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EPISODE 2: The Master Translator (w/ Branding & Design Specialist Daria Gonzalez) ๐ŸŽ™

EPISODE 2: The Master Translator (w/ Branding & Design Specialist Daria Gonzalez) ๐ŸŽ™

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The child of Russian and Cuban-born parents, Daria Gonzalez learned at a young age how to move between cultures, languages (a lot of them!) โ€” and later, professions. Sheโ€™s been an architect, a music booker, a travel journalist and a VC โ€” all of which came together in creating Wunderdogs, a global design consultancy that helps bring cutting edge, often esoteric products to market. 

We talked to Daria about how her experience making sense of so much difference led to her success in branding, and why marketing matters a lot in this moment, when everything seems so complicated. 

โ€œPeople were struggling telling me what their product is about. What is it actually, what is it solving? Eventually I saw the opportunity, helping these engineers build their brand narrative.

โ€“ Daria Gonzalez

๐ŸŽ™ Highlights Include

  • Free & inexpensive marketing techniques all companies should be using right now  
  • How to build a coherent brand around esoteric products like blockchain & AI  
  • Current trends in branding and marketing 
  • Dariaโ€™s top marketing tips for startups at this moment 
This Week’s Guest
Daria Gonzalez of Wunderdogs

Daria Gonzalez

Co-founder & CEO of Wunderdogs

Wunderdogs is a global design consultancy launched by ex-VCs and founders that works exclusively with technology-driven businesses.

The Startup Stack’s Host
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is louis-1024x1002.png

Louis Beryl

CEO, Co-Founder of Rocketplace

Rocketplace is a curated marketplace of high quality professional service providers. A 3x founder, investor, and board member, Louis began his tech career as a partner at Andreessen Horowitz. When he’s not working or podcasting, Louis enjoys cooking for his family. His pizza, he’d like you to know, is incredible. 

Full Episode Transcript

Daria Gonzalez    00:00:00 Comic sans coming into the bar and the bartender telling him, sorry, we’re not serving your type.

Louis Beryl 00:00:07 [Laughing] I love the dad jokes. That was a good one.  

Louis Beryl 00:00:12 This week. We’re talking to design and branding expert, Daria Gonzales. Daria co founded Wunderdogs, a global design consultancy in 2017. But before that, she did a lot of other things. She was a Siberian travel reporter and architect, a Russian music booking agent, and like me, she got an MBA and became a VC. Although neither of us lasted too long. I wanted to know how did all of those experiences come together in Wunderdogs? Why did she choose to bootstrap? How did the company sweet-spot helping launch highly technical and often esoteric products become the thing that they do most. Daria answered all that and more. But first just tell me a few more jokes.  

Daria Gonzalez   00:00:52 Yeah. So there were a couple of other jokes and they essentially went from being very cheesy and very kind of mass appeal to being really kind of smarter, but also weird and not very mass appeal. Kind of like every time someone stretches a font a designer cries. 

Louis Beryl    00:01:08    [Laughing] I feel like that’s the whole joke. That was great.  

Daria Gonzalez    00:01:14    That is actually the whole joke.

Louis Beryl    00:01:17      I think you could do a whole series on a designer cries. That would be good.

Daria Gonzalez    00:01:23    You know, maybe you Louis you and I should start a podcast called designer cries. 

Louis Beryl    00:01:26      I think I just make designers cry.

Daria Gonzalez    00:01:29      I think me too.

Louis Beryl    00:01:32    I want to, I want it to dive into, your background pre Wunderdogs and we’ll get to Wunderdogs in a second, but I wanted, if you would take a minute, I’d love to understand your journey leading up to Wunderdogs.  

Daria Gonzalez    00:01:45    I went to an architecture school to get an degree in architecture and I was lucky enough to get a part-time job two years after I started in college. And, I realized within like two months that I was a really $*#&^% architect and I should not ever do it. , I didn’t have discipline, I didn’t have dedication. So I just quit right away and moved to Berlin and launched a booking agency for musicians to kind of host live shows, mostly between Berlin and Russia. Iโ€™m half Russian, half Cuban, by the way. So kind of grew up between these two countries,  and that did for a few…

Louis Beryl    00:02:34    That like youโ€™re Curussian.

Daria Gonzalez    00:02:38    [Laughing] You know what, Louis, I’m glad it’s at least not a spy joke, but …

Louis Beryl    00:02:42 [Laughing] Yeah exactly.

Daria Gonzalez    00:03:16    This is good. This is actually a good joke thank you. [Laughing] But, so I, I was doing this, kind of music business for awhile then, the, I had to go back to Russia to get my final, you know, final exams because I was still starting as an architect from somehow and, went back, decided to stay, and ended up like traveling a whole bunch, across Russia, like in Siberia, you know, far East, very, very kind of, bizarre places.  And that prompted me to create a digital magazine for foreign travelers who wanted to see Russia off the beaten path, but didn’t necessarily know how to. So it was kind of like a very inspiring how-to-guide that was also kind of mixed up a little bit with Airbnb or like crowd surf.  

Louis Beryl    00:03:36    Yeah. And I, and I heard you ended up living in Siberia with dog breeders or, or like, how did, so how did that happen?  

Daria Gonzalez    00:03:45    Well, that’s how it happened. You know, you don’t want to launch a business, you have to know it A to Z. So, I ended up, yeah, I spent about two months with, deer breeders, actually reindeer breeders… 

Louis Beryl    00:03:58   Oh they were a lot of deer breeders.

Daria Gonzalez    00:04:00    But there were a lot of dogs too.

Louis Beryl    00:04:02   Reindeer breeders.

Daria Gonzalez    00:04:28    Yes reindeer breeders. , living there for like two months with them are nomadic, they’re, you know, kind of like a real tribe. , it was fun.  

Louis Beryl    00:04:13    Basically what I’m thinking in my head is you couldn’t be farther from starting a tech creative agency. Okay. You’re in Siberia, you know, sleeping, you know, with the reindeer reindeer breeder tribe, how do you, how do you bring it back?  

Daria Gonzalez    00:04:28    It’s very, you know, just life happens somehow. So, my magazine ended up being acquired by a large media and, I, you know, kind of from the buckwheat soup and Siberia, I went to be a media producer. So I was producing different digital projects like magazines or, you know, storytelling apps, within that media. And then what happened was there was this media consultant who my boss hired to essentially give us advice on how to build iPad news apps. No one knew that it was a horrible idea and so this media consultant was this young, handsome gentleman. He wore this awesome suit, and everyone was listening to him. And so I came up to him cause I was 24 and no one would listen to me at the time. And so I came up to him and I just asked, you know, how did you get there, where you are? And he said, I got my MBA degree at London business school, but my English was really bad at the time. So I heard NBA. And instead of researching, I just kept telling everyone I’m going to get to America and get my NBA. Until my Mom told me that I was not tall enough to play basketball.  

Louis Beryl    00:05:48    [Laughing]

Daria Gonzalez    00:05:54    So  and I started Googling what MBA actually was, learned about Stanford and Harvard and ended up first time in America for the first time. My first kind of place to step my foot on was Palo Alto, which I was a hundred percent sure, was sprawling with drones that deliver pizza and, you know, Elon Musk just walking around, but, instead I saw kind of a village, and it was a little shocking to me, but, it grew on me and, as you know, as I thought that I needed to learn business to become a better entrepreneur, I, you know, was attending all of the classes tirelessly, but by the end of my time at Stanford, I, I kind of realized that, I don’t really like business that much.  

Louis Beryl    00:06:47    And then from there you go into VC.  

Daria Gonzalez    00:06:50    Yes. And I know we talked about it yesterday. I know that you really like me saying this, but I’ll say it. I think that this is the kind of least businessy job you can get after, after a business degree, because there’s not even that much accounting involved now.

Louis Beryl    00:07:09    You know, I also went into VC after my MBA, so we share that and neither of us lasted particularly long.  

Daria Gonzalez    00:07:18    Yeah but you know, to be honest, I feel like it’s actually like a really cool profession, especially if you are, you know into this type of just kind of lifestyle and I learned a lot, you know, when I, when I was, in VC and we were investing in, you know, predominantly, super deep tech, kind of the IP driven, you know, startups, I learned a lot about technology and it was just fascinating me, you know, and, eventually, you know, what I started not noticing though, is that all of these really great mostly engineer, type of founders would, you know, really believe in their product, but they would kind of struggle looking past the product features and into the story. So they were struggling telling me what their product is about, what is actually, what is, what is it solving? You know, how is it helping people? And most of their decks also looked quite, just kind of not professional unpolished. And, it was really hard for me to like even getting through these decks because it was just kind of a challenge and eventually I just kind of saw the opportunity, that, you know, helping these engineers, build early stage brands build, you know, the narrative builds the visual appeal of what their products are, could be a great kind of window of opportunity for us.  

Louis Beryl    00:08:51    So tell me, tell me about starting Wunderdogs and what the real impetus was like, okay. You know, how did you and your co-founder meet? How did you decide this is it, this is what we’re doing.  

Daria Gonzalez    00:09:02    Essentially. I miss design a lot. And, I saw that all of these people needed design services. , and so I thought, you know, I’m just gonna put out a Facebook post because I’m an old person. I don’t use TikTok. So I put out a Facebook post just saying, you know I’m doing logos now, why don’t you guys come and have me and the person who is my co-founder, her name is Olga. We actually met at that VC that we worked at, we were part of a seed stage fund called GVA capital. And this fund was famous for having bought a huge building that used to be a Catholic church in the middle of San Francisco. And, transferred it into an essentially kind of like an event space. Right. So, my office was inside of a church essentially.  

Daria Gonzalez    00:10:00    And Olga, my future co-founder was leading all of the operations for conf like renovation, construction, obtaining permits. And it was such a crazy ride that was so hard. And I, you know, I was looking at this amazing woman and I thought, you know, whatever she does, she will always get it done. And of course we bonded a lot in terms of just kind of being entrepreneurial. And, at the end of the day, when we saw this opportunity, she was also eight months pregnant at the time. , we just kind of, yeah, we just kinda went for it. , and, we just called ourselves Wunderdogs. That’s another interesting story. , okay. Tell  

Louis Beryl    00:10:42    Me why, why didn’t you call yourself Wunderdogs?  

Daria Gonzalez    00:10:44    So when, when we decided to start Wunderdogs, I used to live two blocks away from the original birthplace of Hell’s Angels actually. , and that was, in the, in the neighborhood called Dog Patch, in San Francisco. And so that’s essentially how, was one of the reasons why we called them Wunderdogs, the actual kind of smarter idea behind it is that we take underdogs, you know, do some magic, do some wonders, and then they become big dogs, which kind of ties up to our value proposition if you will. Which is how being a high growth, you know, early stage, mostly organizations launch their products, and grow them.  

Louis Beryl    00:11:32    You’re back at the very beginning, you’ve just named the, the creative agency, Wunderdogs, it’s you and Olga, tell me about finding your first clients. How did you do that?  

Daria Gonzalez    00:11:41    It’s fairly easy if you are the only creative person graduating out of a hundred, 450 people business class to be very so I definitely, even though when I was graduating out of Stanford, I didn’t exactly know what would be the value of this two years. I spent in business school. This definitely kind of already paid back, because, you know, I was the one who was always drawing something during all of the classes instead of making notes in the lectures. So, I kind of back there built this personal brand of, you know, the creative one. And, when we started it, the first clients I had where, you know, my classmates or people who knew me from there who were starting businesses and just saw my notes on Facebook and came in and, you know, that’s how we kind of were operating for maybe the, even like the first six months and then, word of mouth, converted it into, you know, second, third, four, four times removed, folks and maybe other creative or design folks will also share it with you, but it’s actually extremely hard to do good marketing for a foreign agency and possibly lose.  

Daria Gonzalez    00:13:02    That’s why…  

Louis Beryl    00:13:03    I know shameless Rocketplace plug Rocketplace is a platform that helps you find new businesses. That’s exactly why we exist. It is difficult.  

Daria Gonzalez    00:13:13    Yes, so it’s very difficult and predominantly it is difficult because it’s a very human to human business. So a brand, you know, is your baby. You don’t want to be trusting it to the strangers yet. You realize that you can’t really raise it on your own. So people are extremely risk averse when it comes down to, you know, creative services around their startups, especially startups. , and that’s why it’s very hard to just be like, ah, let’s just run this campaign, on LinkedIn and just people are gonna come to you. , and another reason it’s also like, it depends on what type of agency you are, but, I would say that our prices, even though they’re not very high spec, especially kind of California level, they’re still too high for like a successful LinkedIn or any other marketing campaign. Yeah. There’s just way too much steps and way too much education also to be done to a potential client before actually finding them.  

Louis Beryl    00:14:20    I want to come back to finding your first clients starting Wunderdogs. I know that you bootstrapped Wunderdogs and, but you were, you, you had VC experience. So you know, all these founders who are raising money and you’ve seen that you probably have a bunch of Stanford business school classmates who are also raising money. I want to know why, why did you, why did you do it and, and how did you make it work?  

Daria Gonzalez    00:14:45    Well creative agencies not necessarily venture business, right. So we do not experience as much of scaling and growth as most of the investment worthy. Let’s go that way. Businesses do. , and, no, not really. So I never really wanted to launch a high growth business, or a startup let’s call it that way because I, it’s a very kind of personal thing. I just don’t really like to know that I owe people anything and, with all of this kind of, you know, investments and, and people kind of losing money, it just, you know, I came from, from the type of, kind of financial backgrounds that it’s makes me feel uncomfortable when I know that I can lose someone else’s money. Yeah. So I just didn’t want to be dependent on anyone on and especially because I knew exactly what type of company I wanted to build, and I didn’t really want to have to follow the advice of people who not necessarily were aware of my industry. So kind of, I would, I would say it’s both of these reasons. Yeah. So we, we just had a little money saved up and we, kind of went for it. We always were setting up certain timelines, you know, as in, if in three months we don’t get here done, maybe we shouldn’t be doing it. Or if a next two months we don’t get here, then maybe we shouldn’t be doing it  

Louis Beryl    00:16:23    Well in, tell me tell me more about that. So, you know, in those first three, six months, what were the very hardest things?  

Daria Gonzalez    00:16:29    So clients were still hard for us and others, I would say another thing that was hard is, and it’s something that we actually still sometimes encounter is, how hard it is to position ourselves in the agency world. Because, even though I truly believe that for the startups, especially, or even, you know, larger, innovative organizations, we really provide a very kind of crystal clear value. We provide everything at very high speed at, you know, with an understanding of how technology businesses work. , and we also don’t have we’re, we’re fully remote by choice. , we, we kind of started that way and we, so we also don’t have this huge overhead costs on, you know, the offices and some excessive personnel sometimes that, yeah, it’s still, it was still very hard to convince people that without an office we can provide, you know, high quality work.  They were all very used to, you know, the fact that if I, if I work with a creative agency, like fancy looking assistants, should let me in this beautiful room and there should be all of these crazy images and advertisements that they’ve won Webby awards for. But the point is to listen to my taste and experience a lot of the creative agency, traditional industries, extremely outdated, and a lot of their perks and kinds of traditions. They are just going, becoming roadblocks to providing high quality work on time and on a budget, especially on a startup budget.  

Louis Beryl    00:18:22    Okay. So today Wunderdogs is a global design consultancy, and you have a whole bunch of services and you actually serve clients from very small, just starting out to really large, Fortune 500 sized companies. I’d love to hear a little bit more about, you know, when we say global design consultancy, what does that mean? What are the services that Wunderdogs provides?  

Daria Gonzalez    00:18:47    It’s kind of, I feel like all of these attempts to explain what the firm does in one word, like creative agency, design, consultancy, you know, design firm and all of these fancy future proof and to end solutions is horrible. It’s a horrible tradition, but unfortunately, many people still kind of require some sort of a lingo, to build trust. You know, so we essentially, in a way, also another kind of piece of information here is that branding itself is extremely complex as a service. It’s really hard to explain to folks who have never done it before, or never worked with anyone before on what it is, why it matters. , and so lots of agencies call themselves nowadays design consultancies to project. This kind of 360 approach is that their team will apply to the client’s brand, right? Because the actual translation or kind of meaning of branding is what people talk about your company when you’re not in the room.  

Louis Beryl    00:20:03    A very impressive marketer once said to me that your brand is the sum total of all the experiences that people have with your company all the time, right? Whether or not that’s those experiences are, you know, when they’re using your product or when people are talking about your product.  

Daria Gonzalez    00:20:23    Exactly. That’s exactly it. And then now imagine how hard it is to actually explain what the hell does this mean to someone who never deals with this before. And so essentially what Wunderdogs do the way I am trying to position ourselves is, we are we are a creative firm that assists with everything related to product. So think about this, right? You need to launch a product or you need to fundraise. What would you need from creative people to do that? You will need to help to create a story. You will need help to make it into a pitch and design a pitch deck. You will need help with, you know, logo, visual identity. You will need help to understand who to talk to and kind of what channels to use. And then further down the line you’ll need help, with your digital landing and then, kind of a strategy on how to approach this product launch. And it wasn’t this, even though to me, it already sounds pretty straightforward. I understand that it’s like a lot, a long list of bullet points.  

Louis Beryl    00:21:31    Our, our audience, we have, we have a lot of, a lot of founders, a lot of people working on innovative things out there, listening to our podcast. You know, when, when a client is approaching Wunderdogs, what is, what is the ideal client? What are the, what are the things that they’re doing, or the questions that they should be asking when they’re, when they think about working with you or working with a different agency or working with an agency at all?  

Daria Gonzalez    00:21:57    , our ideal client, is a company that’s technology driven. So they’re building something new. And most of the time they actually struggle with translating complex tech language and to approachable and relatable narrative, both kind of text-wise and visuals wise. , so that’s, that’s our ideal client. So probably 70% of our clients are B2B enterprise deep tech, complex satellites, you know, technologies, because what we’re really love is to dig into complex stuff and rearrange it to me get, you know,  

Louis Beryl    00:22:41    And that must be, I mean, I know you’ve got some background in this from your VC days, but it must be really tough learning about all these esoteric deep technologies for you and your team, or is that part of why you love it?  

Daria Gonzalez    00:22:51    It’s tough. It is tough. And it’s part of why we love it, but also, you know, we, we kind of developed a, a huge amount of frameworks and ideas on how for, you know, kind of a, a standard copywriter, for example, to approach, complex solutions with us. So that it’s also quick and doesn’t take too much time to understand, for them. So, that’s, what’s interesting about it because, unlike my perception of creative agencies, what we do is, we try to optimize all of our work streams, in order for the hardest client to become our easiest and most favorite client kind of to become our bulls-eye audience. Right? So that’s, that’s, that’s why I think there’s a huge opportunity because lots of other creative agencies love working on things like, you know, music festivals and, restaurant design, which is really great.  But someone has to be doing, you know, high-tech and deep tech as well and it’s very different. Working with startups, their pacing is different. Everything is always due yesterday. There’s lots of pivots you’ll have to be very flexible and agile to be able to iterate you, can’t take a task and spend a month without coming back to them. It’s all, you know, it’s just a very different framework for framework of work. And for me, it’s the ideal one because I get to combine my favorite startup pace with creativity.  

Louis Beryl    00:24:21    And, and so tell me more about, you know, working with these companies. I mean, how do you set expectations? How do you measure success?  

Daria Gonzalez    00:24:28    , yeah, so it really depends on mostly the size of the client, I would say. Right? So, different businesses have different types of measure of success. So for example, for our youngest, clients who are probably pre-seed or early stage startups, most of them come to us to help fundraise. To design a pitch deck or create a narrative and help them create an investment worthy narrative, so to speak. So for us, the measure of success is mostly how much money we help them raise. Or our decks help them raise obviously founders, you know, they do a lot of great work to do it themselves as well. And so, for, but for example, for the very large clients, they are ready to spend money to do testing on the branding, and tested with the ideas, and we can provide the service as well, but that’s something that typically comes with what size, you know, how much, how much you want to be investing in order to really make sure that what we’re creating is spot on right away.  

Daria Gonzalez    00:25:35    And so the smaller the client is the more they’re willing to be iterative and kind of infiltrate the brand in their day-to-day operations and, and make mistakes and see how they can be adjusted. But the larger the client is the less they want to fail or the less they want to pivot with their brand. And so the more they want to be investing and making sure that before the launch of the brand, it’s tested through the audience, to be honest, I really love the startup approach more, but I totally see the value of, you know, the larger clients approach as well,  

Louis Beryl    00:26:13    Transition to what’s going on in the world. Daria. I know that you, your company has always been remote first and, you know, with everything going on in the world with the pandemic, it actually looks very precious in that you’ve built a remote first company. I’m wondering, what is your opinion on the, on the, on the trend of being remote first, do you think that, our clients going to continue to be more accepting of, of working with remote first companies, has it gotten easier to, work with now that, you know, remote first is actually what they expect  

Daria Gonzalez    00:26:46    During the economic downturn, you know, it’s hard to say that our work has gotten much easier just because people are more conservative with money spent, especially on marketing, for some reason. But, to be honest, Louis, yes. So I would say that people become way more, open to working with a remote company. And, I feel like, you know, in the last two years, and we’re only two and a half, almost three years old, but we’re fairly young. , and in the last two years, we did kind of manage to break this glass ceiling, of, you know, just by delivering very high quality work and having our work, you know, featured and, and, awards or media. , but it was still a little hard because people expect you to wear an office looking clothes and sit somewhere in the office at least.  But, right now having had remote experience and, you know, you notice that I have a perfect wifi connection at old times. My, my entire house is perfect, kind of an office spot for, for me, you know? And so it is for all of my teammates. So in terms of, being a remote company, I feel like it become, it became easier to present ourselves as such, and also it actually provides additional level of just kind of calmness and trust for our clients, because they know that we are sort of thriving in this environment, as opposed to trying to adjust to something that’s extremely novel for us.  

Louis Beryl    00:28:27    Your company Wunderdogs was prepared for kind of this remote work revolution, but what about your clients? How do you see them adapting?  

Daria Gonzalez    00:28:36    So we also, again got really lucky because a lot of our clients are tech driven businesses, and I feel like they are prone to adoption way more than more traditional businesses. And a lot of them already had partial remote teams, whether it’s, you know, it team that works elsewhere, or just kind of having several offices. I feel like working with cutting edge companies was really helpful for us, in this sense. But, we also still work with a whole number of, you know, more traditional stores including even retail and with these folks, it’s been very hard on them. So from our end, we actually launched a couple of initiatives as well to provide higher discounts for, you know, companies that want to do โ€œdigital transformationโ€ or set up an e-commerce direct to consumer experiences.  And, it’s been harder on them, but I feel like it’s kind of good for our business because people think digitally, they think, how to adapt and innovate more nowadays, even if they are traditional business. And, I think that, you know, it’s, it’s really interesting for us to be working in such an environment, but we are trying to help as much as we can. So for example, for a month, we opened what we called Wunderline, which is essentially a professional hotline for founders and kind of business leaders who need any type of advice on how to build a website.  

Louis Beryl    00:30:19    That’s awesome.  

Daria Gonzalez    00:30:20    It was really fun. We ended up talking to over a hundred startup founders. , we, you know, someone from our team was on call for two hours every day, for a month. And, we got a lot of like incredible connections and gave away a lot of advice, learned a lot. , and also got like this amazing, just kind of feedback from people around us and actually helped a whole bunch of people. So, you know, we’re feeling fine during the crisis, but we want to help others who are not.  

Louis Beryl    00:30:57    So another thing I wanted to talk to you about is being a female founded company, and you’re a female founder, your co founders, a female founder. And, but yet you work in a lot of traditionally male dominated industries; technology, VC, you have clients in blockchain and crypto I’m sure, like, and Shell. What’s that, what’s that been like? And, I’d love to hear about, you know, how, how you position the company and how you, you know, any things that you think are changing.  

Daria Gonzalez    00:31:33    Yeah. So to be completely honest with you in my very personal experience, and you know, I also come from Russia and, some argue it’s way worse there, for a female founder, some actually argue that due to like the USSR, legacy, it’s actually more equal rights in the professional workplace. But, you know, I would say that I actually never really encountered anything that happened specifically to me in the workplace that would make me feel, you know, like I’m less important in the room or unwelcome or threatened, but I’m kind of always also like a tough person. You know, I don’t look like one, but I have a thick skin. I haven’t personally touched on that trend, but I do know that it exists. And, you know, a lot of my female, colleagues and, you know, especially in the creative industry as well, it was so bad probably 10 years ago.  , two amazing founders launched a 3% conference, which was a conference about, kind of the fact that there were only 3% of women and the decision-making roles and the creative industry, but it’s mostly about, you know, large creative agencies. So what the funny thing is, out of six people in our executive team, in our company in Wunderdogs, only one is a male. And, it kind of happened by chance. We didn’t really, you know, for, for some of our designers, we even once did kind of like a blind testing on purpose to test if we’re biased towards one end or another, we, we didn’t know who the person was until we actually, you know, saw the, the, the design test that they, they did. And, you know, we have an incredible design team and, you know, a lot of it’s, it’s really fun for me and very kind of hopeful for me to watch how pretty much maybe almost half of our clients are actually either have, either are founded by a woman, startups that run by a woman or have women in decision-making positions. , and, you know, we actually provide quite high discounts as well to people, to minority leaders and female founded companies as well, because we are in a, we’re a small agency, but we’re trying to support other folks, as much as we can. So can’t comment much about the hardships, but I know they exist.  

Louis Beryl    00:34:16    I want it to end with, you know, as you think back to the starting of Wunderdogs and where you are today, there are a lot of, a lot of entrepreneurs are listening to this podcast. And a lot of these entrepreneurs want to start agencies just like yours, whether that’s a creative agency or a different type of agency, what would be the advice you would give to those, those budding entrepreneurs thinking about starting their own agencies?  

Daria Gonzalez    00:34:40    So in terms of advice, you know, we started as a very non traditional creative agency because neither me nor Olga, my co-founder, had kind of a pure, you know, designer or brand strategist experience. And, we have struggled a bunch because we didn’t have it, but we also managed to leverage our difference. And, I think what really works for us as a Wunderdogs dose is our additional experience. We’re not only designers, we’re also former investors, former founders, you know, operations and so on. And I think a lot of times, if, you know, if we talk exclusively about designers and the design world, a lot of times designers, state designers, so they can be very keen and adept in terms of design principles and new trends and tools. But if you want to really launch an agency and you want to be a solo, or do you want to be a solo who serves clients, you have to be more than that. , you have to really educate yourself on the type of industry the clients work in and on the type of, you know, just kind of where the world goes, where their business goes, because what’s important, especially nowadays, at least with the clients that we work with is that you’re not just providing design, you’re helping them solve their business problems by means of design and creativity.  

Louis Beryl    00:36:11    This is true, whether you’re building a design agency or an accounting.  

Daria Gonzalez    00:36:15    Exactly, exactly. You have to understand what their pressing needs are, how to address them and think kind of beyond, you know, as I mentioned before, what’s cool or trendy, and more into what actually is the solution. What can help them, what can empower them?  

Louis Beryl    00:36:33    This has been great Daria. I really appreciate it all the time. Thank you for being on the startup stack. It’s been really wonderful, wonderful hearing about Wunderdogs. Thank you for all the time today. Thank you Louis. For more on our conversation today, visit We upload a new episode every week. So if you haven’t yet make sure to subscribe to the startup stack in Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to it. Thanks again for joining us. See you next week.

Announcer 00:37:06    The Startup Stack written and edited by Hannah Levy, produced by Leah Jackson. 

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