A Startup’s Finance Chief Is a Cat in the Hats

For PlaceIQ's Matthew Novick, the definition of 'CFO' is a most expansive one.
David McCannApril 21, 2015
A Startup’s Finance Chief Is a Cat in the Hats

In just over a year as finance chief at PlaceIQ, Matt Novick has managed not only finance but also, for various lengths of time, sales, business development and marketing. “Especially at a startup, a CFO has to be ready to answer the call of the CEO and the company when needs dictate,” he says.

PlaceIQ examines consumer behavior through the use of location analytics. It couples location data from cell phones with other data sets to provide marketers with intelligence on how to target audiences, and activates marketing efforts through digital media. The company has been in business for five years but has hit its stride over the past two, growing from 20 employees to 140.

It’s the third startup company in the field of marketing technology for which Novick has been the CFO, following Magnetic Media and Persado. He wore multiple hats at Magnetic as well. Sometimes that imposes conflicting priorities on him, as what’s important to a finance leader may not always line up with what’s important to, say, a head of marketing, a department that tends to spend a lot of cash and is frequently hit first when budget cuts are in order.

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“At the end of the day you need to have cash to pay for things, and the CFO should always win out in that relationship,” he says. “At the same time, at a startup revenue is the most important piece, so it’s important to keep that in mind at the CFO level.”

View the video for Novick’s insights on playing multiple roles in addition to running finance.

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