10 Things You Didn’t Know about Matt Westgate

The people who best know Matt Westgate as a professional are the employees of his company Lullabot, formally based in Providence, R.I. They work with him virtually every day and are known affectionately as Lullabots. They work in 6 countries throughout 48 cities around the world. Lullabot is an open source development company that uses the Drupal programming environment to accomplish its mission.

1. He was named one of the 50 Best CEOs

Coming in at #11, the annual survey taken by Comparably polls the company’s employees to tally the final results. Because Lullabot has only 53 employees, Westgate earned the 11 spot for Small and Medium sized companies.

2. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Buzzr

Buzzr in another company he co-founded. If you are a fan of classic TV game shows such as To Tell the Truth, Match Game, Family Feud, Password, Beat the Clock, What’s My Line, and Card Sharks then you probably already have heard of the Buzzr cable network.

3. He established the unique values of Lullabot that Lullabots embrace.

His involvement in Buzzr is not a coincidence. “Fun” is one of the core company values that have made Westgate and Lullabot the world’s top rated design and development company. The others: inspire and empower, be human, “kick ass,” open collaboration, and be inventive and innovative.

4. Westgate graduated from Iowa State University in Computer Mediated Technologies

So what is the big deal? Well, he is responsible for the university having the specific degree program to begin with. He literally built the program up out of nothing because of his passion to focus on the (then) emerging field of web application development and information architecture.

5. Westgate’s lifestyle is primarily work, work, work.

That may not sound like a lot of fun, but remember that in Westgate’s World, work is fun. He keeps busy creating and growing Lullabot through the evaluation and oversight of the partnerships, acquisitions, and business development opportunities that pass through Lullabot’s doors. What’s left of his time he uses to practice Muay Thai, take photos of his many travels, and engage in meditation (naturally).

6. He is an active member of the Drupal Association.

While some people forget from whence they came, Westgate has committed himself to giving back. The Drupal Association works collaboratively to support and grow the Drupal community through funding and education. He has been credited to having at least 605 commits to Drupal projects.

7. He is a co-author of the Pro Drupal Development book.

Along with John K. VanDyk, they authored the Pro Drupal Development book, which is considered by serious Drupal developers to be the must-have resource for success. An experienced programmer commented that “This book was (and is) exactly what I need to get things done.” True to his corporate values of “kick ass” and inventiveness and innovation, he makes people better at what they do.

8. Trust is an essential business trait.

The Lullabot collaborative effort is based on a distributed business model where people from all over the world trust people they have never even personally met to do their part of the project and ensure the success of the team. This trust extends to clients, who learn that Lullabot is not just another company, but a company that trusts its people to deliver quality work in a timely manner. (see a short video here [https://vimeo.com/116565603])

9. Westgate wrote the original Drupal ecommerce package.

Drupal was long considered to be a CMS (Content Management System) programming environment. Matt demonstrated as a proof-of-concept that Drupal had the potential to be much, much more than simply a CMS and elevated it to the position it holds, mostly hidden behind the scenes, on the Internet today.

10. His efforts in working the Grammy awards were essential to the show’s success.

According to the website grammy.com, it was “awarded Best Media Website Built with Drupal by the Blue Drop Awards in its inaugural season.” That year was 2014, and since then Lullabot was the choice for streaming the Grammy award shows for the next 3 years.

Matt Westgate is not interested in breaking the corporate model of business, but instead is creating his own and allowing clients and employees to decide for themselves whether or not they want to follow. If you thought you knew him before reading this article, you now have a better idea of the man behind Lullabot.


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