I’ve been working in ad-tech for most of my career, most recently a 7-year stint with Sizmek as GM of Americas, doubling the organization’s customer footprint and tripling revenue to over $100mm. We often joke about ad-tech years equating to dog years, and while not entirely accurate, you do tend to see more change in a year in ad-tech than in several years in other industries.
Last year the industry began facing a wave of exits and acquisitions that signaled one of the current big changes in the business. Large ad-tech firms that had dominated their categories for years struggled to adapt to the new realities of the ecosystem. They began scaling down, folding into other organizations, or throwing in the towel altogether. In some cases the product hadn’t evolved at the speed of the market, in more cases the cost model became untenable, and in most cases it was both.
Following all of this, I started thinking about the next generation of tech that was at hand. How would ad tech and software platforms be built if they were meant to meet the challenges of today’s market? And just as important, who were the people with the vision and capability to execute to that end?
A friend of mine once told me that people, products, and vision were the most important areas to look at before joining a business. As I started digging in with the people, products, and vision of Beeswax, I knew I had found one of the next great software companies in our space and I had to get involved:
- The People: Ari, Shamim, and Ram have surrounded themselves with a team that treats the company as their own. Every employee is a valued contributor with a stake in the success of the business. Team and individual goals are shared across the organization, and input horizontally and vertically is encouraged. This creates a level of operational transparency that is incredibly rare in our space. All of this, combined with an incredible track record of product development and execution, has laid the groundwork for a uniquely successful and rewarding culture.
- The product: As the act itself of buying programmatically has become a commodity, so to have most of the tech platforms being used for it. Most last generation tech offers uniform supply and optimization, along with the much-maligned percentage of media based fee structure. Beeswax deliberately built out a platform that enables unique supply structures, completely custom optimization, and a cost model built on the technology use case. This represents a needed evolution in the way marketers buy both media and technology. They are truly building a product for the future and empowering a new wave of sophisticated advertisers.
- The Vision: Beeswax, from its onset, has a mission to build great advertising software. This has been the unwavering product and business vision that started with the first Bidder-as-a-Service concept and evolved into today’s full offering. As buyers are becoming more sophisticated and capable, that offering has seen increasing market applicability. More customers, scaled usage, and increased performance are driving the business forward and validating our vision every day.
To paraphrase my friend from earlier, if you find strength in only one of those areas, it’s a red flag. If you see strength in two, you’re in a good place. If an organization is strong in all three, convince them to hire you and never look back.
As the newest member of the executive team, I will provide structure and process and lend guidance and support to key players within the organization. A lot of work has been done to get Beeswax to where it is today, and a lot of work is still to be done. I look forward to jumping on the moving train and being a part of the journey.