Member Spotlight: Matt Monihan

Member Spotlight: Matt Monihan

I'm Matt Monihan, and am CEO of Voyager Scientific, a company that helps medium-sized businesses evaluate and implement enterprise software. Previously, I've spent 5 years designing the data analysis tools with RJMetrics in Philadelphia. We were acquired by Magento this past June. I grew up in the Philly area and received a business degree from Drexel University in 2010. Go iggles.

I've written about sensory deprivation therapybrain-based user interfaces, and host a podcast interviewing people I meet with interesting jobs. I tweet occasionally from @mattmonihan

We'd love to hear more about your journey with Voyager Scientific! How did it get started?

I originally started the company as a side project for some friends. Basically, several of my initial customers found themselves needing enterprise software for their businesses, but had no idea where to start, or how to evaluate what they were considering buying. So, they brought me on as an interim CTO for their businesses where I evaluate their problems, and recommend either building something custom or buying a solution off the shelf.

Much of my work at RJ had been helping companies who are drowning in data make sense of it. Now, my work is figuring out how to get companies to transition from paper, to a digital system. And, what's surprising is how difficult that can be. It may be intuitive to assume that the reason these companies haven't adopted software stems from a refusal to learn new technology. In my experience, I don't find that to be the case. The people I work with love technology, but are managing large complex systems that have worked well for years. As it turns out, paper is an extremely flexible interface. Need a new field? Just write it! And, you never have to worry about a sheet of paper running out of battery.

That said, paper gets lost, outdated information isn't corrected, and it's incredibly hard to query across an organization. I find the high-value opportunities that a customer may not have realized are possible.

Awesome! Moving more into company growth, what are some tips or tricks that have helped you find new customers?

Companies like mine grow primarily by word of mouth. So, the best thing I can do is continue to focus on my current customers by finding ways to save them money and increase profitability. It takes a tremendous amount of trust on both sides for the relationship to be successful, so I'm extremely selective with who I work with. I'm running a bootstrapped company, and have no pressure to grow at a venture-backed pace. 

Croissant is awesome because I'm able to access high-quality work spaces for a tiny fraction of the cost of being a full member. It's a great first impression to bring someone new to spaces like Workville or RiseNYC and helps build the trust I mentioned earlier.

Speaking is also the easiest way to build an audience and get referrals. Being able to connect group organizers with space managers in the Croissant network has given me the ability to build some nice relationships.

Are you reading or watching anything interesting currently? We always need new recommendations!

I'm in the middle of Narsissus and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse. Hesse is known for Siddhartha, but I think his other novels are misunderstood. The way he blends eastern philosophy with very western issues is relevant today despite his work being written in the early 20th century.

And, of course, I've been watching Westworld on HBO. The future of AI and the singularity is going to be far weirder than most have anticipated.

As far as apps go, I've got to give it up for the team at Brain.fm. I have this app pumping binaural beats through my headphones to help me focus, and it really does work.

Last question! Can you share any memorable experiences while using Croissant?

I frequently run into people that are speaking at events at Croissant locations. I recently ran into Yasmine Mustafa, a Philly entrepreneur, who was speaking at Rise NYC. She launched Roar for Good, a company that makes wearable technology for women's safety.

It's great running into people you know through this network.

Thanks Matt! As mentioned above, you can find him tweeting from @mattmonihan, or find him hanging around Rise coworking space in Flatiron, NYC. 

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