Our first exit.

Our first exit.

It’s like that first dollar bill that you see posted on the wall of your local store. Today, Matter had its first exit.

Almost two years to the day that our first entrepreneurs walked through our garage door to start the first class of Matter, one of them just exited.

GoPop has been acquired by Buzzfeed and we are thrilled about it. Jesse Shapins and the GoPop team were presented with an opportunity they couldn’t resist — to build and lead the mobile team for the most innovative news company on the planet right now.

“GoPop was founded with a mission to transform the future of storytelling,” explains Jesse, the CEO and Co-Founder of GoPop. “We believe BuzzFeed is rapidly becoming the most impactful global media company, and the opportunity to lead new initiatives as the company expands its mobile footprint was irresistible.”

I am so proud of what Jesse and the GoPop team have built since joining the first cohort of Matter. They started Matter as incredibly talented and creative visionaries transitioning from running a non-profit media project to attempting to build a scalable media venture that would transform the future of storytelling.

They didn’t have much exposure to mobile-first, user-centered, prototype-driven design process, but they were eager to learn. After an immersion into the Matter process through our weeklong bootcamp, the team soaked up the learnings and began to apply them like champions.

“I feel like as a product designer, there is a clear before and after Matter.” reflects Jesse in his post, The Next Chapter, about the acquisition today in our collection, A Matter-Driven Narrative. “The two most fundamental learnings from the Matter experience that I plan to bring into this next chapter are simplicity and user feedback.”

“Before Matter, my idea of user testing was to get feedback after I had finished making something. It had never really occurred to me that it would be possible to get extensive feedback before really making anything.” he writes. “At Matter, I fell in love with the process of rapid prototyping, often without coding anything, and the idea of really getting early experiments in front of real users to accelerate learning.”

“At Matter, I learned how to evaluate experiments and make decisions that reinforce the values of simplicity and the insights of user feedback. Matter imbued myself and our team with a strong foundation that is perfect for a company like BuzzFeed, where experimentation is built into the core of the culture.”

It’s incredibly rewarding to see a team come so far so fast — from no exposure to mobile-first, user-centered, prototype-driven design process to world class talent leading the mobile team at the fastest growing news company in the world.

I’m excited about the impact that Jesse and his team will now have at such a large scale at a time when Buzzfeed is expanding into more and more serious investigative reporting.

It’s a big accomplishment for GoPop, a huge competitive advantage for Buzzfeed, and a big win for Matter. I couldn’t be more happy.

Congratulations Jesse, James, Kara, Filipe, Joseph, and Ahmed!

Make the next chapter Matter.

Read more about GoPop’s learning journey in this piece by Lara Ortiz-Luis: Entrepreneurial Athletics: How GoPop learned how to sprint. And follow our collection, A Matter-Driven Narrative, where you will soon learn how you can can go on a similar journey with Matter.

Originally posted on Medium.