Designing YOU is an initiative that is driven by a broad range of professionals in their different fields. Designing YOU would not be possible without the generous support of Mount Royal University's Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Career Services. All Designing YOU e-resources are complimentary for students and educators.
David J. Finch
Before becoming a university professor and co-authoring Designing YOU, I spent almost two decades in product management and marketing roles. After working away in cubicles and on airplanes for some giant companies like Bell Canada and Rogers Communications, I followed my own dream and co-founded a sports marketing agency.
Starting my own marketing agency taught me the importance and limitations of having a plan. Big companies, I realized, like having a plan, but big companies are terrible at actually following them because they’re so big. Small companies aren’t great at making plans, but they’re agile and adaptable.
After twenty years in these different roles asking questions, I decided it was time to find some answers, so I pursued my PhD in management and became a university professor. It turns out being a university professor is less about finding answers and more about asking better questions.
I spent the first 25 years of my career as the product manager for a series of successful and not-so-successful products. I tried to compete with Microsoft in the early 1990s and failed. In that failure, I learned a valuable and painful lesson that you need more than a good product to succeed. I went on to be part of the team that created the first BlackBerry.
I became the CEO of another technology startup and later sold it to Intel, the mammoth Silicon Valley company. Reflecting on my career to that point, I realized coaching and mentoring young people brought me the most joy. I am fortunate to have found my next calling as the Director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Mount Royal University, where I spend every day working with young entrepreneurs trying to turn great ideas into successful ventures.
I am known for mentoring the person, rather than the company, and I’ve brought my person-centered approach to Designing YOU.
The rest of the Designing YOU team is composed of more than a dozen authors and professionals in their fields. Please refer to their backgrounds at the end of each Designing YOU Career Guide.