The (Dreamfora) Office EP 6: Q&A with the Founders (Part 1) - David
Co-founder and head software engineer David joins us today to discuss his career experiences as an engineer and entrepreneur, as well as his vision for the future of Dreamfora. As a man of many talents and aspirations (including jamming on the keyboard and playing tennis), he had many stories to share. Read about David’s vivid portrayal of the startup ecosystem and find out what his average day at the office looks like!
Thank you for sitting with us today.
Happy to be here! Thanks for having me for an interview.
The first question is a question we’re asking all of Dreamfora’s employees: What does your average day at the office look like? Please tell us about your daily routine!
My schedule during the workweek is pretty consistent, as long as there aren’t any external or team meetings scheduled for the day. As soon as I set foot in the office, I make myself a nice cup of instant coffee mix and check the office ice maker to see if it needs any cleaning or water refilling. I love ice, so naturally, I was put in charge of the ice machine.
For the next 2-3 hours, I take care of work that requires communication with our users or other employees. Some of the work that fall under this category are responding to emails or collaborating with the UI/UX design team on issues that need input from both parties. I normally have a Subway sandwich after that and move on to tasks that require intense focus. Often times, my cell phone and email notifications will be turned off, so that I can give my undivided attention. I can tell when it’s the end of the day without looking at my watch because it’s usually when my concentration starts to wear off.
You’re currently the head software engineer at Dreamfora. What were you doing before then? Can you tell us a little bit about your previous experiences as an entrepreneur and a former business consultant?
From early on in my career (college - to be exact), I have had a passion for venture startups and developing my own projects. I created and worked at startups both as an entrepreneur and a programmer. There was a short interval of time when I attended Wharton to get an MBA and then worked as a management consultant for two years.
To this day, you’ve worked as an entrepreneur and programmer for 18 years at five different companies. How has this wide array of experiences affected you?
As a programmer who’s worked on a handful of different projects, I have developed a broad skill set - the product of having worked with a variety of coding languages and platforms (including MMORPG, DB, mobile games, server, web and app development).
It was never my intention to become a full-stack developer. I was a programmer always on “survival mode,” who did anything and everything to ensure the survival of my company and employees, as most founders of startups tend to be. If I saw an opportunity to generate immediate revenue for the firm by doing subcontracting work for a gaming company, I learned how to do it and brought in the extra income.
Working at a startup, you have to do whatever needs to be done. I guess I rolled with the punches when desperate times called for desperate measures.
I am guessing it worked out well for you in the long run! Tell us about your current job. How has your experience been with Dreamfora? Do you have any proud moments here?
I co-founded Dreamfora because I believe in its mission. Dreamfora, as an app and a business, is about more than generating revenue. It’s about helping people achieve their dreams and lead fulfilling lives, which makes the work here so meaningful for me. The app is still a work in progress, so I personally believe it’s a little premature to feel proud of our work. There definitely are many rewarding moments, though. Like when Dreamfora receives positive feedback from our users who thank us for helping them take back control of their lives. Letters like these are not only humbling but also propel us to work even harder.
Where do you see Dreamfora in a year? And in five years?
We will work to expand Dreamfora’s services so that a year from now, it can hopefully serve as a solid platform for our users to communicate with one another and share their dreams and progress. Five years into the future is too far away for me to predict, but I expect to see Dreamfora grow into a source of positive energy and healing for anyone with a dream.
I am sure many of Dreamfora’s users and supporters share your hope. Last question: Do you have any words of advice for people interested in entrepreneurship?
I applaud your interest in this field. Starting a business is something worth trying at least once in a lifetime. There are countless opportunities for both personal and professional growth that I would have never gained if I hadn’t started my own business. Of course, it would be great if your business becomes successful, but even if you are met with initial failure, the experience alone will become an intangible asset.