How A Father And Son Ended Up At LBS

Matthew Vatcher

Matthew Vatcher


Vatcher then jumped to other rollercoaster giant, Kumbak Coasters, before returning to simulation technologies with 5D International. It was in Vienna, Austria—where 5D International is based—that Vatcher found his future business partner. “We decided to take the technology I had been working on for the past 10 or 15 years and start our own company with it,” he explains.

Vatcher was originally going to take the same motion system he had been working on but discontentedness with a supplier led him to reconsider.

“I went home one night very frustrated and when I woke up the next morning, the lightbulb clicked and I said, ‘damnit, we’ll do it (the technology) ourselves,’” Vatcher says. “I phoned a couple of guys I knew and asked how they’d like to develop our own motion system.”

His new company, Dynamic Motion Rides, took three years developing new motion technology and now have what Vatcher calls a “world-beater.”


All the while, Matthew, traveled the world as a youth, looking in awe towards his father’s career. After all, you get instant playground street-cred when you can say your dad designed one of Disney’s most famed rollercoasters.

Matthew, now with a young family of his own, took a similar path as his father, forgoing a traditional education for a specialized and distance-learning degree at the Open University in the U.K.

He worked his way up into well-respected positions at London’s Heathrow airport but kept an eye on his father’s career and successes. When Dynamic Motion Rides was founded and David started attending trade shows around the world to introduce the company and it’s products, Matthew took annual leave to travel with him—looking for an in to his own father’s startup.

The elder Vatcher took notice. “By coming out to our tradeshows, the responses we got from our clients of his knowledge of the technology we were working on, of the marketplace he picked up, and the way he presented himself and the company was tremendous,” Vatcher says.

So now, three decades later, Matthew is enrolled in the Sloan Program and has experienced a similar initial reaction to his father’s—a diverse and knowledgeable tribe of people take the Sloan Program. “The international cohort you get at London is much more than MIT or Stanford,” he claims.

But this program takes international influence to another level. “What I didn’t expect is out of 56 of the people, there are 25 different nationalities represented,” Matthew says. “You learn as much from each other as you do from the professors in the lectures. It is a learning journey you go on together. Everyone is there to pass on the knowledge and experience they have to everyone else.”


The younger Vatcher also claims the biggest lessons have been in soft skills. “Understanding the way different people behave and react on teams based upon personalities and experiences and how to recognize, understand, and work with people from different cultures and different values and experiences, such that you can get the most out of each other and the team as a whole,” he says.

Brimming with pride as he speaks of his son while talking about how Matthew got a top score on a recent corporate finance exam. “He’s continued to do extremely well and not only has he met my expectations, I think he’s exceeded them,” he says.

And that’s a big deal. The elder Vatcher has learned what it’s like to make tough decisions and be willing to experience failures.

Walking away from such a large investment gave Vatcher the confidence to walk away from any other organization if he didn’t agree with management styles or ideals. “A lot of people are not prepared to make those tough decisions,” he says. “They tend to continue with the status quo because they’re not concerned about what the future may bring, where sometimes you have to make bold decisions.”

But it was those tough decisions that made decisions within his own company easier. “Often you can’t see how high the mountain is before you start to climb it. And if you did, you probably wouldn’t attempt to climb it. You have to understand what failure is. If you understand what failure is, success is even sweeter.”

And with several large undisclosed contracts for the upcoming year, Vatcher is eying the top of the mountain and the sweet feeling of success that comes with being on its summit.


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