Software Executive Magazine

August/September 2017

Software Executive magazine helps software executives grow their businesses by showcasing the business best practices of our readers, executives from established and innovative software companies.

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HOW TO KEEP IT SIMPLE FOR INVESTORS, DEVELOPERS, SALES, AND CUSTOMERS services, and consumer product companies, including some of his own businesses. Before jumping ahead to CentralBOS, it's important to understand Meyer's firm belief in a leadership style that focuses on simplicity. To him, running an ERP software company has a lot in common with a telecom company or a financial services company. "The key is you have to think about the logic of delivering a service. At the end of the day, you're talking about networks, databas- es, and the applications that make them work togeth- er. Once you understand those three components, the rest is just what you do to put them together." To him, "the rest" is simply where software comes in. His time at BellSouth helped him understand networks, and be- ing in fintech helped him hone his expertise in data. Despite not having an engineering background, Meyer knows how to make tech companies work. Meyer recalls a poignant moment at SkyLight Finan- cial when he knew the business model was working, but an investor backed out at the last minute. It was 2001, and many investors were easily spooked. The board told him on a Friday night that they needed a plan by Sunday night or they would file for bankruptcy. His active investors were spooked too and didn't want to keep funding SkyLight. It didn't help that Meyer had stopped actively fundraising because he was so confi- dent this new investor was locked in, and it certainly didn't help that he had a lot of his own money tied up in the company. He went home on that Friday and vented his frustra- tions to his wife, who asked him to spell out the problem as simply as he could. Meyer told her, "This just doesn't make sense to me. I can acquire a customer for $60. I generate $22-$24 per month from that customer with 85 percent gross margin. So I get my money back in three to four months, then that customer stays with me for at least 24 months. I'm quadrupling my money on my erial entrepreneur Joe Meyer draws his leadership and management style from two very different inspirations. He can't help but provide ample military analogies when de- scribing how he launched six companies throughout his career. As a retired U.S. Army major, it's clear why he values trust and discipline. On the other hand, Meyer has his mother to thank for some of his business acu- men. Thelma Meyer is the mother of nine and the name- sake of the Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day household cleaning product line sold throughout North America. Meyer says of his growing up with his mother, "We always joked that she'd make a great corporate leader because she never waited 12 months for a performance report. If you did something wrong, you knew about it right then and there. That tells you something about what you need to do with your employees; if it's wrong, you have to fix it." Just as his mother is quick to give feedback, Meyer has never wasted time between successful exits and starting his next venture. After spending five years as the president of telecommunications giant BellSouth Products (now AT&T after an $86 billion merger in 2006), Meyer founded Skylight Financial in 1997. When Skylight, a pioneer in the prepaid debit card indus- try, sold for $121 million in 2005, Meyer got back in the game by founding FirstView LLC in 2006, another prepaid debit card and payment processing compa- ny. FirstView was acquired in 2011, and by that time, Meyer was focused on his next startup, InterPoynt, a cloud-based billing, invoicing, and processing platform he founded in 2009. InterPoynt sold in 2013, and Mey- er's next move was to launch CentralBOS, the Atlan- ta-based cloud ERP software company he founded in 2014 that is occupying his full attention today. For good measure, he also founded MeyerCap in 1997, which pro- vides venture and growth capital to fintech, business S 27 SOFTWAREEXECUTIVEMAG.COM AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017

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