IMG_4497.jpgI’m very excited to introduce Matt Buchan, our new Director of Finance and Operations at Skilljar! I had the great privilege of working with Matt while at Amazon, and am absolutely thrilled to be doing it again. There is an incredible amount of back-office operations at a rapidly growing SaaS startup – financial planning and analysis, data and metrics, forecasting, bookkeeping and controllership, accounts receivable and payable, payroll, invoicing, income and sales tax, not to mention all the other corporate functions (HR, IT, procurement, facilities, compliance, and more). In just 1 week, Matt has already taken over these responsibilities and is making an enormous impact.

Matt is originally from Seattle and has spent the last year on sabbatical traveling the world. I have also recently learned that he is “virtually unbeatable at Bananagrams,” and as a former Jeopardy contestant and American Crossword Puzzle Tournament participant myself, I heartily accept the challenge!

Welcome Matt!

Q: What three words would you use to describe yourself?
A: Geek, traveler, Seattleite.

Q: What’s your favorite place to visit in Seattle?
A: There are so many great spots to visit in the Seattle area, but one of my favorites has been going up to my family’s cabin in Anacortes, WA.  Being able to get out of town and quickly reach so many great spots for hiking or camping or just a walk along the sound is one my favorite parts of living here.

Q: Tea or coffee?
A: Coffee 100%, I try to visit the best coffee shops in town whenever I travel somewhere new. So far, the best coffee I have found has all been in Australia!

Q: What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
A: As sad as it is to say, my phone for sure, but also coffee.

Q: What inspires you?
A: Big ideas are really exciting to me in all their forms, whether that’s building a business that is helping our customers solve a hard problem or debating how to fix Seattle’s many growing pains or diving into an awesome new SciFi book.

Q: How did you first hear about Skilljar, and what interested you about the company?
A: I had the great fortune of getting to work with Sandi and Jason while they were at Amazon, so I got to see Skilljar evolve from just an idea into the fast growing business they have today, so getting to work with them when I came back from my trip around the world made perfect sense!

Q: Describe your last experience with online learning.
A: While I had to take countless compliance and development modules during my time at my previous employer, I actually more recently spent some time trying to teach myself Chemistry. Overall the experience was great and the interactive courses and intermixing of videos and readings made it a lot easier to learn quickly, but it was also clear that there is a lot more that can be done to make online learning even better.

Q: If you were going to offer a course online, what would it be about?
A: So many possibilities, but how to take a year off to travel the world, how to not slow down the security line at the airport, and how to always win at Bananagrams come to mind!