This is part two of a two-part series. To read part one, click here: http://designmba.cca.edu/groovice-better-together/
In part two, we are going to take a closer look at how instrumental the DMBA has been for Groovice startup founders Damian Wolfgram and Weston McVicker. We emailed them questions and this is what they had to say.
What makes the DMBA special?
D: From day one, the students, faculty, and curriculum have been world-class. CCA is this amazing private design institution at the heart of everything that makes San Francisco and the Valley so wonderful. Design. Business. Technology. All right here. The DMBA interweaves all of these disciplines into a comprehensive business education that has given me the confidence, knowledge, and network to make a real impact with Groovice and beyond.
W: The people. From the group projects to the lunchtime conversations, I am constantly inspired by my classmates. Each and every person has a unique background, but a similar passion for human-centered design and business. The DMBA brings people from around the world together to offer their perspectives in one of the most innovative cities, San Francisco. The curriculum challenges us to work together and has shown me what is possible when you surround yourself with different, yet like-minded people. This is a case where it is truly “better together.”
Right now, what is the number one thing you are using that you learn from the DMBA?
D: Being comfortable in chaos and ambiguity. Building software is colossal undertaking, and should probably be avoided unless you have a little crazy in you. There are an endless stream of problems to be solved. Luckily, every problem is a design problem, and just going through the design-thinking process over and over in the DMBA has given me the tools to operate effectively in periods of uncertainty.
W: Maintaining vision and sharing that vision with your team. Even though we are not always sure where we will end up, our consistent vision ensures that each and every member of the team is moving in the same direction. We recognize that we will often be wrong, but we also know that we will learn quickly and keep going despite the many obstacles in front of us.
What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?
D: Some people are wired for entrepreneurship, but it isn’t for everyone. Weston and I joke that everyday has a moment of being the worst day ever and the best day ever. It is a trip. If you are serious about starting a business it would be wise to find an amazing co-pilot equally passionate and with a complementary skillset. These days business moves too fast and is too competitive to go it alone, and yet starting a business with someone is like getting married. Choose wisely.
W: Be ready to experience the inevitable ups and downs of the startup life. In a given week, there will be several major challenges that seem impossible to solve, causing you to rethink this whole startup thing. Just when you think it can’t get any more difficult, you may have a major win that makes it all worth it. It is a crazy roller coaster ride and you have to be ready to challenge yourself both personally and professionally.