Dawid Skinder is the CEO of CHALLENGE Studio. Dawid is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Dawid provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of CHALLENGE Studio. Dawid Skinder joins other leading CEOs and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team has recently awarded CHALLENGE Studio with our Impact Company of 2019 award. We are delighted to have Dawid join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview.
Dawid, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview about your company, leadership, and entrepreneurship.
1. Dawid, please tell us about CHALLENGE Studio.
CHALLENGE is creative studio that loves and strives to be challenged!
We comprehensively take care of your brand, no matter if it is small or big. We are not limited by location, language, time zone or technology. We only reach for specialists of the highest class. Over everything, we value efficiency and quality.
We specialize in branding and digital:
- We design your brand strategy & identity, so it stands up to the challenge.
- We design your packaging, so it catches the eye of the customer.
- We produce high-quality media that compliment your visual communication.
- We design e-commerce platforms that effectively convert traffic into sales.
- We design digital products that put you step closer to your customer.
We've got 14 years of experience, over 90 partners from around the world (and way more successful projects) and over 50 awards and distinctions.
2. How did you come up with the idea for CHALLENGE Studio?
The story of CHALLENGE Studio starts when my personal career gain momentum.
On the one hand I was successful art director in leading e-commerce company and then graphic designer in one of the biggest marketing agencies in Poland. On the other hand I began to feel the limitations of such agency work.
It came to the point when I've needed more freedom and I felt that I can offer the world much more, in my own style, according to my own procedures.
I've started CHALLENGE as one man army graphic design studio. Few months later I was lucky enough to be joined by my friends (later CHALLENGE co'owners) that shared the same ideas and passion.
3. What is the key to your company’s success?
Company's character – we were always and always will be rather small design studio that can offer the same (or even better) quality then big agencies but without all drawbags of working with big agencies (long procedures, enormous budgets, etc.)
Human factor – we've managed to gather group of great and very talented professionals.
Organization of work – from the very beginning we've put huge emphasis to very detailed project planning and effective design procedures. We never allowed ourselves a compromise in these regards.
4. Many of our readers are just starting to build a company. What advice can you give entrepreneurs just starting out with a new venture?
I would like to give piece of advice for those young entrepreneurs who share similar background and creative passion as me.
Business > Your personal creative ambitions.
If you choose to be entrepreneur then you should never let business kill your ambition and your creative soul. If possible always look for improvement, learn new skills, seek for recognition and appreciation of your work both from other creatives and your clients.
But more importantly you should never let ambition kill your business. Business means sacrifices and sometimes tough decisions that may be against your creativity ambitions. If you are not strong enough to choose business (in other words your future) than you will sooner or later fall victim of it.
5. For other entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
Don't be afraid to trying new things. Experiment!
When the things does not go well the worst thing that you can actually do is to sit and discuss for ages and ages what you should or should not do. You will end up talking, thinking, analysing but not trying and doing.
It tends to happen especially when you've got business partners whose opinion you must respect.
6. How do you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
Try to be business partner and business adviser before you actually sell product or service.
If at the first meeting with the client (long before you prepare proposal) you will solve his one, even the smallest problem than he will be your greatest supporter, even if he will not be able to afford your service or product.
You will be surprised that he will come back one day, whenever he will be ready.
7. In today’s fast changing business environment, how do you stay abreast of things?
But do you really need to, at all costs, stay abreast of things? Is it really possible?
You can scroll Linkedin all day long, read hundreds of articles and books and attend every business conference. But will you not lose the precious time that you could spend on the development of the company?
I would argue that at the very beginning of your business career you should focus on testing your ideas, developing MVP rather than trying to be visionary or "businessman of the year".
8. What is your “Why”? Why do you get up in the morning, and how do you keep yourself at peak performance to lead CHALLENGE Studio?
It used to be my ambition (the desire to be the best businessman, famous creative, and millionaire), now it is my family and their future.
You wake up one day and you realize that what you really need for happiness is not a new super car, but a feeling that the safety and future of your loved ones is secured.
If you are businessman you probably already know how to take care of yourselve. Now prove that you can take care of others.
9. Can you recommend a book that has had an influence in your career? How did it influence you?
Adrian Frutiger "Symbols and Signs".
This books makes you realize that everything in this world (even two simple lines that create X or cross) has got meaning and is here for the reason.
10. What makes a great leader?
Courage and persistence.
Dawid Skinder, thank you so much for participating in the DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We very much appreciate the time you spent helping our readers learn more about what it takes to build a great company and become a great leader. We wish you, your family, and of course CHALLENGE Studio, nothing but the best.