Issue No. 22 
— August 2016

The Impact

Digital trend publication
blending a mix of culture,
insights and data.

A trend product by






In the marketing world, we tend to measure impact with numbers. How many people did we reach? What percentage of them clicked? How many followers did our Instagram account grow by? While numbers are an important way to see ROI, impact means so, so much more.


This issue covers a few different topics that all fall under the 'impact' umbrella, most of which we don't even realize apply to each of us on a daily basis. We talk about the impact of other people's success on our own, the effect of social networks, and of course, social good and the role we play as consumers. 


We hope this issue inspires you to think more about what impacts you and what you impact.


Go on, have a scroll.



Delanie Billman

Managing Editor




Editor's Letter


"Entrepreneurship is about tackling big problems - often non-obvious problems - that will have a meaningful impact on the world, and this usually involves solving these problems in counterintuitive ways."

- Trip Adler

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Dig into the issue by clicking on the links below!



1. The importance of intimidation ✱

The creative industries (or let's face it, all industries) are filled with talent. So much so, that we often end up undervaluing our own talents, creativity and successes. In this piece, singer/songwriter Tracy Le shares how her intimidation led to her pursuing a full time career as a singer/songwriter.

— Tracy Le



2. The Intimacy of Consumer conversation

Beauty retailer and social good company BeautyKind has built it's brand on authentic relationships with it's consumers, who they share a similar passion for charity with. This article digs deep into how to build meaningful relationships that will impact your brand's success.

— Bryan Kokkeler



3. The twitter effect

If you ask any stock broker or social media analyst about Twitter, they will say it's a dying network. Users are transitioning to more image-based platforms and Twitter is struggling to find it's place. Will Twitter actually "die?" That we're not sure of. But if it does, this is how it's going to go down.

— Samantha Cole


4. Caitlin Crosby, Founder of The Giving Keys

As an actress, singer/songwriter, entrepreneur, social activist and spokesperson, Caitlin knows a thing or two about making an impact. 



11. What impacts the team at matte black?

Our team shares thoughts on the brands, businesses and concepts that are making an impact on us, and the world around us.


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"I definitely wanted to earn my freedom. But the primary motivation wasn't making money, but making an impact."

- sean parker


✱ No Login Required



The importance of intimidation

How our successes impact others

By Tracy Le


Doing what you love comes at a cost. The cost is vulnerability, a strange boldness that turns into an intimate excitement usually kept for the self—until it’s shared of course. It also takes an immense amount of guts to embody something that doesn't feel expected or appropriate. When you know what you love, it can consume you. You want to talk about it, you want to learn more about it, and you want to find people in that similar realm so you can just be around them, dwelling in this midst. But a bigger cause about doing what you love is doing what you love well. And for me, intimidation has become the main motivation in my work and art.


To feel intimidated is to feel like there’s more to learn. At least that’s what I’ve felt about it. I want to be better all the time. We all have our standards of what we think is “our best.” In a world of comparison, social media, and ever-growing industries of creativity and innovative ideation, the pool of people following their dreams is large and it’s becoming seemingly more impossible to be original or special. Maybe this has been the reality throughout all of history, but it feels extra dense these days and in a city like this bustling and glamorized one. But at the end of the day, we should do what we love because it can enable us to make a difference. Somehow, in some shape or form, what we love should be impacting, which to me is success.  


When I think about the people who have intimidated me (be it friends or even strangers) the majority of them share a trait. There is a certainty about them. Take away all negative hues of this word and redirect it to this simple thought—whoever intimidates you is one hundred percent the opposite of insecure and timid. They have fervor; they have a knowing look when they are doing their work—when they are operating at their best. And I think it’s extremely important to be around these people. People who intimidate you are successful. They thrive in their own curated way. And if we want to be people who excel at our art, flourish in our business, we need to embrace intimidation and find it as an interaction that invites a process of evaluation and refining. When we seek this dynamic, when we identify intimidation in this way, we are able to recognize what ignites within us; we learn of an intimate and immovable delight.


I’ve always been intimidated by art, music, design (you name it) and the artists behind it. Now I do music full-time. Always seek intimidation, because it’s vulnerable, because it’s costly and because it’s a direct path to a self-assurance only you can mold and make good. Intimidation is necessary thing. And it tells us what makes our insides light up and draws us closer to what we know might burn us but at the end of the day, is the only thing truly worth obsessing over.

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With a mysterious Wonder Vault storefront in LA.

Read more ➭


businesses make the most of pokemon go

Sponsored retail locations are coming to the popular app.
Read more ➭


beyond yoga celebrates 10 years

This Matte Black client is celebrating a milestone in Forbes.

Read more ➭





refinery 29 hires a 10 person facebook live staff

It's happening, folks.

Read more ➭


Should your brand be on messaging apps?

Consumers apparently don't mind it.

Read more


only $10 was spent on this brilliant campaign

Venmo involuntary turned into a charity app.

Read more ➭





Instagram clones snapchat

Copycat syndrome arises.

Read more ➭


pantone forever feeds our color addiction

This app is next level amazing.
Read more ➭


NYT Puts VR to use.

Read about how the New York Times is using Virtual Reality to tell stories.

Read more ➭





should you date someone who you're not tech compatible with?

Really, are green texts a deal breaker?

Read more ➭


it's rihanna's world

Read how the pop star became everything, to everyone.
Read more ➭



Apple replaces the pistol emoji

With a squirt gun. YES.

Read more ➭





sonos' new soho location

Designed to let you experience music like you would in your home.

Read more ➭


Designer's Block is a real thing

Become a better designer by designing less.
Read more ➭


Chanel's collages

Karl Lagerfeld takes a new approach to the brand's advertisements.

Read more ➭




Chelsea Matthews


Managing Editor
Delanie Billman


Contributing Editor
Micah Heykoop


Creative Direction
Nolan Goff


Art Direction + Design
Jesse Ligo


Nicole Best


Podcast Coordinator
Aria Davis


Carlos Quinteros Jr.




Tracy Le

Tracy is a writer and musician obsessed with efficient communication, good branding and honest to goodness honesty. Long walks or long dinners are the jam and if there’s a glass red during either, that would be ideal. Born and raised in Southern California, she currently calls Los Angeles home and the place that has changed her completely over the years but in like, the very best way (though one day, Paris). When she’s not freelancing and consulting with various brands, she’s writing a sad song or twelve to one day sing to you. Please creep further into my world: @listentotrace

Night in or night out? 87% night in. Usually. Let's say 5 nights in, 2 nights out.

Celebrity crush: Josh Hartnett

Best throwback song: TLC's Waterfalls

Spirit animal: I want to be a fox, but I'm unfortunately a black cat.

Instagram or Snapchat? I use both, but more active on the gram.


Bryan Kokkeler

After graduating from the University of Oregon, I moved to Seattle to work at Brandstream, a branding consultancy founded by Scott Bedbury.  I learned a lot of invaluable lessons from Scott during my three years at Brandstream from his unique views in how to identify, own and enrich emotional brand connections..

Go-to karaoke song: “I Believe I Can Fly” and after you hear me sing it, you might too. 

Author to read: Hunter S. Thompson is the greatest ‘no-nonsense / all-nonsense’ authors of all time. 

Nasty habit: There is a 0% chance I will ever make my bed. 
Streaming on Netflix: My girlfriend has never seen The Office, so in an attempt to get her up to speed with the rest of humanity I am re-watching it with her now.  

Childhood comfort: Popsicles.  I am not sure why, but I have an insatiable appetite for Otter Pops.



Samantha Cole

Sam is a writer and editor from Maryland’s eastern shore, now living in a Brooklyn neighborhood that’s totally gonna be gentrified in like, five years or something. As seen in Fast Company, PSFK, Popular Science and others, but most proud of several years of newspaper reporting in central Virginia.


Guilty pleasure: Muting people and phrases on Twitter, ironically

Doppelgänger: I get Taylor Swift a lot, but I’d prefer to be Holly Holm

Go-to karaoke song: “True” by Spandau Ballet or “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler

Author to read: Mary Roach is my nonfiction hero

Favorite Instagrammer: I don’t own a dog or want a dog, but BarkBox’s surrealist humor is hilarious.

Caitlin Crosby


Caitlin Crosby is an actress, singer, songwriter and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. She is the founder of The Giving Keys, a jewelry company that employs those transitioning out of homelessness. She is also started up two social good organizations Save That Pillow and Love Your Flawz.


Last song played: POD - I Feel So Alive
Streaming on Netflix: Bloodline
Night in or night out? IN
Most inspiring city: Nashville