Some of us have a God-given gift to schmooze and are invigorated while in the presence of others. Jonathan LaMaster, a longtime Inc.Ubate member, is one of those people. It’s hard to walk by this self-described “Digital Sherpa,” without being drawn into a feelgood conversation. While he is known for his exceptional listening skills, we turned the tables on him in the interview below, on our mission to learn a bit more about the mysterious life of the “human connector…”
Tell us about your career
I lead my clients to the pinnacle of their web and mobile design, development and advertising goals. After working for one web and software development firm for 10 years I started my own consultancy, LaMaster Solutions LLC about 5 years ago. My team actually built the Incubate website! Michael is such a tough client...kidding!
How did you get to where you are today?
I was born in California but grew up in the Midwest (Iowa). I got a BA in English and Theatre/Dance from Luther College, a small liberal arts school in northeast Iowa and while I was there, I took some music classes as well. I started playing the violin at age 5, so music has been a lifelong passion for me. One of the classes was with some jazz musicians that were graduates of the Berklee College of Music. I moved to the Boston area in 1993 to pursue a career in music and still play semi-professionally to this day.
What’s an average day like in your life?
I'm married to a truly amazing woman, Astrid, who is a Renal Pathologist at Brigham and Women's hospital. We have two sons (Kai, who is 6, and Nils who is 2). Several days a week I get up early to attend various networking groups (BNI, Provisors, and a B to B networking group I co-founded called My Pinnacle Network). On the other days I usually take my youngest son Nils to daycare around 8am and start my work day. I'll usually catch up on email first thing in the morning and often have mid-morning or early afternoon meetings with clients or prospects either at their offices or here at Inc.Ubate. I'll usually work until about 6pm, though sometimes I'll pick up my oldest from his school mid to late afternoon, so he can attend his Tai Kwon Do class or so that we can go surfing, fishing or kayaking together.
In addition to the aforementioned water activities I also have an active schedule playing music with The Psychedelic Cinema Orchestra, in which I play violin, bass, guitar, electric sitar and analog synths/electronics. I also play fiddle with Brian Carpenter and the Confessions, with The Dinghys, a honkytonk band, and sometimes with solo blues guitarist Peter Parcek, rock bands Trusty Sidekick, and the Smitt E. Smitty Band, and with the Irish punk band The Gobshites. And I love to cook and am really into vegetable gardening and foraging for wild mushrooms in the summer and fall.
What do you see for your future?
I want to continue to grow my business, keep up on technology and marketing trends and expand the ways in which I can help my clients. In addition to building mobile apps and websites and doing a lot of SEO, Pay-Per-Click etc., I have been working with getting clients more business through the new Amazon Ad Platform and through running ads and sponsorships in "on demand" audio and video (aka "podcasts"). It's been fun to see some great results from these new initiatives. I judge my own success by the success of my clients and the results that I can help provide.
What do you love about working at Inc.Ubate?
It has been so much fun to not only get to know a lot of new members but to also create friendships and even collaborations. A bunch of us from the space have even been taking a video certification course to become producers at the local cable access TV station, WCAT in Winthrop. I'm looking forward to producing some cool content together with these folks!