Matt Barker

Founder & CEO, MPB

Matt Barker is the founder and CEO of MPB.  Matt launched MPB in 2011 with a mission to provide more freedom and flexibility to visual storytellers by improving the speed, price parity, reliability and experience of trading photo and video kit online.

Driven by growth and achievement, Matt is passionate about building a best-in-class, end-to-end platform that photographers and videographers love and trust. He’s a believer in investing in company culture to build an organisation that lasts.

Matt is fascinated by the design and engineering of photo and video kit, and is proud to lead a circular business that extends the life and creative potential of kit for diverse content creators around the world.

1. What values are most important to you as a leader? 

Integrity, ambition, commitment and belief.  Belief is particularly important as this inspires bravery, and we must all be brave to take decisions that will change our future for the better.

2. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

I am inspired by a broad spectrum of things, honestly.  Growing up there were business inspirations and certainly in the UK, Sir Richard Branson was one of those.

Today, I find inspiration from those around me – my children, my colleagues.  I am also deeply inspired today by the power of technology and AI, and how this will shape all our futures.  I remain an avid daily reader of the business press and I maintain a deep interest in the economy. This daily reading and analysis inspires how I take decisions at work and how I think about shaping my future and that of my children.

Outside of business and economics, I’m also regularly inspired by the creative power of great visual storytelling through MPB’s various collaborations with photographers and videographers.  They remind me why I set up the business – and to pick up a camera and shoot whenever I can.

3. Best piece of advice you have been given?

I was once told to, ‘walk through every open door’.  This advice has stayed with me and is something I often remind myself when making difficult decisions.  Life is a journey and so is business; seize the opportunities whenever they come along – even if it takes a very deep breath to take that step!

Along my own entrepreneurial journey, there are countless people that I have met along the way, and one conversation always leads to another. It is these interactions, and these people, that support and influence the success of your journey as much as it is the decisions you make.  So… walk through every open door.

4. What would you tell your younger self?

You have time to get things wrong. I felt pressured to take steps into a full time career as soon as I graduated, and that pathway, with hindsight, would have been the wrong choice.  Fortunately, I made a last minute decision not to take a job at the Bank of England which ultimately led to the founding of MPB in Brighton.

I would encourage all younger people, particularly those in their twenties, to take time to explore ideas, to get creative, and to find their optimal path and destiny. Listen to those around you but don’t feel pressured into one idea.  And try to avoid the easy choice.  A harder journey is usually a more rewarding one.

5. What has been your most important or profound lesson as a leader?

Stay focused on your goal and true to your purpose. 

Also, always believe that things can be better – a focus on constant, iterative improvement and attention to detail can be extremely powerful in shaping how you lead, whilst being beneficial to everybody along the journey with you.

When I founded MPB, I had two clear goals: to turn the online buying and selling of used photo and video equipment into a trustworthy and efficient process; and to build a sustainable business that would grow and endure.  The MPB brand is built around this mission with a clearly defined purpose to: open up the world of visual storytelling in a way that’s good for people and the planet.  It’s easy to get caught up in the complexities of scaling and running a circular business, but with a purposeful mission at our core, it keeps everyone – including me – focused on why we exist and what we’re trying to achieve.