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Left to Your Own Devices
Matt Eyring: An Authority on Disruptive Innovation and Growth
May 6, 2013
Although Matt Eyring grew up in Bountiful and graduated from the University of Utah, he left the state more than 20 years ago and never really thought about returning. It took an offer from local powerhouse Vivint to bring Eyring back to the West again. He joined the company in January as chief strategy and innovation officer.
After working on the East Coast and in Minnesota, Eyring co-founded Innosight with Clayton Christensen and spent a decade at that company, most recently as managing partner. But now, back in Utah, he says he’ll have to switch his family “out of the Patriot and Celtic jerseys and get them into Jazz and BYU.”
Eyring had been keeping an eye on Vivint for a long time. “I just watched it grow up and morph into a pretty amazing company… It started as a company who procured contracts for other companies, and steadily it’s vertically integrated and does pretty much everything in the chain.”
The most exciting thing, he says, was watching the company’s conversion from APX Alarm into Vivint as a force in home automation. With Vivint’s $2 billion acquisition by Blackstone, the company now has the capital it needs for accelerated growth.
Eyring’s new role as Vivint’s strategy officer entails figuring out what markets the company should be going after and what role they should be playing in the vertical integration.
“The company is changing to be a high-tech power,” he says. “We have 30,000 square feet of just software and hardware engineers that are creating the next-gen home automation systems that will be able to go after these new verticals that we’re targeting.”
On the innovation side, Eyring says he is figuring out what business Vivint should pursue and how it can inexpensively and quickly test entry into these markets. This innovation will focus on things that people haven’t seen—things that either don’t yet exist or do exist but have had limited exposure.
Vivint’s solar division, for example, could explore things like the “gameification” of energy management and conservation. Eyring also sees a future for health and fitness services, as well as home healthcare that would help people work with their doctor from home or help elderly people live at home longer.
“I don’t think it’s a stretch to say in the next two years, in most of the areas that I’ve mentioned, you will see innovation from Vivint. We now have the financing and human capital to pull it off,” he says. Eyring envisions Vivint becoming the state’s second Fortune 500 company within the next five years.
Eyring’s confidence stems from his experience at Innosight, which gave him an in-depth look at several industries, from publishing to financial services to healthcare. “I saw a lot of areas of growth—what I call disruptive growth,” he says. “And I think this is a really interesting industry and an interesting company.”
Although work takes up much of his time, Eyring spends his free time with his five children, ranging in age from six to 15, and his wife, Amy. He says he doesn’t really have hobbies; he just enjoys doing things with his family.
“Most of the last 15 to 20 years have been three things: church, work and family. It’s really been those three things.”