Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Mike Hawkins – and I’m the Co-founder of Riddle. Our start-up makes interactive content tools that make it easy for social creators such as bloggers and websites to make and embed engaging polls, personality tests, quizzes, and our unique ‘commenticle’. We’ve only been around for a short while, but the response has been fantastic – we’ve had everyone from major brands to independent bloggers using and loving our tools.
Of course, part of the fun and excitement of working with a fast-evolving start-up is that everyone needs to wear multiple hats, and pitch in with multiple parts of the business. In my case, I handle marketing, PR, customer service, a bit of product, content creation, our blog, and a bunch more. It’s exciting – and each day seems to pass in a blur – fueled by large amounts of caffeine, adrenaline, and enthusiasm.
What forms of media have influenced you the most?
Great question! I’ve been an avid (and frankly addicted) reader ever since I was a tot, and any day that I can’t get in some down time with a novel is a bad one in my book. Especially with a love of mind-expanding sci-fi and fantasy by authors such as David Brin, Dan Simmons, and George R.R. Martin. I’ve found that visualizing exotic new worlds and environments has done wonders for my creativity as well as my comfort writing copy of all types.
What hardware / software do you use?
On the hardware side I’m an Apple geek – using a Mac Air that travels with me everywhere. It’s so light, I’ve even taken it on a cycling work/holiday trip. Software? It’s all about the cloud for us – Google Docs is a lifesaver, especially now that their functionality is approaching 90% of the most common uses of Microsoft Office, Canva for image-editing, Slack for messaging/team communication. Come to think of it – I think the only desktop programs I use frequently are Photoshop and Lightroom.
What would be your dream creative setup?
I’m a people person, so I tend to find success working in a variety of coffee shops throughout the day. It’s a bit of a Goldilocks thing for me because I like them not too loud and not too quiet, but just right. The buzz and people watching is a great spur for new ideas, and my noise-cancelling headphones let me block it out whenever I need. The only downside is when you get a dreaded “overly loud cell phone talker” sitting right next to you…ugh.