I was recently listening to “How I Built This,” one of my favorite podcasts, and his guest was Lynda of Lynda.com (great story, BTW).
The host, Guy Raz, said something along the lines of: “If you build something that solves a problem for you – that could be a hobby. Find something that solves a problem for a few more people, and maybe you’ve got a side-hustle. Create a software solution for an industry – now you’ve got a potentially massive opportunity”. Lynda.com was FAR from an overnight success (that’s a theme for many of the podcast’s best episodes).
My entire working journey has brought me to this point. First as a media seller, then I opened a media ad agency called Connectivity and ultimately built my first “managed digital services” company, YouConnex (where I raised my first outside capital investment). As I built out YouConnex, I realized a few interesting things.
First, most demand side media platforms (called DMP’s) were overly complex to operate and often offered inventory that, while focused on targeting by consumer profiles, would sometimes deliver those across sites that didn’t always feel legit. They also didn’t create opportunities other than “digital” inventory that could be scrapped out of publisher inventory systems.
Where was the cool stuff?
At the same time, I realized that outside of letting those “DMP’s” scrape whatever was left over – publishers and media companies had not really put forth many solutions for today’s buyers of media – a person who isn’t looking to replace spreadsheets, but instead wants an idea generator AND a chance to tell media companies what they perceive as VALUE – not the other way around.
So, the idea of BidForMedia.com was born (think of it like eBay for all forms of media). Then a short LinkedIn search would help reveal the size of my potential target audience…
Have you ever looked at a glacier underwater?! What I thought might be a few thousand people wasn’t even close!
Go ahead and take a guess at what a search of people with the title Media Buyer pulls up on LinkedIn.
Almost 1/2 A MILLION (403,000 to be exact)!
With that in mind – we hired a team of developers, helped pull together an impressive group of advisors, and ultimately began beta testing with a select (but growing) group of media buyers AND media sellers.
THE GOAL – to see if we could create a forward-thinking tech solution that could help each side solve a problem (with a little dash of machine learning) – putting media opportunities in front of buyers that they are actually interested in buying.
We’ll know we’ve made it when Guy Raz comes calling, I guess?!
I like our odds!