MESA sat down with Matt Hardy, CEO of Kidblog, to ask him about his experience working with MESA.
Tell us a bit about your background, your career history, and your business. What prompted you to get involved with MESA?
I obtained a Computer Science Degree, pivoted into Master’s in Education. Was a classroom teacher for 8 years. Unknowingly built a business to give students a better learning experience. Kidblog grew out of that – became his full-time job. Audience is the key word: focused on K12 Education, Kidblog has unique features designed with teachers / students/ families / administrators in mind. Kidblog now plays a significant role: it is THE go-to platform for teachers to get students to write. I knew early on that mentorship would be an essential component to building a business and knowing how to approach all aspects to building product/team/revenue, etc. I had other informal Mentors, but the MESA model was particularly appealing in that it is advisory without any ownership which creates objectively and candor. It helped us assess who we were and where we were going.
What was your biggest business challenge before working with MESA? Has MESA able to help you work through it, and if not, what happened instead?
My biggest challenge: how to even engage with the local business community coming out of education (which is insular), just knowing there are other people dedicated to helping people build their business was a pleasant surprise. Having a formal relationship provides accountability to both us and to MESA. It’s really easy to give bad start-up advice. MESA is committed to giving the best advice and is the most legitimate resource out there. MESA provided nice introductions to other people / teams in the software community who have had successful exits. There is obvious wisdom on the MESA team. One key MESA principal: REAL C-level folks with real day jobs working in the trenches.
What, specifically, is your favorite part about working with MESA, and why?
Monthly meetings were a great reminder to step aside from the minutia. Setting goals that originally seemed to be very difficult to reach (with MESA prompting), then actually meeting it. Seemingly unattainable – helping us stretch and think bigger. There is so much hype in the world, but MESA helped strike an appropriate tone and be realistic.
If you were going to recommend MESA to a colleague, what would you say?
Definitely apply. Use MESA to the fullest extent you can because they are there to help. Respectfully do what you can to engage with the other MESA minds. There are a lot of really good people with diverse experiences,
What three words would you use to describe your experience with MESA?
Encouraging. Disciplined. Motivated.
Anything else you want us to know about your experience with MESA?
It’s OK for MESA to crack the whip and call out the Mentee a little more.