Matt has 20 years experience starting and scaling business through digital media.
As the founder of marketing technology business Driftrock, Matt helps brands like BMW, Honda and The University of Birmingham deliver marketing that people actually want to see, whilst protecting privacy.
Previously, as 3rd employee Matt helped Forward Internet Group scale to over £100 million+ revenue and 500 staff. He also founded top mobile phone comparison site Omio, which merged with uSwitch in 2010 as well as co-founding Forward Labs helping test and grow startups.
1. In what shape has your business emerged from Covid-19?
With the new Covid-19 restrictions, we’re very much still in the thick of things. We took a hit in April, but thankfully, changes we made have had an overall positive effect on the business and our clients. We’ve recovered revenues and now enjoying some growth this quarter.
We feel very privileged with the global situation to be able to resume hiring again to expand our team.
2. What are the most important and emerging skills to work in the new normal?
With the ever changing global landscape we’ve taken time and researched how we build resilience and agility into our organisation (more on some of those changes below). One of our core principles has always been continuous improvement, but now more than ever, we need to constantly evaluate and adapt to changing circumstances.
Like lots of tech companies we made a decision to close our office, and migrate to becoming a fully remote organisation. This has had a huge knock-on effect on the way we work and the skills we need to thrive in the new normal.
After lots of research, the core skills we’ve focused on are a results-driven culture and asynchronous working. As well as being critical skills for distributed teams, these changes have had a big impact on our productivity and focus – regardless of where we are working.
3. What changes have you made in operations and hiring that are here to stay, and what will you lose?
Like many companies in 2020, we’ve made more changes to the organisation than in any of our previous 7 years. For the results-driven focus we leveraged the EOS framework and OKRs. This has influenced processes across everything we do from the product roadmap to HR processes. We’ve made strides to work asynchronously using new collaboration tools and over-communicating where we can in everything we do.
We’ve completely overhauled our hiring, onboarding and ongoing HR processes too in order to do things remotely. This mainly involved more deliberate, planned meetings and connections to integrate and improve relationships across the teams. Whereas previously things happened serendipitously, we’ve found it important to work hard on these.
4. What has been your biggest key learning and how will this prepare you for the future?
Our biggest learning has been the benefits of focus and a shared vision across the business. Whilst it was important before, we’ve seen first hand how being ruthlessly focused has improved our ability to deliver more value for our clients and the company.
It’s resulted in some features being deprecated, huge improvements to our products and services, and new processes across the board that have been very positive.
5. What has been the biggest surprise to you?
During the height of lockdown we onboarded two new teammates remotely, which was a daunting experience.
Thanks to some heroic work by Maryline, our Operations Manager and teammates who are always happy to jump in and help each other out, it’s been a good experience overall.
One of our new teammates is having to shield, so we’ve never met in person, yet we’ve still managed to build bonds together. That said, we can’t wait to meet up again as a team in person and celebrate!