The acquisition of Bulbstorm and my graduation from Tempe Leadership this spring freed me to spend the summer on sabbatical. Before I left Arizona on a five-month road trip around the West, I answered five questions about my plans for the Phoenix Business Journal. Here’s the interview:
Bulbstorm’s former marketing director takes technology on tour
View article on bizjournals.com here.
Matt Simpson, the former marketing director with social media software startup Bulbstorm, left this week for a six-month, meandering trip with no set itinerary and no firm end date. Simpson, 34, of Tempe, will be blogging his adventures at www.mattmeanders.com.
Where are you going?
I’m driving north up the Pacific Coast to Seattle and returning south through the Rocky Mountains. I should be back sometime around October. From October to April, there’s nowhere I’d rather be than my home state of Arizona.
Why are you going?
I was Marketing Director with Bulbstorm as we grew from six employees to more than two dozen en route to acquisition. It was quite a ride! When Bulbstorm was acquired by Detroit’s ePrize in March, I finally had the free time and excess funds to take a break and do something crazy. Six months on the road seemed a great opportunity to see the country and recharge my batteries before resuming my career.
What are your plans for the trip?
Nothing is set in stone, but I plan to hit as many cultural attractions and natural wonders as possible. One day I may be in an art museum in San Francisco. The next I may be camping at Yosemite National Park. From a business perspective, I’m hoping to explore the West Coast’s other prominent startup communities and bring what I learn back home.
What are your plans when you return?
My only firm plan right now is to not plan. That said, I’m mindful of the fact that I’ll eventually be eager for a new challenge. To that end, I’ve been engaging with the Phoenix startup community to ensure I’m kept abreast of opportunities. And I’ve been keeping my tools sharp by contracting with Ubiquity PR, a Phoenix firm that works with high-growth B2B technology companies across the West.
How will technology play a part in your trip?
In addition to camping and staying with family and friends, I plan to book accommodations through Airbnb and Couchsurfing. I’ve hosted travelers through both services and really enjoyed the experience. If you know of a couch I can crash, please let me know!
Also, I’m a communicator at heart, so I’m always eager to share my adventures with others. I’ve built a travel blog on WordPress and I’ll be keeping friends and colleagues up to date through Twitter and Facebook posts and an email newsletter. The challenge for me will be unplugging. Fortunately, Yosemite and Yellowstone don’t have wi-fi … yet!