Dan Gardner: Code and Theory Co-Founder

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My Native Admission Statement: I am first and foremost a husband and father of 5. (Ages 10,8,6,5 &3). I am second, the founder and CEO of a 500 person company called Code and Theory. Between the 2, which consumes most of my time, I appreciate the chaos and challenges that is my life. With that said, my personal interests for my very limited extra time in my life include anything that has a competitive spirit or creative perspective.

How did you get into the industry?:

I went to school at University at Buffalo for Computer Art and did a lot of experimental artwork and design through programming. During school I interned and worked for some various boutique agencies which all exploded during the dot com bubble and upon graduating had a short stint at a traditional agency.  Having the polarity of those experiences gave me the inspiration to start my own company with a culture and skill set focused on the use of digital capabilities to help grow businesses. When we started Code and Theory, from its early conception, part of our culture was always pushing the boundaries. What fueled our success in those early days was based on my interest of how to use creativity and technology to make experiences better.  We went from a small apartment in the Lower East Side to our current headquarters on the 62nd floor of the World Trade Center, with additional offices in San Francisco, London, LA, Atlanta, and Manila. Our company and those offices are still rooted in the DNA and culture of how we try and solve problems.

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Patti McConnell: Something Different Co-founder & Managing Partner

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My Native Admission Statement: My partner, Tommy Henvey, and I love everything about this business. Not just advertising, but entertainment, marketing, storytelling…simply creating and making stuff. We’d worked in celebrated agencies, but back in 2008, the business started to change. The bottom fell out. The relationship between agencies and clients changed. There wasn’t a partnership any longer. After that, every year became a little more soul-sucking. In 2014, Tommy and I decided to do something. We were on location in Los Angeles, we had some downtime and we drew up a business plan. At that time, we didn’t know exactly what our model would be, but we knew we had to get back to what we loved about the business. That meant creating ideas, telling stories, working directly with clients, nurturing those relationships. Two years later, the stars aligned, and we had the opportunity to launch Something Different. It was the perfect time for a new model to emerge. We were going to be lean and mean. We were going to work alongside clients, bring them behind the scenes and make them part of the process. We also curated our staff in a particular way. It took a year to hire our director of accounts, Meghan Linehan, because we felt we had to get it right. And you know what? It couldn’t be more right. Garrett Crabb, our special ops/agency oversight manager is also absolutely perfect. Nobody else could be Garrett. Everybody who works at Something Different is exactly who they should be. We’re growing, but don’t want to grow so fast that we lose any bit of the sheer joy we get out of what we do.

What’s your career advice for young people in the industry?

Be a sponge. Listen. Leave your ego at the door. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a strong personality or definitive opinions, but if you have to be the center of attention, it’s going to be bumpy. A lot of times, you have to step back, listen, learn the room and understand the dynamics. If you do that, trust and comfort develops. That’s when you can emerge and find your place. And, you gotta be who you are. If you’re faking it, it won’t be five minutes before someone sees through you. Lastly, remember that there’s never a “no.” There is always a way to figure it out and make it great. Our job is to do just that. There’s always a way. It may be hard, but it can be smart, calm, savvy and joyful too.

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Narayan Murthy Ivaturi: FreakOut Global COO, Adtech

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My Native Admission Statement: My life motto is to choose people first and organization next. One of my greatest successes at FreakOut Global was a big programmatic video and native launch across the global markets. Always remember to Be Original, Be Realistic, Be Bold. Every accomplishment begins with the decision to try. I really believe in a leap of faith with people and businesses. I owe a big part of my success to my Wife Asha and my kids – Varsha and Rishi.

Emerging Industry Trends? Mobile advertising has certainly come a long way from the days of small invisible banners, many involuntary clicks, bad user experiences to richer media and highly engaging ad solutions. This has happened due to multiple technologies like better screens, HTML5 and higher internet speeds. There are many more developments occurring in the world of mobile advertising that are going to have long lasting effects on it. Some of the key ones that are definitely going to make an impact are as follows: AR & VR – With better and efficient cameras in phones and higher data speeds, the virtual and augmented experience for users is growing very rapidly today and this ushers in a new wave of content producers to feed AR and VR devices and apps and as a result, more advertising opportunities….

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Adam Ferrier: THINKERBELL Founder & Consumer Psychologist

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My Native Admission Statement: I was once described by myself as an ‘enigmatic irritation’. I wear black a lot, I’m disheveled and I cant quite shake a slight slur. I always wanted to be a consumer psychologist, and after getting side tracked into forensic and clinical psychology, that’s what I am. In my marketing life I’ve worked for a brand consultancy, then Saatchi & Saatchi, then co-founded Naked Communications in Australia before co-founding Thinkerbell with some friends.. Here’s five things I’d love you to know Apply to go to space at www.spaceseries.com. I like talking about Batman. I used to like talking about what makes people cool, I did my thesis on ‘the underlying constructs of cool people’. But the older and fatter I get the less credible I become on the subject. Thinkerbell is our newish agency and we practice ‘measured magic’, it’s going well. Develop your own catch phrase. Everyone should have a catch phrase (and a sound track).

Biggest Success?:

Being happily married with two kids. Without fail. A close second would be being gainfully employed. I’m forever grateful that my wife loves me, and that I can earn a buck.

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Ben Dankiw: NAV43 Founder

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Read The Native Influence Full Q&A

How did you get into the industry? The digital world was growing extremely fast and was fascinating to me. I turned out to be great at it. I attended a Lead Generation seminar and thought it was awesome how you could tie together marketing and analytics.

Career Advice? Be open-minded when it comes to your career. There are entire industries out there that exist that you won’t hear about through school. Don’t wait for anything, make it happen! If you don’t, nobody else will.  “When an opportunity comes up, if you’re prepared, you can grab it and own it.” Jamie Foxx – Put yourself in those situations to succeed.

Sedef Onder: Founder & Managing Partner, CLEAR inc

My NativeAdVice:

Bio:

Sedef Onder has 20 years of extensive experience in full-service marketing communications, with emphasis on business development, public affairs and issues management, advertising, corporate public relations and positioning, and digital public relations. She’s developed strategic communications programs for companies that run the gamut from startups to global corporations

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Dan Khabie: Global & North American CEO, Mirum

(Click to Watch Interview)

My NativeAdVice:

Bio:

Dan Khabie is global and North American CEO of Mirum, a global digital agency. As CEO, Dan drives Mirum’s overall growth strategy, including P&L responsibility, managing key client relationships and aligning resources to connect teams and serve clients globally in 27 countries, with more than 50 offices and 2,500 professionals. Dan was co-founder and CEO of Digitaria, one of 11 agencies that formed to become Mirum in 2015. From Digitaria’s early days as a boutique digital creative shop, he worked to add and/or acquire divisions in the areas of analytics, SEO, sports, health and wellness, digital marketing and advertising. He worked with Digitaria's founding partners to create a full-service integrated digital agency that blended memorable creative design with innovative technology and services, while building a culture that inspired entrepreneurship and innovation. Dan also spearheaded both the company’s acquisition of technology services firm Console in 2006 and its acquisition by WPP, the world's largest marketing services holding company.

(CLICK TO WATCH VIDEO INTERVIEW)

In early 2013, Dan was named a LinkedIn Influencer, and wrote a bi-weekly column for the social network. He speaks regularly at industry events including WebSummit, The Webbys, CES, Tealium's Digital Velocity and Adobe Summit. Dan stokes his entrepreneurial spirit by teaching at San Diego State University, by serving on the board of the Economic Development Council and by staying actively involved with advising startups both in the U.S. and Internationally.

Jim Tobin: CEO & Founder, Ignite Social Media & Carusele

My NativeAdVice:

Bio:

Jim Tobin is the CEO and founder of Ignite Social Media, the original social media agency, and the president and founder of Carusele, the influencer content targeting system. Jim launched Ignite in 2007 and Carusele in 2015. In those roles, Jim has worked with many of the largest brands in the world, including Microsoft, Samsung, Walgreens, Chrysler, Nike and dozens more.

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Ben Dankiw: Founding Partner & Director of Digital Advertising, NAV43

My NativeAdVice:

Bio:

Founding partner and Director of Digital AdvertisinG at NAV43, Ben Dankiw brings his knowledge of in-depth data analysis as a trained pay-per-click (PPC) specialist and mathematician. His past expertise in search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing (SMM), display marketing (DM) and reporting analytics helps shape partners’ measurable results-driven success.

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KEAN GRAHAM: Founder & CEO, MonetizeMore

My NativeAdVice:

Bio:

Kean is the Founder & CEO of MonetizeMore. He started MonetizeMore in 2010 with the goal to build a bootstrap business that would dramatically increase ad revenues for publishers. Over the years, Kean has perfected the proprietary MonetizeMore ad optimization model and now increases ad revenues for hundreds of publisher networks in over 40 countries.

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