The Idaho Statesman: Business Insider
By: Sandra Forester
August 22, 2012
Matt Rissell, 35, of Eagle, is as fervent about connecting the tech community as he is about workouts and wilderness adventures with his wife and three children.
“I am doing everything I can to help find a way to get more people to come together to build even bigger ideas that benefit us all,” he says.
Rissell founded TSheets, (www.tsheets.com) a web-based time tracking software and services company in 2006. The company recently moved into offices at 923 S. Bridgeway Place, Suite 100, in Eagle. It is Rissell’s sixth startup, with eight full-time and two part-time employees and more than 30,000 customers worldwide. He is the former owner of Cartridge World Boise and former executive vice president of Boise-based CRI Advantage, one of the largest information technology firms in the Northwest. The Colorado native has a bachelor’s in business management from Colorado Mesa University, formerly Mesa State College, in Grand Junction.
Q: How does your company innovate?
A: One way TSheets innovates is we allow our employees to fail. We encourage them to take risks. In order to create brilliance you have to take risks, and we expect brilliance. We continue to stay innovative by measuring everything we do and by taking the time to learn from it. When you’re constantly listening to your feedback loop you get direct insight into what your customer wants next. By asking for this type of feedback from TSheets customers, our customers develop a genuine interest in TSheets, and we create a cycle of innovation for our team. Most importantly, I hire people that are smarter than me.
Q: Do you believe in creative destruction, and if so, how do you practice it?
A: I don’t believe in creative destruction, but I do believe in creative evolution. Sometimes the new eats the old, sometimes the new grows from the old, and sometimes the new and old coexist. We practice creative evolution at TSheets by measuring everything to find out what’s working and what’s not. For example, we look at where the customer came from, what niche they fit in, what issues they are trying to solve, how they interact with our software, conversion metrics, etc. You have to be prepared to change your process and direction on efforts that don’t excel and the perseverance to continue to pursue those that do.
Q: What services or products might we see in the next five years from your company? From the Boise tech community?
A: Is it possible to put your entire readership under an NDA [nondisclosure agreement]? While we can’t let it all out of the bag, we can say that you’ll see TSheets pivoting on our base technology by creating customized versions of our product for specific niche industries. For years, Tsheets has served multiple industries at once with the same, beneficial platform. The more we can customize our application for individual industries, the better we can continue to serve their needs.
As far as the Boise tech community overall, I see the ITC (Idaho Tech Council Software Alliance) continuing to grow, creating a better environment for all the local players to learn and grow. With the ITC creating programs to entice other software engineers to join us from outside the area, we will see an explosion of local technology companies themed around software.
Q: Do you think we’ve got a strong, innovative community in Boise?
A: Let me put a positive spin on that and say that our innovative community is improving. There are pockets of geniuses out there, but they are scattered throughout different industries. Industries that don’t always talk.
Q: How is the Boise tech community evolving?
A: The Idaho Technology Council is helping consolidate the voices of technology by involving multiple segments of Boise’s tech community (R&D, software, government, biotech, energy, etc.) in future planning, idea generation, and syncing our efforts with the smaller organizations out there. Transparency is becoming key, now more than ever. The more transparent we can be, the further we will go.
Read more at The Idaho Statesman.