SportsFormulator uses analytics to measure team/player performance and predict sporting events.
MO: What inspired you to launch your business?
Matt: I simply wanted to be my own boss and do something I love. I was tired of the 8-5 sitting in a cube. After attending StartupWeekend in Columbia last year, I really became inspired to focus on getting a business going so a few months later I quit my 8-5 job and went 100% into SportsFormulator.
MO: What issue does your core product help solve and how so?
Matt: Sports fans want information. The better information people receive, the better the decisions they can make. I have studied and analyzed sports data for years and developed formulas to help predict the outcomes. I finally felt last year that I really had something and wanted to share it with others. It’s gotten a tremendous response and I’ve gotten feedback from many who appreciate what SportsFormulator offers on a daily basis.
MO: What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner and how have you met that challenge?
Matt: I publish daily so I have some hectic days. I try to always work a day ahead of time because I never know how a day will go. As a sole founder I’m responsible for all aspects of the business and can get pulled in many directions at the same time. I try to plan my days out and prioritize tasks. This helps me stay on track and make sure I’m able to accomplish daily goals.
MO: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you/your Company?
Matt: Football season starts this month and it’ll be the biggest month for the company. We rolled out a new site in July with a premium option so we’re building subscribers now which is great to see. I think as more and more people see how accurate the information SportsFormulator provides the more subscribers we will have and can build a tremendous clientele.
MO: Where do you envision your company in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
Matt: I have several different aspects of sports analytics I want to develop under the banner of SportsFormulator. I want to get more involved with consulting with teams to analyze player performance and cover more sports. Soccer is a sport I’m hoping to begin covering later this year. I’m hoping to have a staff that grows and be an employer to many people.
MO: Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
Matt: Currently in Major League Baseball we’re better than two predictors ESPN uses so that’s exciting to see. We’ve had over 46,000 unique visitors to the site in 8 months so that’s encouraging. Even more encouraging are the numbers of returning visitors. It’s a tremendous honor to have repeat visitors. I think I’ve had some success but I’m my own worst critic as well. I have big plans for SportsFormulator and I won’t truly define success until I’ve reached more of those goals.
MO: What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs and business owners? What do you wish someone told you?
Matt: My advice is to go for it. Get a plan together and write out your idea. I think using a lean canvas model is great for helping to develop your idea and giving you a framework for starting your company. You can start small and just test a beta version of your product. Ask users for feedback and you’ll be surprised with the amount of information people will share. I’ve found that invaluable to developing the site so it provides more of what my audience wants. It’s better to have worked toward your goal and failed than have the doubt of what would have happened if you’d have actually tried it. Entrepreneurship is difficult. It’s not easy and you get many hurdles but if you’re willing to stick it out I think you’ll find it very rewarding.
MO: What’s the biggest risk that you’ve ever taken and how did it turn out?
Matt: I decided after Thanksgiving 2012 that I was quitting my full-time job and going to SportsFormulator. It was a gigantic risk because I had no idea what the revenue would be from it but I’ve been able to stay afloat since then thanks to careful planning and budgeting. I love what I do despite the stresses of startup life so I’d say the risk has been worth it.
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