In the rapidly evolving world of software development and entrepreneurship, stories of innovation often inspire many. At the heart of such stories is an inherent desire to solve real-world challenges, and today’s guest on the “Bright Founders Talk” podcast is the epitome of such ambition.
Mitch DeForest, Co-Founder of Ramped Careers, is not just another entrepreneur; he is an innovator aiming to revolutionize the job search process. Born and raised in the United States, Mitch took the leap of faith three years ago to start Ramped Careers with a unique vision.
The company, driven by the power of Artificial Intelligence, seeks to bridge the gap between job seekers and their dream careers. As we delve deeper into his journey, insights, and the AI-driven future of job searching, join us in unraveling the mind behind this transformative venture.
Mitch DeForest: The Man Behind the AI Revolution in Job Searching
In a recent conversation on the “Bright Founders Talk” podcast, Mitch DeForest, co-founder of Ramped Careers, shared his spirited story of entrepreneurship and the origins of his visionary project. Born and bred in the US, Mitch reminisced about his early inklings to be a founder, likely inspired by watching his father’s own entrepreneurial journey. Starting with a small company in New York City, he quickly navigated the tech world’s winding roads, ultimately founding Ramped Careers with a clear aim: to overhaul the job search process using the power of AI.
Navigating Uncharted Waters: Beyond the Classroom: The Difficulties of Operating
Karim claims that if an organization is not designed to embrace the unknown, they will struggle to make it work, citing the importance of a R&D department. For strategically managing a business, he highlights his skills in marketing, sales, customer success, leadership, and boardroom ethics.
‘The real test is how quickly we can incorporate these new features into our core offering.’
“When I first started, I thought that hiring and overpaying for rock star employees was the way to go. People have a disproportionate impact and can be difficult to find, but it remains true that they have a significant impact. As we’ve seen with Elon Musk and his approach to team building, it’s often the 10% who do 90% of the work.”
It’s not often that we hear of a triumvirate of friends, each being the go-to for career advice within their circles, realizing a collective purpose. This camaraderie is what set the wheels in motion for Ramped Careers. What began as an innate desire to help and coach morphed into a discernible business model. Recognizing the pain points of traditional job searches, from the perspective of both the applicant and the hiring manager, Mitch and his team initially embarked on the path of recruitment.
However, it wasn’t long before the dynamic trio envisioned a more expansive dream—bringing education and job preparation to the masses. Their brainchild’s evolution from one-on-one training to content creation to the integration of AI showcases their nimble adaptability and fervor for innovation. For Mitch, the AI-powered future represents a personalized education at scale, a chance to open endless doors for countless individuals. As Ramped Careers continues to flourish, there’s no doubt that Mitch’s dedication and passion will reshape the way people search for and secure their dream jobs.
Riding the Waves of Business: Mitch on Co-Founding, Surfing, and Pushing Boundaries
Dive into the world of Mitch, one of the three pivotal pillars behind a successful startup. As he recounts the early days, the dynamic between the founders paints an invigorating picture. “The passion for the space, the frustration with the job search — we all felt it,” he says, eyes gleaming with a combination of nostalgia and pride. They weren’t just three founders; they were three pieces of a puzzle, each uniquely shaped yet fitting perfectly into their collective dream. Their common goal? To make the arduous task of job hunting a tad more bearable for everyone.
There’s a palpable parallel between Mitch’s love for surfing and his approach to business. He speaks of riding the perfect wave and equates it to those rare days when everything in business just flows seamlessly. And like every surfer who occasionally wipes out, Mitch acknowledges the rough tides in entrepreneurship. But it’s this very oscillation between soaring highs and challenging lows that keeps him on his toes. The serenity he finds amidst the waves serves as a metaphorical reminder to relax and ‘go with it,’ both in business and life.
Yet, even the most passionate surfers need a moment on the shore. When the journey gets draining, Mitch stresses the need to find joy again. For him, it often means diving into an unfamiliar area or just taking a breather to remember life beyond work. He emphasizes the balance between relentless pursuit and knowing when to step back. “It’s about making it fun and stepping away,” he muses, the Californian sun reflecting in his eyes. The support system he shares with his co-founders is a safety net, reminding him that while entrepreneurship might be a lonely journey, he’s never truly alone.
Embracing the Moment: Mitch’s Insights on Business and Life
“How do we stay present in the moment? Not run too far ahead? Not dwell too much on the past?” Mitch reflected, a hint of amusement in his eyes. His journey in the entrepreneurial world had not been a straight path, and perhaps that’s what made it so compelling. He emphasized the importance of living in the now, and not getting lost in the ‘what ifs’ and ‘could haves’. It’s a delicate balancing act, between embracing the present, planning for the future, and learning from the past. “It’s easy to look back and say, ‘we should have done this’, but the focus needs to be on the present moment and being open to change,” he shared.
For aspiring entrepreneurs watching, Mitch’s message was clear: dive in, and don’t let doubt deter you. “Go find a mentor, learn the necessary skills. Everyone’s making it up as they go along, building off the knowledge they gained along the way.” He laughed, mentioning how the game everyone plays is continuously evolving, and AI will soon make it even easier for someone to build something from scratch without taking massive risks. A weekend venture today could be the next big thing tomorrow.
Interestingly, Mitch’s reflections weren’t limited to the business world. He talked about the escapism he finds in history and how he relates historical tales, like those of pirates, to today’s challenges. “Even back in the day, pirates were figuring out crew management,” Mitch chuckled. “These people from the past tried to solve similar problems we’re tackling today.” As the conversation came to a close, Mitch was asked to encapsulate his company’s essence. “The job search sucks,” he admitted candidly. But with innovation and technology, Mitch believes that personalized, real-time learning at scale can make the process less daunting and more empowering for everyone involved.
Catch the Wave: Navigating Remote Work and Building Bonds with Mitch
“When you’re in an office, sometimes things happen more organically, but in a remote world, we force it,” Mitch emphasized. For many of us, the digital workspace can feel vast and isolating. For Mitch and his team, who have been sailing these digital waters from the beginning, it’s all about intention. They schedule time to discuss, debate, and delve deep into topics. And like any good ship crew, there’s always that calming presence to keep everyone on course. “Having three co-founders is helpful,” he says, “there’s always someone with the voice of reason, even when two others are trying to hash something out.”
“You’ve got to be curious,” Mitch stated with conviction. This sense of wonder is the beacon for entrepreneurs, guiding them through the murky waters of business challenges. But it’s not just about being curious; tenacity plays a vital role. Mitch stressed the importance of having the determination to push through, even on those days when the horizon looks bleak. “The best entrepreneurs reframe their mindset, and just keep moving forward. Even if it’s just a baby step,” he says.
Mitch’s approach to managing a team is simple yet profound: care. Care about your team’s dreams, aspirations, and needs. “All the company is a bunch of humans helping each other out,” he muses. “As soon as you lose that, you’re not a company anymore.” It’s easy to get lost in deadlines, targets, and goals. But at the end of the day, the ties that bind a team, that drive success, are the human connections we foster.