Use the player below to listen now.
Brian Adams is one of a relatively small cast of characters underpinning the modern ad tech business. He was CTO and co-founder of AdMeld, an early sell-side platform that Google bought in 2011. He stuck around Google for four years running aspects of the publisher ad tech stack.
"Ad network optimization, which was the first 18 months at AdMeld, was a good platform, but it wasn't that interesting of a business," Adams says in this episode of AdExchanger Talks. "What changed AdMeld and so many companies was RTB, and being a part of that launching and taking over the industry – that's really exciting."
The ad tech space rapidly matured after the AdMeld sale and, on the hunt for a new challenge, Adams quit Google to launch a new, user-facing startup called MightyTV, which uses machine learning to help people decide what movies and TV they want to watch. The company has lately extended into ecommerce recommendations for the art market.
"I kept thinking that even though I loved being at Google, I wanted to try something new because it's just a thing that's in me," he said. "The logic I was following at the time was, if I hadn't done something crazy, then I never would've gotten here."
As in advertising, the machine-learning space is heavily dependent on data – so important, in fact, that some players now give away the code.
"That's something that I didn't think I'd see happen so fast. It's not even about the tech anymore for a lot of people," he said. "It can be a difficult space to get into, because you need proprietary data to do anything meaningful."
In this, our third episode of AdExchanger Talks, Adams surveys his early days at AdMeld, contrasts the business environment back then with ad tech in 2016 and describes the technology challenges at his new company.
This episode of AdExchanger Talks is sponsored by Google AdSense.