Springfield, MO

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Photo provided by SOLA DIGITAL
Photo provided by SOLA DIGITAL

Startup Corner: Darren Furr and Dan Seawel, Sola Digital LLC

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Minimally viable product …
Mobile and web applications.

Problem solving …
Acknowledging that no two clients have the exact same set of problems to solve, we leverage our combined 30 years of development experience in both software architecture and user experience design to help craft the best solution using the right tools.

Seed money …
No money – just laptops and big dreams.

Hurdles overcome …
One of our biggest struggles has been correcting the preconception of many that custom software is too expensive or difficult to demonstrate return on investment.

Next phase …
These days we’re taking time to build our own ideas. Notably, we are creating a service called Open Hand that will allow nonprofit organizations to build custom mobile apps to reach donors at a fraction of the cost of traditional app development.

Pivot …
Early this year we intentionally narrowed the services we offer. We took an honest look at the list of things we have the capability of doing and stripped away what we didn’t enjoy doing even if it might be profitable. Refocusing on only building mobile and web apps has had more positive benefits than we originally anticipated, including simplifying our marketing and messaging.

Biggest mistake …
Taking any and all work, even if it was not technology we enjoyed working in or if we had reservations about a particular client or idea.

Best advice …
Trust your gut. Your intuition is an invaluable asset – so use it. Sure, get wise counsel from people you trust, do your due diligence and pray before making a decision. But not all factors are quantifiable and oftentimes the good feeling you have about an option will sustain you when the opportunity turns into hard work.

Greatest need …
An espresso maker.

Food for thought …
Our only regret about starting a business is that we didn’t do it sooner. Sure, we’ve had struggles and slow months, and we’ve had to learn a lot of lessons the hard way. But every day we get to use our skills and work ethic to build exciting projects and, ultimately, a healthy business we’re proud of. It’s hard to imagine going back now.


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