Response Labs is a product development company that helps both customers and consumers to share their brands and experiences. They “aim to bridge technologies, integrate platforms, provide deeper user experiences and enhance relevant insights.” Response Labs is located at the ETC Haven Campus.
To get a closer look into the lives of the elusive dad-entrepreneurs, we asked them a few questions about what it’s like to lead a double life.
Firstly, we asked, “What is the most challenging part of being both a father and an entrepreneur?”
Larson: The most challenging part of being a father and an entrepreneur is balancing the time between working and being at home. Owning a business is like having another child.
King: Most challenging? Balancing time and focus between kids and startup. On the one hand, I’m not much of a father if I’m always working. On the other, I’m not much of a provider if I don’t make the startup successful. A related challenge is not bringing the stress of a startup into the home.
Dawes: The work-life balance is an ongoing challenge. As someone who likes to work, I have to be proactive and take the time to be with the family, too.
“Is it easier being a father or an entrepreneur? Why?”
Larson: I don’t know if either is easier than the other. Being a father is awesome and fulfilling in ways that being an entrepreneur can’t be. And visa versa.
King: Easier to be an entrepreneur. My company may not survive or become as successful as I’d like, but there are always other opportunities. With kids, you only get to be a dad once, especially at certain ages or periods in their lives.
Dawes: Both are easy to get into – but if we add the qualifier of “successful” that changes things a bit. I’d say being a successful father is more difficult. Success being that you raise a smart, driven young man or woman with a solid moral compass that positively contributes to society. The advancement of technology has been really disruptive in areas that are instrumental in their formative years. We now have resources like the internet, iPads for students, Khan Academy and distance learning. Kids can now create, edit and distribute their own music and films with just a laptop and a mobile device. And social media. All of these things come with pros and cons and keeping-up with it enough to help kids understand what to embrace, and what to stay clear of is a real challenge.
“What is your favorite part of being a father and what do you like to do with your kids?”
Larson: I love taking my kids on hikes and exploring interesting areas in Baltimore and in the county. I also love taking them to concerts in Patterson Park during the summer.
King: Favorite part of being a dad is having fun and (trying) to be a good role model.
Dawes: Watching the boys move from infants to little guys has been a blast. And now that they’re a little older, they’re my pals – we fish, play sports, all that good stuff. In fact, they helped launch Dundalk Dan’s beef jerky, so we’ve got them in the entrepreneur space already!
“What helps you balance your life?”
Larson: Coffee….and my wife. But mainly coffee.
King: Balance requires prioritization, compartmentalization, and learning that sometime “good enough” is good enough (just don’t make a habit of it).
Dawes: My wife Stacey is a Super Mom and is instrumental in giving me the time I need to get what’s necessary done at work. She shuttles the boys to school, many sports, etc. allowing me to focus on the company.
“Lastly, any advice for future fathers that have a startup?”
Larson: Find the right balance between work and home and don’t stress the small stuff.
King: Take your risks early in your career. Only making enough money to eat Ramen noodles and cover the basics is a lot easier to pull off than when you have a spouse, kids, etc.
Dawes: Having children is a big responsibility, as is starting and successfully running a company. You have to put in the time and hard work to succeed at both. There’s a lot less time for screwing around. It’s absolutely doable though — so go get after it!
ETC would like to wish a Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!
Coworking is becoming a popular trend all over the globe and with good reason. If, by any chance, you are unfamiliar with what coworking is, well let me explain it in the simplest way possible: coworking is a membership-based workspace with a diverse group of professionals in a communal setting.
Now what is it that makes this concept of coworking so effective and appealing to those in the startup scene? To find out we decided to do a little internal research among our own companies here at the ETC to find out exactly why coworking spaces have become so popular.
Community & Culture
Entrepreneurship can get lonely at times, but when you are in a workspace that thrives on energy, it gives you an extra burst of motivation that you may not get from working in your home office or local coffee shop. A close knit community is what makes coworking a great office space option for many members.
Unlike a traditional office, coworking spaces consist of members who are working for different companies and organizations among a variety of different industries. Working among people that do different kinds of work can also make your own work identity stronger. One member said, “having relationships with the different companies lets us use each other as resources”. So when you’re placed in a setting where the norm is to help each other out—and there are many opportunities to do so—it opens up doors.
Variety of Communal Workspaces and Flexibility
Your work environment and style is completely up to you. Coworking allows people to decide whether to put in a long day, sleep in and work late, work early and leave early, take one break, take ten breaks, the options are endless and it’s all based on what makes you feel the most productive. But it doesn’t just stop at having the freedom to make your own work schedule, coworking spaces also give people the option to work in a more quiet space when they need to focus, or jump into a collaborative space with shared tables where interaction is encouraged.
At a traditional business office you are with one company who, more so than not, has the authority to tell you which industry related events or conferences you are or are not going to attend. However, in a coworking space that is definitely not the case. Events are one of the greatest benefits of working in a coworking space. Launch parties, hackathons, tech talks, workshops, venture capitalist guest speakers, happy hours, panel discussions, monthly classes and demo days are some of the most popular types of events that coworking spaces host but the options are endless and in regards to connections, there only going to grow.
Open Concept Office Space
Cubicle life, most people have been there, done that, and as someone who has experienced it first hand I’m sure I can speak for most when I say that it is the worst. Having an open concept office space creates an environment that is inviting, warm, and makes you want to come to work.
Massage Chair (or amenities)
So the massage chair is specific to the ETC space but we had to throw it in here because come on, if your space had access to a massage chair at all times of the day it would be on your list too. Although, to make this more general towards all spaces, it is known that one of the most appealing aspects of coworking are all of the awesome amenities that come with being a member. Coffee, espresso machines, conference spaces, coffee, telephone booths, free printing, did I say coffee?
With the ability to get multiple opinions from people in different industries with different points of view can be extremely helpful when help is needed. However, even though you are surrounded by a group of people, socializing isn’t mandatory or forced by any means. Members have the freedom to pick and choose when and how to interact with others. For example, members are more likely to enjoy discussions over coffee in the kitchen area because they went to that part of the space for that purpose.When they want to be left alone elsewhere in the building such as at their desk, they are able to get that privacy.
Coworking is not your traditional workplace setting and that, in itself, is appealing. Although coworking spaces are becoming a rising trend in cities around the world it is still not considered the norm therefore it’s desirable.
A coworking space opens you up to people and experiences you would have missed in the first place. You’re only as boring as the space and people around you. The excitement that anything can happen, anyone can show up, at any time on any day makes a coworking space anything but boring; which as it would seem, gives justification to this popular trend.
So, are you a startup still working from home or your local coffee shop?
If so, it might be time to consider coworking as the next steps in moving your business forward. For more information about the ETC or to schedule a tour contact us or email us at email@example.com.