Spotlight Story

Adam Lipman Shoots for the Mobile Moon

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Adam Lipman MBA 08 spent nearly 13 years at Genentech and then Roche with increasing levels of responsibility. During his time at Genentech, he completed the part-time MBA program in Sacramento. “It helped accelerate my journey into leadership and I fairly quickly transferred to corporate HQ,” he says.

“I was selected to be part of the integration team following the merger of Roche and Genentech. This was certainly a huge education and opportunity to leverage my MBA. A couple years later, I had an opportunity to join a small software dev company focused in the mobile space called Chaotic Moon Studios. After discussing with longtime friend and the company CEO Ben Lamm, I joined as the COO to build processes and help them scale. In the two years since, we have grown from six employees to more than 100 and from around mid-seven figures in revenue to mid-eight figures this year.”

What are you passionate about in your current work?

I am passionate about execution and continuously improving. A lot of our business is in custom software development services for big brands like Fox, Disney, Whole Foods, Dell and many more. We take great pride in being the best company around in the mobile space, and it takes extremely strong execution to deliver against our brand promise. I love the swagger and the challenge to meet this: It is really fulfilling to see the products we developed featured in the app store and in millions of peoples hands!

Where is your career headed?

I intend to continue to grow Chaotic Moon and evolve the business to build products in addition to our software development services. In the future I will likely found another company with some of my current business partners. I joined the current company after it was profitable, and I’d really like to build something from the ground up. The ground up experience is something I crave!

How has your UC Davis MBA experience helped shape your success?

The strong finance and OB foundation truly informed my work on the integration of Genentech and Roche. It was almost like a lab practical in real life, where I had the opportunity to employ so much of what I learned about topics like organizational structure, accounting, finance, and incentives and controls. Moving into my current role, so many aspects of my education and preparation come into play on a daily basis. I think that ultimately the things I learned at the GSM prepared me to make better, more educated decisions in many areas of the business, from evaluating investment opportunities to managing the AP/AR on a weekly basis.

What is the most significant thing that’s happened to you since graduating?

The sheer amount of media exposure our company has had in the past two years. I have been in the newspaper multiple times, been interviewed on live television and been invited to gala televised events for apps we did to support the BET awards show. Black Entertainment Television is a division of Viacom. It’s like the Grammys, Emmys, ESPYs and MTV awards rolled into one but focused around the African American community.

Your favorite GSM memory?

Some of my favorite memories are group study sessions and prep sessions that culminated in group presentations and class discussions. There were too many of them to count, but I really loved the camaraderie of those late nights and early mornings.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Kristy and I currently reside in Austin, Tex., and my son Colin is two and a half and just starting preschool. While we love Austin, I must say the summers are even hotter than Davis!

How do you support and participate in the GSM now?

In the past I have been able to participate in recruiting events and had the opportunity to provide the School with some strategic input on corporate education initiatives from the perspective of a big employer in the pharma/biotech space. It is certainly more difficult to participate in the community from Texas, but I regularly email with several members of my graduating class, and I always love hearing form the extended GSM network. This last year I had the opportunity to meet with Dean Currall and Development Officer Lana Wickliffe in our Austin office and talk about the GSM and my experience there. I look forward to continuing to support the program and university that has helped accelerate my career!

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