Everyone has an origin story and this one is ours. DigiSavvy is owned and operated by Alex Vasquez and has been in business since 2010. It’s been a crazy ride full of ups and downs—with lots of lessons learned, screaming into pillows, celebrating huge wins for our clients, and generally just trying to be people in the world the best that we can.
In the beginning — Two guys and a card shop
Alex Vasquez and Chris Tolar met while playing a nifty game called Magic: the Gathering and often stayed up many a late night at Dear Mr. Fantazy, in the City of Orange (sadly, it’s no longer around). Alex would often infuriate Chris by playing mind games and trying to get him to lose but Chris’s combo deck and mind for strategy often won the day in those days.
The two, after talking about business, love, life, and everything else decided to set up shop and called it DigiSavvy. Alex folded in his freelance web design business, unfortunately, named Concentric Concepts (you try spelling that email address) and Chris made time in the midst of his busy school schedule to see if this dog would hunt.
Early on, Chris and Alex pitched (and won) several projects, working with several local Orange County businesses.
Still, DigiSavvy wasn’t a full-time thing, it was still very much a side-hustle for the card-slinging friends.
A scrappy startup is born
By 2012, DS was still in its infancy and Alex kept working on DigiSavvy when time allowed it. He worked full-time as a Systems Admin for an insurance company. In the Summer of 2012, he was let go in a series of layoffs. Alex used that time to consolidate his efforts and do DigiSavvy full-time. Around that same time, Chris and Alex landed their largest client to date, Harvey Mudd College.
While there was early success, they couldn’t sustain the business on what clients they had and the two would need to find other jobs and keep running DigiSavvy as a “side hustle” until they could get proper traction.
Whole-assing one thing…
Alex worked full-time as a web developer at a local college while also managing important client projects in what free time he had. It was tiring work. Eventually, his work began to slide with the college, which is boss noted. His clients were getting frustrated at the speed of delivery (or lack thereof) of the project they hired him for. Something had to give.
While watching Parks and Rec, he had a revelation, delivered by none other than Ron Swanson himself.
The very next day, Alex put in his two-week notice with his boss and began making preparations to take on entrepreneurship once again.
Around this time, Chris and Alex parted ways in their business relationship with Alex continuing stewardship of DS. They still collaborate on projects from time to time, however. You might find him working with us on one of your projects, in fact.
“I do what I want day”
February 28th, 2014 was Alex’s last day at his job (aka I Do What I Want Day, dubbed such by his friend, Rachel Cherry). Alex took DigiSavvy as his sole full-time gig and has been at it ever since and he likes to commemorate the day by having dinner with loved ones.
Addition by… Addition?
It’s been a slow path to growth but DigiSavvy has seen growth year over year since 2014 not only in the clients we serve but also in the team we work with. Our team has grown over the years, from a solo shop to six on staff, with a number of trusted collaborators within our collective of digital pros whose expertise ranges from engineering, project management, and design.
During this time, we’ve also worked with some amazing businesses and organizations such as the City of Chicago, Reebok, Huntington Hospital, and more.
It hasn’t all been an easy journey…
There are wins and there are lessons learned and we’ve learned them the hard way, through first-hand experience.
We’ve learned it’s much more difficult to be all things to all people than it is to find a few areas of specialty to serve our clients. Thus we’ve pared our offerings down to Web Development, Learning Management System consulting and implementation, and Marketing Automation.
We’ve also learned that creating repeatable processes, listening to your gut, and communicating well are the keys to happier clients and a happier work environment.
We’ve compiled a few lessons that top our list and will probably share this as a separate blog post (we’re a marketing agency after all).