Stephanie Newby: My vision here is that we can end up with more and more companies in the world that have customers who really love them and are passionate about them. So much so that you can eliminate the hate in marketing and advertising. The reason that I think that this is even possible is that people use screens for learning and entertainment.
If companies are truly listening to their customers about what they’re doing and learning from that feedback, giving the reaction, and tweaking how they’re serving up information to customers, then I think we could transform a lot of that negative perception of marketing and advertising because they would have the insights that they need to do things. That would really empower those companies. Maybe, the thing that I’d like to finish on is what’s important here is that making data-driven decisions is really the Holy Grail.
What we have with social media is that instant, unsolicited, unfiltered feedback from customers. You can really dig into it because if you’re just bundling together a whole bunch of stories that all ends up being data. I’m substituting a saying, which is God-willing, for data-willing.
Sramana Mitra: That’s a very big statement. Just to close out, what is the genesis of Crimson Hexagon? Did you co-found the company?
Stephanie Newby: I met the company right at inception. I actually led the Series A round because I had previously started my own investment company which is Golden Seed. I don’t know if you know it.
Sramana Mitra: Yes, I do.
Stephanie Newby: That was my vision in the late 90s. I led that early stage of funding for Crimson Hexagon and Golden Seed remains one of the biggest investors in Crimson Hexagon all these years. Then I stepped in as interim CEO just for a couple of months when the Board was making a management change. They asked me to stay and I was absolutely delighted to do that because I got so excited by the company. Once I saw it from the inside, it was even more exciting than I had realised as an investor.
Sramana Mitra: Is the founding team that you invested in from Golden Seeds, was that a female founder as well?
Stephanie Newby: Yes, the co-founders were Candice Fleming who left Boston and moved to the West Coast several years ago, and Gary King who is a professor at Harvard University. He’s the Chair of our Board. I should say that the founding CTO is still with the company.
Sramana Mitra: The company funding is all Golden Seeds funding? You haven’t raised any further funding?
Stephanie Newby: Not only Golden Seeds. We’ll be announcing some news next week on additional funding.
Sramana Mitra: Very interesting. It was very nice talking to you. Good luck.