Matt Brezina, turning a software startup company into Apple’s chief rival
Finding success isn’t just about determination and hard work; sometimes it’s about serendipity too. Former Penn State graduate Matt Brezina ’03 knows this firsthand, as his path to success started with a simple post on Craigslist.
After graduating from Penn State’s College of Engineering and relocating to the University of Maryland to work on his Ph.D, Matt was in the market for a new roommate. His pleading Craigslist ad was answered promptly by MIT graduate Adam Smith, and the two clicked immediately. Through a quick discovery of common entrepreneurial interests, they developed their first software startup company, Xobni, in March 2006. The name―“inbox” spelled backwards and pronounced zob-nee―and concept were created to meet the ever-growing demands of email use.
In just a few short years, the two were hailed by INC magazine as up-and-coming entrepreneurs―and their recognition was well-deserved. Fresh out of college, the dynamic duo created user-friendly software, raised an impressive $14 million to promote and sell their product, and even grabbed the attention of Bill Gates, who demonstrated their product at a Microsoft developers’ conference.
But this was just the beginning. Matt then went on to develop a mobile photo-sharing application company, Sincerely. With the help of one of his Xobni teammates, Sincerely launched in the spring of 2011 with its first product, Postagram, debuting to the public shortly thereafter. The innovative yet simple idea allows people to send and share their Instagram photos as personalized greeting cards and postcards in the mail for just 99 cents. Since the debut of Postagram, the company has also developed a stream of successful apps, including PopBooth, Ink, and the Ship Library.
The Los Angeles Times dubbed Brezina’s 12-person start-up company as “Apple's chief rival.” There is no doubt that he’s trailblazing an inspiring path for others to follow, and leaving a changed and improved media and technology landscape in his wake.