Matt Crampton is the Cofounder and CTO of Gigwalk. He originally founded Gigwalk to create a marketplace to help businesses mobilize people to get work done. Since launching in May 2011, Gigwalk has grown into a local visibility software platform that facilitates brand and retailer collaboration with the world’s largest on-demand mobile workforce, also known as Gigwalkers. Prior to Gigwalk, Matt lead software development teams at Yahoo! Buzz, and HotJobs (starting in 2005), and lead front end development for AOL Shopping and Alerts (starting in 2000).
Q: What does entrepreneurship mean to you, and what underlying characteristics do you see in successful entrepreneurs?
MC: To me, entrepreneurship means creating something that has a life of its own; building value for everyone involved — customers, employees and shareholders.
Successful entrepreneurs inspire people and persevere, even when others think they are wrong. They have an ability to stay focused on the problem their business is solving — even when that business is being pulled in many directions at once.
Q: What are you most proud of in your professional career? If you could do something over in your life, what would it be?
MC: I think I’m most proud that we were able to create a company that’s had such a positive effect on people’s lives. We get stories every week about people making ends meet from money they’ve earned on Gigwalk. And, that’s what really makes this an exciting business for us.
I think if there were one thing I would have done differently it would have been to start working on my own side projects earlier in my career. 10 years is a long time to work in corporate life and large companies tend to insulate you from the rest of your industry unless you make it a point to get out and interact with other people.
Q: Tell us about an instance where you had to go against the flow to realize your goal.
MC: Before Gigwalk, I was at Yahoo! for 5 years and AOL for 5 years before that. Frankly, it’s hard to leave the security that comes with a large, corporate environment, especially the steady paycheck and health insurance.
Leaving that life and bootstrapping a company with 2 other guys for 6 months before taking any venture capital money was one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done. Four and a half years later, I can’t imagine having done anything else.
Q: Mobile devices have made a huge impact on how many traditional businesses operate, how is it impacting consumer brands and retailers?
MC: Consumer brands spend billions of dollars on in-store trade marketing every year and simple issues, like out-of-stocks, have a huge impact on revenue. Up until now, there was no way to understand where gaps in retail execution existed until it was too late. Now, with mobile devices and an on-demand workforce, consumer brands and retailers can gain real-time intelligence about what is happening on-the-ground and fix it, speeding time to issue resolution and revenue. More and more, companies are becoming reliant on mobile solutions to get work done from anywhere, anytime.
Q: LinkedIn style – If you were to give advice to your 22 year old self, what would it be?
MC: Keep in Touch, Really.
So many of life’s opportunities come out of the relationships you have with others. One of the most important things you can do is stay in touch with people you’ve gone to school with and worked with. You never know who might be a great mentor in the future or who might create other connections for you. It’s our relationships all added together that are the foundation of all the things we can build in the future.