S10E02: Using culture to scale a 'unicorn', with Matthew Scullion (CEO, Matillion)

An episode of The Impact Multiplier CEO Podcast

S10E02: Using culture to scale a ‘unicorn’, with Matthew Scullion (CEO, Matillion)

We're continuing this season looking at the insights from some of the world's fastest-growing businesses. In this episode Richard speaks with Matthew Scullion, who founded data transformation firm Matillion in 2011, and has grown it to unicorn status, hitting #251 in the FT1000 list of Europe's fastest growing companies. Along the way, Matthew also won the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award.

In this conversation, you’ll discover:

  • The importance of turning raw data into a refined asset that can bring value to your business
  • The pivot that turned the business from successful small business to hyper-growth tech company
  • Matthew's playbook to take a business from launch to a billion-dollar valuation, and the major transitions to be navigated
  • How the list of values that Matthew wrote down on day 1 were 'operationalised' to truly help the business to scale successfully

"On day 1 assume you're building a consequential business and act accordingly."

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Transcript

Richard Medcalf
Hi Matthew, Welcome to the show.

Matthew Scullion
Thank you very much for having us, Richard. It's great to be here.

Richard Medcalf
This is gonna be a fun one. You've done something incredible, right? You have founded, founded Matillion. In 2011. As a data transformation firm, I guess we'll get into exactly why that means you've grown it to unicorn status number 251 in the Financial Times 1000 list of Europe's fastest growing companies, I think along the way, you've picked up at Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. So you're doing a lot of things right, obviously, in this business, and it's gonna be great just to dive in and dig in a little bit to understand your secrets of scaling. So why don't we just go straight in first of all, tell me, so tell me about Matillion, first of all, you're the founder. So what was the vision? Like, why did you found this business? What was what did you see as the opportunity and how has that evolved over the years?

Matthew Scullion
Yeah, great question, Richard and thanks for getting started. So, you know, in some ways, the vision if we had on day one is unaltered, from what it is today, working at the intersection of two technology megatrends really cloud and data and that was always what Matillion was born to do and it's what we still do today but the products we sell on the value we add to the world are actually quite different and the reason for that is we had a pretty major pivot around 2015, when we went from being a company that started off by selling finished sort of turnkey solutions to being a company that sold infrastructure, software technology. So the story real quick. In my previous career, I've worked in software since I was about 17. Actually, ratioed, which has been interesting, isn't it, but I did a startup in my late teens, we build out to 2030, people sold it in my early 20s, I then got a proper job for a bit and towards the end of that run, I was managing a software development team, a team that was doing data analytics, and a team that was just starting to play with early cloud technology, okay, and kind of notice that data and analytics was this persistent, visceral need that businesses wanted you there was always demand for that sort of stuff and then separately, it was clear to me at least, and my co founders, that cloud was going to change the world. So we're like, hey, let's set up a company that does data analytics in the cloud and then as I mentioned, we spent a couple of years delivering finished analytics solutions for customers. So the idea was that if you wanted enterprise quality, business, intelligence and dashboards, you can do it yourselves, we would deliver that end to end for you and look after it as a project as a project. Yeah, yeah, they pay a set fee and a monthly subscription, we get it all working, and we look after it for them, like an extension of their team, really.

Richard Medcalf
So what I'm hearing is that that was the first part of the business but all this growth came after this pivot that you about.

Matthew Scullion
Yeah, so you kind of have to mention some of those Greatest Hits points from the Matillion story. I don't know how many of those same great sets we'd have got, if we just stayed on that trajectory, it was a nice little business. But as a byproduct of it and here's the key thing. To make BI solution work, you normally need a data warehouse and so for each customer that we got, in the early days, we built a data warehouse in the cloud and that was a quite new thing to do at that point and to put no to finer points on it, Richard, we found it harder than we thought it should be to do the the technology and tooling available to help you build a data warehouse and the cloud wasn't built for the cloud and that was slowing us down. So in 2014, we thought, Well, gosh, we will build our own tool, our own software, which is designed for building data warehouses in the cloud and a year later, we had an early version of it, it works so well that we thought, oh, gosh, maybe some other people in the world have got the same problem and might like to buy this product that we've created for ourselves. But we're now happy to share in return for a fee

Richard Medcalf
There's more there's many companies who end up building software for them but tooling for themselves that we end up realizing is actually then your business. It's happened to

Matthew Scullion
Right, like Slack is a famous example of that and so yeah, we spent 2015 kind of changing ourselves from, you know, SAS rapid services company through to being an ISV and in October 2015, we launched in a very understated way Reishi that makes you think of fireworks and you know, the Superbowl halftime commercial, it wasn't like that but we we launched Matillion ETL but then it was Matillion ETL for Amazon Redshift. Now there's a whole platform of product and we went from there and if memory serves, we were about, I'm gonna go 15 People at that point and we're now a chunk more than that.

Richard Medcalf
So you said you were about 600 people or so now?

Matthew Scullion
Yeah, so a little over 600 people 310 million in venture capital raised today $1.5 billion enterprise valuation and that growth has really come from becoming an ISV and finding product market fit with Matillion, ETL and realized, I guess, realizing, Richard, what our place in the world was understanding our product market fit, and the big problem that we're now more than mobilized to try and solve for the world.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, so I think you've given me a great description earlier on about really what you're trying to do. I think you're saying that every business needs data, but the data is, it's not the data you get from systems is not really an A processable form, that analytics can really use. Right. So that's what I understand your business to be. There's this pre processing that right to allow companies to actually make use of it.

Matthew Scullion
Yeah, that is precisely right. So you know, the backdrop is, every aspect of how we work live and play today, is being changed really quickly and we hope for the better using data and that's been fueled by the cloud, right? It's so much easier, faster, cheaper, more scalable, to use data than people want to and it's changing every aspect of how we work, live and play but the bit of the story that's less often spoke about, even though it's a huge problem, is the data is always valuable, but isn't useful in its raw state for driving these analytics, AI, machine learning and data science projects and use cases. You know, in this way, it's quite like iron and steel, right? Iron ore is valuable, but it isn't useful in its raw state, we have to refine it into steel and once we've done that, we can build bridges and ships and buildings with it. Data is the same existing systems, but you've got to refine it. So that's join it together. So saw out the quality embellish it with trusted metrics, all that good stuff, before you can use it to drive your machine learning algorithm or your analytics dashboard. Work that making the data useful, is 70% of the work in, in doing any sort of data use case and so what you find in business is that they're super constrained and their ability to innovate with data, just because they can't make it useful, fast enough. That data productivity is what our technology is designed to solve. It makes individuals teams and companies more productive in making data useful and that ties into our mission as a business, which is to make the world's data useful.

Richard Medcalf
Perfect. Well, that's, I'm gonna take that as a bit of a pivot actually, in this conversation, because so you've got your mission as the end the way when you said it, it reminded me a bit of Google's one, right? Because they wanted what they wanted to organize, they might have changed now, but they wanted to organize the world's data and everything and yeah, I'm thinking, you know, this is I know, you're a Manchester, UK based company. You've had all the success, you've opened up a major operation in the US, especially around your go to market and your sales operations and so I'm curious, like, what's that like to be a bleeding edge, high growth tech company, I guess battling it out, and probably also partnering with Silicon Valley in different ways and yet with a, I guess, originally a British culture or different assets available to you or not available to you in the home market? I mean, what's that been? Like? Is that a non issue? Or has it created strength or, or challenges for you?

Matthew Scullion
I think like many things, Richard, it, there's, there's pros and cons but certainly, overall, we would say it's been very net positive for us being a British business, using a Silicon Valley playbook but it does also, as with all things have challenges that you have to overcome. So I'd say the first one, though, is is realizing right and sometimes people ask me, you know, what would you change on day one, in terms of how you are an entrepreneur and one of the things I often like to say and answer that question is, on day one, I'd assume I was building a consequential business and act accordingly. Right? Whereas here in the UK, oftentimes, not exclusively, of course, but oftentimes people don't assume that they assume that building a modest business and act accordingly and for us, me, we went on that journey and a big accelerate incentive that was bringing on board Silicon Valley capital and venture capital investment? Because those investors turn up and say, well, obviously, you're building a $100 million revenue business, even though you're today only on one. So you better get on with it. Matthew Ray, and it kind of brings that that energy to it. If I was starting up a business again today, I'd start with that on the first day and so that's a big difference in from what I see at least, what would have changed if you had that mindset? Well, everything cascades from that, really. So concepts, like times the highest times the biggest enemy of the high growth business, right gives you a total urgency around time around your team, right. So we use this phrase quite a lot in our business, right person, right seat, right time and what that talks about is, you know, maybe there's someone running a particular part of the business, they might be the absolute best person in the world to take your particular business from, say, 5 million of recurring revenue to 20 million of recurring revenue, but they might not have the playbook to take you from 20 to 50, or 50, to 100, those might be different people over time, you know, when in a more modest growth business with modest ambitions, you don't think about that and the byproduct is, you might leave the wrong people in seed for too long, or it affects your attitude to raising capital, right? If you think you're going to take a big chunk of a big market, then you you have to have the right capital on board, you tell that story, you deliver the metrics that support you raising the capital, you raise it, and then you know, it doesn't become a self fulfilling prophecy, because there's lots of work involved, but it puts you on the right trajectory. So I think that is a big thing. You know, just that cognition that you're trying to do something big. So you act accordingly.

Richard Medcalf
So what was the thing that within those that you would perhaps have? We've made, we would have made the biggest difference? So you know, was it the rush? Was it the light level of investment that you raised? Was it the team that you put in place, while the length of time you left in there? So it was a one particular aspect? We know why I didn't think big enough. When I was acting in that area in the early days.

Matthew Scullion
It's hard for me to answer that without I think this one is the biggest because I mean, first of all, we got to, I don't know, maybe 5 million of recurring. So we were two years into having launched the product before we raise money in Silicon Valley. So and we started raising it before we raised it and so. So it wasn't that long in the history of the business before we started like that but I'd say it's the urgency and I don't mean that work, like all founder, entrepreneurs, CEOs, or other senior members of the team work hard, right? That's kind of goes with the territory. But it's the urgency and the focus that that brings and you pretty quickly figure out I think that there's a there's a set of chess moves in building a business, right? First of all, you identify a market with a problem that's big enough to support growing your company and then you you're dialed in on finding some product market fit, you know, solving that problem in a way that customers are prepared to pay to have it solve and then your next job is to get on with scaling go to market and something we talk less about is go to market fit but figuring out you know, what's the the shape of the team, the processes, what does the production line look like, for manufacturing demand, close business expansion, and delighting and retaining customers that allows me to scale revenue and scaling revenue is really important, because the amount that you spend on r&d product keeping enhancing your product market fit, it's just a ratio of your revenue, right? You can't, can't spend 300% of your revenue on r&d. So if you want to spend more on r&d, you've got to grow the revenue. So that kind of focus and urgency drops out of, hey, we've got a big goal, and we need to get there quickly. Otherwise, we're going to miss it. So how can we really brutally prioritize? You know, it just cascades over the rest of the business? I think.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, that's great. That's great. Yeah, I love that and go to market fit as well as the product market fit which everyone talks about the former but actually, do you got to bring the money in and every business is different, right when it comes to the go to market.

Matthew Scullion
What most of us do on that, by the way is that is that we start off selling it ourselves, bounding team members, and then maybe we hire, you know, half a dozen salespeople go to market professionals and in some sorts of Darwinian selection process. A few of those guys ended up being rock stars and do a great job. But that's very different from setting up An organization that can predictably hire 10 New reps a month or quarter and ensure that eight of those are going to make retain 80% of their quota i, and that's the bit where it becomes a machine, rather than just a reflection of the product market fit.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, absolutely a number of founders that you've worked with, you know, and they often they're like, Oh, I'm still the best sales person in my company, I still wearing that hat too much. I'm being dragged into much onto the commercial side and of course, that's a recipe for overload for being a bottleneck.

Matthew Scullion
Yeah, that's it. That's it, you know, the CEO, I was gonna say the CEO of Microsoft probably isn't out prospecting for new customers, he probably is phoning some big customers, and you know, maybe helping close a big deal or helping keeping them happy and that's fine, right? That was part of senior executives job. But yeah, you know, it wants you need to be adding 510 $20 million of new ARR per calendar quarter, like doing that on your own unless you sell something very expensive.

Richard Medcalf
So one of the things that I believe that Mr. Lyon is, has been a foundation for your success is the culture. You know, I've picked this up and I just actually used to talk a bit about that, because everyone talks about their culture, and it's important and everything else. So tell me about why do you think it's really more than just you know, the, the poster in the conference room? How's that? And how does that serve to grow the business?

Matthew Scullion
Yeah, so it definitely isn't the poster in the conference room. By the way, my joke on that is, it's the, the poster on the back of the lavatory door. So yours was yours was nicer than mine but, um, but yeah. Until you Chilean, you know, I think all of our early progress has really been built on the most important asset of the company, which is the team. One of my few original business lines, Richard is, there's only two types of problems in business, there's people problems, and there's problems that you haven't yet figured out, are actually people problems. So it's all about people and it's all about the team, the team, you know, dials in on what the problem is and it as the products affects it, the team builds the software ships and looks after it finds and delights the customers and runs the business to support that r&d and go to market effort. It's all about people. So if the team is the most important thing, then in our worldview, the environment that they live and work in is also extremely important and for that reason, Matillion, I'm pleased to say as a what we think is a strong and healthy culture, but it's underpinned by six values, that all Matillion is hold precious and that the only non negotiable thing about working at Matillion, you know, in in all other ways we celebrate diversity but in terms of our ability to live the six values, that's non negotiable and I mentioned earlier, that, you know, there was things at the beginning of the business that you wish you did differently but there's also of course, things that you think well, yeah, how's it Good move? On the first thing I did on the first morning of Matillion, I think it was January 24 2011, is I wrote down the values and we've kind of polish them up a bit since but I did write them down and and it just set the ship off on the right course. Right, it helped me to account on them.

Richard Medcalf
Just let me know that one of the values just just let's just say we're talking specifics here, what are they?

Matthew Scullion
So it's confidence without arrogance, you know, we're we're trying to do something big and excited about it but we we stay humble and stay vulnerable as we do that bias for action, which means we get things done, but in a considered way, customer obsessed, which means we try to deeply empathize and serve the needs of our customers. And Matillion. We innovate and demand quality, recognizing that no person, process or product is ever finished and by the way, person is probably the most important one of those. We do business with integrity, treat other people as we would like to be treated ourselves and we don't do things that we wouldn't like seeing written in the newspaper or discussed without us being there, the water cooler and then finally in Matillion, we care we care about millionaires, their families, and the society in which we operate and so those are the six values that are Matillion is have to live inside the guardrails on but more importantly, the lantern that guides them in the dark when they don't know what to do.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, nice. Interesting. So what I'm wondering when I hear those so they sound great, obviously, but I couldn't imagine the company would ever say the opposite. Right. So, yeah, I doubt there's gonna be some way he goes, Let's be arrogant without competence, right? Or let's like not care about our customers, or let's never innovate so. So in a sense, what I'm saying that kind of health factors on one level not to diminish the value but what I'm getting interested about is what have you found? How, why they've been so powerful given that on one level, they're kind of obvious, if you see what I mean, right? Like, be customer obsessed, innovate, to have integrity, get again, you see what I mean? It's not like they could have some really, really crazy out off there, you've never heard that you can imagine, you know, really clever value that no one's ever thought of before, then they're solid. But they're still for your real powerhouse. So wondering, how do you see that working? What why the knee, you know, why the why the need to kind of be so explicit about them? How do you see that?

Matthew Scullion
So first of all, I do think that it can be said that it was certainly with some of those values, at least, you can build a successful business with diametrically opposed values, right? So take confidence without arrogance, for instance. We think arrogance makes the boat go slower but I mean, there's plenty of corporately, really, African companies out there that have done really well. So I just want to make the point.

Richard Medcalf
That it's true. I'm exaggerating my point.

Matthew Scullion
Yeah. I just want to make the point that I'm not saying there's a right or wrong culture, I'm saying there's our culture and we like our culture, and we think the eggs go faster but the difference between like writing down six things, and they could have similar things could have been said by other companies and there's two of us were like, literally, I think the same words you would use by the companies bias for action is quite common. Customer obsession is quite another one but really, it's about activation, right? It's about how do you put them to work and and do you live them. So in the early days, the activation was really easy. I knew what I meant by confidence without arrogance, and there was only 10 or 15, other Matillion's and so if I heard them doing something that wasn't leaving the confidence without arrogance value, then I would just go and correct them but having the value written down helps me do that. Right. It reminded me that I needed to do it, because it's, it's always easier in a human way just to like skirt over these things and it gave me some ammunition to go and do it, hey, we have this value called confidence without arrogance and that means we don't do this. So next time, Richard, I'd prefer if you did it this way and then you know, you normally a couple more times, and they fire you, right, because you're not living the values. Now at scale, we do the same thing, but just with more sophistication. So for instance, our interview questions, dive into these topics and one of the things we're trying to figure out is this person, like really talented, but also super arrogant, in which case, they're probably not going to fit in with our team dynamic, or are they not? Then when people turn up at the business having been hired, we kind of send them to college on this stuff. So Matillion, we have a thing called the Matillion onboarding Academy, and it's a week long immersion into our values, and specifically, what they actually mean, right? So innovate and demand quality, for instance, those things are tension, even though it's one value, right? The best way to ensure quality is never to innovate. So what do we mean by innovate and demand quality we go through and we explain that and essentially, like certify team members, all of our quarterly, deep dives with our team members, which are like Monday appraisals are centered in the values. We look across our whole team and look at them from an expertise point of view or contribution point of view, but also from their values, adherence point of view. I talk about them all the time as to all other execs but ultimately, the key test is do we tolerate them not being lived and the answer is no, right? We coach and then we rapidly curate, ie move people out of the business, if they're not able to live the values because the moment you don't live it, like I've just lost all my authenticity talking about.

Richard Medcalf
That's often what happens, right is this, that's the thing that often happens is they get the values are written and then actually there's somebody who's performing well, on one level, getting some numbers or whatever, right, but the valleys are not there.

Matthew Scullion
And we've had that happen on multiple occasions, right? We've had the Rockstar engineer who was unable to live the values we've had the salesperson smashing their quota out the park when all the others aren't, but he or she still has to go. You know, the biggest test for me with this was actually with a senior executive that I had not too long ago hired and my worldview. This is just the world according to Matthew Scullion, but If you go through different generations of senior executives in your team, you kind of have year, your first generation kind of founder Corinthian team and you know that smart, intelligent people with a lot of drive and passion and focus and energy, but they might not have done the jobs before, then you get a first generation professional team, who are people that have done the jobs before, but your company hasn't quite gotten big enough or glamorous enough or late stage enough to, to get you know what you're going to need in future and then later, I, you know, you need to bring in new executives to take you through that latest sales journey, and you're more able to attract them because you're bigger or more glamorous. So you've got these different like, sorts of areas of their executive team and one of these particular areas, I brought in a senior executive to run a major organization in Matillion and I kind of showed him off a bit during a fundraising process because he was like, you know, menu signing for the road that this great guy that I've got, but unfortunately, pretty quickly, during the fundraising process, albeit for separate reasons, figured out that this person just wasn't going to be able to prosper within our values and you know, they come from different companies that that weren't able them. So we had to park company halfway through a fundraising round, even though I kind of wheeled this guy out the star players, and that did cause awkwardness on the fundraising round but ultimately, my trade off was what's more important to me landing the fundraising round, or maintaining integrity around them and it was the latter.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, that's great. I often say to clients, when they're in a bit of this, though, they're often saying that you have three choices, right? You've got tolerate, terminate or transform. Yeah. So you either you're either gonna tolerate, which means you're going to dilute your culture, you're going to erode your culture, but you're not a good option. Terminate is okay. Do it quick but on the other hand, have you actually been really clear about the expectations? Yeah, you've given them chance, etc? And then transform? Yeah, which is the coaching side, as you said, right, which is okay. They're not quite there. We need to see, is this something that they can learn? Or is it something which is just not something they want to get where they want to go?

Matthew Scullion
Yeah, and I think those options are right, but I'd only ever consider using two of them. Right. So it would be a either go transform, followed by what was your? What was the last time there was tolerate transform? What was the other one might?

Richard Medcalf
The tolerate termination? Yeah, yeah. Well, so I would agree, absolutely but it is an option that that people have again, and one of the I actually, I actually push back quite often on people who go, You know what, so and so's just not cutting it as a member of our team. I'm always like, well, hang on. Have you set expectations. Really clearly, and have you explained the stakes to them? Because, yeah, certain times leaders, they're kind of afraid to get into the conflict situation or tense conversations. They'll say, yeah, it's great. It's great. It's great. I don't actually you're fired, which I think you know.

Matthew Scullion
That's no good either and you've got to have you infrastructure in your and your telemetry in place to spot that phenomenon. Yeah, exactly. Staying within, you know, cultural values adherence, basically, for me, there's only two options. It's either transform, and if that doesn't work, terminate, or depending on the severity of the gap between their behavior and the values, it might just be terminated straight. You've got this four box model, and you've got low performer low values, adherence, well, why are we even talking about that they should be gone. You've got high performer high values, adherence, great, they're your top performing people, the future the company, you've got high performance, low values, adherence, and they're the most dangerous of the law. So toxic, that's the toxic ones and then you've got low performance, but high cultural fit, and those are the ones that you should put your effort into transforming.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah, so it's interesting conversation. I'm sure we could spend a lot more on this but I'm on the values but I do see that you know, you've built infrastructure you've built process it's an interview that's in the reviews it's it's in the onboarding so you've really done a lot of work right to create the systems around the values.

Matthew Scullion
We need a lot longer to go through the whole lot which is my is my cool aid my friend.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah. It's great and yeah, that's a it's great when people actually get go you know what it is really working science people see that the value stuff is like a nice to have and I think you're showing it's a must have.

Matthew Scullion
And it comes back if you don't mind me, sort of just squeezing one more pointing around this. You know, you mentioned earlier about this thing of being a Manchester based company growing up with a Silicon Valley playbook and I I said there were upsides and downsides to that and there definitely are right upsides we are fantastic engineering talent in the UK. We don't have as many glamorous software companies. So we stick out more compared to other companies here in the UK, downsides. You know, the SMART Capital is perhaps more abundant in the US some of the specialist roles that you're going to need overtime in the US most markets in the US are gonna have to go there. So upsides and downsides but one thing that sticks in my mind parts is just the difference. So look at listen to and feel the company right there, the Silicon Valley cookie cutter, which shouldn't be disrespected, because it's pretty damn successful, right. But it does rinse out a certain feel of company. You know, you drop out of Stanford, you work at Facebook for a couple of years, you were probably born wearing a quilted Patagonia vest and it it just rinses out a certain feel of company and so I think a big advantage from Antillean as a employer brand, and the customer brand has been that difference in tonality underpinned by our values and culture that blends all that's good about Silicon Valley of which there's a lot, but with perhaps the pragmatic industrialism of the Northern UK, and I'm having to teach in the industrial revolution, Richard?

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, that's a great way of putting it. Well, hey, there's a few quickfire questions I'd like to ask you. I always ask these guests these. It's always interesting to see what some of your influences are right as a leader. So what's the favorite quote that you would draw on and you know, or that inspires you as a leader?

Matthew Scullion
There's probably a little shortlist of them. This next phrase is from a great friend of mine, and also an independent board member with Matilija and he's been a CEO before and before that he was with Apple and sun and a great guy called Brian Genteel. One of his favorite focuses is I wish I'd been less focused. Said no CEO ever. I should as a spoiler say, he's got like five different versions of it. You know, I wish I'd been more X said no CEO ever but the one that really helps, I wish I'd been more focused, less focus said no CEO ever.

Richard Medcalf
Got it? Thank you. What about is there a favorite app or something on your phone? Just listening that you go to? Hell yeah. Outside the usual corporate suite of app doesn't mean that particularly for you, you find is energizes you keeps you productive.

Matthew Scullion
I really like Blinkist. That's good. Um, and the reason I like it is because successful business people or successful people in general, you know, athletes, coaches, business, people, politicians, whatever, they almost all have, you know, 234, half a dozen lessons, they'd be really good for us all to learn. The trouble is that the best way for them to get those lessons to market and I suppose maybe make their money from it is to write a book and the publisher says, Yeah, you can't really write a four page book, Richard. So we have to do is like flesh it out with a load of waffle to justify getting your actual two or three important lessons out there. So what blinkies does is reverse engineers that and you can get all the goodness, but in 20 minutes, and there is a lot of good stuff to learn, I think very few things we genuinely need to reinvent in business and therefore, if we can stand on the shoulders of giants who've chosen this path before, then that helps accelerators.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, yeah, it's nice. I've used Blinkist. On occasion, I come and go. I go between the love the grip, the speed, and so forth. On the other hand, sometimes to be transformed by an idea. You do have to sit with it for 200 pages and hear the stories that have been going. So there's got a bit of both, but I think it's great as a way of scanning, seeing what ideas are coming up and what some of these, you know, yeah.

Matthew Scullion
I'm just like, it's three pages of waffle. Just give me give me give me the core concepts.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, I think it's the way it is. It's a scan, actually, I use it as a scan to kind of go, is there anything here that I really want to dive deep into?

Matthew Scullion
You know, we have frameworks or concepts that we like to use in the business that is therefore useful if all team members know and a big one would be for instance, Patrick Lencioni is model for organizational health and The Five Dysfunctions of the team and like in a lot of high growth tech companies, we use that framework and that and it has a language and Alexa, can they go around shared goals and trust and then build conflicts and stuff. Now as it happens, five dysfunctions is quite a rollicking read anyway but we roll that we've rolled out blinkies to the whole team and so we can say like, these are the kinds of six books that you need to know if you want to understand how Matillion is taught to each other and you can get them all as blinks. So you can get that all done on your first day and, you know.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, nice, nice. Very nice. So how about what advice would you give your 20 year old self?

Matthew Scullion
Think bigger, quicker and, you know, it's so hard to be kind of rear with looking like that, isn't it? If I just know in this, this, this, this and this, we're gonna happen, then I could have built an even bigger company. Well, yeah but I think I probably wished. I think, in retrospect, perhaps I could have, you know, I did a startup, I was a co founder of that startup, I wasn't the CEO but I was the CTO and co founder and then I went off and got a proper job for a bit, and then I set Matillion up thinking about it, and maybe could have acted earlier and you know that there was a law of diminishing returns, maybe kicking in and the thing that held me back is actually where the lesson is, I think a lot of proto entrepreneurs that would really like to start a business, but that haven't yet pulled the trigger. They worry too much about the inspiration, because they're under indexing on the perspiration, right? If you can, generally speaking, land yourself in a vibrant market with an idea that, you know, maybe we'll get you somewhere near to product market fit, that it's the handle turning in the energy that turns into a great business. As my business proves, right, we do almost nothing today that we did on the first day, you know, we're in the same overall wheelhouse but people, I think, over index too much on the perfect idea and that idea will be wrong, you know, it's like battle plans, isn't it? They're great until the first sound of action, then you sort of change more all the time. So I'd maybe want to get started a little bit quicker, recognizing that it's more perspiration than it is inspiration and I'd think bigger, quicker, as we were talking about earlier in the conversation.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, I love the idea of not over indexing on the perfect idea and getting into motion. Yeah. 100%. So no matter how much we've achieved, there's always a next level to get to so to my favorite questions are? Where does Antillean go from here as a business? So the next couple of years? Well, let's start with that one. What's what's the, what's the future for you as a business?

Matthew Scullion
Yeah, so compared to where we were, in January 2011, or even in October 2015, it's really, it seems to me like a huge business but of course, we're still just getting started, really and I think this tectonic kind of change in the way that businesses use technology, this digitization of business, using software at the macro level, and specifically the use of data in the micro level, you know, it's just getting started, we're maybe just starting to see adoption from the early majority, that gives us the chance opportunity, and we think this you will need to build a consequential company in this market and, and really, that's always what's next for us. You know, our our mission is for the global 8000 largest companies in the world, you know, those companies with a billion dollars of revenue, and more of which today, we already have many hundreds to be the preeminent choice for making their data useful in that segment, as well as for 1000s more smart, ambitious, fast growing businesses that want to use the same technology. Everything else, you know, like our next major economic milestone will be $100 million in recurring revenue, which we should hit sometime in the next few months and but those are just byproducts of delivering on that, on that vision and mission made data useful by delivering a platform that's used by the global 8000 companies in the world to you know, extract, load, transform and synchronize that data. Everything else is byproducts. It's the same with the the unicorn rounds and the IPOs and the awards. Those are just things that happen if you deliver on your mission.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, that's I love the focus right on the end, right. What are you actually towards you're actually trying to do in order this and then that the 8000 is so specific, right? It's clear.

Matthew Scullion
It's my friend Brian's advice by Richard I wish I'd been less focused said no CEO ever.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah. Absolutely. What do you need to do differently? If you're going to multiply your own impact, because it's things are changing fast, how do you need to re engineer your own success formula?

Matthew Scullion
Yeah. So I mean, if we're talking in general across the suite going from two people in 2011, to where we are today to into the future, you know, I think there's a couple of key concepts. This, by the way, is why confidence without arrogance is our first value, because you need to be vulnerable enough to realize this while being confident enough to want to build that consequential company but it's about accelerated learning and I hope that's not a cliche to say, but it really is. Occasionally, people say, Oh, how, you know, Matthew, like, how do you end up being a CEO? When it's like, you know, first of all, I'm not sure it's an end state with a finished product but secondly, you start off when you think that you want, but you're not and then you learn at an accelerated rate along the way with with urgency, and I am a completely different business person, from what I was at the beginning of the Matillion journey and I'd say I'm probably 50 60% different. So what was a year ago? And we'll be in a year's time? How do you equip yourself with that knowledge? Well, you've got to dedicate some of your time to learning. I have worked hard to build a network of other business people, you know, maybe domain specialists, Chief Product officers, chief customer service chief customer officers, chief revenue officers, but also other CEOs that are ahead in the journey or finish the journey that we're on and again, like doing business with integrity, one of our values, being confident without arrogance, neither of our values, these things are help help people like you, right, and therefore, they're happy to help and so I'll phone up and ask their advice on things and then another area that took me a while to learn is you've also got to keep yourself healthy while you do that. I mean, there's probably quite a few jobs in the world where people would say this, but it's definitely been said many times before, and I empathize it as CEO of a high growth startup is one of perhaps even the hardest job in the world, right. There's less founder CEOs of unicorns, and there are that people have been to space. It's a very, very demanding job. I'm 10 years into millions journey now. So it's been demanding for a long time and so you have to also keep yourself healthy and that means, you know, focusing on work, being there for your family, but also making time for yourself mentally, spiritually, and, you know, even a bit physically, you know.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, very wise words. Well, hey, thank you so much. It's been great conversation. I really enjoyed it. I think we've covered some really important things, you know, we've gone into culture, we've got into this idea of really thinking from the start about the scale of what what could be possible, you know, looked about this idea of accelerated learning and so it's been a really fascinating conversation and so thank you for taking the time. If people want to find out more about Meridian or get in touch with you, we know what's the best way of doing that?

Matthew Scullion
That's, again, social media find me on LinkedIn, Matthew Scullion, and the company is Matillion, and same on Twitter and for the company, of course, which is much more exciting, Richard, we're at Matillion.com, where you can launch a free trial of our software Matillion ETL, our kind of full featured platform Matillion Data Loader are super easy to use data movement platform, and also the newly launched Matillion CDC and you can get free trials of all those products on matillion.com.

Richard Medcalf
That's perfect. Hey, Matthew has been great to speak and I look forward to looking at watching the rocket ship continue to orbit, was not the right word to enter new galaxies. Right? Exactly. Sounds like you're credible. Right. So thank you for taking the time.

Matthew Scullion
We're working hard to keep it going up and to the right. But Richard, thank you very much. It's been great fun, really.

Richard Medcalf
Thank you. Take care. Bye bye.

**Note: This transcript is automatically generated.
Please excuse any errors.

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