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Three Minutes Across the Counter With: Matt Bassett

Doing the opposite of what he was told led Matt Bassett to a successful small business. A lot of Neil Diamond didn't hurt, either.

Matt Bassett of One Hundred Robots
Matt Bassett of One Hundred Robots

Matt Bassett, principal and executive producer of a digital creative agency that makes apps for iPads and iPhones, among other things, has been through the trenches of starting a small business.

As you’ll see, there’s a little Alex P. Keaton in Bassett (he made the reference first!) from his early entrepreneurial drive to a subtle and delightful wit. Here’s what Matt has to say about the path that led to his current business, One Hundred Robots:

Patch: How did you get your first start in business? 

Matt: I channeled my inner Alex P. Keaton at age 10 when I started my own video game rental business and rented my Atari cartridges to all the kids in the neighborhood. Unfortunately it was 1982 and I was way ahead of the curve. 

P: How did your parents influence you as a business owner? 

M: They strongly encouraged me to never own a business. Fortunately I always did the exact opposite of everything they said. Even now that I have been running a successful business for almost five years they still suggest that I might want to think about getting a job.

P: How long have you lived here? 

M: I have lived in NYC for 13 years. I accidentally moved here in 2001 and have been trying to figure out how to leave ever since. At his point it may not be possible.

P: What's your favorite thing about living here? 

M: The energy. It keeps you moving. Forces you to engage. Pushes you to be better. 

P: What's a business mistake you've made that later you were glad you did? 

M: Actually starting a business. If I knew then what I know now I don't think I would have started my own company. 

P: Tell us something about yourself that most of your neighbors don't know.

M: I am a HUGE Neil Diamond fan.

P: What's the best business advice you've ever received? 

M: "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur." I always have to remember that the devil is in the details and hiring an under qualified worker to save a bit up front will cost you a lot in the end.

P: What advice would you give to a small business owner just starting out? 

M: Don't overthink it. Just get things up and running as quick as possible. And learn to delegate. You can't do it all by yourself.

P: What do you look for when you hire? 

M: I always look at personality first. It's important that this person be a good fit with the rest of the team. Then obviously I look at talent and experience. It’s always nice to have people around that can make you laugh. You’ve gotta have a sense of humor.

To contact One Hundred Robots, call or email: 212-414-9227 or info@onehundredrobots.com


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Nominate someone from your community for the Patch Across the Counter interview. Send suggestions to kathleen@patch.com. 

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