Pop Quiz, Monday with Darius Ferdows, Chief Executive Officer at Mindsquare
The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.
I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.
Can you please tell everyone your name?
My name is Darius Ferdows.
What is your job role?
Chief Executive Officer
Tell us about your company?
Mindsquare is a concussion assessment platform consisting of mobile applications as well as an online web portal for decision makers. Our suite of assessments uses speech recognition, computer vision, mobile sensors, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. The Mindsquare assessment provides one of the most advanced and fully comprehensive assessments for people who may have suffered a concussion all through a mobile device (no additional hardware necessary). We then push that data, in real time, to medical providers through our web portal. All data is secured in a HIPAA compliant environment that can be downloaded to an EMR system. We work with high schools, Universities, leagues, and hospital systems.
What do you love most about your job?
Neurological issues [and brain trauma] are somewhat of an unknown area of medicine, and technology can help our understanding of what is happening within the brain. Our mission is to fuse medical knowledge with technology to help make better decisions. I love working towards this end goal, it is part of our initial mission and why we started this company. Being able to help a massive amount of people at scale is very fulfilling, and this belief drives us every day.
What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Each day that we are not improving our content, technology, and know-how, we fall behind. I believe we have the resources to incorporate cutting technology to helping this growing issue. We have been able to deliver some very helpful products in such a short amount of time, and I have my co-founder and team to thank for that. I am always amazed at what my team can do, and that is extremely exciting. I worry about the millions of people suffering from brain trauma, neurological disease, and patients being misdiagnosed. Another motivating factor comes from a personal story for me, having a family member suffer from dementia and having suffered a concussion myself during my martial arts days, allowing me to see how serious these issues can be. When there is a personal drive to do better, I think amazing things can be achieved.
How do your co-workers inspire you?
Their level of technical knowledge amazes me each day. I always learn from them and truly believe they are some of the best in their field. Collectively we all contribute our expertise which allows for substantial output. I am always trying to tell them how impactful their work is and I must do my part to share these technologies with as many people as possible. They inspire me to be patient, to become a better problem solver, and to never give up no matter how difficult a particular task can be.
How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Coming from an intense consulting experience, I never liked to be micromanaged, so I try to let my team feel relaxed in their work. I don’t pressure them with deadlines. I try to plan everything in advance so that there is never a high-stress situation. That does not mean I am not hard on them when we have a big demo coming up or a large project in the works.
We will conduct trips to certain cities since most of the team is remote around Europe and the US. Its always good to have some face-to-face, relaxed interaction.
What are some of the challenges of your job?
Keeping up to date with the latest medical protocols, understanding the newest technologies, keeping our mission laser-focused, and trying not to get overwhelmed with all the things I need to handle as CEO.
What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Communication is key: don’t assume people understand your perspective and leave things unsaid.
Empathize, be compassionate, and make people feel valued.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Always look at the big picture, stay patient, test out your product with real users as soon as you can, know when to step back, and get your priorities straight.
Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web: