“Invest in people and relationships,” says one of our speakers at the upcoming How To Conference. “People you spend time with impact who you are and who you will become.”

By Betsy Mikel (Editor, Women 2.0)

We hope you’re just as excited to nerd out about growth hacking as we are! It’s one of the main topics of our upcoming How To Conference in San Francisco on September 30 and October 1. One of the panelists on our “How to Growth Hack” panel is Ada Chen the VP of Product & Online Marketing at SurveyMonkey. She’ll be joining a few other panelists, including Laura Klein, to help you learn how to growth hack for your startup.

Ada ChenHere’s more about Ada’s background: Ada joined SurveyMonkey in February 2014. Previously she co-founded Connected, a contact management startup that was acquired by LinkedIn in 2011.

At LinkedIn, she was responsible for the integration and re–launch of Connected as the new LinkedIn Contacts and also led marketing for Growth and Premium Sales Subscriptions. Before this, she held a variety of product and marketing roles at Mochi Media (acquired by Shanda Games) and Microsoft. Ada holds a BS in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Women 2.0: How do you typically spend the first hour of your day?

Ada Chen: On my phone with a cup of coffee, catching up on social media and news for the day. I check Techmeme, Twitter and then Zite in that order. It’s easy to get caught up in the details inside of a company, and it’s important to stay on top of what’s going on outside of it.

Women 2.0: Who was an early role model who inspired your career in tech?

Ada Chen: My father is an engineer and really inspired me from a young age to explore technology. He used to set me and my brother to small coding challenges as afternoon projects. It was a lot of fun and made me realize the potential for creating great products.

Women 2.0: What do you love about your job?

Ada Chen: Two areas. First, my incredibly smart and talented colleagues are one of the highlights of my day to day work. I love working with great people and building stuff. Second, the work itself is meaningful and significant. Here at SurveyMonkey, we’re helping people make smarter decisions through data. I love the feeling that my work makes a difference.

Women 2.0: What’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self?

Ada Chen: Invest in people and relationships. People you spend time with impact who you are and who you will
become. I keep a list of people who I try to say hi to every few months because they are important to me. Relationships like these have taught me a lot, and are a great source of inspiration and support.

Women 2.0: What do you think the tech world will look like five years from now?

Ada Chen: I’m excited about how everyday devices like the phone, the watch, even stuff like the coffee maker is all getting smarter and more connected. For example, I love how my Withings scale tells me when it’s going to rain in the morning. I’m looking forward to a more connected home and office.

Women 2.0: What are a few apps or tools you couldn’t live or w2sf-tile-growth-hack
work without?

Ada Chen: I would be helpless without Evernote for keeping track of my day-to-day. I use it as a way to prep agendas for meetings and also keep track of conversations. It’s such a great way to pick up where you left off. At the office, we’ve been using Slack for real-time group messaging and it’s great. We’re all so busy during the day, but it’s been useful as a lightweight way to communicate with a broad group of people.

Photo by Sierra Jewell.

Catch Ada speaking on our Growth Hacking Panel at our upcoming How To Conference.