The Fast elevator summary
A CxO with an uncommon blend of substantial *breadth* of experience and powerful *depth* of knowledge in many areas.
Through years of hustle and curiosity, of building and breaking, of learning and overcoming, of failures and great successes, and of coaching and being coached… I’ve developed a toolbox of experiences, skills, and perspectives which allows me to adeptly assess business ideas, strategies, challenges and opportunities.
…A Founder-Level Entrepreneurial Handyman
I’ve also spent years cultivating a warm and open heart, with a passion for deep and joyful human connection and service, which has led me toward inspiring leaders and world-changing technologies.
The Longer Elevator Ride
I’ve been a pluralist for many years.
Close friends have wondered out loud what the hell I do for a living. One friend jokes that he wanted to register a domain and launch whatthefuckdoesmatthewburgessdo.com.
At times, this stemmed from being in “perpetual stealth mode”: the no brand building, no business cards, no ego approach.
What does that mean?
A fair question. Well, when you’re running under-the-radar ecommerce businesses, killing it with PPC and SEO, and generating excellent cash flow, you have no incentive to let anyone in the world see the opportunities in product offerings and keywords.
And yet, even when I’ve been public about my projects, I’ve simply defied the standard career track approach.
A man of many, many hats: with roles from humble worker bee to Founder, and many things in between.
My roles have included: Founder, Co-Founder, Investor, Strategy, Finance, Marketing, Operations, Product, Coach, and many other things.
In these many roles, the common through-line has been: helping humans solve complex problems by envisioning, designing, and implementing systems and processes.
I am a calm, methodical problem-solver, who thrives in uncertain environments, with complex problems and few solutions in sight.
I’m curious. Interested in many businesses, fields, and skills.
And that curiosity, coupled with a hunger for learning, has led me to go deep in many things.
The Founder-Level Entrepreneurial Handyman.
Loads of experience. And perspective.
And always eager to jump in and solve problems.
At times, I was fortunate enough to work with co-founders and as part of amazing teams.
And other times, I’ve gone it alone, building entire businesses with a laptop. And plenty of excellent coffee and adaptogenic herbs.
The Abbreviated History
Born and grew up in Madison, Wisconsin… to Colorado to Boston to SF Bay Area to Venice to Malibu.
From MBA (finance) to venture capital firm, to startups, back to investing, to digital marketing agency, to blockchain-focused investing and syndicate-building, to more startups and coaching.
I’ve gone deeeep in a number of areas:
Launching Businesses - bootstraps and venture funded
Startup Operations - bringing systems and order to chaos
Entity Formation - helped form over 1000 LLCs, Corps and Non-profits
Digital Marketing - funnels, systems, automation, copywriting
Long Tail PPC - over 400 million keywords, with optimization systems
Long Tail SEO - content strategies and tech for sites with 1B+ pages
Syndicate Investing - compliance, structure, deployment in syndicates
Blockchain & Crypto - over 40 investments in projects since 2014
On the more personal front (but it certainly carries into my work):
Wellness Optimization - biohacking my way to “dying young at a ripe old age.”
Deep Inner Game - my own journey, coupled with advanced coach training
The Less Abbreviated History
In 1995, I was finishing an MBA in Boston, and I was on track to head to Wall Street or become a portfolio manager. Or something boring like that. (Sorry, Dad.)
Then came the Web. And Mosaic. And Netscape. The emerging digital revolution was clearly a Game Changer. So I hightailed it to Silicon Valley instead.
I joined a venture firm, and we began systematically researching the ways humans would interact and nurture community online.
After joining a company we invested in, I moved to the other side of the table for many years. Then in recent years, I’ve gone back to being a venture investor.
SERVING SMALL BUSINESS
In my role running Formation Solutions, Inc., a legal document filing service, I assisted in the inception of over 1000 companies, many with first-time entrepreneurs.
EARLY PPC INNOVATION
Co-founding an ecommerce business in early 2000s, our promotions strategy looked first to display advertising.
When the effectiveness and ROI of display advertising was sunsetting in the early 2000s, we shifted to the emerging PPC model. I dug in and learned the newly-emerging Google AdWords platform.
In doing so, we grew a new business to a $5 million run rate within 2 years.
In that work, I designed and built some of the largest and most complex PPC ad campaigns. I was an early beta tester on many Google initiatives, and was invited to speak and present at Google to thousands of employees on my experience with their platform.
ADAPTATION TO AN SEO WORLD
When PPC markets became saturated and ROI shrunk, I shifted my learning to SEO.
With my co-founders, I created and implemented strategies to build and optimize some of the largest long tail organic-optimized content sites ever crawled.
Launching Applied Creatalytics, Inc, we partnered with Naveen Jain to build businesses powered by data owned by Intelius.
While the competition (and partners, i.e Intelius) was fighting a bidding battle over the top 40 PPC head terms on Google, we took a different path.
With creative long tail content strategies, we built sites with over 500 million Google-indexed pages, with organic traffic reaching over 300,000 visits per day.
This business grew faster than the previous, reaching a $5 million run rate within 15 months of launch.
BITCOIN, CRYPTO & BLOCKCHAIN
Ah, the rabbit hole we’ve all heard and talked about. Mine came in 2014. Just like my experience in 1995, I was drawn enthusiastically to this game changing innovation.
After much learning, in this complex space, I began investing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects.
Through the markets’ ups and downs, I remain consistently in awe of the passions and power of innovation embodied in the entrepreneurs in this field.
DIGITAL MARKETING SYSTEMS AND SOLUTIONS
Building a digital marketing agency was an amazing opportunity to put my skills to work for others. At Creatalytics Digital Marketing, our goal is to amplify and accelerate the reach of empowering thought leaders.
My work…On one hand, I’m a tech guy who loves tools. Big time geek.
On the other, I love human connection and drawing on our commonalities to build relationships with empathetic dialogue.
This combination makes me effective at understanding strategy as well as how to implement.
I have created highly functional digital marketing and automation systems that create leverage for growth business. These systems address audience engagement/segmentation, regulatory compliance, sales conversion, and business scaling problems all at the same time.
I’ve enjoyed going deep on the various tech platforms, massively geeking out in tools like Infusionsoft and mobile messaging solutions.
These days, I build these systems for my own businesses and periodically as agency or consultant, when the calling is strong. Its another tool in the entrepreneurial handyman collection.
COACHING with BREADTH and DEPTH, MIND and HEART
As an advisor, entrepreneur and investor, I’ve been constantly active in growth-phase problem-solving.
After years of advising and mentoring startup founders, I began creating and participated in masterminds groups to work on these challenges together.
I’ve personally been “stuck” many times. And quite often, it was these masterminds, and work with my own coaches and mentors, that helped me see more clearly and source the answers and power from within myself.
I have experienced big successes, some failures, and everything in between.
As a way of giving back, I’ve coached, advised, created masterminds, and just “been there” for countless builders of businesses.