Davies Allen, P.C. Interviews Cody Dingus, Founder of Finders Seekers
Meet Cody Dingus founder of Finders Seekers, LLC. Finders Seekers is a monthly subscription that’s like an escape room in a box that subscribers can play at home. Each month they focus on a different theme of a different country or city throughout the world. “Our players transport to this international city, and they learn about a place and the culture, different sites throughout the city while they’re solving a puzzle or a mystery. They put all of these puzzle pieces together, and at the end they are able to solve a larger mystery.”
Before Finders Seekers, Cody was working a boring corporate job he wasn’t enjoying, so he was looking for a hobby as a creative outlet. Cody was on his way home from a terrible business trip, where he was away from his family for two weeks, and he was listening to a podcast on the plane about this scavenger hunt taking place on the dark web. “I thought about it – what could I do to put a positive spin on something like this as some kind of game. It’s a combination of all of my interests – I love traveling, history, different cultures and learning about them, and design. So, I came up with this idea of Finders Seekers to put together all of those things. At first it was just a hobby. I worked on it weekends and nights, and two years later I was able to quit my day job and go full-time doing this.”
When asked what a typical day in his work week looks like, Cody responded by saying there isn’t such a thing as a typical day. “As a small business owner, you roll with the punches. Every day is different, which I love. I love the variety and being able to work from home, actually anywhere. One of the reasons I love Finders Seekers is I use it as an excuse for business travel. All the mysteries we create, I’ve actually traveled to those cities and tried to experience it. I’ve learned new things and taken the flavor out of that city and put it into the box; sharing my own experiences with the puzzles and mysteries.” The COVID pandemic has slowed the travel for Cody, but he’s hoping to get back out this summer.
In December, Finders Seekers released a US National Parks box – which was actually requested by subscribers. “Usually, our games require internet access to learn a little more about the puzzle and enter your answers to make sure they’re correct. But with the US National Parks we thought it would be cool for subscribers to play the game at a National Park without any internet connection. So, we developed this entire game that was a little bit different from the rest – and subscribers absolutely loved it. Moving forward we’re going to develop more boxes like that, so you don’t have to be online to play.” Finders Seekers also designed 10 different posters featuring 10 different National Parks, and included them in each box, making the National Park box Cody’s favorite.
Fortunately, Finders Seekers revisits boxes, letting people who didn’t know about the boxes catch-up, so watch for the return of the US National Parks box.
When asked what the most challenging and rewarding parts of working in this industry have been, Cody said competition is definitely the most challenging. “I do see a lot of competition developing in the mystery subscription industry, but we’re a little unique in that we really focus on world travel and historical aspects.” Cody says the most rewarding part of working in the industry is hearing people’s excitement. “I love to see that the things that we dream up here at Finders Seekers, and create and produce, are shipped all over the world, and they’re played by families and friends.” One thing unique about Finders Seekers is that participants work together on a common goal rather than against each other – so it really provides an opportunity for people to collaborate and learn things. Finders Seekers highlights the positive in all the different locations that they go to, but they also talk about the struggles. “This month we just released the Washington D.C. box and for part of one of the puzzles, we have everyone read the entire ‘I Have A Dream’ speech by Martin Luther King. We’ve had people say, ‘I can’t believe that I’ve never read that speech before, it’s so inspiring.’ And so, for us to hear those stories, that’s the biggest reward for me, and our little part of helping make things better.”
As for doing things differently in regards to the startup of Finders Seekers, Cody said he tries to live his life with no regrets, “I look at all the mistakes we made that led us to where we are today, and I wouldn’t ever change that. We definitely had our challenges, and there were times when we thought we were going to have to close our doors, but we didn’t, we forged forward and learned from our mistakes.”
When it comes to working with Davies Allen, Cody says it’s been awesome. “Davies Allen has been with me the last two years and has seen me go through the growth and has helped me identify areas where I can save and be more efficient, and go from this really small company, to one that is legitimate and is a medium sized company now. Love the advice and resources they give. They save me a lot of money.”
For aspiring entrepreneurs, Cody recommends just doing it. “I had so many different ideas before I came up with Finders Seekers, and I would get so close to pulling the trigger on it, and then I would chicken out. I think that’s the biggest hurdle entrepreneurs have is just doing it and trying it. You never know what will happen and even if it may fail, you’ve learned something along the way that will help your next endeavor.”
A huge thank you to Cody Dingus. To contact his team, visit findersseekers.com, or you can find them on Instagram @finders.seekers or on Facebook @Finders Seekers Mysteries. Sign up for a thrilling chase delivered to your door each month. Boxes are shipped on the 23rd of each month, but if you find yourself wanting to receive a box sooner, they can ship you last month’s mystery box immediately!