by Karen McCandless
Published on 9 November 2015
Matt Talbot, may be CEO of enterprise software company GoSpotCheck, but that doesn't mean he's your typical suit. Drawing inspiration from Warren Buffett, he is just as at home playing guitar as he is in a serious business meeting.
When he's not immersed in his music, Talbot is focused on the task of better connecting mobile field workers by improving the data they have to work with. Having set up the company with two co-founders a few years ago, he's already tasted considerable success in helping plug knowledge gaps created by the lack of data accessible in the field, as he explained to us when we caught up with him to talk data, startup accelerators, and the benefits of the iPhone.
Tell me a bit about your background and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in Denver, CO and then went to school at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA, which was quite a change from Denver! During my time in school, I was very involved in various entrepreneurial programs and worked as a consultant at Bucknell's Small Business Development Center. After graduating, I accepted a job at Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to participate in their Financial Leadership Development Program and worked at a number of J&J operating companies across the US. It was a great experience, but after a few years, I was ready to strike out on my own and build a business from scratch with the help of two co-founders, Samantha Holloway and Joey Alfano.
My co-founders and I were lucky enough to be accepted to Techstars, a world class startup accelerator based in Boulder, CO. Techstars really helped us get on our way and ended up opening the doors that led to us raising our seed capital in early 2012.
What are the biggest challenges that your customers are facing at the moment and what are their main concerns?
We work with companies that have a lot of employees in the field. Traditionally, if you didn't sit behind a computer all day long, you didn't really have the opportunity to work with great software as part of your job. Most field workers have become accustomed to using a pen and paper or clunky spreadsheets to track activity and submit reports.
As organizations realize that they are creating massive inefficiencies and knowledge gaps with current processes, the biggest challenge for our customers is how to take data sets that typically live offline in a highly unstructured format and move that information to a software product. This involves assembling information from a number of places and standardizing structure, which can be a very daunting task.
Their biggest concerns can be boiled down to two simple questions: first, will my field team adopt this product? Second, will we be able to get actionable insights that help us improve our business by implementing a mobile solution?
And what are the most important trends affecting the industry?
Since the launch of the iPhone, we have seen tremendous growth of consumer mobile applications. However, we are just reaching the point in time where the stability of mobile platforms and the huge saturation of devices are making it interesting and valuable for enterprises to invest in mobile software for their teams.
The biggest trend that we see is the democratization of data across organizations. It's no longer acceptable that field workers should be left in the dark or forced to work with stale data. With the adoption of mobile devices in the enterprise, the vision of an entire organization using and acting on data is quickly becoming reality.
How can the right cloud based technology help overcome the challenges and stay ahead of the curve?
The beauty of cloud-based solutions is how buyers gain the benefit of constant updates and product improvement. The landscape, especially in mobile, is changing faster than ever and it's becoming nearly impossible for organizations to keep up with the change. The right cloud-based solution stays ahead of the curve for you. Great SaaS companies are continuously improving products, staying on top of the latest changes to the hardware environment, and building software that easily integrates with other systems.
Who has inspired you the most throughout your career, either professionally or personally?
I've always admired people that focus on delivering real value. Warren Buffett has been an inspiration for years because I love his down-to-earth sense of what is valuable and what is nonsense. It's easy to get the two confused, especially in times when the market is running a bit hot, but if you can figure it out, you have the opportunity to build something lasting.
From a more personal standpoint, my parents have been a big inspiration for me. They always taught me that if I worked hard, I could do anything. I'm lucky to have such supportive parents who always let me indulge my creative side and encouraged me to follow my dreams.
What achievement personal or professional are you most proud of?
The most rewarding thing, by far, has been building GoSpotCheck with my co-founders, Joey Alfano and Samantha Holloway. I'm incredibly proud of the organization that we have created and am thankful each day that I get to work with such awesome people.
What is your favorite piece of technology you use either at work or at home?
I've really enjoyed my Fitbit Charge HR - it's a fantastic product and the mobile app is great. However, I do have to say my favorite piece of technology is my iPhone for so many reasons. It's the basis and hub for so many other important applications that it has to be my favorite.
Tell us something about yourself that most people probably won't know or wouldn't expect from you.
As the CEO of an enterprise software company, most people would probably be surprised to hear that one of my favorite hobbies is playing guitar. I've played in a fair share of bands over the years and just love to play whenever I can. Playing guitar is a great way for me to unwind and get some perspective.
This post was brought to you in conjunction with mobile data collection solution provider GoSpotCheck.