ServiceTitan’s first office was anything but glamorous. A small room in an office made for a plumbing company, the space was utilitarian. It served its purpose with a few chairs, enough space for the two founders to do their work and a whiteboard or two for planning. This was the office that the company’s first hire, Matt Levitt, walked into on a hot summer day in Los Angeles.
“I had never worked in a startup before… I came for the interview wearing a suit, and the founders were wearing gym shorts and t-shirts,” says Matt Levitt about the first time he walked into ServiceTitan’s makeshift home back in 2012. Needless to say, he landed the job. Now Principal Product Manager of Customer Experience at ServiceTitan, he’s been at the company for almost nine years, and has seen the team, company, and product grow from this space to the billion dollar unicorn it is today.
Interacting with ServiceTitan’s Early Adopters
Taking Risks to Build a Product Customers Love
The team is much bigger now – with a massive office in Glendale, CA and a growing team in Yerevan, Armenia, the entire company has about 1000 employees total. The product, too, has expanded to serve multiple functions of their customer’s businesses, and even Matt’s role has evolved with the company, moving from Customer Experience lead to a Product Manager role. Through it all though, one thing has stayed the same – dedication, and even obsession, with getting the product right for ServiceTitan’s customers.
From the beginning of the company, it was vital for the small team (back then, just three people – the founders, Ara and Vahe, and Matt) to build something that their customers wanted and needed. For Matt, that relationship with customers was central to his first role at the company – “for the first couple years, there was a phone on my desk and they would just call me directly.”
“It was kind of like this symbiotic relationship,” Matt explains, “We would bend over backwards and jump at anything they needed, but in return they were helping us build this software that was a very powerful tool specifically for them. Ara and Vahe would live at Customer’s houses and really go deep in understanding their businesses and their customer needs.”
The early adopters of ServiceTitan’s product set the pace for where the company is today. It’s not easy buying into a product that is in its early stages – “We had customers that were just signing up and I don’t know exactly what they expected of us, but they were taking a leap of faith. They believed in our responsiveness, customer empathy, and our potential, and there were parts of the initial product that were already really powerful.” Matt describes the core reason that customers were willing to keep using ServiceTitan – its early features were based solely on customer feedback.
“Build it, Ship it”
Implementing Customer Feedback Quickly with Simple Tools
The customer feedback process was as scrappy as you’d expect in a small startup. Matt would be in touch with a customer and get their input, and then would arrange their customers’ priorities on a simple kanban board – “We had a release every day… so I would finish the day, and during the day if a customer was having a serious issue or had a really big pain point, I would raise that item to the top of the board.”
“We’d build it, ship it, and that was how we’d operate,” he explains, “We were prioritizing day-by-day. That’s how I learned about working with engineers and customers at the same time…it got the job done, but if customers saw how we were operating behind the scenes, some of them might’ve been horrified.”
“Many clients might’ve had some illusion that we were a robust and stable organization, but we were really flying by the seat of our pants. It was pure adrenaline every single day.”
Scaling with the Company
Matt’s Role from Then to Now
Because customer feedback is so integral to ServiceTitan’s product, Vahe and Ara, ServiceTitan’s co-founders, have been incredibly intentional about hiring people that are as customer-focused as Matt is. In his words, “Vahe and Ara did a really great job of hiring people that really bought into serving our customers. We established a good culture of our employees being self-motivated and motivated by our customers rather than pressure from managers or leadership.”
It’s this amazing team building on Vahe and Ara’s part, as well as the rapid growth and the pace of growth that keeps things interesting for Matt – and safe to say, the reason he still loves his role at ServiceTitan after nearly a decade – “I had to credit Vahe and Ara – they’re a big reason I love my job. As we started to grow, they had a bigger and bigger team supporting them and they never took their foot off the gas. There was always more for them to dive into and in that way, they were very inspirational. We all felt there was always so much more we could do to keep pushing ahead.”
The way that customer feedback is baked into the product process has definitely changed at ServiceTitan over the years, even though there’s less of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants feel to it all now that the company has matured. Matt’s role, along with the company, is constantly growing and changing, and he deeply appreciates the constant challenges his role provides, “I could never have envisioned what it would be like at this stage and that we would have this much success, but I feel like the bar just keeps getting raised higher – there’s so much more we can accomplish.”
It’s this excitement that keeps Matt motivated on a daily basis, “there is no plateau, there’s no slowing down – I don’t feel the need to do anything else because if I were to consider another opportunity I would look for the same kind of excitement and challenges that I’m already getting here at the company.”
Oh, and on whether or not he misses that old adrenaline rush… “I do sometimes miss the good old days when we were around a single lunch table – having that kind of camaraderie and the chaotic nature of the day-by-day approach. I don’t know what the end of the journey is but I feel compelled to see things through to the end, whatever that means. It’s been a wild ride.”
Matt Levitt is Principal Product Manager for Customer Experience at ServiceTitan. He’s also the company’s very first employee, and has seen every iteration. Matt is a classically trained violinist who loves exploring the Los Angeles food scene with his partner and hanging out with the family’s numerous french bulldogs. When he’s not planning his next international trip, he’s likely to be tending to his fantasy baseball team.