Sean Matson and Zach Steinbock are retired Navy SEALS who served the United States for over a decade. After serving their country in the heat of battle, the two decided to create a company combining their minds and names – MATBOCK – to continue helping to change America and help people through their new ideas.
The company creates and develops products that fill a need in the real world, whether it’s hunting, camping, hiking, going on adventures, for law enforcement, firefighters or for soldiers while at war. Since Sean, Zach, and their team (which is made up of other retired service members) have literally been “boots on the ground,” they know what products are needed. They can help the most and have been working alongside other military members to come up with products that use new technologies to make whatever items lighter, better and more versatile.
The products Sean and Zach have created have even found themselves on hit television programs. CBS’ hit series, SEAL TEAM, has purchased products from Sean and Zach for their actors to wear and use on-screen so that various scenes can look as “real as possible.”
We sat down with one-half of the MATBOCK team, Sean Matson, to learn more about the company, how they are disrupting various industries, and how the duo is changing the world one product at a time.
How did you get the idea to start and create the various products for MATBOCK?
While flying on an airplane back in 2006 during advanced SEAL training (SQT), Zach and I were dumbfounded at how difficult and complex loading our class gear was on the C-130. The cargo netting system still used today hasn’t been revolutionized since WWII, and it still hasn’t been fixed. We initially thought that we would simply sell our idea to the current manufacturer, but they were not interested and every investor/mentor told us to build a full-scale working product (at the time all we had was a 1/5 scale model). Unfortunately, we have struggled to get the penetration we were hoping for with our patented cargo netting system that is easier to use, will last longer, and is cheaper to manufacture/ maintain. Our only assumption is that we still haven’t found the right person to speak to, to help push it across the lines because if you ask anyone about the current three net system, they will immediately tell you how painful of a system it is.
Have you seen your products disrupting the industry since the start?
Yes, but some do better than others. Also, some products like the LIFT System have taken longer to see the disruption (adoption) since this one product covers at least 3 different procurement agents (vertical assault, medical and SSE).
Why now more than ever should law enforcement, firefighters, military and other branches and people be turning to the MATBOCK products over others? What trends are you seeing within your space?
Nearly every other company in this space has been making their mark by just making the same things that everyone else does without any innovation. Mainly because they were supporting war efforts and that’s what the customers needed right now. We took a different approach because we knew that these branches really needed / wanted innovative products, not just the same old.
New materials for customers that are waterproof, lightweight, but also reduce their over all signature. Years ago we developed a brand new material we call Ghost that achieves all of these. Even though it is waterproof, the enteral components of the material are to draw the heat away from your body. This coupled with the laser cut holes makes it act like a radiator keeping equipment and people cooler, which equals visual signature reduction.
What new products of yours are you most excited to bring to the market?
The Cobra Sled. We were just awarded the patent for this new sled, but it’s already been deployed and helped units save lives. Not only did we reduce the overall weight, but we also reduced the size significantly. Lastly, we greatly increased the capability over previous drag medical sleds because all of the hoisting straps are seamlessly integrated into the product (meaning no one has to remember to carry these extra straps).
What are the key factors entrepreneurs should evaluate when starting and running their own companies like you have been doing both now and prior to MATBOCK?
Treat people the way you want to be treated! Also, when it comes to developing or launching a product, make sure you have actually solved a need (or pain point). For example, our cargo net is such a great idea and we know it has solved a pain point, but we have struggled to get the correct attention on it to make it a successful product.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Trust your gut.
What are your own goals heading into the rest of 2020 and into 2021?
So far, we are on track to double our numbers from 2020. We are also focused on getting out of our current production backlog. For 2021 we have a new company that will actually be launched late this year, but 2021 will be its first full year in business and this will be our biggest most impactful company yet… stay tuned for that!
What do you want the MATBOCK company and product line to be remembered for when people look back?
We were able to battle the biggest companies in our spaces and come out victorious because we were able to shift a paradigm by our products.