Extraordinarily tight, disciplined strategy and execution has enabled Connatix Founder CEO David Kashak to build a tremendously fast growth company with a small team. A lot to learn here.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?
David Kashak: I was born in Israel. I grew up in Israel and studied engineering at Tel Aviv University. After studying, I started as a programmer in a cyber security company in Israel. At one point, they offered to relocate me to New York. That offer was very interesting because I wanted to get more exposure to business. I moved to New York.
I started as a Product Manager but I always had a passion for business. A couple of years later, I ended up heading the entire business unit in the US. I call it my previous life where I was involved with cyber security, governments, and law enforcement agencies. I wanted to do something a little bit different, so I left that company.
I joined Conduit. It’s a company that specializes in Internet monetization. I was their first employee in New York. I was doing business development. Back then, one of the biggest challenges for a mobile publisher was to monetize their app and mobile traffic. At that time, native advertising became the big buzzword in the industry.
Sramana Mitra: What year are we talking?
David Kashak: 2013.
Sramana Mitra: You were in Conduit in 2013.
David Kashak: Correct. Native advertising could be a great monetization tool for mobile publishers. Up until then, there were those small banner ads that didn’t make money for them. They didn’t have a good way to monetize their mobile traffic in a non-intrusive way. That’s how I came up with the idea of Connatix. It started with mobile and later on evolved to different platforms.
Sramana Mitra: Let me probe a little bit here. What struck you as the business opportunity in what you saw?
David Kashak: The business opportunity was very simple. I was talking with publishers all day long. We were offering them the product that I was working on for Conduit. The biggest question they have is, “What’s the CPM?” The CPMs that they were getting from other monetization tools were very low. I was thinking that there must be something that can provide them higher CPMs for their mobile traffic. I thought that if I’m able to provide them a tool that will allow them to monetize their mobile traffic on a higher CPM and not be as intrusive, it could be something that they will like and that can work for them.