I am Dustin Overbeck, founder/business manager of Town Web Design, and founder/entrepreneur for a new startup called Marina.io. I graduated with an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management in 2006, and had a short stint in 2007 working for a fast-growing startup in Los Angeles. It was to be the job of my dreams, with a great starting salary, tens of thousands of stock options each year, and a chance to live and work in LA. Being a Midwestern boy from Wisconsin, it all seem pretty swell. However, (un)fortunately for me, that dream was cut quite short when I was whacked from that job within about a month from arriving in the city.
Needless to say, I was deeply disappointed in this failure I had given to myself early in my new career, especially since it was my first job after graduating with an MBA. I sat down and wrote in my journal the things that I valued for the next stage of my career, and what I valued for personal growth. Funny enough, this list did not include the benefits that a corporate job provides such as stock options, a six-figure salary, or a company car.
I valued the freedom of being able to live and work where I wanted. I set out on the course to build a business in 2007 and wrote the 20+ page business plan for Town Web Design to make that dream a reality. At the time my girlfriend (now-wife) moved back to her home country, the Philippines, and I started drumming up business in Wisconsin using my laptop and Skype.
“I valued the freedom of being able to live and work where I wanted. I set out on the course to build a business in 2007 which gave me this opportunity.”
2014 marks the seventh year for Town Web Design. The company is the largest web design and hosting firm for municipalities in Wisconsin. Our client base covers nearly every single county in Wisconsin and has over 300 municipal clients across several states. I am quite proud of the fact that despite losing the job in Los Angeles, it was the catalyst to get me to jump start my own business. Is it wrong for me to have Schadenfreude that the start-up in Los Angeles is now hardly in existence, and this is after having raised over $140MM in venture capital.
Another milestone for 2014 is that I will working on the technology for another startup, Marina.io. The goal of this new business is to improve the way that marinas take reservations for their boating customers. I have started with the USPs (Unique Selling Points), and a document outlining the Scope of Work. I have also been collaborating with a great guy in the UK to design the wireframes so that I can provide my developer with the necessary information he needs to do the programming.
The work done in 2014 will be performed while outside of the United States since Marina.io will be first launched for the European market and covering many languages and multiple currencies. It is going to be an exciting journey for myself, and especially for my family.