Matthew Bellows – CEO of Yesware

[quote style=”boxed”]One of my co-founders, Cashman Andrus, said “you tell lies until they come true.” I think of it more as “imagining steps to realize a dream.” But I couldn’t do it without Cashman, that’s for sure.[/quote]

Matthew Bellows is CEO of Yesware. He is responsible for sales, product vision and strategic direction of the company. As a founder of the company, Matthew brings more than 10 years of sales experience to the company’s goal of helping salespeople close more deals faster. Prior to Yesware, Matthew was the Vice President of Sales and Consumer Strategy at Vivox, the market leader in voice for digital worlds. He previously served as General Manager and board member at Floodgate, which was acquired by Zynga, and as Founder/CEO of WGR Media, which was acquired by CNET Networks.

Matthew earned his BA from Naropa University and graduated magna cum laude from Babson College’s MBA program.

What are you working on right now?

We’re a small team, and I’m the only guy who can’t code. So I work on everything else: product vision and priorities, sales, PR and marketing, hiring, HR and infrastructure, partnerships–basically everything outside of engineering and operations.

What does your typical day look like?

Most days I get up at 5:30 AM, check email, do a little exercise, read a book while I drink tea and then do 30 to 60 minutes of meditation. I help get the kids to school from 7:00 AM to 8:30 AM. Then I go to our office (in awesome Dogpatch Labs) and start cranking away. We have a “no meetings before noon” policy so everyone is heads-down until lunch. Then we might meet as a team in person or on Skype. I usually have a bunch of afternoon meetings and drinks/dinner commitments a couple of times each week. I get home as soon as I can, help with dinner and the evening routine. Then I do email for an hour or so and go to sleep.  If I can be in bed by 10:30 PM, all is good.

3 trends that excite you?

  • Broad acceptance of cloud services for enterprise
  • The move from tracking opinions to tracking data and activities
  • The growing feeling that salespeople deserve technology too

How do you bring ideas to life?

One of my co-founders, Cashman Andrus, said “you tell lies until they come true.” I think of it more as “imagining steps to realize a dream.” But I couldn’t do it without Cashman, that’s for sure.

What inspires you?

In the course of raising our seed round, I ran into a few possible investors who asked why they should invest in me when I’ve got a family and there are plenty of kids who will work 120 hours a week. I said, “I’m not doing this for me. I’m doing it to provide for my family, to create a great place to work for people and to help salespeople reach their goals.”  They didn’t invest, but I didn’t care. They can have the hours. I’ve got the motivation.

What was one mistake you’ve made and what did you learn from it?

In my last startup, I tried to sub out work that was meant for us. It immediately bit us and I felt so ashamed. Now I never lie to a customer, I try not to overpromise and I always own the whole process.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Ideas for businesses are worthless. Execution is all that’s important. So here’s an idea about execution: before you start on a business idea, make sure you genuinely, truly and completely care about it. Don’t waste time on something you don’t feel strongly about.

What do you read every day? Why?

My email because it’s the most effective communication medium in the world.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Ruling Your World by Mipham Rinpoche. He’s a meditation master, a marathoner, a great manager and a very perceptive person. This book is all about how we can gradually build a powerful relationship with this fleeting thing we call life.

What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?

The more I drive my Mini Cooper S convertible, the more I like it. As it gets older, I feel its physicality more.

Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?

Daniel Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind.

What’s the hardest part about hiring?

The uncertainty. You can’t really get to know someone in the interview process.

What’s your number?

I don’t have one anymore. I really like what I’m doing.


Matthew Bellows Email: [email protected]
Matthew Bellows on Twitter: @mbellows
Yesware on Twitter: @yesware
Matthew Bellows on LinkedIn:  mbellows