THE VIDEOAMP MANIFESTO
To Create a More Sophisticated Data-Driven Advertising Ecosystem That Redefines How Media is Valued, Bought and Sold.
The VideoAmp Manifesto is the DNA of our company and the most important artifact.
something all employees should embrace, study and reference.
It contains the critical information that guides everything we do and how we make decisions; something all employees should embrace, study and reference.
The proliferation of streaming and digital media services has created the golden age of video entertainment with more premium TV content than ever before and we believe these experiences should be free or affordable to every human on the planet.
Making this accessible to everyone usually requires subsidies from the advertising industry to power an effective three-way value exchange between
A publisher producing content
A consumer viewing it
An advertiser paying the publisher for the chance to connect with its audience
While the ability to watch premium TV content on any device at any time is great for the consumer, the systems powering these services are fragmented, riddled with complexity and struggling to evolve in a changing privacy landscape.
These systems are putting the entire ecosystem and three way value exchange at risk by providing an incomplete and siloed view of the audience that are responsible for advertising waste from inflated metrics, a decrease in publisher revenue opportunity from underrepresenting their audiences and consumers stuck with suboptimal viewing experiences.
Today the industry standard tools are usually designed where connectivity and applications of consumer data sets often come with negative trade off for consumer privacy or security risks of leaking private data. We envision a world where this doesn’t have to be the case - a world where consumer privacy, security, and governance are incorporated into the fabric of the codebase that interfaces with these systems to enable the necessary business use-cases that keep these viewing experiences free or affordable to everyone.
VideoAmp started on June 1, 2014 out of Ross’s apartment and the team spent their first 18 minutes as a group watching this Simon Sinek video learning how to inspire action and defy expectations as people and as a company: starting with Why. Our Company Purpose is our Why. It is the change we want to bring to the world. It is on a 100 year cadence. Our purpose is that we believe humanity will thrive when every person on the planet has access to the world’s library of media entertainment, educational information and independent thought.
Our Company Vision is our What. It is what we will do to fulfill our Company Mission. It is on a 10 year cadence. Our vision is to create an Advertising Platform that powers the entire advertising ecosystem, becoming the industry’s operating system.
Strategy & KPIs
The VideoAmp Strategy is the current approach (things we will do and won’t do) that we believe will give us the best probability to effectively and efficiently solve our mission. We have eight pillars that make up our strategy with respective KPIs underneath each pillar to objectively measure the progress we are making and to hold ourselves accountable.
Measure and Optimize As Many Impressions As Possible
The foundation of our mission is dependent on measuring and optimizing every dollar of our advertiser client’s investment and the entire portfolio of our media owner’s assets. We will not be valuable and fully useful unless we can properly influence a high majority of our client’s advertising dollars or portfolio.
In order to do this, we need to focus on coverage (the amount of impressions our clients are buying or selling that we can track) and measurability (the amount of impressions we track that we can properly measure without compromising the integrity of accuracy). We will strive to not be the company that just explains what happened in the past, but the company that provides tactical suggestions on what they can do next to better optimize their objectives. This will require us to enable complex planning, forecasting and workflow integrations but it will be worth it since we can actually help our clients capture the intended value of advanced measurement, versus just giving them a story of the past with no way to actually add value going forward. We will focus on all linear TV, OTT, digital and social channels; we will deliberately not get into print, traditional radio or out of home advertising. Additionally, in order to add more value to our clients and ecosystem, we need to work with our advertiser clients to move beyond vanity metrics and encourage them to bring sales, conversion and attribution events into brand marketing and not just performance marketing.
What percentage of advertiser’s investments and publisher’s inventory are we measuring?
What percentage of all media measured includes sales, attribution or conversion data versus just reach and frequency?
Empower Brands and Agencies To Have a More Productive Relationship
The future leading independent cross-media measurement and optimization solution needs to be the industry’s solution. We need to build tools and workflows to empower the various different stakeholder relationships in our ecosystem. We cannot build brand only solutions that do not enable the agency to be successful and we cannot build agency only tools that don’t allow the brands to gain more visibility and control over their destiny.
We need to build solutions that evolve the brand and agency relationship from today’s standard of procurement driven pricing or FTE models to accretive business value generated relationships and KPIs. We need to provide the advanced measurement capabilities for brands to measure what matters, evolve their advertising practices to smarter, data-driven approaches that eliminate waste and give the agencies the tools they need to properly optimize to those metrics and have the ability to differentiate and add unique value like it once was many years ago. We will not be long term successful if we build for one party and not both.
How many of our brand and agency customers have changed their contractual partnership business model to be focused on value generation versus traditional FTE or procurement driven CPM cost reduction goals leveraging our measurement currency?
How effective are we at enabling agency differentiation on top of our solutions?
Neutrally Integrate Into 3rd Party Buying Platforms and Supply
The tip of our spear will always be measurement and optimization. However, often times the most effective way to actually capture value for the client is to make things simpler and easier by integrating directly into 3rd party buying platforms or in some cases directly into the supply.
In order to get the planning data and availability of unsold inventory to properly recommend optimizations, we need to integrate into the media marketplaces. By integrating into these media marketplaces, we will have the ability to integrate into programmatic workflow tools that automate the execution, activation, buying and selling of advertising. Since we always have to be the neutral measurement and optimization party, we can never make more money on recommending parts of inventory over others due to us making more revenue. Additionally, we need to allow the client to determine their preferred mechanism of integration. Some will mandate 3rd party buying platforms and our measurement and data will be integrated directly into those platforms. Some will want direct to supply integrations and we will integrate in some cases directly into the supply chain. Perhaps the most important piece of maintaining neutrality as it pertains to 3rd party buying platforms and supply integrations is that we can never compete with the major platforms that we measure. We need to be the agnostic measurement and optimization layer that integrates into buying platforms to make things easier for our clients as a central workflow hub, but never push capturing media budget in a way that these platforms find competitive - we need to be pushing more budget to them versus taking away budget.
How many media dollars have we optimized that integrate directly into 3rd party buying platforms or supply versus recommendations that do not allow programmatic execution of the decisions made?
Operate a Fungible TV Viewership Footprint Designed for Cross-Media Measurement
A large amount of attention and media investment occurs where no deterministic 1:1 impression data (eg. Linear TV, OTT, CTV and any other household level device) exists. Providing measurement and optimization on 1:1 impression level data that is all person level devices is one thing, but having the ability to ‘interoperably’ and accurately combine household level device data with person level device data is core to our value proposition and mission.
Additionally, there are some areas of measurement that are broadcasted to places where you don’t have the full deterministic or census view of how many impressions were delivered (linear TV) that were not served digitally or have gaps in the data sources to capture this. Since the combination of household level impressions, broadcast TV and non-census level source data accounts for a large amount of all consumer attention and investment dollars, we have strategically decided to not rely on 3rd party sources to give us their ground truth data that was not originally designed for cross-media measurement as part of our processing and data science methods. We will design and operate a modern TV viewership footprint for a cross-media world that is highly fungible and easy to integrate into external impression data. While primarily being a self-service software provider, owning a proprietary first party data asset that is renowned for its accuracy, skew correction, fungibility and cross-media use case driven design will allow us to provide more value than other competitive software providers and if we decide to license this data to enable other software providers, we will be well positioned to ride their upside as well.
The industry’s perception of the most accurate and fungible TV viewership footprint designed for cross-media measurement according to industry 3rd party surveys.
Build Software, Change Manage With Service
We need to realize that we are trying to disrupt a very large and traditional industry with new data-driven approaches that fundamentally change all existing workflows that have existed in some circumstances for over fifty years.
We need to be clear that the end game is to provide self-service software and/or API solutions to the industry with no high touch service layers. We actually want to create value added service layers on top of our infrastructure so that other organizations can create business models and add enough value on differentiated services on top of our technology solutions. However, we cannot be overly eager and aggressively force everyone to abandon a service based industry for a self-service software solution overnight. There will be large variations of our client’s technical levels and ability to operate for themselves. Some will just outright need the help and service to make the change management process less disruptive and to create a bridge from the old way to the new way. We need to take a stance that the industry will be exponentially more efficient in 10 years, not 2 years. Because of this reality, we need to focus our product development cycles on self-service software but properly service the industry to help immediately provide value by meeting them where their needs are at today. Some software companies look down upon service layers on top of their infrastructure, we will not. We will look to partner deeply and strategically with our clients to understand their business intimately and eventually teach them how to fish for their own when they are comfortable and ready to make that move.
How many of our measurement and optimization recommendations were self-generated from the client creating their own insights from our solutions versus our internal service team generating?
Enable The TV Industry To Do Cross-Media Audience Guarantees
It is the golden age of TV viewership with more content created and viewed than ever before, yet traditional rating systems show a sharp decline in TV programming.
This discrepancy indicates that legacy systems are unable to properly measure the shift and fragmentation of consumer attention from the legacy way of all viewing coming from the main linear TV source in the living room to a variety of sources, mediums and devices across the web, mobile apps, smart TVs and other streaming apps. Connecting all of these viewership trends in a holistic and deduplicated view has not been done before because the legacy measurement panels do not support these use cases. Given our unique position in the marketplace of being a measurement and optimization provider with its own fungible TV viewership asset that was designed for a cross-media world, we have the ability to service the industry with the cross-media currency that it needs to flourish. We need to work very closely with advertisers, agencies, broadcasters, cable networks and distributors to create a TV currency that connects all TV viewership in a flexible measurement framework that allows for guarantees, forecasting, and interoperability into other channels. Given a currency is fundamental to how buying and selling is done in advertising, we need to partner deeply to ensure minimization of business risk from shifting from legacy solutions to our more modern approach. Working closely with the sell-side of the marketplace will allow us to add more value to the buy-side and working with the buy-side will allow us to add more value to the sell-side with everyone being able to guarantee on what they actually are looking for versus vanity or proxy metrics. Doing this correctly should increase the ROI of advertisers and increase the revenues of the sell-side at the same time by eliminating common waste of impressions that were egregiously over frequency and dramatically off-target.
How much of our ad sales are being guaranteed on our measurement currency?
Maintain Independence and Build Long Term Viability
We need to think about building a business that lasts 50 years like traditional measurement and currency companies.
In order to do this, we need to ensure we always maintain independence from a governance and ownership structure. We cannot have our agenda be compromised by one party or overly optimize to certain groups of the industries. Additionally, we need to be creating business models that allow for long term viability with the ability to evolve and adapt quickly to the forecasted and expected sea change of consumer privacy regulations. We need to optimize our business operations to be highly leveraged in order to increase efficiencies each year over year. Choosing a measurement and currency partner is not a light hearted choice. We need to instill confidence in the industry that we are stable and long term viable with minimal risk of shifting their business models to be predicated on our solutions. While we anticipate that we will be in high growth mode for many years to come and don’t want to optimize to turn a large profit, we want to invest aggressively back into the business while being responsible with the “earn the right to invest” mentality.
What are our unit economics per business line and how are they scaling year over year?
What are our revenue-to-employee ratios and how is this trending year over year?
Build Technological Infrastructure Designed for Guarantees to Consumer Privacy
We need to be thinking about consumer privacy by design at every turn we take. The core of VideoAmp’s mission revolves around the three-way value exchange between consumers, publishers and advertisers. This is the time we think about consumers.
We need to push the industry hard in a world where full consumer opt-in is explicitly requested and clear as day about what publishers and advertisers want to do with their data. The world of long paragraphs of legal text that no one reads as a game to the consumer to just press ‘agree’ needs to be over. Consumers need to be educated and have full control in regards to how and if their data will be used. Today’s privacy tools and infrastructure are mostly designed, predicated and governed by legal contracts; not technology, meaning that data is sent to a 3rd party with no actual auditing or visibility into what that 3rd party is actually doing with it. This lack of transparency enables issues and security risks to the consumer even if they opt in their data to be used in a certain way. We should not leave consumer privacy to be governed and trusted by 3rd parties’ best efforts to properly steward the consumers data. We need to design privacy infrastructure from the ground up that provides mathematical and technological guarantees on proper use case enforcement and full ‘anonymization’ that prevents re-identification. We need the entire industry to move to technological primitives such as: differential privacy, secure multi-party computing, homomorphic encryptions, synthetic data and federated learning.
How much of the industry data sharing usage is leveraging technological and mathematical guarantees to consumer security versus just contractual guarantees?
Our culture is heavily influenced by our values.
Our values are how we do things, how we hold ourselves accountable, how we recruit, what we celebrate, how we promote, how we take corrective measures and how we remove people from the organization. The more these values sound like you and describe the people you want to work with, the more likely you will thrive at VideoAmp.
The individual values are what we expect out of every individual and the manager values are what we additionally expect out of all of our managers. We look for people who aren’t just “culture fits” on our values, but rather people who are “culture contributors” that will raise the bar and bring something accretive to the table.
Our Individual Values
Demonstrate consistently strong performance and support your teammates so others can rely on you. Be authentic, candid and warm while always ensuring consistency between your words and actions. Own your mistakes, fix them, and act with humility.
Figure It Out
There’s no instruction manual. Make wise decisions despite ambiguity. Use data to hone your intuition and thrive on change. Find meaningful connections that others miss.
Ship It Fast
Take smart risks, ship it fast and iterate. Value speed and rapid recovery over error prevention; no lives are at risk. Our biggest threat is the lack of innovation.
Never sacrifice your health and wellbeing. Grow your physical, mental, financial and spiritual wellness in harmony with your personal and professional responsibilities.
Be a Legend
Focus on results over process. Deliver an unbelievable amount of constant and valuable work throughput. Be a legend by making more legends.
Make It Fun
Be positive in all situations and make people feel better about themselves. Have fun every day and make it contagious. Help people find meaning in their personal and professional lives.
Do More With Less
Automate or outsource all repetitive and low-value tasks. Spend a high majority of time on unsolved high-value problems. Optimize input to output ratios and gain leverage.
Learn and grow faster than anyone in your peer set. Proactively extract raw and direct feedback about yourself. Think big and help others think big.
Our Management Values
Be a Good Coach
You grow your team’s ability significantly more than the average manager. You are there to facilitate development, not just fix problems. You foster healthy competition in your team to inspire success and proactively manage team performance.
Have the Technical Mastery to Advise Your Team
You are above the average technical skill level of your team. You have “been there, done that” experience that allows you to roll up your sleeves, lead by example in the trenches and provide deep technical and tactical advice to be more effective.
Create a Team Vision and a Strategy
You clearly communicate a vision and strategy specific for your team. You provide deep meaning to your team’s work, ensuring everyone knows how their day-to-day is impactful and how it fits into the broader company vision and strategy.
Pass the “Follow Me” Test
Be the inspiring leader and manager that has earned the trust of their team. If you were to leave the company for a new role and asked your team to follow you, a majority of your team would go.
Our Management Values
By design, we are following our own principles to give as much information and transparency into our mental models and decision making frameworks to every person at VideoAmp.
WE HOPE THAT
this artifact will increase the probability of our company being successful and giving every employee the opportunity to become the best version of themselves and reach their full potential.
CO-FOUNDER AND CEO