares why everyone should watch the mushroom-focused Netflix documentary, Fantastic Fungi, why he recommends the book Entangled Life for anyone who wants to learn more about mushrooms and the mushroom kingdom, Andrew's advice for building an incredible company culture, and the advice he'd give himself if he could go back to the start of his career, and much more.

For more, explore the transcript of this episode.


In this episode, we deconstruct Andrew Carter’s peak performance playbook—from their favorite book to the tiny habit that's had the biggest impact on their life. In it we cover:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:02:21 – On being fascinated by his child
  • 00:04:16 – The importance of eliminating your ego
  • 00:04:55 – Building around community
  • 00:05:35 – Life lessons from eco machines
  • 00:08:20 – Entangled life and self-help books
  • 00:10:15 – The benefits of letting people finish their thoughts
  • 00:11:30 – Build lasting relationships with people

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Castbox, Pocket Casts, Player FM, Podcast Addict, iHeartRadio, or on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

An Idea Worth Trying

One of the habits that has made a difference in Andrew’s life is simply letting others finish their thoughts before interrupting with his own. Keeping quiet for just a bit allows the other person to feel heard and express themselves fully, and it gives you a better understanding of them and the issue you are discussing.

Our Favorite Quotes

Here are a few ideas we'll be thinking about weeks and months from now:

  • “Really letting people finish their thought and communicate, and sure, it might take a little bit longer, but it gives people time to talk, and to explain themselves. It helps people get their thoughts out, but it also just helps your own relationship.”

Books Mentioned

The following books came up in this conversation with Andrew Carter:

Selected Links

We covered a lot of ground in this interview. Here are links to the stories, articles, and ideas discussed:

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