We are aspiring polymaths, compulsive makers and dauntless knowledge seekers who get up every morning excited to discover something new. We believe that the best way to improve human lives is to merge diverse passions to solve problems in novel ways.
With deep expertise in human behavior, business consulting, technology, and software product development, we excel when we combine our knowledge with the knowledge of experts in various fields to create innovative experiences that improve lives.
Look up the definition of a technical polyglot and you’ll discover a type of individual who possesses an irresistible urge to learn--who spends time alternating between working with their brain and working with their hands. And it would serve as an apt description of Dave, whose perfect weekend consists of tinkering on his old Jeep during the day, and getting lost in the reading of a philosophy book at night.
At Two Ravens, Dave applies his knowledge of technical systems and how people interact with them to solve problems at scale. Which makes sense when you consider he earned a double-major in Management Information Systems and Marketing while attending Auburn University.
Dave has a wide range of technical experience, from architecting distributed systems in Amazon Web Services to building mobile apps to complex web development. He firmly believes in using the right tool for the job, and works hard at identifying promising new technologies to meet our clients’ diverse needs.
“I’ve never enjoyed doing the same thing over and over again. As a programmer, if you’re doing that you’ve failed because you should’ve automated it and made it reusable. Taking that attitude a step further, I also like to find new approaches to solving problems. That’s what makes the prototyping stage of innovation so interesting to me.”
For Dave, the journey of learning is a never ending process so whether it’s brewing a batch of beer or designing a new algorithm, the satisfaction comes from creating something useful that can be of benefit to others.
Even as a teenager writing code to improve inventory management for his Dad’s small business, Donnie knew that he wanted to dedicate his talents to helping people solve problems--to make lives better--through the application of technology. From that humble start, he went on to solve difficult problems for businesses large and small, including stints as a web developer, programmer/analyst, and management team lead at some of the nation’s most recognized automotive, healthtech, fintech, and consumer brands.
Wanting to take what he’d learned and apply it to business challenges that could impact even broader audiences, he set out to form Two Ravens, an innovation consultancy that puts problem solving through design thinking at the heart of every project. And doing it in a way that isn’t internally disruptive for the client, even though the results of those efforts can have that effect on the client’s industry.
“At Two Ravens we talk a lot about helping our clients create a culture of innovation. I find it fascinating that start-ups always seem to be trying to break some entrenched mindset while large companies can appear to fall victim to it over time. I’ve observed with every group of humans that I’ve ever worked with that they adhere to certain patterns of thought and behavior and you can introduce new patterns but it has to be so strong that it becomes its own pattern over time.
To impact a company’s culture, a new thought pattern has to be self-validating and pervasive. We believe that our innovation methodologies help to facilitate a core mindset shift that first takes shape at the individual level, and then spreads to the team, group, and division levels until it scales up to the company at large. At that point, a company can truly say it has a culture of innovation and that’s an amazingly powerful place to be in today’s fast moving economy.”
So whether it’s helping a start-up better understand the end user experience or coaching a Fortune 500 company through the research and development process towards an innovative new product or internal process, Donnie is going to be found at the center of activity, guiding the team to ensure that great ideas have the best possible chance of becoming amazing experiences.
Strategist. Behaviorist. Conversationalist. Human Advocate. These are all apt descriptions for Lindsay, who is our research and behavioral scientist with a PhD in psychology and Masters in Outcomes Research. Everyday she is continually developing methods to discover new insights, designing new ways to apply old insights, and translating existing psychological and behavioral theory into actionable measures that give voice to unique populations and inform the innovation process for our clients.
Of course, that’s when she’s not organizing a Two Ravens axe throwing outing or acting as master of ceremonies for local community events. And she isn’t the type of person that blindly adopts the commonly accepted theory or explanation to difficult issues, as evidenced by the fact that after graduating from Vandy with a double major in psychology and sociology she chose to work for two years as a corrections officer to observe first-hand the inner workings of the criminal mind, prior to beginning her doctoral studies at UAB.
“While it’s true that most companies know that they need to stay ahead of their market and that innovation plays a role in that process, they typically don’t know where to start or how to best invest their time and resources to quickly achieve measurable results. That’s what makes my job so interesting. I get to apply what I know about human behavior, cognitive development, motivation, decision-making, perception, and even persuasion in order to help clients identify the core needs of an affected population and then translate those needs into solutions that make people’s lives better. That’s true whether it’s a new product, process, or internal tool.”
Whether she’s helping a client to better understand what their customers or internal audiences are thinking, instructing students in the finer points of conducting and evaluating qualitative and quantitative research, or exercising her passion for cooking by throwing an elaborate dinner party that inevitably includes a desert with enough chocolate to feed a small army, Lindsay is sure to be putting 120% into whatever she’s doing and neither our clients, her students, nor the dinner guests would have it any other way.
Don’t let the white hair fool you. While it’s true that Marc has logged more years on the career path than any of his fellow Ravens, the color of his mane is hereditary and began its inevitable descent to its current pigmentless state back in his late twenties. As the old saying goes, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and Marc puts that principle into regular practice by leading a team of volunteers that serve a hot breakfast to the homeless in downtown Birmingham each month--resulting in over 20,000 meals served to date.
When it comes to marketing communications, there’s no part of the lead generation ecosystem that Marc doesn’t find worth trying, testing, and optimizing to achieve the maximum result possible. That holds true for both B2B and B2C campaigns, especially when it involves data based marketing tactics that utilize predictive modeling to promote sales growth, increase cross-selling, lower acquisition costs, or boost profitability. And he’s been able to put those strategies and tactics into practice for a wide range of companies including venture-funded startups, multiple Fortune 1000 firms and nationally-ranked healthcare insurers and providers.
“Throughout my career I’ve sought to learn something useful about as many channels of communication as possible. That journey began with a journalism degree and progressed to traditional advertising and on through the rise of digital marketing. My real passion lies in the exploration of what motivates someone to choose one channel over another, or in combination with others, when looking to purchase a product or service.”
When not planning acquisition campaigns or developing user personas, Marc can often be found enjoying live music at one of Birmingham’s many entertainment venues, hiking the trails at Red Mountain Park, or simply spending some quality time with his family and friends.
You might say that Scott Pierce, known to most simply as Pierce, is quite literally a born technologist, having written his first production code at the age of ten for a software company owned by his parents. Young Pierce grew to be so proficient as to be able to acquire his first car in exchange for some loan application software he wrote for a local loan shark--who also happened to be his great uncle.
Upon leaving college, Pierce worked as a software developer for a variety of well-known companies and government agencies before taking a leadership position in the technology division of one of the South’s largest ad agencies, where he worked on accounts such as Toyota, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, Mohawk Flooring, Krispy Kreme, Vulcan Materials, and a host of other Fortune 500 companies.
“I’ve been told that I have a natural gift for translating tech speak bi-directionally from the client to technologists and then back again to the client from that group. This comes in handy at Two Ravens because we solve difficult problems that oftentimes require us to gather input from a variety of sources, so being able to translate that empathically into a solution that is going to actually address the real problem is of paramount importance.”
In his spare time, Pierce likes to read, cook, and play with his cats, but never combines cooking with his cats. He has no qualms about working a stage and does so regularly as a trained improvisational actor. Of course that’s when he’s not ascending the peak of some mountain, as he’s done successfully in climbing to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. He’s also, by his own assessment, a mediocre musician in multiple instruments including saxophone, guitar, and piano and can sight read music, though he always has to transpose the bass clef.
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