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Pop Quiz, Monday with Matt Miles

Matt Miles
Photo credit: Matt Miles

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?
Matt Miles

Matt Miles
Photo credit: Matt Miles

What is your job role?
Founder and Co-CEO

Tell us about your company?
Aperture is a Los Angeles based real estate technology and investment company. Our proprietary software and analytics are used to surveil over 500,000 residential properties >$190B in value each day looking for attractive opportunities.

What do you love most about your job?
We are working on cool problems that have massive scale. Our focus is the residential real estate market and the $1.4T of transactions that occur each year. Each day we are working to improve experiences and identify intriguing opportunities for home buyers, sellers, real estate agents, and investors.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I really enjoy what we do. I guess I am a finance/ R&D nerd.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
We have a talented team, with diverse work experiences which are all giving 110% because they enjoy what we are working on and believe in the mission. I consider us lucky to have such a positive feedback loop.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Tacos and donuts are integral to our corporate culture. We have also been known to purchase proper mascot costumes.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Small organizations necessarily have to execute better than larger organizations and have a narrower path to success. An under-productive team member, a mistake, a revenue or capital shortfall, reworking the product…these issues are very impactful to small companies who haven’t yet established redundancies.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
If you have the time to inexpensively test something, where there is little consequence from failure just do it. Don’t worry about perfecting the design or endlessly debate the merits. Test, see how it is working, collect data and feedback and then with the benefit of this information figure out how to optimize and whether to incorporate into your long term plan.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
This is more an observation of startups. I am convinced that a lot of great ideas go nowhere and that a lot of mediocre ideas become successful due to one differentiator: money. With access to adequate capital, you can build version one of your product/ service, publish and gain traction. Before you have done this, few people will believe that you can, even if it seems obvious to you. So make sure you have enough resources to get to this stage. Even mediocre ideas reaching this stage have a higher likelihood of raising more money, which critically allows for the hiring of smart people, time to make mistakes and try again, tweak 2, 3, 4 times. The availability of time to work things out will be the biggest driver of success or failure for your mediocre to a great idea.

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:

https://www.aperture.re/

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Written by Ricky Singh, MBA

Founder & Editor of The Startup Growth

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