We had the good fortune of connecting with Dan Jumanan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dan, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
This is my second run at starting a business. I used to run a design agency where I’d drop into different marketing teams to support campaigns and branding efforts. Now, I’ve co-founded a hybrid marketing agency that fuses strategic consulting and creative services.
What was the thought process behind starting your own business?
– For the last decade or so, the trend in marketing has been how you tell your story – and I don’t disagree. But your story is tied to defining your company’s unique position. That’s very hard to tightly articulate. And it gets harder when you’re trying to amplify it with the right creative direction. More often than not, the result is disjointed, generic or expected. We craft your positioning and creative strategy from the same DNA.
Social impact: how does your business help the community and the world?
– Our focus is helping companies communicate their differentiated value and how they can express their story with authenticity. We have the privilege of working with companies that impact society on a global scale whether it be through improving the quality of health care or by reducing waste in the world’s supply chains. We also offer support to orgs driving social causes we believe in for reduced rates or straight up pro bono – depending on how we can help.
Risk Taking: how do you think about risk, what role has taking risks played in your life/career?
– The risks we take are reflections of the reward we seek. Personally, I have had to take leaps of faith because I was trying to plant my feet on new territories. I started my career navigating various areas of the creative field – designing graphics, storyboarding, mapping user behaviors, etc. Then I wanted to build bigger projects that pulled those disciplines together to build videos, products, experiences or whatever. So, I had to leave steady gigs to find new opportunities and take my swings – hit or miss. It ultimately came down to the advice my Dad often gave me, “You gotta learn by doing.” Risk is uncomfortable, but discomfort is also a sign of growth.
As a parent, what do you think is the most important thing you’ve done as a parent in terms of the impact on your children?
– Man, I still haven’t figured out this parenting thing. I’ve got three kids – and one heading off to college soon (*eyes tearing – haha). As parents know, it’s an evolving part of life. All I can say is spending time with them is key. Everyone gets caught up in the daily grind and life’s many distractions. Joy and I make sure we spend time with our kids, and I mean really carve out time to be with them. We’ve built our bonds by talking with them (not at them), dancing, reading, problem solving, playing, laughing and crying together. So far, I’d say we’ve raised good people.
What is the most important factor behind your success / of your brand?
– Humility. Every time I think I have it figured out, the question has changed – that’s another nugget of wisdom from my Dad. So, it’s vital we listen – a skill often overlooked. When we allow ourselves to shut up for a moment, we can observe, assess and build empathy. This is especially needed in the workplace where we all have objectives that are crashing into each other.
How do you determine whether to keep going or to give up?
– Never give up. The goal might change, and that’s fine. In my experience, persistence ultimately beats out talent. #mambamentality Am I old for using a hashtag? Whatever.
Work life balance: How has work life balance changed overtime? What do you think about the balance?
– The past 3 years have obviously changed the game. Technology has enabled us to connect and be productive remotely like never before. That said, I believe chemistry & culture are outcomes from time together. So, I’m embracing this hybrid iteration of the “workplace”. Being able to get my $h!t done, turn off my computer and immediately start making dinner for the fam (with a glass of wine) is what my balance looks like. It also means meeting up with my co-founder 2-3 times a week to drum up crazy ideas for clients while enjoying each other’s company.
What makes you happy? Why?
– Spending time with my family, drawing in my sketchbook, and eating breakfast burritos. I’d say those are all pretty self explanatory. Please send breakfast burrito recommendation to @dan.jumanan.draws on IG
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
– Grub at La Taqueria in the Mission
– Walk it off with some sweets at the Ferry Building
– Drinks and games the Emporium
– Laughs at the Punchline Comedy Club
– Night cap with low key drinks at Holy Water
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
– My wife/partner/best friend, Joy Jumanan. My amazing kids: Jolie, Elina, & Eli. My dad, Dante Jumanan. My mom, Nelia Jumanan. My day-1 dude, Jerome Palencia. My co-founder, Rob Cheng. My folks at Uppercloud Media. All the creative hustlers I’ve had the opportunity to work with – y’all know who you are.
Photos by Pedro Garcia