Matthew Gibbons founded Gibbons Media after working as a senior account executiveat Striker Media Group for 10 years. Gibbons Media is now launching an app called Million Maps App. The app displays a map of Santa Monica in nine languages: English, French, Japanese, Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, German, Korean and Spanish. Within the app you’ll receive a company’s coupon when you are within 200 meters of the company’s store.
Erik Huberman: What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
Matthew Gibbons: My mother was an entrepreneur who owned a candy store in Santa Monica on 4th and Wilshire when I grew up. As a kid, I would work at the store after school and on the weekends. It was the foundation of something that will always be a part of my life.
EH: Tell me about Million Maps App.
MG: We are a publishing company that is launching an app that makes the largest and most popular visitors publication in Santa Monica history. Witha product called Million Maps App in Santa Monica, we are making a million maps of the city in 10 languages for the tourists. We are launching the new mobile app on Aug.1that will use a technology called geo-fencing. Geo-fencing puts coupons on customer’s phones when they are within 200 meters of one of our advertisers.
EH: How are you changing the world?
MG: We are exposing the world to a disruptive business model that is based on pay for performance, as opposed paying for cost per thousand impressions. We believe that we are so good at performing the task of bringing customers to our clients’ doors that we should only be awarded when a sale occurs. That is arguably the most disruptive thing that has ever happened in the world of advertising and marketing. Santa Monica, aka Silicon Beach, is about 10 years ahead of the world’s sensibilities on a lot of issues. I have always said that New York is 3 hours ahead, but 10 years behind. We are the ones who create a fusion of lifestyle with fashion, surf culture, urban culture, tech culture, and sophistication, all to create an incredible mix of lifestyle. If people want to get a glimpse of the future or “be cool,” they come to Santa Monica.
EH: Why Santa Monica?
MG: I grew up in the Pacific Palisades and I have always had a connection to this city because of my mom’s candy store. I have been selling advertising in Santa Monica for over 20 years and have also worked for different magazines and newspapers. Santa Monica has changed a lot since I was a kid in terms of the overall dynamic of the city and the people that live here. Thanks to the City of Santa Monica, the Chamber of Commerce and an organization called Downtown Santa Monica Inc., we have transformed Santa Monica into an example of city of urban development. With 7.5 million visitors a year, I am glad and excited to be a part of the effort that brings tourists into our city.
EH: Do you have one piece of advice for an entrepreneur starting his or her own business?
MG: It’s all about serving your customer. Every business should be completely customer-facing and customer-oriented. Nothing else matters. When many business owners are coming up with their pricing or business strategies, they look at how much it costs to run their business or how it benefits their business. Eventually they will regress to the mean and revert to my methods. If you count on the customers’ perspective first, you will have a stronger orient. Worry about yourself last.
EH: Is there anything you’d like to share with the Santa Monica community?
MG: Locals should not be afraid to come down to the tourist areas and use our app to save money. Don’t spend your money in L.A. Sixty percent of the money you spend stays in Santa Monica; at branding stores, only 40 percent stays in. Our app is going live on Aug.1 with a free trial that will serve tourists and give them unlimited free coupons.