NativeAdVantage 10-Q2BA:

(10 Questions 2B Answered)

What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Biggest success?
What are your aspirations?
Most challenging moment?
Favorite Motto?
Favorite People?
Favorite Places?
Favorite Products?
Current Passions?

Featured NativeAdVantage:

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John Philipson: VP, Six Senses Resorts

Tom Sito: Chair of Animation, USC Film School

Elizabeth Wynn: Broker, Sotheby's RE

Leonard Greenhalgh: Professor, Tuck-Darmouth)

Ryan Blair: NY Times Best Selling Author/Entrepreneur


Featured NativeAdVice:

Shai Reshef: Founder of University of the People

Paul D'Arcy: SVP of Indeed

Susan Hatje: GM of Mandarin Oriental, NY

Dan Laufer: Co-Founder of RentLingo

Hilary Laney: President of Tri-Digital

Greg Marsh: Co-Founder of onefinestay

Omar Qari: Co-Founder of Abacus

Gabriell Weinberg: Founder of DuckDuckGo

Stacy Rauen: E-I-C of Hospitality Design Mag

Jon Gray: CRO of HomeAway

Joe Speiser: Co-Founder of

Ben McKean: Co-Founder of HungryRoot

John Boiler: Founder/CEO of 72andSunny

Wayne Pacelle: CEO of The Humane Society of the US

Tom Guay: GM at The Sagamore Resort

Dr. Alejandro Junger: Founder of The Clean Program

Rob Flaherty: CEO of Ketchum

Neil Thanedar: Founder/CEO of LabDoor

Andy Grinsfelder: VP of Sales/Marketing, Delaware North Resorts

Laura Frerer-Schmidt: VP/Publisher of Women's Health

Avi Steinlauf: CEO of

Kathy Bloomgarden: CEO of Ruder Finn

Gabriel Flateman: Co-Founder/CTO of Casper

Mark Bartels: CEO of StumbleUpon

Bill Hagelstein: President/CEO of RPA

Adam Singolda: Founder/CEO of Taboola

Jonathan Plutzik: Proprietor of The Betsy-South Beach

Jessica Scorpio: Founder/VP of Marketing at GetAround

Ralph McRae: CEO of Leading Brands

Warren Berger: Bestselling Author

Liz Kaplow: Founder/CEO of Kaplow Communications

Dave Girouard: Founder/CEO of UpStart

Dave Asprey: Founder of BullectProof Executive

Douglas C. Smith: President of EDSA

Val Difebo: CEO of Deutsch NY

Guido Polito: CEO of Baglioni Hotels

Doyle Graham, Jr.: CEO of Valencia Group

Oscar Farinetti: Founder of Eataly

Angelo Sotira: CEO of DeviantART

Ali Khwaja: CFO of Safecharge

Zach Erdem: Proprietor of 75 Main

Jim Beley: GM of The Umstead Hotel

Alexis Gelburd-Kimler: Proprietor of West Bridge

Elie Georges: Proprietor of Hotel San Regis

Kalen Caughey: Founder o VOKE Tab

Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG

Donna Karan: Founder of DKNY

Edward Nardoza: Editor-in-Chief of WWD

Scott Dadich: Editor-in-Chief of Wired

Rhona Murphy: Former CEO of The Daily Beast

David J. Pecker: CEO of American Media

Lilian Roten: VP of Swissotel Hotels

Kenny Dichter: Founder/CEO of Wheels Up

Joshua Tetrick: Founder/CEO of Hampton Creek

Paul James: Global Brand Leader of The Luxury Collection

Dr. James Wagner: President of Emory University

Amy Thompson: President of ATM Artists & Management

Neil Gillis: President of Round Hill Music

Brett Matteson: President of Columbia Hospitality

Jonathan Reckford: CEO of Habitat For Humanity

Phil Harrison: President/CEO of Perkins+Will

Chef Bill Telepan

Tony Horton: Founder of P90X

Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group

Michael Fertik: Founder/CEO of

Dana Cowin: Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine

Bob Proctor: Chairman of Proctor/Gallagher Institute

Dennis Turcinovic: Owner of Delmonicos

Vittorio Assaf: Co-Founder of Serafina Restaurant Group

Shafqat Islam: Co-Founder of Newscred

Matt Williams: CEO of The Martin Agency

Bruce Rogers: Executive Chef at Hale & Hearty

Caleb Merkl: Co-Founder of Maple

Candy Argondizza: VP of Culinary at ICC

Neil Sazant: President of The Sagamore

Matt Straz: Founder/CEO of Namely

Terry Couglin: Managing Partner of Marta/Maialino

Andrei Cherny: Co-Founder/CEO of Aspiration

Ronen Nissenbaum: Managing Director of Waldorf Astoria NY

Patrick Godfrey: President of Godfrey Q

Sarah Berman: Founder/President of The Berman Group

Michael Schwartz: Owner of Genuine Hospitality Group

Stephan Aarstol: Founder/CEO of Tower Paddle Boards

Peter Shaindlin: COO of Halekulani Corp.

August Cardona: Founder/CEO of Epicurean Group

Nick Kenner: Co-Founder of Just Salad


Oliver Roup: Founder & CEO of VigLink

My NativeAdVice:


Oliver Roup is founder and CEO of VigLink, the premier marketplace for publishers to connect their audiences to high-quality merchants without needing to display ads.  Oliver brings over 15 years of software experience to VigLink. Previously, he was a Director at Microsoft in charge of product for various media properties including XBOX Live Video Marketplace, Zune Marketplace and MSN Entertainment. He’s a board member of the Performance Marketing Association and chair of the PMA’s Content Monetization Council. Oliver received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from MIT and his MBA from the Harvard Business School. 

How did you get into the Tech industry?

I'm a lifer. My parents bought a Commodore 64 when I was ten years old and I was hooked. I majored in computer science as an undergraduate at MIT and my first jobs all centered around writing code.

Tell us about VigLink. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?

While attending Harvard Business School, I noticed that publishers were writing about products linking back to Amazon and other retailers. I wondered if those publishers were receiving commissions for directing those sales, so I built a web crawler to find out how many of those links were monetized. It turned out to be less than half even though Amazon made it pretty easy. Publishers were leaving money on the table, I launched VigLink to take advantage of this opportunity.

The hyperlink is the defining feature of the web—the literal H in HTML—but the way we think about, manage, and optimize links more or less hasn't changed since the web began. VigLink is spearheading changing that.

What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to VigLink's success?

VigLink has built up relationships with almost 50,000 merchants and 400,000 publishers internationally. VigLink matches publishers with merchants in an exchange where clicks can be valued, bought and sold. Like all two-sided marketplaces, the buyers come for the sellers and the sellers come for the buyers.

What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?

The shift to mobile and the obvious challenges using old techniques to monetize that traffic are huge opportunities for VigLink. People consume and share content on their phones very differently than on desktop. Publishers and marketers alike must create mobile-specific strategies for content in order keep up with the ever-expanding trend.  

Life Motto?

How about a quote from Elon Musk? "Optimism, pessimism, f*** that; we're going to make it happen…I'm hell-bent on making it work."

VigLink's Motto?

We don't have a motto but our statement of values reads like a motto, "Dare, overcome, challenge, collaborate and play!"

Your greatest success as Founder/CEO of VigLink?

Obtaining the initial seed funding with no product, no team and no customers was definitely a magic trick. Another notable success was expanding our network by acquiring a content promotion startup.

Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?

There have been many - near bankruptcy in the early days, personnel challenges, sites crashing, etc.

Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurship is a fine balance between sticking to what you know is true and hearing what the market is telling you.

Describe the ideal experience using VigLink.

Someone with passion for a particular topic discovers VigLink and gets to give up their day job and go full time writing about what they love. It's happened many times!

How do you motivate your employees?

I believe people are motivated by a compelling mission and the belief that their work can make a difference.

One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?

Pizza has the widest possible ingredient set and still qualifies as itself - grains, meat, vegetables, dairy, even a few fruits qualify as pizza toppings so if you have to limit to a single food item, it offers the widest flexibility. For drinks - Sake is probably the beverage I'd most like to preserve (assuming water is covered).

What literature is on your bed stand?

Zero to One by Peter Thiel. Not sure it really qualifies as literature.

Role model - business and personal?

Elon Musk.

Current passion?

Lately, I've gotten interested in desalinization. I think the market will take care of keeping energy prices relatively low, but access to fresh water particularly in light of rising sea levels is going to be a huge issue. A lot of human suffering can be avoided if we build this technology a little sooner than the market would dictate.

Favorite travel destination?

Many, but my latest favorite is Cabarette in the Dominican Republic for Kiting.

What's next for VigLink?

Stay tuned!