An Interview with Kimaree Beyrent: Rocket Matter’s Very First Employee
Sure, Rocket Matter has been celebrating it’s 10th anniversary lately: We honored our first client, Peter Sosin, back in November to mark his ten years using the product. And just this past weekend, we had a blowout party to thank all the employees, investors, clients, channel partners, and other early supporters who helped up get where we are today.
However, we might not have gotten very far at all if it weren’t for one person: Kimaree Beyrent, Rocket Matter’s first employee. Today, February 28th, 2018 marks her 10th year with the company.
Kim is the Director of Customer Support at Rocket Matter. Today, she oversees the award-winning support team, which handles incoming phone calls, emails, and chats from Rocket Matter users on various topics ranging from basic questions to feature needs. However, she has worn almost every hat at Rocket Matter: In the early years, she handled all inquiries and sales demos. She’d onboard new clients, train them, and handle customer support and even billing issues.
Kim took a chance on Rocket Matter ten years ago, and we are so glad she did. This company wouldn’t be the same without her.
Here’s what Kim had to say about her decade with Rocket Matter:
Why did you decide to take a job at a startup—which is always risky—so many years ago?
I really wasn’t looking for a job at the time. Before I came to Rocket Matter, I had been working most of my professional life in large organizations, from a law firm to outsourcing companies managing big brand names across many teams. Three companies and 15 years later, working in a 24/7 environment 365 days a year, I worked myself sick. I decided I had to jump off the corporate cliff and was determined to take a few months off to enjoy life a little.
I honestly can say that I believe I wound up at Rocket Matter because the universe aligned it. I was helping a friend build a new age salon when a mutual friend (who was also a technology recruiter) asked me to meet the founder of this new technology start up. She said I could just help out for a few weeks to help with some basic requests and needs until the company hired a few critical staff members. I agreed—after all, it was just a few weeks.
However, once I started to get hands-on at Rocket Matter, I realized how necessary this application was to the future of the legal profession. Also, having worked in legal and technology, it was really a perfect fit for my background. I felt very comfortable demonstrating Rocket Matter and providing support for its users in a meaningful way and without needing to be a salesperson.
Also, Larry Port, the CEO, was working very hard driving the business forward. He was as talented in marketing as he was in developing the code. There was never a day that I was not confident in his leadership and vision. As the weeks went on, it just became a natural decision to stay on board.
What is it like being with a company from the beginning and watching it grow to where it is today?
I remember looking at office spaces very early on and seeing the one with windows and saying to myself, “Maybe in a couple years we could get windows in our offices!” We got all of our furniture through donations and about $50. I can’t forget the days when we couldn’t afford boxes or even shipping for that matter! I’m laughing just thinking about it. The next year we had that office with the windows and even matching desks, but we then quickly outgrew that one. Then we moved to the next office, and the next one, until I really just needed to be told where my moving bin was and where we were moving to next. We grew so quickly.
I guess you have to be humble though. Creating is messy. It’s ’s not for the high-maintenance kind. We had (and still have) a great team of smart, humble, hard workers. Our fearless leader also always made sure that we celebrated the small wins even if that meant opening a six-pack and handing each of us a beer while we were heads down meeting deadlines. Those small celebrations mean much more now looking back, because the long-term task would have seemed so much more overwhelming if we hadn’t looked at the small stuff in the right light along our path.
What is your favorite memory of working at Rocket Matter?
I have SO many memories: The iguana infestations, running from three tornadoes in the Midwest while traveling for work, the water main break in Boston…literally laughing and crying at the same time.
One great memory I have was during my second year working at Rocket Matter. After a long trade show day in Boston, Larry and I rushed over to the MIT building to participate in a very small event where I was able to witness just a handful of incredibly smart people engaging about the future of the cloud and all of the possibilities that came with it. I’ve had the privilege of spending a lot of time in the company of thought leaders, who were also really great people. These experiences charged me, challenged me, and helped me grow in so many ways. I could not be more grateful for it all.
What made you stick with Rocket Matter all of these years?
There’s nowhere else I’d rather be!
Has anything surprised you about the company in the past decade?
To this day, I’m always amazed how quickly we execute on new ideas. We collectively know that we work with incredibly smart people whom we can count on to execute a plan successfully and responsibly.
What are our thoughts about the fact that the company is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary?
Looking back, I’m very, very proud. And I’m very excited about the potential that our team has to take us to the next level!