Posts Tagged adtech

Sunday Column (472)

Another week in January, already half way through the first month. I started writing this early in the week. I have a new creative outburst this year it seems, e.g. I love putting thoughts into writing and talking (see last week’s post with the info on my podcast Stories Of Success). And I am proud to announce that the first (solo) episode went live this week. Check it out. Also, I conducted first interviews which, post production, will be published over the forthcoming weeks. This has been fun and and exciting.

Not sure I mentioned this before, but on weekends, as you would, time is reserved for the family. That is very important for me, as normally I am not around that much during the week. Having said that, I truly enjoy the school runs at the moment, however it seems that whilst this week was still quieter than anticipated, my diary is filling up for the next weeks. Fingers crossed to get back into the ring and get some, even if temporary work. I am starting to go stir crazy 🙁

Anyway, on Saturdays for instance, I love getting a lie in (that means 7 am for me at the latest) and then have breakfast with the boys who are usually up at that time, before taking the youngest to Karate. When I was a child I wanted to do Judo. Mainly because a friend of mine did Judo. Years later I got into Tai Chi and loved it, and think that hindsight I would have benefited from learning a martial arts when I was younger. If I say it wasn’t done in those days, I would be lying. Everything was done, but a lot of things you did were more conventional, not exotic, and martial arts were probably seen as exotic.

As I describe in my podcast, I used to think a lot about what others thought, and that’s probably down to the way I was brought up. That has changed, and when my boy decided to take up martial arts, I would get up at 3 am at the weekend to make it happen. There are always excuses, unless you just move forward and do it. To conquer a fear or an imagined fear. No one really cares what you look like or if you do one thing or another, and you shouldn’t really care if they approve or not. Who are those people that think they can approve or disapprove what you do with your life? That’s the same with a lot of topics, the immediate one I can think of is your sexuality. You shouldn’t worry if you are gay for instance, and neither do I. Unfortunately, this hasn’t always been the case in our society, and neither was it common place to do martial arts. Life is changing for the better. Just see the #metoo campaign lately. Rant over 😉

You know that I have been looking for a job. No news yet, and I believe it will take another few weeks to be honest. I am not very good at sitting at home doing nothing, and until you know what project you do next, you are a bit restless. Potentially I might sign a short term contract as a consultant, yet it is about the bigger picture, the long term perspective. And there are plans, as always.

There is a thought of moving out of advertising technologies (adtech) industry and move to a different industry. Discussing that with a friend this week showed that I am not the only one 🙂 As a matter of fact most people I speak to think about it. That’s never a good sign, is it? I don’t yet have to make a decision on anything but I have been thinking about that for the past weeks. Adtech has been good to me, and I have been working in it for over ten years, pioneering some of the stuff we are taking for granted and yet still, people make it sound complicated. I love my mates in the industry and it is a fun and dynamic industry too. I speak to more and more people recently that are fed up of people who made it to the top and don’t have a clue about what’s happening. The industry is due a change in 2018, and I won’t bore you with the details here, but I believe that a big change is going to happen. The old model and set up of agencies specialising in different discplines and consultancies being specialist in some aspects of it, won’t work. I see them two joining together, delivering strategy and execution at the same time. What that means is that agencies will become more strategic with clients across the board, not only around media and creative, and consultancies becoming more hands-on with delivery and execution.

Adtech will be at the heart of this merging with Martech. Martech will just become part of an overall technology stack, software essentially. Whilst this transformation will still take 3-5 years, there will be lots of turmoil. M&A will fuel all that and big telecoms will buy those technologies, ending up with a few original adtech players like Google but also telecoms being the owner of technologies. I am excited for that industry and love it. However, being in the middle of it won’t be too much fun, as something will have to give, and quite frankly, I could do with a bit more stability in life on the job front, in order to focus more of my spare time on my number one priority: family and kids.

Now don’t get this as a too negative notion on adtech. I am still speaking to a few companies in adtech and some have some smart solutions. Just this week I spoke to an interesting company which has a niche solution delivering incremental ROI. That is so cool! That’s when I get still excited. And yes, likelihood is I am back in adtech before we know it, but let’s also be honest and watch the space as it is changing.

So, that’s all from me folks. More news next week.

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Sunday Column (454)

This week was an awkward one. Somewhat anyway. I left the house on Monday, just as the installers of our new multigym arrived. My kids had their last day of holidays and went back to school on Tuesday. Daddy left Monday morning and came home late Tuesday night, important meetings with dinner/drinks in the evenings. I was home on Wednesday though, partly to make up for it, but mainly because I had a small surgery, removal of a mole, nothing big. Nothing serious. Yet with it all taken a bit shorter than anticipated, I managed to pick the kids up from school. That was nice.

Those weeks make me think of what would it be like if I am not around at all. No, I am not afraid of dying, or that the mole might be cancerous, it is more about prevention. Hence the multigym, my runs, the diet. I want to be fit as long as possible to see as much as possible of my boys. Guide them, listen to them. Yet, and partly this is due to our choice of moving that far out of London, I often don’t see them. And with the three busiest travel/trade show weeks in the industry, September is a tricky month. I have to admit. Long hours, out of the office, late nights. This is just part of what I do. And I was around a lot in the summer. Not that I need to justify myself, but somewhat this is what I do. At the end of the day, you cannot make up for lost time. The age they are in makes them notice it a lot more. Hence when travelling for most of the week, I try to work from home a day a week.

So when you come home only after being away for one night, it is great. It feels like being away for ages, as you missed them so much. School started. The wife shared some amazing pictures of the boys, and the little one does so look like me! Very proud!!! And when you come home late, and they are asleep, and you tug the oldest in, without waking him up. The moment he turns to his side, enjoys the comfort of the blanket, sighs and continues to sleep. Priceless. That’s when I feel humble, sentimental and I am full of love. Or the youngest, after taking him to the loo, snuggles up with his soft toy and goes back to sleep. And they feel that you are back, and that you are watching over them, care for them. And you feel their love and that they feel safer and more comfortable with you being around. That’s the bond, the invisible touch, no one will ever explain to you, cannot explain to you, but every parent feels it. It’s a mixture of love, trust, comfort, protectionism, challenge as well as fear and safety at the same time. It works both ways. That’s when I feel truly blessed.

Work: we finally announce the merger/take over. I knew when joining my company in January that either we will be sold or we will have lots of challenges. I cannot speak about it in detail, neither do I want to, but we officially sold to Sizmek this week. That puts us in an amazing position within the ecosystem. A full stack solution. End to end demand side. Creative, DCO, DMP, AI, execution, ad server, reporting, analysis, brand safety and much more. Amazing, and exciting times ahead. The potential we have moving forward is immense. My third exit in the industry and I am excited about the prospects. The meeting this week actually showed me how much I care about building a useful and exciting demand side technology stack, yes I can actually get excited about what I do! I usually do 😉 Anyway, I keep you posted on any developments but for now I am super pumped.

With the pain in my back (see above minor surgery) I  didn’t exercise the rest of the week. So I took a break and caught up on some sleep. The next few weeks will be rather sleep poor, as I also just confirmed another international trip. The joys. But I love what I do, see above, and shall not moan.

Saturday happened my long planned ‘boys day out‘ of the year. A few friends of mine and I met in London to hit the pubs, eat lots of food and play some pool, drink some whisky and so on. Yes, it was a great day! Whilst on the one hand I dread those days, they give you so much back by just letting your hair down a bit, talk ‘men talk’ and having a good time, forgetting about everything else. So another long sleep on Sunday and a first trial at getting back into exercise despite the back strain.

Anyway, have a fantastic week ahead.


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Thursday Flash (13)


Having been busy lately, I get to read less and less. But hey, there is no lack of good articles out there, and I pick and choose for you.

Management of Walking and Wandering around – this is an interesting concept and I am not sure if we need a theory around walking around for management. In other words, any manager should interact with their employees and direct reports. This should be a given. However, I also think wandering around the company, meeting people and chatting, does help you to gain trust and experience what employees are doing day to day. But another management theory around it, really?

Emotional Intelligence – every since writing my MBA thesis about it, I am fascinated by this topic. This is a good summary around being persuasive.

And last but certainly not least:

Martech/Adtech merger …. Madtech? I wrote about this on Linkedin. This article on Mediapost is a bit older yet ever so interesting to read. Multitouch. 2017 is a year of mergers…of adtech, martech, consultancies, technologies…

I love my industry, but you must have noticed that already.

See you in a flash 😉

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Sunday Column (403)

What a week! It ended with a walk today where I took this picture:


Never know where your path is leading to. Yet you have to trust your intuition and faith. Take massive actions towards your goals. Be you. Succeed. You will be ok.

However, the week started with an amazing Adtech event. ATS, Exchangewire own Ad Trading Summit, which I have been attending since the summer of 2010. Ciaran put on an amazing line of speakers, insights and discussions around the real time bidding, programmatic advertising technology market. Well done! This was amazing. An industry get together. A catch up with publishers, suppliers, vendors, media owners and tech heads; geeks and friends. This year felt special, as I find that the industry is growing up, and maybe because there were a few acquisitions announced or talked about, a big tech IPO due soon, and all of those rumours bring the excitement back. dmexco is the largest global online and digital market show. It’s predecessor used to be a competitor show to one I launched and the founders of dmexco once offered me to join them for a sales role. Maybe I should have….hindsight. Anyway, 10 years on my friends have done very well and it is the second time this year, in the aforementioned 10 years, that I haven’t been to Duesseldorf (OMD) or Cologne (dmexco). That’s ok though.

My focus has changed. Not only do I feel more UK focused, I also feel more inward focused, both from a job and a personal perspective. I feel like my new job and challenge is what I was seeking. It is something that uses a different part of my brain, makes me use my intellect and people skills, yet has less pressure on sole revenue figures. Less travel. More home time. Less email strain. More fun. It is a change, and I openly say it, but it feels right and a change for the better. And I am not only saying that. I am convinced this is the step in the right direction. Thanks for the opportunity!


When you, like me, see an industry growing up. Changing. It feels great. When you are told that you put companies on the market and my name is in line with ‘TV Sync’, it is nice to hear. I achieved something. I made people rich, as someone said, but I also made myself rich. Not in terms of cash but in terms of experience, in respect to contacts and reputation. I am thankful for that. And whilst this sounds like a bit of a funeral speech, I am looking back at my career and feel like I have finally arrived. It has been a good journey, and it will continue to be amazing: that I am sure about. I feel a lot more balanced and content. Isn’t that a good thing? And I haven’t really started yet, have I? My careers is only started, the most important part has just begun.

The remainder of the week flew past. Meetings. Training. Pitches. Management. Kids up late. TV watching the100. New trainers. And on Friday: the Apple Watch. Wow wow wow. Steve. You would have seen a predecessor of that beast. I feel like 2011. When I researched tablets and realised the only device that does what I want and all others are modelled on is the iPad. When I searched for fitness devices 18 months ago I could find the one that was right for me. Garmin was the closest but it wasn’t wearable tech. Now with the Apple Watch I have the fitness tracker and wearable tech in one. I was waiting for it. What a treat. Given I only used it for a weekend, I am impressed by the technology. I mainly used it as a fitness device and still figure out which other added value it has, besides being a gadget and makes me use my phone less often for things like checking the weather, emails, timers, stock market and so on.


And the kids? The kids settling in well in school and enjoy the time with the child minder. The wife started her journey back into work. Life is changing once again. It is a good change, feels like we are growing up. As a family. We went to London this weekend too. We can do things. We can experience things together. The boys understand it. They gain from the experience. It is a joy. We went to London Borough market, a bit crowded and more touristy than we remember it from 10 years ago. Then the underground and DLR to the Emirates cable car. Did you see my live video on Facebook? I was a bit scared to be honest but enjoyed the day out with the kids. When they wanted to buy books, yes physical books, I couldn’t deny them the educational piece, could I. Back home via Victoria with a bus. Yes, we love living close to London. Next time we are eying up the London Eye and maybe a river boat journey. We shall see.

And during my meditation and walks, I every so often get reminded to not take things for granted. To treat each moment as being precious. To be sure I cherish the love of my family. To be thankful for what we have. What we can give and the difference we can make. The responsibility we have for our life and the life of others.

I meditate on it often. I am feeling blessed and truly grateful.

Best wishes,

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Luma Landscape and Adtech Valuation

This weekend I was made aware of re/code’s latest article on Ad-Tech Valuation.

This is worth sharing I thought, looking at our complex Luma Landscape in Digital.

According to the article the main points to consider for the valuation of adtech companies are

– Growth
– Operating Leverage
– Predictability
– Strategic Value

Net revenue is still key, e.g. the media costs which sometimes blow up balance sheets are neglected, so if a company takes 20% margin or 58% is a huge difference. In other words the latter might be valued higher despite a lower gross revenue (media).

For valuation purposes Luma groups companies into:

– Network 1.0
– Network 2.0
– Programmatic
– SaaS

This of course explains, and please read the article in full, why most companies aim to be in the SaaS bracket, a programmatically driven platform with own technology, ongoing contracts. On the other spectrum are the I/O based networks.

What becomes clear to me is that our industry is growing up. Our digital industry is changing. We move from the network I/O business to specialised adtech partners (programmatic) to SaaS companies.

To my mind this is not only a market valuation ‘play’ but foremost a market shift. We start to think differently about media and as companies we are more accountable for what we do. Hence bespoke solutions based on solid tech and data input make our companies valued more within the marketplace to our clients. This is key to any business and not different in digital. However, it is still new to digital. Somewhat it shows how immature our markets had been prior to programmatic and with the increased value for customers, we ultimately create shareholder value.

Yet we should consider that we are just starting the shift, and that the old network model is still alive. It will be for a few years but slowly comes to an end over the next couple of years.

Please see below for the Slideshare presentation.

Any comments?

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Sunday Column (235)

I am still thinking of last Sunday when we took the boys to a safari park. I managed to spend a whole day watching giraffes, rhinos, elephants, monkeys, lions, tigers and the lot with my family. Having had two late nights on Friday and Saturday resulted in me being tired. The long drive meant the boys slept in the car on the way home, then stayed up late. Some commitments made me stay up till midnight, just managing to get on top of things.

Slowly I am getting it. You get from your family what you put in. If you watched the video on Tuesday, you cannot be in the moment whilst staring at your phone. And I started putting it in at the weekend. And I am getting back, I am loving it. The unconditional love, the hugs, the questions, cuddles and statements. How much more important in life is that compared to anything (!) else?

My wife was saying that the eldest now asked “how are we made”, so a new chapter of questions is about to be opened. I cannot wait! I am getting excited to explain these and many more things in the years to come. I believe I am at this pivotal point where a bloke starts to really enjoy and engage with his sons.

This week I am away for one of the conferences I am chairing. Berlin until late Monday night. Then three long days of conferences in London. I cannot wait to see the boys again next weekend. I then have a new chance to be fully with them. Commuter life plus a career driven mind works like that, I am just one of many. And I keep telling myself it is ok, and it is. It will be.


It feels like things in life are coming together. When I think how scared I was to send over 3,000 emails to LinkedIn connection and having received the feedback, I am now glad I have done it. The connection, renewed friendships, meetings, discussions etc. It feels like it all starts to make sense. Maybe it took long, but if life is there to enjoy it, now is the time, not yesterday or tomorrow. When yesterday felt like jumping off a cliff, free falling, then now I am gliding, for my German friends ‘like Schimanski in his last Tatort above Duisburg’. Maybe a bit melancholic but also proud of achievements.

To follow on from all of that, my eldest started school this week. Almost to the day 30 years after his daddy. So firstly I took a half day to let mummy and him meet the teacher so I could watch R, as the 1st day of school isn’t such a big deal as it was in Germany. No Schultüten 🙁 C managed fine. He likes it.


It is weird, I suppose more so for my wife, that after having a baby to yourself for four years, it starts school. He is gone. For the next 14 years or so he is going to reception, preschool, middle school, high or secondary school, college and then, hopefully, to university in Germany. Latter is my dream but that doesn’t mean it is his. Time will tell. Before we know it we are….grandparents LOL

It is nice to see the boys grow up, yet we still had a rough night this week. Good to see them moving on. You cannot stop time. Whilst one likes the thought of having time for oneself again, the thought of someone else looking after your children, and then them looking after themselves, can be daunting. My parents have coped and I surely wasn’t easy. So I am going to be alright. Generations have said it: letting go of your children is the hardest part. You can only ensure they got the best preparation for the wild world when they do.

You can see, lots of melancholic thought. A week of networking at conferences and exhibitions lies ahead of me. Some travel, networking, catching up, learning, waiting, stressing. Actually, I love it. Yet, roll on Friday night. A bottle of nice red, a take away and a nice movie. This weeks is going to pass quickly.

Have a great one. If you come to ad:tech, stop by at booth 408H, adizio and I will be there.


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Battle of explaining what I actually do….

Thanks to a partner and competitor, there is now a 10 minute video explaining what our industry is actually about.

This is dedicated to my mum 😉



Sunday Column (134)

My Sunday Column seems to gain on popularity. Clients and friends regularly comment on my thoughts. However, particularly this week I don’t really know where to start.

I attended the ATS London on Tuesday. I reported about it, and I am still buzzing with some thoughts. Also, I am about to finalise another opinion piece about RTB. This will be published hopefully in the next two weeks. As you can see I love being part of digital, and I love being part of RTB. Oh, and I love my job!

This week also saw me travelling to dmexco in Germany. I believe ad:tech has seen its days in Europe, as this was by far the best dmexco and international show I have seen in Europe for years. I don’t want to write a summary about the show, but I think the only one that could come close to it might be ad:tech San Francisco or New York for that matter. But ad:tech London doesn’t deliver the same value and content as dmexco. Also, to attend the conference at dmexco is free, and speakers are invited. ad:tech now charges some speakers for presenting and definitely charges for the conference. I could go on with my thoughts. However, I already shared a few with leading conferences in Europe, and hope to be able to share my knowledge with at least one of them for their European shows. Onwards and upwards, I am not doing shows and conferences any more. At least for the moment 🙂

Other news this week are those Facebook changes. I am not sure if I continue to enjoy using it. Facebook is becoming a portal, and I personally don’t mind sharing information and connect to friends, but don’t need all those added services. We shall see how things develop on that end.

The weekend made my wife and I think again what we want to do. As you know we now decided to stay in the UK, even stay in Beckenham after all. I met more and more people that like it here and praise the free and good schools. So this is still a possibility. We also looked into changing our mortgage but haven’t decided whether we wait until we are up for renewal next June or re-mortgage earlier. Rumours have it that the base rate will increase by 0.5% at the latest next April. So we still need to do some thinking, calculating and making decisions.

To update you on the car: the guys at Kwik Fit figured it was only the hand brake. So a £100 job rather than £1,500 for the wheel bearings or maybe £5000+ for the gear box. So overall we might get away with a few hundred pounds and the thought of whether it is feasible to keep the car. Sure, we will now keep it for another year and we probably have the same thoughts again then. We should get it back on Monday.

We also booked our holidays, looking forward to seeing the family. Another long drive, hoping the car will last. But why wouldn’t it? I guess I am just paranoid, as always.

That’s all folks for this week. Next week I have an important management meeting in Cologne. I am very much looking forward to it.

So long & stay well,

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