From Emily Atwood, Thomas de Lyon, Connie Leung, Zack Looman, and Billy Phillips, working with Resultados Digitais – Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil.
For our IBD project we traveled to Florianópolis, an island in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, to work with the digital marketing startup Resultados Digitais (“RD”) on their education business unit, RD University. Floripa is nicknamed “Silicon Island” and so a natural partner for us as Bay Area MBAs. RD is a fast-paced work environment full of young people and we quickly felt at home.
Our days always start with breakfast at our hotel, a spread of cakes, pastries, fruits, juices and coffee. We live in a convention center hotel in the neighborhood of Itacorubi, about a 5-minute drive from the RD office, which is next to a mall. We are Uber’s best customers, using them to get everywhere on the island. Our first weekend we went to Rio, so we were very glad that last weekend we got to stay and explore Floripa in the light of day. Although Brazil has undergone a gas shortage due to a trucker’s protest, we have had no trouble with transportation thanks to ride sharing apps.
At the office we’re on the 5th floor in the New Leads on the Block conference room. All the rooms have digital marketing and music-related pun names – my favorites are Frank SaaSnatra and Ricky Marketing. The office is constantly expanding (they are literally adding floors as I write), and there’s lots of room for breakout meetings or to get a change of scenery. We have freedom to meet wherever we’d like, or to take calls on zoom, which we do for people in São Paulo or elsewhere.
Hands down our favorite thing about the office – beyond the RDoers, of course – is cake day, which happens every Thursday at 3pm. Yes, we have an alarm set so we don’t miss it. Nothing beats going to the kitchen and getting six different kinds of cake.
The work day:
Our first week was all about getting as much information as possible, it was like a firehose. Our project is the benchmarking phase of a larger project that RD is working on, so they are very interested in making sure we get as many perspectives as possible. We’ve interviewed dozens of RDoers, marketing agency partners, and end customers. We’re learning a lot about tech startups, education, and Brazil, and even found ourselves talking about internal and external fit and realize that Ned really did get through to us in our Strategy class.
We feel especially challenged that our final presentation will be to the entire company of RDoers—we want to be sure that our work is clear and that everyone understands how it might impact them. This democratic approach is the norm; the executive team often involves the entire company with what is happening. We have daily check-ins with Caique and Paty, our main contacts, and a midway-point check-in with Eric, the CEO, and want to make sure the whole company is on board with what we are working on.
Food has been very important to us. If we don’t have much time for lunch, we go next door to the mall food court, which we estimate to be upwards of 80% RDoers at lunch time. Otherwise, we go to a churrasqueira (Brazilian barbeque place) nearby, or for sushi.
Floripa is known for its seafood, so after work we try to get out to try different restaurants on the island for some bolinho de bacalão (codfish fritters) or pastel de camarão (shrimp pastry). We challenge Billy to eat steak at least once a day, and he largely succeeds. The restaurants are great, but our favorite meal has been a feijoada (traditional black bean and pork stew) at our RDoer friend Michelly’s house, complete with the whole RDU team.
We will miss the RDoers:
Far and away the best part of our time at RD have been the RDoers, who have been open, professional and kind. We have learned a lot from them and will miss them back in Berkeley!