And finally, it's time for our founder, Matt Gartland!
What role do you serve at Winning Edits?
I serve as CEO, which means that a big part of my job is business development: making sure Winning Edits is working with great clients and that we are serving them well. To serve our clients well, we have to be keenly aware of how the landscape of publishing is evolving; the platforms, tools, and techniques authors are using to be successful. I love studying this and making sure we keep our clients on the cutting edge.
In terms of editorial direction, my job is to set the rest of team—who I'm thrilled you've gotten to meet—for success. I look at the larger business context for each project and to help the team incorporate it as we develop a project roadmap. We work on a variety of projects, from assisting authors with both the editorial and visual direction (covers, page layouts) for books to providing strategic planning for web page design. I provide the editorial vision, and then I help the team by removing any barriers they're facing so that they can get their work done.
Before starting the Winning Edits team, what did you do?
I come from a corporate software development background—not as an engineer, but in product management. My role operated between the IT function and different business units, and it gave me an interesting perspective on how to use technology to solve business problems. This background helped me see the opportunity that emerging technologies are creating for the self-published author.
This background in systems thinking and software governance directly applies to developing editorial plans, where the goal is to deliver valuable content consistently over time. It's been an interesting, fun journey to bring this experience to the table of editorial content, digital content, and publishing.
What does your ideal day look like?
My ideal day begins by waking up without an alarm—just when my body tells me to wake up, although it will still be early. I have a relaxing breakfast with a cup of coffee and spend some time journaling. It's something I don't get to do nearly enough these days, and it really helps to unleash my creative juices.
I'd get to read a new good book. Midday or early afternoon I'd get out of the house for something physical: go for a run, go to the gym, or go hiking. After that, I'd have dinner with close friends, and then go to bed at a reasonable hour.
What is currently inspiring you?
The team inspires me—both the Winning Edits team and the team at my other company that I co-own/co-run, Rocket Code. Being someone who is a high producing individual, to now get comfortable delegating the work that I have always enjoyed doing but can't responsibly tackle alone, I'm so inspired by all members of the teams—watching them step up and make commitments that help to keep me from working insane hours. I am so grateful and humbled by watching our teams support our clients and make their visions a reality.
Who is your favorite superhero?
While I love many superheroes, Batman is my favorite. He's mortal and he's borne from an adversity that he uses as his motivation to good, hard work for the benefit of others. He doesn't seek recognition; he's a silent guardian, a watchful protector. While I don't go around beating people up after midnight, I self-identify with the internal motivation to be far better than you would be without making some sacrifices. This has helped motivate me to use the benefits and opportunities I've had to pay it forward with business that can provide careers and lifestyles for the people I care about—my team members.