B2B startup lessons learned Vertify

Lessons Learned from a B2B Startup CEO During the 2020 Global Pandemic, Part 1

If you do anything of significance in life, you know you never did it by yourself.”

– Matt Klepac, Cofounder and CEO, Vertify

As I reflect on 2020, I can’t help but be thankful for so many things. In times of stress and struggle, I tend to lose sight of success. I forget about the fight that occurred and the steadfast determination that was in play. In this moment of reflection, I decided to write down some of the things we learned at Vertify that impacted our trajectory as a business and a team. There are always mistakes, whether you want to admit them or not, but, there are also so many lessons learned and moments for growth. 

We are all in this 2020 boat together. We all have different struggles, but many of us are facing similar business challenges as we look to grow revenue, support our teams, empower our customers, and achieve goals that are bigger than any one person’s dream or vision. 

With that in mind, I want to discuss three very specific takeaways from 2020 that helped drive our success in a global pandemic. The first one is team.

Here at Vertify we have a very diverse group of individuals. This diversity starts with Black founder and entrepreneur Wayne Lopez and Texas native, founder and entrepreneur, Matt Klepac, joining forces to create a dynamic co-founder duo.

Wayne Lopez, New Orleans native, has ascended to the highest levels of corporate success. It is his data-driven mindset and the trials along the way that have molded and hardened him. He has grit, passion, and an insatiable desire to be the best. He not only expects the best from those around him, but he expects the best from himself. These qualities are invaluable in times of stress, anguish, and when you must force yourself to think outside the box. He is a data geek and proud of it.

Matt Klepac, is a Texas native from Houston, Texas. He spent 12 years building a professional opera career alongside a professional business career, much of which was in NYC. He’s been told “no” more times than most. When you work in the arts, you learn to either drive through the failures and disappointment, or you simply have to make a change. It is your passion that drives you. It is your dogged determination that fuels you. These experiences allowed Matt to take the “no’s” and turn them into jet fuel for success. He is a self-proclaimed ‘marketing and operations nut’ and “damn proud of it”! 

So, how did two guys from such diverse backgrounds come together to create something as great as Vertify? Some would say serendipity. But, Matt calls it fate. Call it God, call it the universe, call it what you want — but fate brought us together with different skill sets, different life experiences, and different management styles. Wayne and Matt were brought together with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and skills, plus a combined determination to push through and fight for what they want and what they think the market needs. 

When faced with a global pandemic, you must be able to lean on determination, and you must be able to lean on the people to the right and to the left of you. Everyone (unless you are Michael Jordan) has moments of weakness. That is when your team must pick you up and carry you. This is exactly the kind of team we have built at Vertify. That same selfless drive extends down into the core of all our people. This team is what helped drive Vertify through some tough times. They helped drive 72% growth in 2020. They helped launch the next evolution of the product. They helped carry the leadership team and encouraged Matt when he was hearing “no” after “no” from investors, to ultimately find the right partners and bring in the capital that will continue to fuel success. 

It starts with the people and ends with the people. Leaders, if you hear anything from this, hear this: treat everyone the same. From senior executives to your newest team member that just graduated from college, treat all people the same way. If you do anything of significance in life, you know you never did it by yourself. It is the collective. It is the group of diverse individuals that bring different ideas and perspectives to the table, but most importantly, it is the hand to lift you up, the boot to kick you in the butt, and the ear to listen to that inspires your collective success. Don’t wait for the next pandemic to recognize the value of people.

This is the first in a series of 3 – stay tuned for “TRANSPARENCY IS VITAL