Spring is here and so are babies at GumGum. For a long time our dogs took center stage at the office and took reign over our social media. That’s until people starting having babies. Not just any babies but really cute and adorable babies! Bring your kid to work day just got real. So in true GumGum fashion, we had to take it to the next level and had custom onesies made so each little tot could represent us in a small and mighty way. As our company continues to grow so do the families of our employees and that is truly an exciting thing.
We love our planet, so we had a blast sponsoring TreePeople at its first annual Earth Day Soiree last Thursday. The event took place at the ever so fitting garden venue Tiato in Santa Monica, where we enjoyed organic cocktails and appetizers with TreePeople Founder and President Andy Lipkis and new CEO Cindy Montanez.
TreePeople is a nonprofit organization dedicated to our planet’s social climate. Volunteers come together to not only plant trees, but also replenish depleted areas and collect rainwater. Their efforts alone have seen more than 5,000 trees planted and almost 2 million gallons of water harvested across Los Angeles. Lipkis took a moment to educate guests on the success of his organization, which started as his teenage dream and continues to pull in over 4,400 volunteers at 200 events with only 57 employees.
Besides being happily overloaded with all things green, the night included other fun activities like planting Desert Willow trees and asking the organization’s onsite tree doctor for advice on caring for our house plants.
Internationally acclaimed artist Mileece dazzled us with her speech about the science of human likeness with plants through energetic vibrations. Sound overwhelmingly impressive? It was! Guests were also allowed to experience this creative magic by viewing Mileece’s installation.
TreePeople killed it (as usual) at this event. We left feeling more connected to Mother Earth, with full bellies and happy hearts to boot. Looking forward to next year!
For more awesome stats on TreePeople and its work visit their website here.
On Friday morning, April 1st, all fortysomething members of GumGum’s engineering teams met in the cheerfully lit–albeit narrow–hallway of Santa Monica’s Promenade Playhouse. The theater, a cozy creative hub for Los Angeles’s performing arts community, was our temporary stage for the next three hours, a whimsical, if not cheeky, collision of Silicon Beach’s technology scene and the rinky-dink charms of old-school theater.
A semi-annual event, the Tech All Hands is not so much a tradition steeped into our company culture as it is a necessary checkup among the teams that fall under the “technology” umbrella at GumGum. It’s a showcase of our hard-earned accomplishments and a nod toward what is to come. Even though GumGum operates with minimal walls and maximum transparency between all employees, it is still easy to work with buried heads in the sand when we are so passionate about and focused on our individual projects. The Tech All Hands is when we share the why’s of where we’ve invested our time into and collaborate on ways in which we can recalibrate moving forward.
Fueled by the smoky bite of morning’s first coffee, team leads from Product to Big Data gave their peers an insightful look into what they’ve been brewing behind the curtain. Some highlights include a unified design/UI framework for our products and a brand new avails system that gives us much more accurate inventory forecasting for projected ad impressions. Perhaps most exciting has been our aggressive innovations in image technology. Through machine learning and extensive algorithm work, we are now able to recognize faces in images. Our Image Scientists have also designed a system from which we will house all of our recognition technology (such as our ability to accurately distinguish brand logos…and cats!).
Under the beam of red and green lights, the slideshow presentations were a performance in reassurance that we’ve done a lot, but also a motivating nudge to remind us that we can never stop fighting the good fight for more.
See you again in six months!
It’s only April and GumGum has received some significant recognition this quarter! As always, we could not be more humbled and surprised. It’s invigorating to see that as our business continues to grow, so do our achievements. To be recognized within categories that include other notable companies is an accomplishment in itself, but winning is always a victory.
Last week, we took home the Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA) award for Best Venture Funding in Software & Internet. Our CEO Ophir took the stage at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica to accept the award supported by a group of our team. The awards dinner was attended by over 300 people within the startup and Venture Capital industries.
In other exciting news, Ophir was selected as a 2016 Semi-Finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Each year, Ernst & Young recognizes entrepreneurs who lead successful companies in more than 145 cities and 60 countries. This is considered to be the most reputable business award to receive as an entrepreneur. On May 9th, the finalist will be announced and attend a black tie Gala where the winner will be awarded. Our fingers are crossed!
Culture and sense of community are important to us and we strive to make the working experience great for each employee. So being nominated as a 2016 Finalist for Los Angeles Best Tech Startup feels like the cherry on top of the awards cake. The award is one of three given at the Timmy Awards by Tech in Motion. They include, Best Tech Startup, Best Technology Work Culture and Best Technology Manager. The ceremony took place last month at Cross Campus.
In today’s digital world, CPG marketers are always looking for the next big thing. And today, that next big thing is the visual web. That’s why we created this guide — to load you with as much information as you need to master visual-first platforms from Instagram to in-image advertising.
Even if you don’t work in CPG, you’ll find plenty of takeaway lessons in this info-packed booklet. There’s even a fun marketer’s matching game to test your visual I.Q.
We have so many dogs at the office on a daily basis that we decided to start an Instagram to showcase all of them. It has become one of our favorite things and we tend to show it off to anybody we can. What’s funny is that our dogs share many of the same qualities as our employees; they’re fun-loving, happy, energetic and easily distracted! That’s why @dogsofgumgum is such a hit. Our office is a hub of spontaneous, photo-worthy events, so adding a cute puppy in the mix always gets us those likes.
Having these pooches around not only brings joy to our hearts, but also adds a certain relaxation to the office. But don’t just take our word for it: Studies have shown that dogs elevate serotonin and dopamine levels, which actually create calmness. Plus, they’re really cute and we love seeing the look on our guests’ faces when they’re greeted by a friendly pup. Alright, enough with the cuteness.
If you haven’t already done so, follow us @dogsofgumgum!
Here at GumGum, we work hard to play hard.
With a business that is growing so quickly, there is never a dull day. That’s why we care about each employee we bring into the company. Because it’s not just a team, it’s family. We are as competitive as we are friendly — and we love dogs, food and being social. But that’s just the icing on the cake.
Click through for 15 reasons why working here rocks!
Our annual Sales Kickoff last week was one for the books! We flew in our sales and account management team from around the world for a two-day event that started with a Jedi-themed introduction and ended with a scenic Malibu dinner. Our theme this year was Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with its focus on rekindling something that has always been. Much like our sales map and goals for 2016, which were unveiled to the team over the course of two days.
Hosted by our animated SVP of Sales, John Weisgerber, the kickoff took place at the seaside JW Marriott Le Merigot, where employees stayed and the meetings were held. Each day included an copious breakfast and lunch spread, which also turned out to be a productive employee networking opportunity. Looking around the patio, you could see everyone putting a face to the name of the person they were talking with. We’re talking people from a lot of offices under one roof – London, Sydney, New York, Santa Monica and Chicago, to name a few.
Both days included presentations, trainings and group activities. On the the final day, special guest speaker Marissa Daly of Yahoo! visited the conference and spoke to our team about her take on brands and how they think. The first day ended with a pizza and beer happy hour at our Santa Monica office — a low key night aimed at having some fun and getting to know each other. The final night concluded with a more formal farewell dinner at beachside restaurant Gladstone’s in Malibu.
Having all our employees in our hometown was memorable in and of itself, but some of the happenings we’ll never forget include John Weisgerber hoverboarding into the conference dressed as Luke Skywalker and a trip to a British bar in Santa Monica with our UK colleagues. Overall, this year’s kickoff was a success. As we continue to grow, we’re looking forward to meeting more new people and hitting the goals that are made each year. #gumgumawakens
We opened the doors to our new office in New York city.
Matching our success with continuous growth is an exciting thing to behold. Moving into a new office in Manhattan? Now that’s cool! Our new NYC digs rest in vibrant Flatiron close to an impressive set of shops and restaurants. Since GumGum’s headquarters are in sunny Santa Monica, we decided to bring a bit of that Southern California ambiance to our East Coast office.
We’re big on open space because we feel it creates a healthy flow that enhances productivity and creativity. Plus, our visitors love it the minute they step into the office. Most importantly, a bigger office gives us the opportunity to keep growing. But of course, some beautiful Moroccan rugs, great views and amazing people add to the effect! #worklifebalance
It’s incredible to know that across the sea, there is a team of five incredibly skilled people navigating GumGum’s expansion in the United Kingdom. A small team of passionate people who mirror our beginning in the U.S., actively pushing our product into a new market while overcoming the obstacles and successes together. We opened the doors to our U.K. office less than six months ago and the team has been killing it. U.K. Sales Director John Donovan leads the team from our office in London’s vibrant Soho district. He filled us in on business abroad, and what we can expect in 2016.
Why did you join GumGum?
In an over-complicated and often confusing ad tech market, GumGum’s products have a value proposition that is easy to understand, not to mention proven results in driving strong brand engagement. Our leadership team and investors have a strong vision for the U.K. market, and it’s exciting to be a part of that. In-image advertising had been on my radar for a few months before I came across GumGum’s in-image recognition technology (a patent technology!) and learnt of their recent investment and International growth. I am excited by our products and how we are overcoming continued industry issues such as banner blindness, ad blocking, and users’ short attention spans! Bringing a new form of advertising to the U.K. market is an exciting challenge and something I am looking forward to in the coming months. As a business, we are already seeing traction in the U.K. market, and are working hard to establish ourself as the number one provider of in-image for all the major brands and agencies.
What are the similarities and differences you are seeing in the U.K. market versus the U.S. market?
The U.K. advertising market is highly centralized in London. As a result, the market here has been able to shift more quickly to adopting new technologies than its stateside counterpart. Most of the major agencies are located within a 10-minute walk of our London office. This certainly makes it easier and faster to educate the market and get everyone aligned regarding a new offering. As in the U.S., U.K. brands and agencies are embracing native advertising and are looking to shift more budget into highly visible advertising executions that are integrated into content.
Are there specific needs or requests by your clients?
From a U.K. note, the market wants video, viewability, and premium sites. Brands and agencies are looking for innovative ways to distribute video that is less interruptive and more user initiated than much of what’s out there now. There is also strong demand for aligning contextually with relevant content around key sporting event images as these drive massive engagement in the U.K.
Biggest challenges and successes?
In image, although a saturated market in the U.S., is very new to the U.K. and European markets. This has meant the biggest challenge to date is not showing how the product (GumGum) works, but more the educational pitch/sell around In image and how it can benefit brands and campaign. Another challenge is simply time management, because with so many top agencies in London, we’re constantly in back-to-back meetings educating clients about GumGum’s capabilities! Our biggest wins so far have been building a fantastic team, in which all of the members are all aligned to drive success for GumGum in the U.K., as well as launching successful campaigns for top FMCG, automotive and entertainment clients.
What’s on the agenda for the next few months?
Meetings, growth, exposure and IO’s! More meetings, making key hires (sales, operations, design and marketing), industry conferences, thought leadership, and more successful campaigns!