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Wednesday, Feb 1, 2023
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Special Report: APPOINTMENT MASTER

Matt Danna co-founded downtown-based Boulevard in 2016 with the idea of creating modernized appointment scheduling solutions for salons and spas, creating a one-stop-shop for scheduling, email marketing and payment processing. Since its founding, Boulevard has grown and now works with more than 2,000 companies.

How long have you worked in the tech industry, and what did you do before Boulevard?
I’ve been fortunate to spend my entire career – more than 15 years – working in the tech industry. Before co-founding Boulevard in 2016, I was a product leader for two L.A.-based companies: Fullscreen and DeviantArt. I’ve always been passionate about creating technology for the creative class, helping them not only develop their platform but also effectively monetize their talent and skills.

As more areas become digitized, are there any industries that you think are slower to implement technology into their business practices? Why is that?
Ironically, the industry we serve – self-care – has historically been one of the slower industries to adopt modern technology into their business practices. But it wasn’t for lack of desire. It was for lack of options and opportunity. There was a tendency among technology entrepreneurs and investors alike to assume that self-care businesses didn’t need or couldn’t make good use of software tailored for the industry.

 

I’m a firm believer that diversity, creativity, and passion are essential to building a successful tech company.
Matt danna
Boulevard

I can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve been asked what technology has to do with styling someone’s hair or giving them a facial. Now, at Boulevard, we’ve proven emphatically that software technology is essential to creating the personable, enjoyable client experiences on which the self-care industry depends, but I think if you look at any industry that’s slow to adopt new technology you’re likely to find that the root cause is a lack of good options with which to do so. The lesson we’ve learned is that every business has a place for great technology.

What is it about Los Angeles that has made it an attractive destination for entrepreneurs to start their businesses?
What made it such an attractive hub for us – aside from its intimate connection to the self-care industry – was the incredible pool of talent from which to build out our team. I’m a firm believer that diversity, creativity, and passion are essential to building a successful tech company, and when it comes to those things, I’ll put L.A. up against any city in the world.

What are the challenges you have faced as a company in creating technology specifically for beauty servicing?
The biggest challenge early on was an education challenge. It was about convincing professionals in the self-care industry that they deserve great technology as much as any other professional in any other industry. It was about helping customers realize that not all software is hard to use or unreliable. And it was about showing them how the right technology – something that’s purpose-built for them and their specific needs as self-care professionals – can transform not just how they book appointments and process transactions, but their entire client experience.

What is next for Boulevard?
It’s always been part of our DNA as a company to dream big and anticipate tomorrow’s needs today. But we always balance that with delivering superior service. So, in terms of what’s next, it’s continuing that balance. We’re going to continue launching exciting new capabilities to our platform and continue expanding into new self-care verticals – including and especially med spas – but we’re also going to continue focusing on delivering truly exceptional experiences to our customers each day.

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