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József Dániel Farkas

fellow of Bridge Budapest, Be-novative, Budapest

My adventure – I.e. what brought me to Bridge Budapest and Be-novative? :)

The fact that I participated in the Fellowship programme of Bridge Budapest and that I have chosen Be-novative is the result of a series of events and decisions. I think that most of the people who are interested in Bridge Budapest, startups and businesses will identify with my dilemma; if not, then you will at least get an image of what kind of people with what kind of life experience apply for this programme.

“Unfortunately”, I lived aiming for the classical career path for a long time, similarly to many of my peers, meaning that one should get a degree, go to a renowned multinational company, work hard for them, buy a small apartment and car after a while, then have a family, and then all you have to do is work until you can retire, and that is it. Thank you. Well, not really...

In my opinion, this wrong track is, amongst other things, attributable to the fact that my parents and the people whom I have encountered and who have been around me so far did not really have any other idea in mind. The other thing was that it had not really come to my mind until writing my thesis during my years at the university that “Wait a minute, I also could make a business anytime I want!”.

Still, there are not any problems with this traditional career path at all, but this is just not the way all of us are meant to walk through. As it is the case with me. Not mentioning that it caused a fair bit of headache to me to decide what the next step should be when I first really faced the issue that right, this is what I had learnt but what I really wanted to do in the next 60 years and what kind of a life I wanted to live and what I wanted to spend my days with in the future.

So, while I had this stage of thinking and searching for a path, somehow, I always watched those YouTube videos about alternative career potions—this was the time when the first great startups like airbnb, uber had their first great boom—and based on the hours I spent watching them I can say that this was a period when I went through a, partly, American socialisation... :-D

When I worked for the first big company, I started to feel that all I see of the entire organisation was only a tiny part, and that I did a very specific task only. But what about the other divisions, functions and areas? A moneymaking business is a much more complex thing than this. I worked at finance, but what about marketing? And sales? How do these departments cooperate? How to pay tax? What is the legal form for pursuing these kinds of activities? How do you build up the financial background of a business? How to get capital? How and what to do with public administration bodies if you wanted to do a business? How should you do the bookkeeping? And so on and on and on and on. The questions were just coming after another...

I felt that if I had the chance to research and analyse more into these issues in the topic of my thesis, then I would choose a topic that is really interesting to me. Therefore, after quite some research, I started to write my thesis about business model tools and their comparison. The knowledge that threw me into the fever and made me curious was that which you can obtain if you build up a business from scratch. And then I had the thought that: “This kind of task and challenge is really something. You must think of everything when you build up the business model for an enterprise; this is something that could be interesting to you.”

This was of course still too broad, but I had already had the chance to define what I would like to spend my time with in the future a bit more specifically. Therefore, I continued my MSc studies in this field—strategic planning and organisational development—where, in addition to completing my studies, I took my time to think to further specify my vision and to get to know myself even more.

I met the Fellowship Programme of Bridge Budapest still before I went to study abroad. I liked it very much back then already, so participating in the programme seemed a very good next step after completing my studies. Anyone who can identify with my story can find that this is a great programme. In addition to the possibility to help the development of Hungarian startups through your work and joining the Hungarian startup community, you can gain experience about the structure an operation of such a small company and how it is to work in it in an initial phase, if you have a career path that is in any way similar to that in the future.

The Bridge Budapest Programme of this year offered the joining of 10 startups, each of them offering different tasks. The one I liked the most was the Be-novative, because it was about working on a real project-level task encompassing many areas and offering a lot of independence. The team members always expected me to deliver solutions, I had to come up with the strategy, plans and way of implementation on my own. It was very exciting. Before that, people used to be quite specific in telling me what I should do, all I had to do was to implement the instructions. What I had here was however a task which was described at a very high level and was only to get from A to B, but the way I was meant to do it was left with me.

I think that I could have had such a job at a larger company much later only, but thanks to the Programme and Be-novative I had the chance to try what is it like to start a project from zero and to be a bit your own boss, in a laidback and young team. :)

Coming to the end of my series of blog posts I would like to thank Bridge Budapest and the Be-novative for the opportunity and the experience!

I am very happy to know that there are such organisations in Hungary. One thing is sure: I will continue to be a dreamer and someone who executes instructions. :)

We dream. We do. - Bridge Budapest