My wife Vicki and I don’t have kids, but we often joke that raywenderlich.com is “our baby”. Through the past 10 years, we’ve seen our cute little baby go through all stages of development: from the crawling stage, to walking, and even running.
When we first launched raywenderlich.com in 2010, we never imagined that we’d eventually have dozens of employees, hundreds of tutorial team members and thousands of loyal subscribers. But here we are — and it’s been an amazing ride!
Our incredible tutorial team, global content contributors and our passionate raywenderlich.com community has powered our incredible growth over the years (along with a lot of hard work!), but Vicki & I knew that to take raywenderlich.com to the next level and reach our full potential as an organization, we needed a leader with broader experience running and growing businesses, and, specifically, a deep understanding of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry.
So…after a lot of thought and tons of planning — we’re excited to announce that raywenderlich.com is taking a great leap ahead: we’ve brought on a new CEO!
Doves! Orchestra! Fireworks!
Don’t worry though, I’m not going anywhere—I’m just shifting roles! :]
To give you a bit of background about why we’ve made this particular change, our Senior Leadership team took some time in 2020 to reflect on where we wanted to be as an organization, and they also put a lot of thought into determining exactly what kind of leader raywenderlich.com needed to grow and reach our ambitious goals.
That manifested itself as a month-long gauntlet of successive stages of interviews with potential CEOs, many mock team meetings with the candidates that passed the interview stage, some trial projects for an even smaller group of successful candidates, and lots of late-night internal discussion — all designed to make sure that the selected candidate not only had the right skills and experience, but also embodied our values and culture as an organization.
In total, we reviewed over 300 applicants — a staggering pool of highly accomplished professionals — before narrowing down the crowd to one single candidate that we unanimously felt was the right fit.
And without further ado, we are thrilled to officially announce our new CEO: Matt Derrick!
Introducing CEO Matt Derrick
Matt has had a fascinating career, and one that seemingly is tailor-made to prepare him to take our amazing organization to new heights.
Matt started out launching websites for the sports teams in DC before moving to USA TODAY and managing some of their national sales & marketing programs. He then moved into the startup world where he managed lead generation and marketing & partnerships for a direct-to-consumer (DTC) startup ReliaQuote, which fed his love of data and analytical marketing.
Matt then took the digital skills he learned and overhauled the marketing and digital efforts of Life Happens, a consumer education association, eventually creating a marketing automation SaaS platform and scaling it rapidly. It was the growth of that SaaS platform that helped Matt learn the pitfalls & opportunities of scaling SaaS, which will pay huge dividends for raywenderlich.com as we grow.
Most recently, Matt served on the Executive Leadership team of Finseca, a trade association, and helped launch yet another DTC startup, Integriant Ventures. Put succinctly, Matt’s passion for startups and SaaS, as well as his experience growing businesses and overseeing marketing organizations, is exactly what we envisioned when we embarked on this journey.
Finally, not only is Matt extremely knowledgeable and experienced, but he’s also an incredibly nice and down-to-earth guy that fits in extremely well with our team. I have no doubt that he will be able to take an incredible existing team and company, and coach us to the next level of success!
But — What About Ray?!
Although I’ve led this company as founder and CEO for over ten years, I’ve realized that what I really love to do is what I call “trailblazing” — that is, spinning up new projects, and then figuring out how to translate those “big ideas” into repeatable systems that the community can contribute to. I’ve done this for articles, books, video courses, RWDevCon, and I’m still working on building up our bootcamp (among other projects!)
So once Matt gets up to speed, I’ll be moving into more of a founder role, which will hopefully free up my time so I can be a “special agent”:
My dream as a founder is to be able to “parachute in” and pick up whatever tasks suit my interests at the time. I already have a few top-secret projects in mind, that I think you all will be quite excited about! :]
Where To Go From Here?
What does this mean for you, the readers, subscribers and supporters of raywenderlich.com? I’m glad you asked! Matt & I are focused on these four goals in the coming months:
- More platforms: We do a great job covering iOS, Android, Flutter, Server-Side Swift, and Unity right now. But what else should we cover?
- More content types: We currently make step-by-step tutorials, books, video courses, and a podcast. But what else could we make to benefit the development community as a whole?
- Stronger community: We have a strong community, both internally in our tutorial team, and as well in our community of readers. But how can we strengthen and better support our community?
- A growing world of mobile developers: This last one may be the most impactful. There are enormous numbers of people standing at a crossroads in their respective careers — whether seasoned professionals or just starting out — and need some direction on how to launch their careers in the mobile development industry. How can we reach more people at scale and help them succeed in this exciting world of development?
As well, Matt’s got a special surprise coming in April to help celebrate this great leap forward into the next phase of raywenderlich.com. Stay tuned!
From the many discussions I’ve already had with Matt, I know he is passionate about these areas, as well as many others, that will not only help us fly higher, but help us reach heights that we can scarcely imagine today. The sky’s the limit — and Matt, Vicki, and I are beyond excited to take off with you!