Our September Employee Spotlight selection is Karl Matthews, Vice President of Product Management. Karl’s key responsibilities include developing the product roadmap, listening to customers and the market to figure out compelling ways to articulate the value eOriginal delivers, and developing and managing the product roadmap in partnership with a cross functional team. Recently, one of Karl’s key areas of focus has been updating our pricing. This has involved analyzing our sales history, aligning our pricing to our business strategy, and determining how to simplify how our customers and partners do business with us.
Q: What do you find most challenging at eOriginal?
Karl: When I first joined the company, a number of my new colleagues advised me that what we do is really complicated, and that I should expect a steep and long learning curve. Having been here a while, I now see it a bit differently. The value we provide to our customers is pretty easy to understand: we ensure that transactions signed digitally (such as leases, loans and mortgages) are managed properly, so that they preserve their value and integrity throughout their lifecycle. And I believe we are the best at what we do.
The complexity comes from how our customers use our technology. Across a broad spectrum of asset classes, from one company to the next, there can be much depth and variation in how financial assets are securitized, collateralized, serviced, rated and traded. Often we need to be experts not just in our software, but also guides for our customers as they navigate legal and operational landscapes during their transition to digital workflows. Much of the challenge (and, in my opinion, personal reward) comes from learning about all these aspects of our customers’ businesses and applying that knowledge to drive innovation and efficiency across entire industries.
Q: What is your least favorite food?
Karl: Although born in England, I never did get on with black pudding or tripe. But strangely enough, I love haggis, a staple of Scotland, where I lived for a while after getting married.
Q: What celebrity do people think you look like?
Karl: My wife thinks I’m most like Steve Martin. I think it is whitening hair and the zany/dry wit (which may come over more in the “at home” me, than my work persona).
I think Hugh Laurie would make a good choice, if someone played me in a movie. I certainly enjoyed playing the character of House, one year at Halloween. Sarcasm is an art form in the UK, and it took effort for me to take it out of my repertoire, when I moved into the U.S. work culture.
Q: What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
Karl: Two first-class round-the-world air tickets would be high on my list. Over the past several years, I have been working to down-size and reduce my property ownership as little as possible. It is something that has made me able to take opportunities around the world. So, with unlimited funds, I could see my wife and I going exploring for a while. But eventually the pull of the software industry would likely win me back, as building innovative software and growing great companies is something I love.
From coming of age in a small seaside town in the UK during the emergence of the home computing era to working for Adobe in Silicon Valley, and FileNet where he became familiar with delivering technology to financial services companies, it’s quite clear Karl is an individual whose experiences have aligned him perfectly with his position at eOriginal. He has been able to hit the ground running and start adding value to the company faster than any other employee I’ve seen join our team. And of course, like all of our employees, Karl has a hidden talent: line dancing. In fact, he met his wife of nearly 20 years at a line dancing event in the UK. Always one to embrace the latest technology, Karl and his wife organized their entire wedding in Hawaii over the internet. That’s definitely something that was unheard of 20 years ago.
In closing, eOriginal is a great place to work filled with even greater people. This spotlight series serves to recognize the dedicated individuals that shape our company. We’re excited to see the groundbreaking ideas and innovations Karl is able to bring to eOriginal in the coming years.