Sramana Mitra: Fair enough. I agree with almost everything you said there. Let’s switch to the 30,000-foot industry question of what’s happening in the location-based optimization of advertising space in general. What are you seeing and what are the overriding trends?
Ryan Golden: Currently, there’s not much going on in dynamic optimization. I think the current trend that has grabbed CMOs’ and advertisers’ attention is attribution. Attribution is a very important part in the media mix. The challenge with attribution optimization is that you need an extra amount of device to get the data back. Once you get the data back, how do you store it? It’s good to say, “These are your coffee drinkers.” That’s more of a segmentation versus reacting to data in real-time.
It’s a whole different challenge. It’s lacking in mobile space and that’s what we’re tackling and are focused on. If you think about it, 99.9% of optimization in relation to mobile is an extension of what you did in desktop. When you think about location, it’s almost worse. How is location optimized? If I have a two-mile radius around McDonalds and if I don’t like the performance, what’s the next step? Most people will take that radius and extend it to 10 miles. If they don’t like that, they’ll again adjust the radius. They keep adjusting the radius to meet either impression goals, click-through goals, or some of these other metrics. It’s not actually optimizing location. It’s just an adjustment to fulfil impressions.
Sramana Mitra: What do you identify as open problems—not the ones that you are solving but other ones that you are observing in the periphery of the general space of you are working in where you have specific domain knowledge in that other entrepreneurs could be working on?
Ryan Golden: It’s still location. It’s very early days. You see the divide. Is this going to be more software-driven or hardware-driven. For the past couple of years, everyone is like, “Beacon, beacon.” Most advertisers are falling out of love with it. There hasn’t been a real definitive approach here, but there’s still a very big need. While your consumers are on the go, the devices are getting smaller and smarter.
What can we do that makes sense to keep relevancy on top of mind for a consumer. I think it’s a challenge that comes down to developers wanting to seek and work with location. As I said before, the critical layer versus treating it as a feature. What I mean by feature is you have these developers that are building apps and location might be as simple as, “Tell me the closest McDonalds.” People need to start to think of location as, “What am I doing for my consumer to either save them time, money, or be more informed on the go.
Sramana Mitra: Is there anything else you want to add?
Ryan Golden: I don’t think so. I think what’s very interesting is that we started working on this in 2009. In 2009, you had people who weren’t even ready to talk about mobile. It was very desktop-driven. When you start talking about location, people are like, “You’re crazy.” Then around 2012, people started getting serious about mobile. Then fast forward to late 2014 to 2015, location started to become serious.
What’s exciting now in 2016 is that the value of location is only going to increase. Since we’ve been working at this since 2009, we’re now at the right place and at the right time with respect to the market. We see a lot of opportunity with respect to location and that’s what we’re focused on here at Moasis.
Sramana Mitra: Very good. Thank you for your time.