“Sustainable, scalable invention”

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Today’s #MillennialToWatch is Jessica O. Matthews

As the Founder and CEO of Uncharted Play, Jessica O. Matthews runs a company that makes systems that can harness energy from motion. Everything from a soccer ball to a stroller can be used to generate power for mobile devices and the IoT with Uncharted Play’s M.O.R.E. (Motion­based, Off­grid, Renewable Energy) technology.

Jessica’s research and career centers around the intersection of disruptive technology, human behavior, and the psychology of self­ actualization. A dual citizen of Nigeria & the U.S., Jessica has a degree in Psychology and Economics from Harvard University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Growing up she always had an interest in invention and human behavior, and doing things that combine the two things together. She is an inventor, social scientist and entrepreneur, and aspires to be a combination of Bill Nye the Science Guy and Beyoncé.

Jessica shares…”For me, business is a means to an end and not the goal in and of itself.”

“I am a businesswoman, but believe it or not, I never aspired to be a businesswoman or run a major company. I always wanted to (1) make really cool meaningful things, and (2) generally help people self­actualize and get more value out of whatever time they have left on this planet. As it turns out, to do that sustainably and at scale you have to build a business. You have to understand what it means to organize people and ideas and push them forward in a structured manner. And so for me, the goal of business is understanding how to make a difference in a sustainable, scalable way. For me, business is a means to an end and not the goal in and of itself. I think this is what allows me to make the decision that some people might find difficult when thinking about where to go next with your business.

The key thing for me is that I view business as a means to the end and not the end itself. It’s a system. It’s a methodology and a way of thinking about sustainable, scalable impact. Sustainable, scalable invention. I think that’s what’s made it easier for me to make some of the hard decisions where you have to balance your soul with the business world. Because I know the goals isn’t just to do business, it’s to do something with the business. I don’t think that I’m successful. I think I’m pretty good at getting up after I fall. I believe that failure is only failure if it’s the period in your sentence. If it’s the comma, if it’s the pause, and then it’s just the thing that adds texture to your story. If I had chosen to stop what I was doing at certain points in my past, I would’ve failed. But because I kept going I guess I’m succeeding. It’s like a verb, but I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a success.”
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Jessica would like ask you…

“What does it mean for you to be your most authentic self? How do you practice this in your personal and professional life? What brings you back when you find yourself distracted from your authentic self?”

Tell Jessica what you think by reaching out to her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.