Mark Dencker graduated with an MBA in Global Banking and Finance from EU Barcelona in 2011 and has since gone on to become the Co-Founder of Wiredelta, a web development agency building web and mobile applications for startups and high-growth companies. The Communications Team recently got the opportunity to catch up with Mark and find out more about his life after EU.
Hi Mark. First of all, congratulations on your company, Wiredelta! Please tell us about where the idea came from and how Wiredelta came to exist.
Thank you! The idea behind Wiredelta actually came out of a perfectly failed company that I started while studying at EU in Barcelona! It was a company with the same co-founder I have now, Thibaut Delarbre, and the company was supposed to be a Vistaprint competitor.
We called it Designing Opportunities and we did everything wrong; poor company name, even worse domain name, no designers or developers were willing to get on board, no backers… everything was an uphill battle. This was when we realized how much the tech industry was lacking a place that enables companies to access a highly trained technical workforce at affordable prices.
When we created Wiredelta in 2012, we were both business graduates with limited technical knowledge. Being outsiders turned out to be a short-term problem by being non-technical, but a long-term strength since it enabled us to see the industry from a different angle.
If you could describe Wiredelta in three words, what would they be?
Training and tracking, which results in the main differentiator: transparency.
We train developers in our tailor-made training program for new graduates that are hungry to learn the latest technologies within web and mobile and then hire the best.
When hired, we track which features are being developed, and after 3 years of tracking we can now tell pretty accurately how much time as well as money it takes to build various features for web and mobile.
We are currently building a tool that we call the Estimator, which allows visitors on our website to generate estimates themselves without needing to talk to a sales or technical person. This is transparency on a level that no other competitors can match today, and we are just getting started!
Starting a company is a roller coaster. Some days everything is running on high-speed rails, sometimes it’s an uphill struggle.
You have offices in Copenhagen and Paris in Europe; and Mysore and Coimbatore in India. Why did you choose these specific locations?
We started in India back in 2012 setting up the institute and agency business. India has huge potential, and the first problem we solved was making sure developers had the right skills to build awesome applications at affordable prices. Running offices in India is a good start, but to really scale a business like ours you will need to be close with the clients.
I moved back to Copenhagen in 2013 to set up pretty much the same thing; the institute and agency, and in 2014 my French co-founder did the same in Paris.
In 2015 we are getting so good at what we do that we are planning to make Wiredelta into a franchise business, where young entrepreneurs – like those coming out of EU – can build their own tech company with Wiredelta as a backbone.
We are currently looking for people who can open franchises in London, Berlin, Munich and Barcelona as I write this… So if anyone out there is hungry to work with the best, feel free to get in touch!
What were the most difficult and most rewarding aspects to building your own idea, company and staff?
Starting a company is a roller coaster. Some days everything is running at break-neck speed, sometimes it’s an uphill struggle. That’s just the rules of the game working in tech and with innovation; creating something new in the world.
Entrepreneurs are people that create something out of nothing, which is probably the hardest thing you can do in life. We knew from the beginning that Wiredelta would be all about the people, so the most difficult has been to spot the best candidates out there.
As a founder I think the most rewarding aspect is seeing how our dream is getting closer to reality every single day. This is also why we know the franchise business we are building right now is so valuable for future entrepreneurs. There is no reason someone should go through the struggle of building what we have from scratch; it’s all set up for plug and play if you want to start a digital firm in your local market.
Please tell us about the most exciting project that you are working on at the moment.
It would probably be a project we are doing in collaboration with e-conomic and the biggest accounting and tax firm in Denmark. The accounting firm has spent the past 14 years building an insane Excel spreadsheet that allows them to generate not just annual, but audited annual accounts with a click of a button, cutting out months of work.
What can students here at EU do to get ahead of the game in web development?
Kidding. If you really want to get ahead of the game you need to create the game! I don’t think there is a framework for success in such a constantly changing field, except maybe a huge amount of work, commitment that will make your family and friends shake their heads, and a little bit of luck.
History is pretty useful here; my all-time favorite is Elon Musk these days… that guy is simply a living legend, but there are many others to take inspiration from and how they managed to stand out from the crowd.
As a founder I think the most rewarding aspect is to see how our dream is getting closer to reality every single day.
What is the most valuable thing you learned at EU which has helped you in your career?
It’s all about the people. The school has done well attracting students from all over the world, and it taught me how important “soft-skills” like communication, negotiation and empathy plays in life as well as business.
What is the most valuable thing that you learned in the first year of your professional career?
Stop wasting your time!
This is a pretty weird statement reading it at first, but I say it probably five times a day now. I didn’t know what it meant myself until pretty recently when one of my mentors said the same thing to me, so let me elaborate.
If you are not sure if you are wasting your time, DO NOT ask questions your parents would also ask you, like “how will this benefit me in my future career” or “will I use this knowledge in my current job”. Instead, ask yourself “was that knowledge interesting for me?” or “did I enjoy the journey from absolute dummy to nerdy learning this?”
We knew from the beginning that Wiredelta would be all about the people, so the most difficult has been to spot the best out there.
If you don’t give a damn about proving Euler’s theorem, chances are you will never be a great mathematician. If you can’t stay away from the computer learning programming, reading about how Elon Musk created SpaceX and changed the private aerospace industry forever, or whatever revs your engines, chances are you should be pursuing something within that.
“A career” is not like it used to be, the world is simply changing too fast for anyone to have a pre-determined “career path”.
Great advice! Thank you very much for your time.
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