GumGum Life

Q & A with John Weisgerber: SVP Sales

John Weisgerber

We sat down with GumGum’s new Senior Vice President of Sales, John Weisgerber. John is a man as personally cultivated as his path to GumGum has shown. Formerly with Hearst Digital Media, he brings a sophisticated understanding and an aspiring approach to the sales sphere…with a good sense of humor to boot.

Q: Where did you hear about GumGum and what attracted you to the company?

A: I heard about GumGum when I was at Hearst overseeing the fashion & luxury sites. Hearst signed a publisher agreement with GumGum and I was highly focused on visual ad executions. The GumGum ad experiences were incredibly compelling due to the nature of the categories I served. Fashion, luxury, beauty and retail all love to tell stories through beautiful images and I felt that the GumGum ads were a complement to the most engaging part of our sites – editorial images!

Q: Can you tell us about your career path and how that manifested into becoming the head of sales for some major names?

A: My career path has been directed by interest. I’ve had many unique jobs within larger organizations and moved a lot based on an interest in something new that hadn’t been proven yet. The brands within which I’ve served all had a unique way of connecting with their audiences. I always felt uniquely qualified to tell those stories to advertisers and rally the sales and marketing teams around them.

Q: What excited you the most about leading the sales team for GumGum?

A: What excites me most is the ability to harness the power of editorial images for our advertising and marketing partners. Whether it’s our current in-image and in-screen ad experiences or the ability to recognize brand logos in social posts, GumGum has a unique offering in the digital image space. I love the balance of the art of creative along with the science of delivery through big data and image recognition – it is the only one-two punch for advertisers that I’ve had an opportunity to represent.

Q: Will you tell us a little about yourself? What are some of your interests personally?

A: My favorite food is a Dairy Queen Dilly bar – soft serve ice cream dipped in chocolate. My favorite movie is the Bill Murray comedy, Caddy Shack. I love biking, swimming, skiing, paddle boarding and sleeping!

To learn more about John and his roadmap for GumGum, see his official press release here.

A Sneak Peak of Upcoming Engineering MeetUp with the LA Tech Community

unnamed-39

At GumGum, we encourage one another to share with the advertising and technology communities the knowledge gained from our everyday experiences on the job. Our engineers often write whitepapers and present to the local tech community at events and MeetUps in Santa Monica.

This week, DevOps Engineer Florian Dambrine will present Ansible with GumGum where he will share tips, tricks and best practices about the powerful IT automation tool. We encourage you to swing by, listen and talk about your experiences using Ansible.

In honor of Florian’s upcoming presentation, we decided to ask him some questions about his experience at GumGum and working with Ansible.

What is your role at GumGum?

My job consists of automating any kind of Big Data technology we are using at GumGum. I am also responsible for the production systems we are running in the AWS cloud. My job allows me to work closely with the Software Engineering team to provide them with robust systems that fit their needs.

Why would you say GumGum is different than any other digital advertising company?

I joined GumGum as employee number 30. Just a year and a half later, we have over tripled our headcount and we’ve adapted very well to such incredible growth. A way in which GumGum is special is that we have leveraged the latest and greatest open source technologies in order to deal with the complex obstacles brought on by our spectacular growth.

How would you explain Ansible to a non-engineer?

In order to run an application or a website on a server, the operating system needs to be configured and installed properly. Decades ago, system administrators were doing this configuration manually by running commands on the server itself and going through all of them one by one… Nowadays, tools like Ansible allow you to write codes that define the state that a server needs to reach in order to be ready to host an application or even deploy the application itself. The main purpose of using a configuration management tool like Ansible is to convert your infrastructure as code. Thanks to this concept, you can run the same code against multiple servers simultaneously and you know by fact that they will be installed and configured in the same way. You do not even need to connect to remote servers you just run code against them.

Can you give us a sneak peak about what you will discuss at your Ansible MeetUp?

During this Ansible talk I will share tips, tricks, best practices, observations, and feedback from using Ansible at GumGum. I will first introduce general facts about Ansible and then go over 10 useful tips that we have discovered while using Ansible. I am really excited about sharing what I have learned with the Los Angeles tech community before I move back to France!

Why do you love working at GumGum?

At GumGum, anyone has the opportunity to submit and develop his or her own ideas. Everyone at some point will be able to lead a project from the beginning to the end.

Can you give an example of a project you led from start to finish?

I had a chance to lead multiple projects. Ansible is actually a great example because I introduced the technology one year ago and started this platform myself from scratch. Today we’re a team of 3 DevOps engineers working with Ansible everyday. We are capable of automating and managing 500 servers every day thanks to 60 Ansible automations.

Describe your perfect day.

A perfect day for me is a day where I work on upgrading GumGum’s production heart systems. I love challenging myself with production especially when these modifications need to be done without any downtime. I love having to act quickly and working closely with coworkers.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I am French, I never go out without my longboard and I have walked across a 450-foot slackline.

Stay in touch with GumGum by connecting with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter or by visiting gumgum.com.

Recognizing Our Incredible CTO Ken Weiner

ken_beach (1)Not enough effort is spent recognizing the engineers who make the workings of a business possible. We’re proud to report on some recent news around our very own Chief Technology Officer Ken Weiner.

Ken started as employee #1 at GumGum in 2008, and since then he has grown his engineering team from zero to 30. In addition to developing the company’s core In-Image Ads product, he helped GumGum create new products and revenue channels as well as headlined the evolution into offering programmatic capabilities over the past two years.

Ken continues to be a recognized tech community thought leader. He is involved in establishing standards for in-image and native advertising with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). He also hosts the ThursdayLunch networking group, wherein people from the Santa Monica startup community meet weekly to share ideas. Ken is a frequent speaker at local technology events, and he recently led a panel discussion during the LA Ad Tech meet-up.

We’re proud to announce that Ken is named one of the 2015 CIO Award honorees by the Los Angeles Business Journal. You can find Ken in the LABJ CIO’s of the Year Supplement.

If you are interested in learning more about Ken and GumGum you can read this PWC interview Scaling online ad innovations with the help of a NoSQL wide-column database and article How NoSQL key-value and wide-column stores make in-image advertising possible.

Happy New Year From the GumGum Team!

vegas_noribbon_high

As we conclude  a truly remarkable year, we’d like to express our sincerest gratitude to the many clients, partners, advisors and friends who made 2013 so unforgettable.

We’re especially proud of these accomplishments:

  • Increasing revenue by 250% and achieving profitability
  • Doubling our headcount to 50 employees in six U.S. offices
  • Expanding our global reach to more than 300M uniques (Quantcast) and US reach to 70M uniques (comScore)
  • Delivering hundreds of campaigns for heavyweight brands like LG, Canon, AT&T, Cadillac, Lifetime, The CW, Maybelline, Coca-Cola, Toyota, AMC, Macy’s, BMW and Toshiba
  • Adding major publisher partners, including TheDailyBeast.com, HollywoodReporter.com, Shape, OK!, Spanish Broadcasting System, Billboard, Wetpaint and Internet Brands
  • Launching the Canvas image take-over unit
  • Launching our patent-pending image classification system
  • Launching In-Screen Ads, opening up mobile and non-image inventory
  • Winning the Patrick Soon-Shiong Innovation Award and being named a finalist in the Digiday Publishing and iMedia ASPY Awards

As we enter 2014, we’re excited to expand upon these successes. We look forward to even more growth as we welcome new members to our team and continue to demonstrate our superior brand performance to advertisers and revenue-generating capabilities to publishers.

On behalf of the entire GumGum team, we wish you a very Happy New Year. May 2014 usher in prosperity and success to us all!

GumGum: The Year in Images 2013

pic_gridThe Year of the Snake, the year of the Twerk, of Thrift Shop, the Harlem Shake and mania-inducing events of all kinds – call it what you will, one thing is for sure: 2013 was a year like no other. Spanning the worlds of entertainment, technology, politics and media, we present a few of the top images from across the GumGum platform that shifted, shaped and otherwise changed the way we viewed pop culture in 2013.

From Oreo proving real-time marketing, to Edward Snowden unveiling the truth behind today’s ‘harmless’ technology to Miley Cyrus twerking her way into the pantheon of unforgettable TV moments, 2013 set a benchmark for the incredible, salacious and incomparable events in pop culture history.

Tell us where you’d place these pop culture events on your 2013 ranking list in the comments below!

Clockwise from top left

  • Breaking Bad Finale
  • Edward Snowden NSA Scandal Interview
  • Seth MacFarlane Hosts Oscars
  • Royal Baby Prince George Greets World
  • Miley Cyrus MTV Awards Performance
  • Larry Page Introduces Google Glass
  • •iPhone 5c Product Unveiling
  • Oreo Superbowl Tweet
  • North West Kardashian First Look
  • Justin Timberlake Music Comeback

The Origin of “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”

They say “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but what does that actually mean? And where did the expression come from?

Here at GumGum, where we routinely celebrate the power of images, we thought it would be fun to explore the origin of this often-used phrase. And we were surprised to learn it has actually been attributed to several sources throughout the years.

A picture is worth a thousand words

“One Look Is Worth A Thousand Words,” appears in a 1913 newspaper advertisement for the Piqua Auto Supply House of Piqua, Ohio, but ironically uses only words, not images, to invite prospective customers to see its products in their store.

We’ve come to accept “a picture is worth a thousand words” as truth in our culture because of the ability of a photo to quickly convey so much meaning with so little, if any, explanation. But in the age of social media and cameras on mobile devices, when photos are shared with more regularity than ever, does the powerful ability of a single image to convey so much feeling, information and complexity get taken for granted?

Perhaps a look back at the earliest known uses of the phrase will remind us of the specialness of the photos we share.

One of the earliest known references to the expression is from a 1911 newspaper article in which newspaper editor Arthur Brisbane, speaking about journalism and publicity, says “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.”

A similar phrase, “One Look Is Worth A Thousand Words,” appears in a 1913 newspaper advertisement for the Piqua Auto Supply House of Piqua, Ohio, but ironically uses only words, not images, to invite prospective customers to see its products in their store.

It is believed the modern use of the phrase stems from an article in the December 8, 1921 issue advertising trade journal Printers’ Ink, in which Fred R. Barnard referred to “One Look is Worth A Thousand Words” to promote the use of images in advertisements on the sides of streetcars.

A later ad by Barnard appears in the March 10, 1927 issue with the phrase “One Picture Worth Ten Thousand Words,” which he erroneously credited as being a Chinese proverb so people would take it more seriously. As a result, the expression is also sometimes mistakenly attributed to Confucius.

Whatever the origin of the phrase, the next time you share or receive a powerful photo, take a minute to appreciate its uncanny ability to convey one thousand words, or more.

Ophir & GumGum NY

Winnie and Vincent smile wide while manning the GumGum booth at the Digiday Brand Conference in September 2012, as GumGum CEO Ophir Tanz shares a “moment of zen” in preparation for his huge presentation.

How many words could you use to express this photo?

A thousand? Ten thousand? One word?

Let us know by replying below!

GumGum Pledges a Stash for a ‘Stache

This Movember, the men of GumGum are growing our their ‘staches with the intent of donating a stash of cash to help raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer.

The inspiration and idea came from GumGum east coast sales manager Vincent Preston. For every meeting he lands throughout November, GumGum will donate $25. Already, Vincent has secured meetings with accounts like Bayer (MediaCom), Kraft (MediaVest) and Phillips/Norelco (Media Contacts NY).

For each RFP he receives, GumGum will donate an additional $100 toward the cause, and he has already receive one from an enthusiastic ‘stache supporting agency.

“We’re inspired by Vinnie’s creativity and thoughtfulness and appreciate all of the agencies and brands who are getting behind him too,” said GumGum SVP of marketing, Tony Winders.

In supporting Vincent’s efforts to promote Movember, other men of GumGum are growing their moustaches and plan to match the donations he receives. Stay tuned for more pics of GumGum men and their Mo’s. In the meantime, check out one of Vincent’s Movember before-and-after photos, below:

To get more information on how you can join the cause, make sure to visit the Movember Foundation website by clicking here.

Please feel free to contact Vincent by email at: vpreston@gumgum.com to join alongside GumGum in Vincent’s Movember efforts.

You can see Vincent’s every “MOve” by following him on Twitter & Instagram all month long!

[slideshow]

GumGum Happy Hour, August 2012

It’s that time of the month. A time where colleagues and friends come together to take a break from all the stresses of deadlines and work. It’s a time to sit back, relax and enjoy some SoCal sun with a cup of brew in-hand. In many parts of the world it’s known as, “just five o’clock,” but for us it’s as simple as two words: Happy Hour.

Team GumGum gathers together every month to celebrate this much due tradition at various local bars and restaurants for some drinks and, most importantly, laughing up memories that will surely not be forgotten anytime soon.

This month we chose the Copa d’Ora for our Happy Hour and we couldn’t be happier with the selection. Between the jokes, drinks and chill company, the team couldn’t wait for another chance to celebrate good times together again.

Adding to the crowd is a new member to the team, Tony Winders. Tony joins GumGum as Senior Vice President of Marketing and is excited to get into the swing of GumGum’s culture with more upcoming events soon to follow. Also seen amongst the relaxing crowd is none other than GumGum CEO, Ophir Tanz, a rarity due to his never-ending but always enduring schedule.

Check out some pics of the team, filled with both familiar and new faces, on GumGum’s Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.277067199064344.53063.276868875750843&type=3

Also, don’t forget to check out this month’s host Copa d’Oro: https://www.copadoro.com/

Holiday Party Fun

Last night was filled with good food, drinks, conversation and cheers to an amazing 2012 at our holiday party. We dined at Caulfield’s in the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills.

The night started with a great speech from Ophir Tanz, CEO & founder on all our growth and successes this year. We received $7M in funding, broke new records as the Top 10 Quantcast network, grew our team 70% and moved into a new office. There’s no doubt that 2011 has been an amazing year for GumGum. We thanked Ophir for a great year with his framed cover from Entrepreneur Magazine earlier this year.

As a thank you for all the hardwork this year, Ophir gave everyone Beats by Dre headphones, in addition to a personalized gift ranging from a massage to golf to cooking supplies. Everyone was ecstatic to say the least!

We had a blast and can’t wait to see what 2012 has in-store for in-image advertising and GumGum! Here’s Ken Weiner, CTO and his wife.

 

Sarah Wallace, Relationship Manager and her guest for the night.

Scott Dahlgren, Senior Account Director of Sales and his wife.

Tiffany Leslie, Communications Manager and Carmel Tanaka, Office Manager.

Brennan Beyer, VP of Sales and his wife.

Keith Rives, Web Engineer and Ryan Rosario, Data Scientist.

Phil Schraeder, VP of Finance and his partner.

Patricio Mondet, Account Executive and his fiance (congrats!).

Greg Pritchard, Director of Network Development and his fiance (congrats to you too!).

Carmel Tanaka, Office Manager and her husband.

Welcoming Keith Rives & Patricio Mondet to the team!

Keith Rives joins GumGum as a Web Engineer on the engineering team. Keith will assist the engineering team with development and maintenance of web systems, interfaces and procedures. Previously, Keith was working at Digital Solutions in New Mexico on developing and planning a modular CMS and consulting on development contracts. Before Digital Solutions, Keith freelanced for clients in Northern Florida on CMS software, graphic design and pre-press setup. Away from work, Keith loves to be outdoors surfing, hiking, camping, and fishing. He also stays up on technology, gadgets and the local music scene.

Patricio Mondet joins GumGum as an Account Executive on the sales team. Patricio will be assisting in new business acquisition, sales processes formulation and establishing GumGum as a leader in the marketplace. Prior to GumGum, Patricio worked at Business.com as a Senior Account Executive. With a passion for online advertising and sales, Patricio stays up-to-date and involved with the advertising sales community. Outside of work, he can be found hiking, cycling, training for triathlons, golfing, traveling or watching the Lakers.