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THINK PROFILE

MATT HARPER, 34 WebDiner “TMatt Harper studies quantum physics in his downtime. He

sees a lost client as an opportunity to improve. Matt Harper is shaping his own destiny. Realizing early on that the Internet would be key to his future success, Harper started coding in high school and had his first business well on its way by age 19. Along with his partner Shae Strachan, Harper continued to develop that entrepreneurial spirit with a highly profitable fake ID business for students at the University of Miami. When they decided to “go legit,” as Harper put it, the duo collaborated on multiple projects before creating their latest venture, WebDiner, which “The best way to provides custom website design, social media predict my future is integration, and branded marketing specifto create it. I refuse to ically for clients in the restaurant industry. believe that myself, or Surprisingly though, there are still business anyone else for that owners that resist the idea that websites and matter is a victim of social media are a necessity in today’s busicircumstance.” ness landscape. “Some business people start << MATT HARPER the conversation with, I’m Old School, but really people are just afraid of what they don’t understand. Older generations need us more than they care to admit,” says Harper. Whereas some view youth as a disadvantage, Harper disagrees. “I feel I’m at an advantage because I haven’t had the a risk by the Fortune 500 and 100 clients that we were used to opportunity to be corrupted by people’s poor communication working with. All we had was our passion and energy to get up skills and negative mindsets. Today I’m 34, and still choose to and keep trying.” surround myself with positive people who share my core values.” From there, the agency grew, through working with cliAnd those core values include celebrating even the small ents such as Nike, Cover Girl, Apple, and Google, to an successes. “When we lower the threshold of success, we can 11,000-square-foot loft-style space with more than 22 full-time start to find success in small victories, like presenting a thoughtemployees. And where was the manual for success as a startup? ful solution to a client, or submitting an impressive proposal,” he “There aren’t many advisors or mentors out there who want to says. “By retraining ourselves to define what success is, we set share all of their hard-earned advice with the newbies, so this is the stage for continued and larger success.” very much a learn-as-you-go type of life,” Smith says. “No one With hundreds of clients throughout the nation, Harper looks maps anything out for you.” to take WebDiner international by the end of 2014. His strategy When it comes to outpitching her peers, Smith cited tireless for pitching new business is simple: be sincere and listen. “You energy, uncensored thinking, and the knowledge of technology can tell a lot about someone’s fears, anxieties, and desires when over her competition. “Our more senior competition hasn’t you shut up, stay present, and listen. I take their emotions and quite grasped the importance and impact that social media has their needs and use it as fuel to create my desired outcome with on a growing business in today’s world. This is fine with us. Our them.” clients seem to be getting younger and younger and the Internet Another characteristic of the New School that Harper adds is where they go to connect with our brand.” thoughtfully is his willingness to work with a client rather than While running a growing young company might make most just brushing them off. “What would happen if we decided to apprehensive, Smith is confident in Koncept Events’ vision and take this opportunity to help better these people instead of igaptitude. noring them simply because they don’t understand the value we “We have no fear. We trust our intuition and our gut. We can bring to the table? In giving is where we receive.” know we can accomplish anything together.”

T HI NKMAGAZI NES.COM

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Profile for THINK Magazine

August 2014  

August 2014