SMB Tech Meet & Greet: Tim Jahn of Matchist, Matching Service that Helps Startups & SMBs Find Developers

Firmology’s SMB Tech Meet & Greet series takes an inside look at the technology available to small business owners and entrepreneurs, straight from the founders who built them.

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Name: Tim Jahn
Title: Co-founder / CTO
Company Name: Matchist
Company One Liner: Matchist is a curated matching service that helps you find the perfect web/mobile developer for your project.
Location: Chicago, IL
Best Ways to Reach Tim: Entrepreneurs Unpluggd, Matchist, Personal Website, LinkedIn, Twitter

Tell us about yourself and your background:

tim_jahn-headshotI’ve always been a creator and an entrepreneur in my heart. I started my first band junior year of high school, and when we had trouble finding shows at first I developed a “Rockin’ at the Gym” event at my old grammar school so that we’d have somewhere to play. I handled all the logistics—marketing, booking, etc.

Then there was the dancing Christmas lights show I created seven years ago (which still runs annually to this day). Again, I handle all the construction, marketing, electric, etc.

My wife and I tried a fish gift idea a few years ago (but didn’t put enough time/effort into it), and when I first had my son, I had an idea for a community of parent entrepreneurs (but again, lack of time/effort).

Over all that time, I was a freelance web developer. A few years ago, I met my business partner, Stella Fayman, and we started our first business, Entrepreneurs Unpluggd, together. Then, about a year ago, we came up with the idea for Matchist.

What does your company do?

We help companies find freelance web/mobile developers for their projects. We specialize in getting to know you and listening to what you need. We then reach out to our network and find three developers that would be great for you.

You get to reach out to them, get to know them more, ask them questions, and when you find the developer you’re looking for, we manage the payment process. You pre-fund all work and the developer doesn’t get paid until you approve the work and release the funds.

How did you come up with the idea for your company?

rsz_matchist_logoI was a freelance web developer for a number of years and I experienced many of the issues that most freelancers do—finding quality clients you want to work with and getting paid by them on time, every time. I thought, “why isn’t there a site out there to help you with these two crucial portions of every freelancer’s business?”

My business partner Stella and I constantly heard from people at our Entrepreneurs Unpluggd events about how hard it was to find a good quality web or mobile developer. They couldn’t find these developers anywhere.

Matchist was our solution.

What makes your company different from your competitors?

We are laser-focused on personal service and quality. We have phone calls with all our clients and developers to get to know them personally and listen to what it is they’re looking for. We also keep the quality of our community high so that when you use Matchist, you know you’re dealing with the best.

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What are the most important considerations small businesses should have when choosing technology to help them power their business?

They should think about what problem they’re trying to solve. Technology is just a tool used to solve business problems. The type of technology isn’t generally as important as the problem that needs to be solved. Don’t get caught up in buzzwords like Ruby on Rails, PHP, or HTML. Instead, decide what business problems you’re trying to solve and then a professional, like a Matchist developer, can help guide you in what technology is most appropriate.

What other companies or entrepreneurs within the technology space do you admire and think small businesses should know about?

Too many! I’m a huge fan of Jason Fried and the whole 37signals clan, as they are shining examples of what a lot of extremely hard work and sticking it out will produce. I also very much admire their beliefs and ideals, and general way of doing business. Small businesses can learn a lot from their book “Rework” in terms of simplifying business and getting down to the core focus.

Firmology Readers: Let’s hear your thoughts!

1) Have a question or comment about Matchist? Need advice on finding a developer for your critical business need or game-changing idea? Drop Tim a note in the comments below.

2) What do you think of our SMB Tech Meet & Greet series thus far? Are there other questions we should be asking? Are any of the questions above unclear or could be asked in a better way? Let us know in the comments below or email us at contact@firmology.com

 If you’re the founder of a tech company and would like to be featured on Firmology’s SMB Tech Meet & Greet series, please email us at contact@firmology.com with the subject line: Meet & Greet Submission.

Featured Image: via New Venture Challenge Winner Makes High-Tech Matches | The University of Chicago Booth School of Business 

About The Author

Tim Jahn is the co-founder of matchist, a curated service for freelance developers to connect with quality clients and projects. He’s also the co-founder of Entrepreneurs Unpluggd, an events and media company that helps entrepreneurs move their businesses forward. As an active member of the Chicago tech community, Tim has made his mark interviewing hundreds of entrepreneurs from all over the world.