Pop Quiz, Monday with Christopher Coverdale

Christopher Coverdale

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?
Christopher Coverdale

Christopher Coverdale
Photo credit: Christopher Coverdale

What is your job role?
Founder / Blockchain Developer / Blockchain Consultant – Pale Fire Technologies Ltd

Tell us about your company?
Pale Fire Technologies Ltd provides Blockchain Development and Consultancy.

We provide services and have experience in Private Blockchain Development, Smart Contract Development, Cloud Infrastructure Deployment, White Paper Consultancy, Protocol Design and Merchant Integration with Bitcoin and Lightning as well as Open Source Contributions such as LND and Bitcoin.

What do you love most about your job?
I love being able to work on interesting and impactful projects. Every day I get to broaden my horizons, push my limits, pick up valuable skills and insights into the future of Blockchain Technology and Cryptography.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
The fact I really enjoy what I do and continuously learn and improve makes it very easy to “get up and go.” Also having big goals broken down to years, months, weeks, days is especially important for me to maintain motivation.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I work very closely with a partner of mine, Jonathan Few.

It’s essential to have co-works/partners smarter than yourself that can cover your weaknesses or help you to see the parts of the big picture or the fine details that you may have missed. By being as open-minded as possible when listening to co-works/partners, I’m able to receive inspiration and insight into my blind spots.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
About once or twice a month we go for a team dinner and drinks. Also, the tone at work/on the projects is really friendly and informal, we’ve all gone through tough projects together, so we’re pretty close. It’s not unusual before/after meetings to find ourselves joking around about all sorts of stuff (sometimes in meetings too).

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The biggest challenge at the moment is balancing all the projects and responsibilities. Prioritising the most critical projects in a given time frame, even down to items on a Kanban Board can be challenging. We’re continually asking ourselves, what can we eliminate or delegate? We should/need to focus on the most essential and useful tasks for x amount of hours.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Software is complicated, especially Blockchain Technology.

In past projects, I will first usually ask clients, why do you need to use a Blockchain?

Most cases are easily solved by using a Database and usually has much more benefits in performance since we don’t need to worry about distributing data across several machines that need to consolidate the state collectively.

A lot of the lessons learnt from past projects is to eliminate as much complexity as possible. This includes simplifying projects from the scope, the architecture, down to individual lines of code. Any complexity can add 2-10x obvious and hidden vulnerabilities.

“Complexity is the enemy of security” – Bruce Schneider.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Understand your strengths and weaknesses. If you are technical and good developer build on that. If you are great at sales/marketing or relationships build on that. Find a partner you can really trust and connect with, and make sure they will cover your blind spots. Try to be completely honest and open-minded with each other, that way looking for solutions to problems will be about the best ideas, no matter who or where they come from.

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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