Meet Mike Schmidt, a strategist with a cool factor of 11 on a 10-point scale. In this latest Q+A Mike gives us a series of very chill answers about the music, books, and media that feed his passion for strategic thinking.
Q: Describe what you do in 5 words or less.
A: Inspire brands to help people.
Q: If you weren’t a strategist, you’d be a…
A: I’d start a natural CPG brand. The founder of method is a former strategist, and I’ve always heard that the best products are the ones that identify a need people have and fulfill it (which is kinda my job).
Q: What drew you to Heart+Mind Strategies?
A: I’d been doing similar work as a one-person strategy consultancy, but the best strategies build off deep human insights unearthed by strong research — which is right in Heart+Mind’s wheelhouse.
Q: Describe your high school self in 5 words or less.
A: Got 93% in every class.
Q: What’s your favorite genre of music to work to?
A: I really like funky roots/rootsy funk, with a hot brass section. Jon Batiste and Lucky Daye are in heavy rotation right now.
Q: What smartphone app can you not live without?
A: The Guardian. It helps me feel connected to current events, but the pace and analysis help me make sense of things and not drown in the tidal wave of BREAKING NEWS.
Q: Do you have any pets?
A: Yes — I have a scruffy overgrown shelter terrier named Boo Radley, who is unbelievably patient with my kids.
Q: What fandoms are you loyal to?
A: Based on the subreddits I subscribe to: college football, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Austin.
Q: What question are you dying to answer that we haven’t asked?
A: My favorite book I’ve read this year.
Q: What’s the answer?
A: “The Sentence” by Louise Erdrich. She is a Pullitzer Prize winning Chippewa author who owns a small bookstore in Minneapolis (where I used to live). The book is about all of those things, plus a ghost story set during the pandemic and George Floyd protests, and is exactly as surreal as it sounds.