As a business consultant, Matt Gottesman helps startups and brands build digital experiences that matter and foster relationships that generate growth and revenue. His magazine, Hustle & Deal Flow, documents the hustle of rising entrepreneurs and creators from around the world. With business partner Case Kenny, Matt produces a podcast called “The Hustle Sold Separately,” which “inspires the masses” by showcasing doers’ and innovators’ individual journeys. Matt is a tech enthusiast with a passion for all things Web.
What part of Arizona do you call home?
What was your very first entrepreneurial venture?
A digital music startup that didn’t make it. It took me five years, and while the company didn’t last, it ultimately taught me so many valuable lessons in all things tech and web so I would be better equipped for a future in it.
What do you do now?
[I am an] internet and media entrepreneur, editor-in-chief of HDFMagazine.com, [and a] consultant.
How did you come up with the idea for your business?
HDFMagazine.com: too many publications featuring the end success stories of entrepreneurs. I wanted to feature them while they’re on their journey, where the magic really happens.
Trep Media Group: merged with PRSUIT.COM and created additional digital media properties based on the need in the market for more relevant and transparent content for driven millennials.
HSS Podcast: our followers and subscribers asked for it.
Matt Gottesman (Stealth): companies needed to ensure that they not only do business in a digitally connected world, but also get in front of their audience to produce more sales, revenue, traffic, customers, ROI, subscribers and more.
What was the biggest challenge in executing this idea?
[For HDFMagazine.com, Trep Media Group, and HSS Podcast], I wasn’t a media publisher before. Companies often [also] don’t understand what it takes to do business in an online, digitally savvy world, nor the amount of investment it takes to build it. Essentially, I have to help them think through the entire business use-case for becoming more digital, and they need to be patient in the process. The patience is the biggest challenge for them.
What is your favorite part about running a business?
The freedom: the freedom to create your vision and carry it all the way through; the freedom to collaborate with others and build something that impacts a community (either local or global); the freedom to build a profitable brand or house of brands that are not only highly respected, but highly valued. And the learning—you not only learn a lot about business from actually running one, but you learn a lot about your own personal journey.
How did you get started in the tech industry?
I started over fifteen years ago before iTunes had digital music. I wanted to create an Internet music startup, and did, which is where I learned all things technology (back-end programming languages and front-end marketing, content and user design). The startup didn’t make it, but my education did.
How long have you lived or worked in Arizona? What have you noticed about the growth of the tech industry here?
I’ve worked on and off in Arizona for the past fifteen years. I occasionally work in other locations, but Scottsdale & AZ have been my home base for a while. The tech scene here has definitely grown, and in a variety of ways, from startups, co-working spots and incubators, and to having more digital media & VC’s. I think it’s got a lot of upswing potential as it continues to come together more.
If you could only describe your city with one word, which word would it be?
Diverse. Diverse in talent, culture, lifestyles, ideation and innovation.
What’s your favorite thing about living in Arizona?
The weather. I’d like to say a whole bunch of other things, but the weather is so key here. Great weather usually translates to happier people. The heat is only temporary. All other months are beautiful.
What’s your least favorite thing about living in Arizona?
In what area do you think Arizona still has a long way to go?
Business in Arizona is different from NYC, LA or Chicago, meaning some Arizona companies may not understand the type of investment that goes into successfully executed strategies and tactics that those other cities are ready to embrace and activate.
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?
What’s your favorite place to grab lunch?
There are a lot of great options these days. However, I make it over to ChopShop often. Good food that’s both healthy and tastes amazing.
What’s your favorite dinner spot?
It’s a tie between the Upton and St. Francis.
What’s your favorite place to work in your city aside from your office?
Sip Coffee & Beer House. That place is just plain cool for working and taking in the outdoor vibe.
Best place for a meeting over drinks?
Citizen Public House.
What is something about living in Arizona that only a local would know of?
We actually have wineries here. Good wineries. Even some locals may not know that.
Any tips for new Arizona residents?
Depending on the time of day, it may take you a completely different amount of time to get to where you’re going. You can go across town at 11 AM and it will take you 25 minutes. You can do the same route one hour later and it will take you 55 minutes. Moral of the story: find a pattern and stick with it.