Welcome to Innovation Meets Leadership! I’m your host, Natalie Born. In this episode, Payitoff Founder and CEO Bobby Matson talks about turning a problem into a business possibility. Frustrated by his own student loans, he founded a debt infrastructure company to bring more transparency to the repayment process. He details how to dig deep into a personal pain point and discover the demand for a solution on a broader scale. Bobby also gives advice to people who are looking to begin their startup journey.
University of Michigan grad obsessed with building better infrastructure for all borrowers: Bobby led engineering teams at Carbon Five, where he built technology for Groupon, Fandango, and Stitchfix and shipped software to millions of users. After managing six-figure student debt in his own life, he's working on Payitoff to create better outcomes for every borrower.
[00:19] All Borrowers Want Clarity
Bobby on being in and out of student loan forbearance
Student loans are very hard to understand
There is a need to remove the complexity so borrowers can understand what the best steps are to pay off their debts
Realizing how little infrastructure there is to help borrowers was the starting point of his company
Why they focused on student loans in the early days
It’s important to go insanely deep into the problem and solve it better than anyone else
More use cases, more impact
[07:30] Driven by Customer Demand
How Bobby went from a non-technical founder to a technical founder
Doing direct customer testing and diving into the financial advisors' market
This experience allowed them to grow and gain their edge
Having the demand is a big advantage when it comes to fundraising
[12:51] Success Breeds Passion
When you get good feedback on the work you’re doing, it creates passion
Building a company vs. Solving a need
Be honest with yourself if you market and the customer before taking a leap into entrepreneurship
[15:29] Nailing Your Niche
Unlocking one opportunity opens more opportunities
It’s about discovering more variables around the problem and finding solutions for them
The complexity is the villain
A little pain point can be a deeper pain point for somebody else
This can be the push you need to move forward and start your own company
Eliminate the perceived risk and just go for it
[25:05] Closing Segment
Connect with Bobby!
“Solve one problem and go unreasonably deep.” - Bobby Matson
“When I saw in the early days that I was helping us with something and everyone I knew with this debt, it was exciting. And I still reference and go back to those moments, the very real demonstrable impact of those days.” - Bobby Matson“I get very obsessed with the problem. If I really do want to see everybody have a better outcome, but with something this complex, with this many variables, it's all about how many profiles and variations you can throw at it.” - Bobby Matson
“There are a lot of moments in company building where you'll say to yourself, am I doing the right thing? Are we working on the right thing? Knowing the personal need that you had in the beginning is the anchor that helps you answer that question.” - Bobby Matson
Connect with Bobby
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