Interview with Matt Mahar, vice president, Vivint Smart Home
This article is part of a series featuring business executives who choose to live and work in Utah. If you know of an executive we should interview, please contact us.
As vice president and general manager of cameras and video at Vivint Smart Home, Matt Mahar specializes in successfully delivering new products and experiences to consumers. In his current role, Mahar is responsible for launching some of Vivint’s world-class leading smart home technology, including its doorbell and Ping Cameras.
His proven track record of performance spans almost two decades and multiple world-famous brands. His success comes by leaning on his talents in branding, user experience and design.
Mahar joined the Vivint team in 2014. Previously, he led a team at Nike responsible for the digital experience design of the next generation of Nike+ products, including Nike+ Basketball and the Nike+ Fuel Band. His passion for digital design experience continues in his current role at Vivint Smart Home.
Vivint Smart Home creates simple and affordable smart homes. It delivers an integrated smart home system with in-home consultation, professional installation and support delivered by its Smart Home Pros, as well as customer care and monitoring services. Vivint Smart Home is dedicated to redefining the home experience with intelligent products and services and is Utah’s largest tech employer.
How did you get started in the industry?
My first exposure to the consumer electronics industry was testing video games for a company called Electronic Arts. It wasn’t the typical first step in the career path of someone who graduated with a degree in political science and a minor in economics, but it really opened my eyes to the impact technology has on the world. From there, I moved to the company’s product marketing and product management teams where I helped launch three NBA Live games, as well as several other products.
What recent professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
My proudest accomplishment is helping to design and launch some of Vivint’s award-winning smart home products.
We recently launched the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro, a new security camera that intelligently detects and deters lurkers around your home. I inherited the project early in its development, along with several significant challenges. I’m proud of the team who rallied to overcome challenges and ultimately launched a camera that deters crime better than any other camera on the market.
What drew you to Utah?
A former co-worker at Nike reached out to me soon after he joined Vivint and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with him again.
The outdoor recreation opportunities in Utah also drew me to the state. We were living in Portland before making the move to Utah and had lived in Vancouver, British Columbia before that. Both of these areas are great for outdoor activities, and that’s something my wife and I love. The fact that Utah is an outdoor mecca made us feel right at home.
What do you like most about living in Utah?
Utah is so family friendly. We have two children, so I love that it’s a safe place with something fun and engaging for us to do as a family on almost every street corner.
I also love that we have four seasons with warm, sunny summers. As a Canadian, I laugh when I hear people complain about Utah winters – I tell them to spend a winter in Ontario as that will change their perspective.
What do you like most about doing business in Utah?
I love Utah’s entrepreneurial spirit. I didn’t know that about Utah before I moved here, but it’s as if almost everyone I meet here has started a business at some point or another.
What advice do you have for individuals considering starting a business, or relocating their business, to Utah?
Jump in feet first. Not only is Utah a very business-friendly state, but the entrepreneurial culture in the state has also created an impressive knowledge base and rich talent pool.
What is your primary challenge of doing business in Utah?
The biggest challenge in Utah is recruiting talent from the west and east coasts. People outside of Utah don’t realize the great quality of life here and the powerful growth of the state’s technology startups.
What is the best part of your job?
I love working for a company that makes a positive impact on people’s lives. I get the opportunity to work on products that keep people safe and make their lives easier.
Share a fun fact about yourself.
I love to build. I work with wood and concrete to build furniture, clocks and other things. Right now, I’m building a putting green in my backyard. I don’t play golf yet, but I plan on getting really good, at least at miniature golf.