Monday, October 24, 2011

If I am Steve Ballmer

...I buy Yahoo, AppNexus and MOAT. Collapse Dapper, MOAT, RMX, Atlas, 5to1, AdCenter, et al into a superserver/end to end platform with buyside RTB SEM and Display bid management and optimization, creative optimization, engagement mapping and CPE support, yield optimization and supply side data management. This provides a true challenge to looming DCLK/GOOG dominance. And let O'Kelley, Rubenstein, Paparo and Walrath run it. Lay off a ton of sales folks and force agencies to buy all media (O&O and network) programatically. MSFT is good at IT/b2b and terrible at consumer content (XBOX aside), so spin off/sell MSN and Yahoo content assets (merge with AOL?).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

VC's and entrepeneurs need to know how agencies really work

Ad tech companies are getting a bad name with agency folk - and I don't blame the agency folk.

Way too many companies get founded, funded and operated by people who have never sold a dollar of business to ad agencies. These people then proclaim to understand "what's broken" and to render the agencies obsolete. These same people then realize that brands generally want their agencies to solve the "big problem" the VC invested in solving. So these people end up having to sell to agencies. Whose models they don't understand and whom they have pissed off royally in the initial go to market process.

How do I know? I was one of these operators. I thought I knew a lot more than I did. I thought we could do it without agencies. Our investors thought we could sell into the ad market from Seattle without living out of a suitcase in NYC. We were wrong. Luckily we had smart advisors and clients, a dynamite strategic partner in London, and a hell of a NY VP, who helped us figure it out in time.

The ones who end up doing this well get exits (not outsized exits, but good exits) for investors. The ones who don't, turn into zombies.

Back on the block

And who better to celebrate the return of my blog than "Q" himself - and my man Jamie Foxx - big things in 2012!

Back from hiatus

It's been a busy year. We raised money, and got big. Now, we're busy taking the AdXpose core technology and bringing in comScore's vast audience data assets and research expertise to create what could become a new currency for pricing online advertising: the vGRP.

As I shake off a year that included far too much time spent with investors, lawyers, and bankers, and not nearly enough with clients, partners, and the ecosystem, I look forward to bringing some insights and consistency back to this blog - and some personal favorites too.