Dan Schwartz is the Co-Founder and COO of New York based RUN, a mobile-focused ad tech product company, offering cross-screen media buying and up to the second analytics.
You should be concerned if people aren’t doubting you. Bottle that skepticism, as it’s fuel for growth, while resisting the urge to fall in love with yourself by thinking critically. If you understand your own gaps, you’ll be better able to fill them.
In the world of ad-tech, conventional wisdom says that you need to raise money to build a product that will then (hopefully) lead to revenue. Conventional wisdom isn’t that wise and can’t hold a candle to counter-intuitive thought in action. We built something out of nothing – a business first and funded our technical development by pumping the proceeds of the business back in to build products that didn’t exist in market.
I had an advertising sales job which I built based on strategic partnerships. I was able to work from home, which was pretty sweet and it became quite lucrative. I loved it – but you have to be willing to give up something good in order to arrive at something truly great.
Self funded and profitable from day one. Two years in, we recently took outside funding for the first time – we didn’t need to, but wanted to do so for strategic reasons. The lesson: not all money is created equal. As a mobile-focused ad tech company, we partnered with the most reputable player in the game: Verizon.
Relationships. As exchange based media buying began to percolate, we identified a need/opportunity to corral the unwieldy ad tech ecosystem for clients-to-be based on these relationships that were cultivated across a decade. The world of tech is still reliant on personal relationships, thankfully. Doing right be people, quite literally, pays.
We’ve created demand by telling the truth! A novel concept in ad tech. We pride ourselves on surfacing campaign data instantly, with an intuitive platform that empowers our partners – and a planning/ops team that prioritizes parts of the buy/sell process that have been neglected or overlooked by most players in the space. Tech + Ops = the RUN way.
We’ve worked hard to create and maintain a collaborative, team-oriented work atmosphere. No one sits in offices, we’re all out in the open and we have a lot of fun bantering back and forth all day long – both about ad and unrelated topics spanning low brow humor and intellectual subject matters. If you walked into RUN HQ, you wouldn’t automatically know who does what – just the way we like it.
It’s key to be chameleon-esque because each day potentially involves the gamut. Can you go from product to biz dev to accounting to lawyer to interview to operations based conversations back to back to back, seamlessly? That’s how it went, today.
We think of ourselves as a General Assembly and Made in NY success story. These associations have been great but in true NYC fashion, we’re proud of our independence and self-reliance to have achieved the success we’ve been able to realize to date.
We had (and continue to have) the nerve to think that a couple of guys with a bright idea and the courage to see it through could be a source of disruption in a world filled with exceptionally well funded competitors. A true David vs. Goliath story – and now we’re armed with more than just a slingshot.