We had the good fortune of connecting with Ivan Ormuž and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ivan, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Something in the lines of: “Hey, this thing that we enjoy doing can solve other people’s problems and there’s room for personal growth, so why don’t we try making something out of it?”. Other than doing something we enjoy doing, we (myself and the other 3 co-founders) were extremely unhappy with our jobs at the time and were searching for something more to do with our lives. Additionally, we wanted to break free from today’s 9-17h standard, have better control of our time and finances, and responsibility for our own actions and decisions.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
As with most of the things related to art, getting where we currently at was definitely not easy (sometimes it still isn’t), or even planned. Unfortunately for us, next to working in the art industry we choose to work with technology that is overall still “young” in the world, especially in our country. As there is no clear standard for it, one of the bigger challenges was (and actually still is) explaining to the customers our capabilities and to justify the prices for our work, at least locally. So we adapted and evolved, got rid of some methods and services, introduced other. But we always tried and still try to stay true to our core ideas. We overcome challenges with a cliché: little sleep, a lot of hard work and patience. Having your own business means your workhours are basically non-existent, so sometimes it’s more of a challenge to balance work with our personal, “free” time.
The biggest lesson we learned in these 4-5 years was that a good business plan can make a difference between a successful and a failed business. But also be aware that things might always deviate from it, so start slow until you find a good footing, then be patient and consistent. But then again, sometimes ramming your head into a wall and hoping it breaks also works.
All in all, we’d like everyone to know that we’ve invested a lot of blood, sweat and tears into our work. We were advised multiple times that this is a business and than we should not to attach ourselves too emotionally to it. But how can we not? We love what we do and how our work and art makes us and everyone connected to it feel. It’s something we’d like to leave for future generations to continue building upon. I guess with everything else that’s also something to be proud and excited about, no?
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Depends on what he’d be interested in. Luckily, Croatia is a country full of life and variety, and its capital Zagreb is no different. Not sure a week long trip would be enough, so let’s say he’d be more interested in cruising around the town.
Sightseeing through Old Town is a must, as is a hike to the Medvednica moutain just above the city. Jarun or Bundek lakes are great for bbq if you wanna be surounded by other bbqers, or I could arrange something at my weekend cottage half an hour from town for something more private and chill.
On a nice, sunny day just walking around town, visiting places and talking to people is also a great experience. There are many hiden gems to go and eat or grab a coffee, plus a dozen more known places.
More specifically, Dobar Zvuk, Tolkien’s House and Alcatraz pubs are awesome places for beer (and rock) lovers.
Lanterna na Dolcu is a great “old school” restaurant with quality local dishes, Restaurant Agava is an awesome mediteranian focused restaurant and Mano is great if you wanna grab a quality steak..
These are just some of many places to visit around the city.
Other than that we could spend a couple of nights pub crawling and wouldn’t go through all of them.
More specifically, Vintage Industrial Bar and Bikers Beer Factory are nice places to go and grab a drink, a nice burger and listen to some live music. Masters Club is a bit at the edge of town, which is perfect for its chill atmosphere if you wanna grab a coffee (or something extra) in peace or attend some underground concerts/parties.
Swanky Monkey Garden bar and Blend bar are awesome places if you’re in a mood for a relaxing coctail, music and overall experience.
“Tkalća” street is full of people, music and excitement during the night, as is the Flower Square (“Cvjetni Trg”).
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are plenty of people (and their businesses) we’d be happy to name, that helped us out with either their time, knowledge, finances and/or by just simply listening to our troubles. To name a few:
Our co-founder’s father Damir was and continues to be a great mentor and financial support, as (hopefully) and father would be.
Our long standing business partner Nikola with his business Mikrotvnornica d.o.o. is someone who’s been us from the start and also grew his equally old business in the process. Other than being moral support to each other, we exchanged many experiences and learned a lot from working on different projects together.
And last but not least, our close friends and the rest of our family, who have been extremely supportive and patient with us throughout this journey.