Clate Mask is the co-founder and CEO of Infusionsoft. He leads the company in creating the best software solution that helps small businesses scale their sales and marketing and accelerate growth. Infusionsoft’s software was specifically designed with small business in mind, making Infusionsoft a major part of the Arizona tech and entrepreneurial scenes.
What part of Arizona do you call home?
What was your very first entrepreneurial venture?
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial drive. Growing up, if I wanted something, I had to work for it. For example, as soon as I was old enough, I had my own paper route. Though I didn’t know it at the time, going through those experiences prepared me to be the entrepreneur I am today. My first official venture was when I joined Scott and Eric Martineau in founding Infusionsoft.
What is your favorite part about running a business?
My favorite part of running a business is having the ability to influence small business success and create something that has a positive impact on the world. I love that I am able to create a path for entrepreneurs, help them grow their business and achieve the freedom they crave. My passion for small business success and the impact I can create on the global economy is what drives me every day.
I also love the fact I am able to provide opportunities for more than 600 people who work at Infusionsoft.
How did you come up with the idea for Infusionsoft?
Scott, Eric and I initially started out as a custom software development shop serving small businesses. One day we received a phone call from a customer that changed everything. The customer was beating himself up because he accidently sent an email promotion to everyone on his list. He had no way of segmenting his contacts. Building a solution for that customer’s need opened our eyes to a solution we could offer to any small business wanting to more effectively follow up with their prospects and customers.
What was the biggest challenge in executing this idea?
Starting a business was difficult in itself. However, the biggest challenge was designing a solution that caters to the vast needs of small business owners, and selling to a really diverse market. We spent years talking with hundreds of different small business owners to get a deep understanding of the core challenges our customers face.
How did you get started in the tech industry?
I got my degree in economics from Arizona State University, and then my Juris Doctor and MBA degree from Brigham Young University. After I graduated, I worked for a tech company called North Sky, which was later acquired by About.com. However, my dream was always to be an entrepreneur, so that’s when I made the leap to co-found Infusionsoft. Till this day I get excited because small business growth is what I love, and I get to help empower that every day.
How long have you lived or worked in Arizona?
I was born and raised in Arizona. I’ve been here my whole life, with the exception of my time at BYU. What I’ve noticed about the Arizona tech industry is its explosive growth. It is incredible to see so many good things happening locally, from more startups and incubators, to people moving here from Silicon Valley. The growth we’re seeing gives more opportunities for entrepreneurs in the tech industry and is great for the local community.
If you could only describe your city with one word, which word would it be?
What’s your favorite thing about living in Arizona?
Arizona is wide open—geographically and opportunistically.
What’s your least favorite thing about living in Arizona?
Sorry. It’s the heat.
In what area do you think Arizona still has a long way to go?
We need more Investment in local tech startups.
The foodie scene is growing bigger and bigger by the day here in Arizona. What is your favorite place to get breakfast in your city?
I’m actually not a breakfast guy, so I couldn’t recommend a place.
What’s your favorite place to grab lunch?
BLD in Chandler.
Image by BLD.
What’s your favorite dinner spot?
The Cheesecake Factory. I have many good memories there.
What’s your favorite place to work in your city aside from your office?
Best place for a meeting over drinks?
What is your favorite memory from Arizona?
Seeing the Diamondbacks win the World Series!
What is something about living in Arizona that only a local would know of?
There’s no Terminal 1 at Sky Harbor!
Any tips for new Arizona residents?
It’s still really hot at night in the summertime. Get a pool and use it at night.