How Matt Brown overcame his imposter syndrome
January 5, 2017
Before joining Skuid, Matt Brown worked for four years as an admissions counselor at a small, private college just outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Armed with a background in liberal arts, he started out as Skuid’s first salesperson in 2013.
“I’ve always been interested in the tech world,” Matt says. “I would regularly read what was happening in Wired, Ars Technica, TechCrunch, stuff like that. But it was always outside looking in. To be a part of that world, where there was so much cool stuff happening, I didn’t want to miss out on a chance to be a part of that.”
Even though he was in a sales position, Matt was interested in the nitty-gritty of the enterprise software world. He wanted to learn how people interacted with their customer relationship management tools (CRM) and how difficult and time-consuming this software could be to use. This helped Matt understand their pain—and why people were interested in purchasing Skuid. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a challenge.
“It was a new language for me to understand—the language of Salesforce and CRM and the tech business world. To be able to get my hands on it and understand just how it worked made me feel a lot less like I was BSing my way through conversations later on. It really helped me to be honest with folks when talking to them about Skuid.”
When Matt decided to go from his position in sales to a Solutions Engineer position, he started to feel insecure about his new role. Instead of trying to sell a product, Matt was now advising in how to implement it.
“I was excited to join the Solutions team, but even now there’s still some deep-seeded insecurity that I deal with,” he says. “I’m not a coder but I’m basically a tech consultant for a booming tech company. There’s always been a little bit of imposter syndrome. I’m always afraid someone is going to say, ‘Oh, what’s he doing here? He knows nothing about this.’”
But Matt found his footing. He recalls a demo he did in Australia with a potential customer—his objective was to solve a problem the company had been having for a very long time, something out-of-the-box Salesforce couldn’t do without a lot of time and money doing custom code. Matt was able to crank out a solution in 30 minutes with Skuid, without using code. The company bought Skuid soon after.
“I have worked with Fortune 500 companies and have done massive implementations for thousands of users. To sit in a room with a C-level exec from a Fortune 500 company who’s asking you, ‘How should we do this thing?’ and to say, ‘This is the way you should do it.’ It’s intimidating but also really exciting.”
Matt believes that what makes his job at Skuid so successful is the company’s philosophy of putting people first. He’s inspired knowing that company leaders see him as a whole person, not just how he fits into what the company needs to accomplish.
“Our CEO, Ken, has this concept of caring heroes, and I know that Skuid employees want to be heroes, not just because there might be some financial bonus or a commission,” Matt says. “There’s a sense that the work that I’m doing is significant. So much of what I’m having to do is creative and problem-solving.”
Matt’s passion for the work he’s doing doesn’t just come from the company culture—it also comes from his belief in the product. “I’ve always felt like we had a really good product to offer, we’re not pulling the wool over people’s eyes.”