Pop Quiz, Monday with Kate Edwards

Ask questions! Keep learning! Accept that you don’t know everything and that the industry is evolving every day.

Kate Edwards

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?
Kate Edwards

Kate Edwards
Photo credit: Kate Edwards

What is your job role?
COO and Co-Founder of Heartbeat!

Tell us about your company?
At Heartbeat, we believe brands and consumers should be a team. We’ve created an advanced marketing technology platform for turning consumers into nano-influencers, survey fanatics, and brand loyalists.

What can you do with Heartbeat?
GROW your customer base and acquire new users with our influencer-style marketing campaigns

ENGAGE with active and potential customers with our community-building tools

TRANSFORM data into dollars with our database and survey tools for consumer insights, market research, and demographic analysis

What do you love most about your job?
I love that my role changes regularly, that it grows and evolves with our company. Being a startup COO means jumping in where you need to and making sure everything runs smoothly. I get to do a little bit of everything, and for someone with a short attention span like me, that’s all I could ever ask for.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I believe in what we’re building, truly deep-down in my heart. Heartbeat believes in empowering the voices of real people, and changing the way brands interact with their customers, finally listening to them and engaging with them, rather than just talking AT them. I really believe we’re doing good in the world, and creating a powerful business behind it.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I’m incredibly motivated by our intelligent, creative, diverse team of employees. I feel honored to be continually learning from them, and it’s the people who really make me feel proud of what we’re building.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Our team is incredibly tight, and many of them hang out together on the weekends. We do monthly team-building activities with a great contractor (Jacob Lawrence), we do evening soirees on our Venice Beach roof deck, and our office is actually above a fun bar near the boardwalk, so we’re always finding ways to have meetings at the “office downstairs.” We also love volunteering as a company. We just brought the team for a day of giving at the Downtown Women’s Center, and everyone had an incredible time.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
There are new challenges every day, but I love that aspect of it. My biggest challenges are confronting stages of the business I’ve never encountered before, but I’m thankful to have a team of mentors and advisors who help me grow. You have to have a learning mindset, rather than thinking you know everything, to overcome the most significant challenges.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
I’ve learned a lot of lessons about working in past startups, before Heartbeat. The biggest is to know your cap table inside and out, to understand who owns what part of the company, and to make sure the team is all aligned. I’ve seen so many companies fall apart merely because of founder disputes. Your founders are basically your work wives/husbands, so you have to know them well and trust them with your life.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Ask questions! Keep learning! Accept that you don’t know everything and that the industry is evolving every day. Tech changes faster than people in other industries can keep up, and while that’s exciting, you need to build learning into your everyday life. If you aren’t curious, you shouldn’t work in tech.

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:


Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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