Why Volition Capital Invested In Connatix

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We are thrilled to announce our newest $15 million investment in Connatix, and I am very honored to join Connatix’s Board of Directors.  Connatix is performing exceptionally well, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with them going forward.

So, what does Connatix do?

Quite simply, Connatix enables publishers to generate substantially more revenue from digital video through their industry-leading native video syndication and monetization platform (more on what that means in a bit).

Why does this matter?

It starts with the consumer.  You and I are changing how we consume digital content.  We are consuming more video every year.  Our desire for video content is accelerating and has been for years.  We are also consuming that video content predominantly on mobile.  In short, we want that video seamlessly, in any and every form factor, rendered perfectly, when we want it. 

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Why Volition Capital Invested In Recycle Track Systems (RTS)

At Volition, we have often talked about how the Internet is changing the workflow for every company in every industry on the planet.  For that reason, we have always loved investing in the disruptive companies that are transforming the workflow or supply chain of large existing markets with low technology adoption.  That is why we invested in Chewy, which became the disruptive leader in the pet food retailing sector and was ultimately acquired for over $3 billion in what many have hailed as the largest e-commerce acquisition ever.  We also invested in Globaltranz, which has become one of the leading technology-enabled freight brokerages and is on its way to $1 billion in annual revenue.  Today, we are pleased to announce our newest investment which plays directly into this theme, Recycle Track Systems (RTS). RTS, based in New York City, is a next-generation, technology-enabled commercial
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Why Volition Capital Invested In Recycle Track Systems (RTS)

At Volition, we have often talked about how the Internet is changing the workflow for every company in every industry on the planet.  For that reason, we have always loved investing in the disruptive companies that are transforming the workflow or supply chain of large existing markets with low technology adoption.  That is why we invested in Chewy, which became the disruptive leader in the pet food retailing sector and was ultimately acquired for over $3 billion in what many have hailed as the largest e-commerce acquisition ever.  We also invested in Globaltranz, which has become one of the leading technology-enabled freight brokerages and is on its way to $1 billion in annual revenue.  Today, we are pleased to announce our newest investment which plays directly into this theme, Recycle Track Systems (RTS). RTS, based in New York City, is a next-generation, technology-enabled commercial
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Announcing Volition Capital’s Newest $250 Million Growth Equity Fund, Volition Capital Fund III

Today is a big day for Volition as we announce our latest fund, Volition Capital Fund III, with $250 million in capital commitments. This fund will have substantially the same strategy and focus as all of our prior funds – which we call small cap technology growth equity.  We invest in high growth, principally bootstrapped, technology companies that are poised for market leadership.  This is the same strategy that we have been executing on since Day 1.  This strategy has been born from our collective experience over decades of investing, in up cycles and down cycles, with lots of success and lots of scar tissue.  Our small cap technology growth equity strategy is not a marketing pitch – it’s our genuine, feel-it-in-our bones, part-of-our-DNA, belief about how to best steward the capital of our investors. Nonetheless, we had to make an important decision with this fund. 
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Why Volition Invested In Pramata

This week, we announced a $10M growth equity investment in Pramata.  I am very honored to be joining the Board and am excited to work with the team going forward.  So, what do they do and why did we invest? What does Pramata do?   It’s very simple.  Pramata extracts key information out of enterprise customer contracts and puts the data into CRM systems so that enterprise sales reps, sales ops, and account managers can have a clean and accurate view about an existing customer relationship.  What’s so hard about that?  Well, it might not be hard if you are an enterprise with 5 sales reps, selling one product, to 30 customers, on a standard contract.  But, what if you have hundreds or thousands of reps, all across the country or world, selling dozens or hundreds of products, to thousands or tens of thousands of customers, with several distinct buyers within the same
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5 Topics To Cover In A Quick Investor Pitch (via MSNBC)

I had the chance to swing by MSNBC to talk about 5 key components to cover when pitching an investor. The short synopsis is this:
  1. Start by explaining the problem your company solves.
  2. Define specifically who experiences that problem.
  3. Clearly articulate how your company’s product or service solves that problem.
  4. Explain how you charge and what you charge for your company’s product or service.
  5. Give proof points.
Remember, pitching an investor is not about sharing information – it’s about telling a story. Hopefully this is a helpful framework to craft a good story for your business.
Filed under: Growth Equity, Venture Capital

Why I Don’t Think Harvard Discriminates Against Asian Americans In Admissions

Yesterday, the Education Department dismissed a complaint by several Asian groups that claims Harvard discriminates against Asian Americans in the college admissions process. It is a widely held belief among Asian Americans that they are disadvantaged in the admissions process because they have to compete against other Asian Americans who are culturally very focused academically. The belief is that Asians have to get higher test scores, get better grades, and take more rigorous coursework than others in order to gain admission. They will cite how other schools that have gone to race-blind admissions see a dramatic increase in Asian American admissions. They will point to how the average scores for Asian American admits to Harvard is higher than of other ethnic groups. Their complaint on the surface appears to have some merit. But, I personally don’t think the complaint is true. Prior to becoming a volunteer admissions interviewer for Harvard
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Investment Opportunities In E-Commerce Despite Amazon’s Dominance

Many venture capitalists shy away from e-commerce due to Amazon’s dominant, market leading position. The concern is that Amazon can kill any upstart e-commerce company and doesn’t always operate in economically rational ways when they want to win. While there is truth to being concerned about Amazon in this market, the reality is there are some segments of e-commerce that have characteristics which make it more defensible versus Amazon. Given the size, scale and growth of e-commerce more broadly, the winners in these other segments can still be billion dollar companies in their own right. That’s why Volition has made a number of e-commerce investments and will continue to look for strong growth companies in this market.

Here are some of the segments that have better embedded defensibility from Amazon’s competitive threat:

The Least Useful Slide In The Pitch Deck Is…

…the market size slide.

My sense is most entrepreneurs feel like they have to have a $1B+ market size for investors to get interested.  And, then the more aggressive entrepreneurs, knowing that everyone else has at least a $1B+ market size, come in with the $5B-$10B+ market sizes.  The means to arrive at these numbers is usually to take a generous number of possible customers and multiply that times a large spend per customer to equate to the multi-billion dollar “addressable market size“.  Others might site 3rd party data sources which is intended to lend credibility to the analysis, but which are largely derived by the same methodology.  It’s this approach to market size analysis which I don’t find particularly useful and can generate a false sense of comfort if you actually believe it.

When I’m looking at a prospective investment in a company,

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The Difference Between Existing Markets and New Markets

Nearly every company pitch I’ve seen covers the topic of market size.  And, in every serious internal discussion about a prospective investment, we talk about market size as well.  Usually, the primary topic of discussion in both contexts is the size of the market boiled down to an actual dollar figure.  Entrepreneurs and investors alike will come up with a very detailed, methodical way, to define the size of the market opportunity.  While that’s fine and worth doing, comparatively less time is spent on the topic of whether the market is an existing or a new market – and the associated risks and opportunities related to that.  And, the latter topic can be more indicative of the prospects of the investment than the former analysis on market size, itself.

An existing market is a market where customers already spend money buying more or less the same product or service that a given company is selling.  That product or service may be delivered or sold in a different way, but at the end of the day, the customer that you’re targeting is already spending money on substantially the same thing.  What’s an example of this?  Care.com is an online marketplace to find babysitters.  People already spend money on babysitters, Care.com is just helping them to find babysitters more easily.  This is an existing market.  Chewy.com is an e-commerce company for pet food.  Their target customers already spend money on pet food.  Again, an existing market.  Amazon started out selling books, which people already buy.  Uber started out replacing taxi services, which people already buy.  Globaltranz is an online freight broker for trucking capacity, which companies already buy to ship goods. Square is going after the existing market of credit card processing.  Prosper is a peer-to-peer lender, which sounds like a new market, but they’re really selling unsecured consumer loans, which consumers have been procuring for ages.  These are all existing markets.

A new market is a market where the end product or service is new – in other words there isn’t really existing demand, but there could be.  SpaceX just closed a big financing last week – space travel is a new market for certain.  When Google first came out, it was targeting a new market of online search and search engine marketing.  There really wasn’t much of an existing market in search at that time, outside of maybe Yahoo and Altavista.  Everything related to drones is a new market.  Twitter ushered in a new market that had never existed of micro-publishing.  Many

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Everyone’s 2015 Top Technology Predictions and Trends Lists In One Place

Here are some of the more prominent technology prediction lists for 2015.  Not surprising themes: security, IoT/wearables, healthcare IT.  Somewhat surprising themes: 3d printing.  Missing in action: bitcoin, marketplaces, etc.

Gartner: Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015

  1. Computing Everywhere
  2. Internet of Things
  3. 3D Printing
  4. Advanced, Pervasive, and Invisible Analytics
  5. Context-Rich Systems
  6. Smart Machines
  7. Cloud/Client Computing
  8. Software-Defined Applications and Infrastructure
  9. Web-Scale IT
  10. Risk-Based Security and Self-Protection

Business Insider: 14 Tech Trends That Will Make Someone Billions of Dollars Next Year

  1. Companies will buy massive hacker insurance policies
  2. Smartwatches will win over fitness bands
  3. The Apple watch will “dominate”
  4. Everyday things will get a chip and be accessible from the Internet
  5. Employees will hang out together online
  6. Employees will form fitness cults
  7. Fingerprints will replace passwords
  8. Charts and graphs will rule
  9. Hadoop will get even bigger
  10. 3D printers will grow up
  11. Cloud computing will become the norm
  12. Healthcare will become an app
  13. Digital marketing budgets will explode
  14. Overall, businesses will spend more on technology than ever

Wall Street Journal: Ten Market Disruptors For 2015

  1. Financial Services Disruptor: Mobile Technology
  2. Technology Disruptor: Wearables
  3. Consumer Discretionary Disruptor: Digitalization
  4. Energy Disruptor: US Oil Exports
  5. Industrials Disruptor: Oil Prices
  6. Consumer Staples Disruptor: Demographics
  7. Healthcare Disruptor: The Supreme Court
  8. Materials Disruptor: The Chinese Economy
  9. Telecom Disruptor: REITs
  10. Utilities Disruptor: Congressional Action on the EPA

IDC: Top 10 Technology Predictions for 2015

  1. New technologies will account for 100% of growth in telecom IT
  2. Wireless data, the largest segment of the telecom sector, will also be the fastest growing
  3. Phablets will be the mobile growth engine
  4. New partnerships to redraw cloud computing’s landscape
  5. Data-as-a-Service will drive new big data supply chains
  6. The IoT will continue to rapidly expand the traditional IT industry
  7. Cloud service providers will become the new data center, redrawing the IT landscape
  8. Rapid expansion of industry-specific digital platforms
  9. Adoption of new security and printing innovations
  10. More China, everywhere

IBM: Next Five in Five

  1. You’ll beam up friends in 3-D
  2. Batteries will breathe air to power our devices
  3. You won’t need to be a scientist to save the planet
  4. Your commute will be personalized
  5. Computers will help energize your city

IEEE: Top Technology Trends for 2015

  1. Time is right for wearable devices
  2. Internet of Anything becoming all-encompassing
  3. Building security into software design
  4. The age of software-designed anything (SDx)
  5. Cloud security and privacy concerns grow
  6. 3d printing poised for takeoff
  7. Telling the future with predictive analytics
  8. Security considerations for embedded computing
  9. Real growth in augmented reality applications
  10. Continuous digital health

Mashable: 5 Digital Health Trends You’ll See in 2015

  1. Wearables for the ear
  2. Sweat sensor strips
  3. Smartphone case devices
  4. Prescription-only apps
  5. Healthier lighting

Filed under: Technology

Everyone’s 2015 Top Technology Predictions and Trends Lists In One Place

Here are some of the more prominent technology prediction lists for 2015.  Not surprising themes: security, IoT/wearables, healthcare IT.  Somewhat surprising themes: 3d printing.  Missing in action: bitcoin, marketplaces, etc.

Gartner: Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015

  1. Computing Everywhere
  2. Internet of Things
  3. 3D Printing
  4. Advanced, Pervasive, and Invisible Analytics
  5. Context-Rich Systems
  6. Smart Machines
  7. Cloud/Client Computing
  8. Software-Defined Applications and Infrastructure
  9. Web-Scale IT
  10. Risk-Based Security and Self-Protection

Business Insider: 14 Tech Trends That Will Make Someone Billions of Dollars Next Year

  1. Companies will buy massive hacker insurance policies
  2. Smartwatches will win over fitness bands
  3. The Apple watch will “dominate”
  4. Everyday things will get a chip and be accessible from the Internet
  5. Employees will hang out together online
  6. Employees will form fitness cults
  7. Fingerprints will replace passwords
  8. Charts and graphs will rule
  9. Hadoop will get even bigger
  10. 3D printers will grow up
  11. Cloud computing will become the norm
  12. Healthcare
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My Favorite Value Proposition Is Admittedly Boring

It’s only taken 16 years in the investment business for me to discover my favorite value proposition.  And, I admit, it’s a boring selection.  First, some context.  A value proposition is the value a business offers its customer such that the customer decides to buy that companies’ product.  To be fair, there are many categories of value props that all have great merit and can be the basis of building a valuable company.  So, one is not by definition greater than another.  But, we all have our predispositions, and I have a positive predisposition for one value prop in particular.  I favor this value prop because, if it is structurally sustainable, it can be equally transformative as it is predictable – and those usually don’t go hand in hand.

So, without further ado, my favorite value proposition is offering a customer the opportunity to buy something they already buy, but at a structurally lower price.  Yes, if the options are better, faster or cheaper – I like cheaper.  Why do I like this value prop?  Because there’s little fundamental market risk.  If a customer is already buying a product, then you know they want that product and that product benefits them in some way.  You know they are ready to buy it now because, well, they already buy it now – so you’re not taking market timing risk.  Whether there’s even a market or whether the market is here now is a profoundly underestimated risk undertaken by many emerging technology companies.  And, in this example, you meaningfully mitigate those risks.

Then you layer on top of a large existing market, a very clear reason to buy with you – you’re selling to them the very thing they already buy, for a lower price.  Who doesn’t want that?

The key to a company with lower price as its fundamental value prop being a good investment, is their basis for having a lower price must be structurally defensible and sustainable.  It can’t be that they’re doing exactly the same thing as their competitors, just charging a lower price.  That’s the definition of unsustainable.  There is usually some disruption in the supply chain or some technology innovation, which they can take advantage of above and beyond their competitors which is why they’re able to offer sustainably lower prices to their customers and quickly take market share of a large existing market.

When I look at our current and historical portfolio, where the ingredients of a structurally sustainable lower price value proposition is true, those companies have an inordinate propensity to be worth $1B+ in enterprise

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My Top 15 Favorite Audio Books

A couple of years ago, I switched off the radio during my daily commute and turned on audio books (through Audible). I’m usually in the car about an hour a day, and a typical book is about 10 hours. So, one book a month is more than reasonable. Here are my top 15 favorite audio books based on a mix of entertainment value, substance, and pure enjoyment. There’s not a huge delta between #1 and #15 – these are all worthwhile books to listen to.

  1. Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand: An epic story of survival that made me wish my commute wouldn’t end.
  2. The Last Lecture, by Randy Jeffrey: I won’t lie – shed some tears during this one.
  3. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, by Amy Chua: Hilarious cultural memoir, not how-to parenting book.
  4. No Easy Day, by Matt Bissonnette and Kevin Maurer: I felt like I was watching an
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The 10 Slide Company Pitch Deck

I love meeting with new companies.  To me, it’s the oxygen of this business and the most energizing aspect of the job.  That being said, the one thing that can take the energy right out of an introductory meeting is the obligatory 20-40 slide company pitch deck that drags on and on.  Personally, I prefer a more conversational meeting in which slides are used to launch conversations, rather than claim the entire conversation, about various important topics relevant to the business.  Therefore, I thought I’d provide a general framework for a succinct 10-slide pitch deck that should be more than sufficient for an introductory investor meeting.  Keep in mind that given Volition is a technology growth equity investor, this is more geared towards companies with some revenue and customers rather than a pure start-up.  But, I do think there are principles that are portable across different stages.

The 10 Slide Pitch Deck (in no particular order):

1.  The Problem Statement. This is the problem the company solves.  What is the problem, why is it such a high priority for whoever has it?  Why does this problem have to get solved?

2.  How You Solve The Problem.  This gets to what the company does.  Why do you have unique knowledge of the problem, how do you solve the problem, and why is that a differentiated / defensible approach?

3.  The Customer.  This gets to who the target customer is specifically.  The more detailed and segmented this is, the more credible I find it to be.  I’d rather hear, “The chief compliance officer at hedge funds with $100M+ in assets” than “financial services companies”, as an example.  Then provide examples of actual customers.  How many of those target customers out there actually have the problem you articulated?

4.  The Value to the Customer.  This gets to the return on investment.  How much does the customer have to pay (what is the pricing model), and why is it clearly worth it to them to pay it.

5.  Actual Use Cases.  Now that you’ve established the problem, solution and value in concept – let’s talk about it in reality.  If there’s only one primary use case, given an example of a real customer with a prototypical use case.  If there are 2 or 3 common use cases, let’s hear example of all of those.

6.  The Product.  This can go anywhere in the presentation, but if it’s at this point, I’m probably more than eager to see the product in action.  A live demo is

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The World of Finance Has Problems

I have to shake my head in disappointment at the headlines this past week in the world of finance and money.  It makes me wonder why I even periodically come to the defense of the industry when in weeks like this, it seems like a fruitless exercise.  Here’s a tasting of this past week:

1.  LIBOR manipulation settlements.  LIBOR is the benchmark interest rate that impacts hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of financial contracts.  Everything from mortgages, student loans, car loans, derivative contracts, and many others are pegged to LIBOR.  LIBOR is calculated daily based on the submissions of some of the largest banks in the world.  And, in 2005-2009, it was apparently manipulated by some those contributing banks for their own personal gain.  This week, one of the chief offenders, Barclays, reached another settlement with a regulators over their behavior in this period.  How is it possible that one of the most important metrics in the global finance industry is manipulated over many years?  I guess it’s entirely possible.

2.  The stock market is “rigged” – according to author Michael Lewis.  His claim is that high frequency traders front-run stock trades all day and every day so that both institutional and retail investors alike pay what amounts to artificially expensive and manipulated prices on routine stock trades.  This is apparently legal, for now.  But, its potentially wide-ranging impact on the US stock market is coming to light.

3.  Alleged IRS corruption hearings proceed.  Claims of the IRS abusing power are came back into the forefront this week.  This has unfortunately become a purely partisan issue.  But, further information about the IRS suggests there’s potentially a bigger issue at hand than even what’s presently going through the House.

4.  SAC Capital pays largest insider trading settlement in history.  $1.8 billion is what it takes to settle one of the longest running, widest ranging insider trading scandals in history.

So, in one week, the headlines are about THE benchmark interest rate being manipulated for years, the entire stock market being rigged, the largest taxing authority in the US potentially corrupt, and the largest ever insider trading investigation being settled.  Clearly, this has not been a proud week for the world of finance.  Let’s hope better things are in store next week.


Filed under: Books, Economy

The Economics of Bananas

Yesterday, I had the unexpected opportunity to speak with a former executive of a major fruit and produce company.  I always find it really fun to talk with someone about something I know nothing about – and in this case, the topic was bananas.  So, I asked him about the economics of bananas, and this is what he said:

  • Depending on location, retail price is ~$0.70 per pound.
  • That retailer buys them by the box which is 40 pounds.  So $28 is the retail revenue per box.
  • The producer charges the retailer $12 for the box.
  • The retailer also incurs additional costs for 7-days of storage and refrigeration at 56 degrees for ripening.
  • The producer pays $10-$11 in costs for that box ($6-$7 for pick and pack, $1 for packaging, $2.50 for shipping, and $1 of marketing/sales overhead)
  • Within a few hours of picking, the bananas are stored and shipped in refrigerated containers at 56 degrees.  Shipping can take 7+ days.
  • The picker probably makes ~$12/day and is paid per stem picked.

It’s always interesting to look at a supply chain of a product and decipher where in the chain you’d want to be.  In this case, I’m happy to be the one eating the banana.


Filed under: Economy, Pop Culture

A Grounded Mentality On Year-End Compensation

This post is prompted by a number of conversations I’ve had over the past several weeks with friends and colleagues in the technology and investment industries.  As year-end approaches, the primary topic of these discussions has been how they should approach compensation, bonus, and promotion discussions in their respective situations.  For the most part, we’re in a pretty good cycle.  The stock market is up.  The IPO window is open.  Technology is hot.  Things are good.  For the most part, these specific individuals can make a strong claim that they have performed really well.  And, for the most part, they come with the mentality that they expect to get rewarded generously for their performance.  At the highest level, I don’t have any issue with this point of view.

That being said, my guidance in these conversations is rarely about money, but about mentality.

First and foremost, we need to remember that it’s easy in the good times for us to take too much credit for our success.  While undoubtedly we may deserve a lot of credit, in reality, our successes are probably dependent on other factors as well.  Our success probably begins with someone giving us the opportunity to be successful, even when it might not have been obvious that we deserved that opportunity.  There are probably many people around us who have contributed to that success – whether professional colleagues, family and friends that supported us, or that one person whose vote of confidence made all the difference.  Our professional success almost always has some dependency on the assets of the company that we work at – assets which we may have largely inherited.  Especially in the investment business, our success is also influenced by external factors completely out of our control like economic growth, Fed policy, the stock market, and consumer sentiment.  Before we claim full credit for our success and expect to get paid accordingly, it’s important to be grounded in the reality that our success is never solely our own.  It would be a healthy exercise to thank some of the individuals that helped us achieve our successes this year, before going into some of these compensation discussions, to help get into the right frame of mind.

Secondly, we need to maintain perspective.  In the good times, especially in this business, it’s important to remember that bad times are inevitable.  None of us will have careers without hard times.  Therefore, we need to remember to represent ourselves during the good times in a way that we will still be proud of and not regret when the bad

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Start With The Problem

After hearing dozens of company pitches over the last week or so, I noticed a common theme with how CEOs told the story of their business.  They typically expended great energy explaining what their company’s product or service does.  They will talk about features and functionality that no other player in the market has.  Where appropriate, they will dive into a demo to show exactly how their product is such a game changer.  While this is important, in some respects, I think it is putting the cart before the horse.

Personally speaking, I think a good story for a business starts with the problem that is being solved.  It’s hard to fall in love with a product, if you don’t believe it solves a big problem.  A problem worth solving is one that is a high priority issue for the one experiencing it.  It is a problem that is experienced to a similarly high degree, by a large and common constituency.  It is also a problem that people are willing to pay, and sometimes pay substantially, to resolve.

In every company pitch, the CEO will try to tell me what the company does.  But, you may be surprised that in many pitches, the CEO may neglect to really spend time articulating the problem their company solves.  Sometimes when I ask very directly what problem it is that they solve, the response will be a description of product functionality, not in fact a problem.  This to me is a telltale sign that the company was started to create functionality, not necessarily to solve an important problem.

If we were ever to get into due diligence on a company, we will likely spend as much time validating the magnitude and priority of the problem the company solves as we do on the merits of the product.  If we love your product, but are unconvinced on the problem it solves – we are unlikely to get across the finish line on an investment.  The reality is a company can control how a product evolves and develops.  But, the problem is what it is – so choosing the right problem to solve is critical for the ultimate success of any business.

So my simple advice is that when you tell the story of your business, start with the problem.  If you convince people of the problem your company is trying to solve, you have laid the foundation for them to love what your company does.


Filed under: Founder-Owned Businesses, Growth Equity, Philosophy

Can Online Privacy Compliance Even Be Implemented? Not Until Now.

It happens every day.  You visit a website.  Information on your visit is passed to a third party (such as an ad network).  That third party uses the data for purposes that is not something you’ve explicitly condoned.  For example, go to Zappos and look at your favorite red shoe.  Then go about your daily web life – and notice how that red shoe will show up in Zappos ads on other websites unrelated to Zappos.  This form of advertising, called re-targeting, happens because Zappos has given information from your site visit to various third parties who then run the ad.  But, what if you didn’t want Zappos to give any information on your visit to any retargeter?  What if you didn’t want your data given to any third party for any purpose at all?

A myriad of solutions have been proposed to address this problem, but they all revolve around the same fundamental framework.  The framework is that your browser communicates to the website you’re visiting whether you consent to being tracked through your data being shared with third parties.  And that website complies.  Here are some of the competing philosophies:

  • Every website has to explicitly ask you what your preference is when you visit it and then lock in that preference for future visits (e.g. certain EU countries).
  • You have to proactively opt-out of tracking in your browser settings, otherwise there is implied consent for all websites to track you (e.g. U.S. Do Not Track Legislation).
  • The default setting of the browser should turn off tracking (e.g. Microsoft).

While a disproportionate amount of energy has been spent arguing about the merits of these varying philosophies, they are all based on an assumption that is flawed.  The flawed assumption is that if a website receives notification from your browser that you don’t want to be tracked – they can actually technically comply with that request.  Think for a moment how hard that is.  The instant you hit a webpage, your tracking preference is communicated, and somehow that website has to turn off all tracking applications in the website before any of those applications run.  It all has to happen in a nanosecond.

To date, there have been two primary approaches to addressing this technically.  Both have their flaws.