We had the good fortune of connecting with Casey Koppes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Casey, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
Always be versatile. As a Product Manager, you have to adapt to the unforeseen and ever-changing landscape. The ability to prioritize and stack rank each and every bug, feature, client request, and revenue earning opportunity is the key to success. When the COVID-19 pandemic first began, there was a lot of uncertainty on whether our clients in the hospitality industry would ever bounce back. However, we remained resilient and positioned Ivy, our AI-enabled text messaging platform, as a must-have contactless communication tool in hotels. The ability to embrace change and find opportunities for success is the most important lesson I’ve learned.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As a kid, I was always fascinated by technology. Whether it was having the latest gadget, helping friends bootleg music, movies or software, or even setting up WiFi networks at home, I’ve always embraced tech. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, but later migrated to my parent’s hometown in small town middle America, right on the banks of the Mississippi River in Iowa. I went to college at the University of Iowa, I majored in business but enrolled in plenty of information technology-focused courses. I saw a world about to blast off into the digital age, and by focusing my education on technology, I’d set myself up for an exponentially expanding career path. After I graduated, I spent time working for IBM, before transitioning into an IT consultant role at Accenture. Soon after, I relocated to LA, and what a culture shock that was! I had to learn to live in a densely populated metropolis, completely by my own means. In my early 20s, I had quite the life. On weekdays, I jet setted my way throughout the country, tackling high profile projects for major Fortune 500 companies in war-room style conference rooms with my team. I spent many nights in hotel rooms, then made it back in time to spend my weekends soaking up some sun on the beach. As my career continued to develop, I found myself in many product management roles as a consultant. I knew I wanted to grow something from the ground up, so I made the decision to join the start-up life. I was working on building apps designed as a guest services platform for hospitality clients. I really enjoyed the role of Product Manager, building a business, and solving the communication problems that I had experienced myself as a road warrior staying at hotels. A few years ago, I joined Go Moment, an innovative start-up that merged the concept of a guest services tool with an AI-power text messaging platform. I was delighted to see businesses attempting to use text messaging to engage with customers through the personal communication channels that they’re already used to using, making it easy to drive engagement. This zero-barrier-to-entry methodology also laid the groundwork for expanding our AI tech to handle voice requests via Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa! In October 2020, I was invited to participate as a speaker at Twilio SIGNAL 2020 to discuss how to scale your business using texting and WhatsApp. I was honored (and a bit astonished) to be seen as a thought leader in the evolution of B2C engagement and communication. I consider myself lucky to be a pioneer as head of product in a start-up that facilitates intelligent AI conversations over text message, thrusting forward the world of contactless B2C communication.. (P.S. My Mother still thinks I do IT technical support 🤫)
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
To me, the best part about living in Los Angeles is the proximity to the beaches. It’s such a treat to have good weather and be near the ocean. Whenever somebody is visiting or I have recommendations, it’s usually centered around those activities. A perfect day in LA starts with brunch — my favorite local spot is Simmzy’s in Manhattan Beach, which has a great breakfast and even better mimosas & sangria. Next, I’d take a bike ride down the famous Strand bicycle path, then end the day playing some volleyball until sunset. Some of my other favorites are Playa Provisions, The Destroyer (our office fav), and drinks at Elephante. Cheers!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Throughout my career, I’ve been surrounded by exceptionally talented and intelligent people. The colleagues that stood out most are those who are willing to take on any project, knowing they’ll be challenged but confident they’ll figure out a solution. It’s challenging to find that mentality in a leader, so my shoutout is to Raj Singh, founder of Go Moment, the company I help to grow exponentially every day. Featured last year in Voyage LA, he deserves a shoutout for his entrepreneurial mindset, always hungry attitude, and ability to be versatile in any situation. These are all qualities that inspire me to do my best.