Pop Quiz, Monday with Darren Winterford

Having fun is central to our culture – and we tend to like doing things a little different – our US office, for example, will embark on Axe Throwing for their Xmas party.

Photo credit: Darren Winterford

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?
Darren Winterford

Photo credit: Darren Winterford
Photo credit: Darren Winterford

What is your job role?
CEO and founder of Ed App

Tell us about your company?
We are changing the way people learn at work. Ed App is a mobile-first, microlearning platform that delivers engaging and effective on-demand microlessons directly to users devices.

Our solution breaks up learning content into easily digestible bite-sized pieces and reinforces core concepts with engaging games and rewards.

What do you love most about your job?
Without a doubt, it’s our amazing people. We have teams in Sydney, New York, and London and I am lucky enough to work with all of them. Every day I get to talk with engineers, project managers, client service staff, account managers and salespeople, so my role is not only varied but really inspirational.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
We are on a mission to change and challenge learning behaviour within workplaces across the world. We are having a real impact on global organisations, and it is gratifying to see our teams not only creating cultures of continuous learning within these companies but also hearing directly from these clients about our leadership in this space, both regarding our product but also our thinking.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
As a tech company, we tend to skew younger in terms of employee makeup. We are also highly international, the Sydney office alone has more than a dozen nationalities among the various teams, our US and London teams are similar in the mix.

These two elements create an amazingly powerful mix of insightful, broad thinking and highly motivated team members.

Our software engineers are leaders in their respective fields, particularly in mobile and I am continually impressed at the insights and commercial capability of our client teams.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Having fun is central to our culture – and we tend to like doing things a little different – our US office, for example, will embark on Axe Throwing for their Xmas party.

Most offices will have gatherings at least weekly for social activities whether it be a social activity or simply weekly drinks nearby.

I think what makes us unique though is that apart from the many regular organised activities, we try and make use of communication tools like Slack to foster fun and a sense of fun and community between the various teams. For example, we have a #daily-jam channel on Slack that every employee contributes to, sharing a piece of music currently inspiring them.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The hours can be a little challenging with offices covering almost every time zone!

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
One of the most important is to stay focused on the outcome you are looking for. Often with projects, objectives can become lost when the twists and turns of project and stakeholder management begin.

It is essential to regularly review the outcome you set out to achieve and ensure the team, and all resources are still working toward this result.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Contrary to what many believe, I would encourage as much collaboration and sharing of information and ideas as possible.

There is a common misconception that early-stage products should be shrouded in secrecy, but I have found some of the most significant advancements come from sharing and discussing ideas with industry leaders and contributors.

Their insights can not only help you where to focus but also importantly what to avoid.

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:


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