Innovators: Matthew Smith, Creative Director at Zaarly

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Innovators. They come in many forms. They dream big but they aren’t just dreamers. They form raw ideas into cool products with disruptive business models. They shatter entire industries and leave established leviathans running scared with their tails between their legs. The Innovators interview series connects you with the most driven people on the planet. What makes them tick? What advice do they have for tech founders? What tools do they use to get the job done? Read on to find out.

Matthew Smith is the Creative Director at Zaarly, founded and runs CoWork in Greenville, SC, is Co-Founder of The Iron Yard, a Tech Stars startup incubator, and is the original creator of Pattern Tap, a top site for web designers to find specific kinds of designs for education and inspiration – now in the faithful hands of Zurb.

Matthew’s client list includes the US Postal Service and The Gates Foundation, but his favorite clients have been the small businesses like Blue Sky Resumes who’s success he helped craft through critical design and entrepreneurial thinking. He’s taken his skill set into the product world and will likely never look back.

When he’s not leading creative at Zaarly you can find Matthew playing with pixels at Dribbble, delighting in his family, arguing about the uselessness of the IRS, or generally being loud.

What do you enjoy most about your work and why?

Work for me is about presenting meaningful ideas in a way that is useful and hopefully enjoyable. So I most enjoy my work when I’m doing something big that I expect to impact a lot of people. I like when I can see my work have an effect – and conversely hate it when I see my work lacking effect or getting dulled by committee or poor execution. Thankfully I’ve put myself around and with some of the most talented people on the planet, so I’m often happy with what goes out to the world.

I’m also learning I love to be local with my work. Its why I started CoWork, now over 25 people strong, and why we recently merged with a Tech Stars affiliate to become The Iron Yard. We want to change our local space, and we want to let more people know how amazing Greenville, South Carolina is. Being local with my work is an easy way to watch ...

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