About amit

I'm Amit Kumar, VP & Head of Yahoo Small Business. You can read more about me, or follow me on Twitter.

Doug Engelbart couldn’t even keep his group staffed up.

Douglas Engelbart – whose work led to the invention of hypertext, the mouse, networked computers, early GUI and more – passed recently. As a sort of intellectual mourning exercise, I’ve been watching The Mother of All Demos:

“The Mother of All Demos is a name given retrospectively to Douglas Engelbart’s December 9, 1968, demonstration of experimental computer technologies that are now commonplace. The live demonstration featured the introduction of the computer mouse, video conferencing, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing, hypermedia, object addressing and dynamic file linking, bootstrapping, and a collaborative real-time editor.”

A detail from the demo caught my eye. Doug casually uses an embedded graph in a presentation to make a point (remember, this is 1968):

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 7.10.10 PM

 

He is talking about the number of people working for his lab. See that huge dip towards the end? His lab was growing in fits and starts, and at one point, all that was left was him and one more person. Goes without saying, Doug didn’t let that bring him down and give up!

See also that long flat line in the beginning? That’s just him, working alone for many years.

This is the story of every grand success. What the world sees is the final success, the celebration, the appreciation. What most people don’t see are the hard years and struggle that go into pretty much everything worth striving for.

So, go and create your Doug-sized-dent in the universe, but don’t be surprised if it’s harder than you thought, takes longer than you hoped, if your co-conspirators don’t always believe in you, or if you have to slog all by yourself for many years.

In the end, if you do your job well, there will probably be a kid reading about you, watching  videos of your work – decades from now.

- Amit

Why the standard ‘Leave a Message’ message on cellphones talks about faxes

When you call someone on their cellphone, and they are not available, do you ever wonder why the standard ‘leave a message’ message includes information on how to send a fax?

Really, how many people are actually trying to send a fax to a cellphone number, you wonder. And, how many cellphones even support such a functionality, you suppose. And by the fact that this valuable information got recently added to that message, only in the last couple of years, you’re wondering if you’ve missed a totes new trend that kids are all over – sending faxes!

Nope, none of those. The reason that message includes information about sending faxes is so the phone companies can make the length of the message longer. This is also why the message is getting slower in delivery, has extra pauses, and also tells you how to send a page. (page? really??)

And here’s the reveal - the length of the message is getting longer, so you trip over the 1 minute boundary when leaving your message. Since the phone calls are priced by the minute, the longer the initial message, the more likely you are to leave a message that’s more than 1 minute long. This helps both the caller and the callee, so there is no incentive for any phone company to go in the other direction.

More blood-sucking brought to you by your friendly phone company!

- Amit

PS: the original research for this was done by someone else – I heard about it a few years back. I haven’t been able to locate it – if someone points it out (tweet me), I’ll include it here.

Why Facebook acquired osmeta – it’s all about Facebook Home

Last month, Facebook silently acquired osmeta. Even though I ‘broke’ this news on Twitter, and emailed a few tech rags about it, no one has picked up on it yet – which is surprising given all the speculation about the Facebook Phone, and Facebook Home.

Using only public information (since I happen to know the founder), here’s why this is significant news.

What osmeta was trying to do

Details are sparse, as is to be expected from a stealth startup, but clues abound.

  1. ‘osmeta’ – a reference to ‘meta operating system’ – potentially a virtualization technology that allows you to run the same ‘core functionality’ on top of any (potentially mobile) hardware?
  2. A stellar team, to quote their own words:
    Our programming experience is even more impressive—both quantitatively and qualitatively. Between us, over the years, we have done pretty much “everything” in terms of software creation, including several first-in-the-world type of magical things. (Examples: AndroidChrome for AndroidChrome OSGoogle CrawlingAdWordsZooKeeperBookKeeperPig (Hadoop)OSGi, Linux kernel control groupsnetwork and other device driverscognitive computingmassive storage systemsunusual file systemsvarious types of virtualization, video game console emulation, and many, many others.)
  3. Amit Singh, the founder,  is well-known for his penchant for virtualization technologies, and is a well-known Mac OS X author and hacker.
  4. A tantalizing description of what they’re trying to achieve:
    Incredible possibilities, tremendous opportunities—for developers and users of many, many devices everywhere, including devices in cars, airplanes, and consumer electronics.

The most obvious clue that this is all about mobile is this image they post on the bare-bones website.

devices

So, why Facebook? Because Facebook Home > Facebook Phone.

One possibility is that this is a straight-up acquihire. Clearly, the talent behind osmeta is immense – it’s possible they decided to stop doing what they’re doing, and just join Facebook. Wouldn’t be the first time.

The more intriguing possibility is this. What if Facebook decided that, strategically, they need Facebook Home to transcend every mobile device – not just Android. Who would you hire to build such a beast, and how would they go about doing it?

Perhaps what osmeta has built so far lets them spread Facebook Home across this fragmented device ecosystem, quickly, in a scalable fashion, and achieve a consistent, Facebook-centered experience, across all devices?

In other words, why would you build Facebook Phone, if you could have Facebook Home on all phones, tablets and (groan) phablets?

Looking forward to finding out! Knowing Amit, it won’t be long.

- (the other) Amit

Disclaimer: Amit Singh, founder of osmeta, was my classmate when we were studying together at IIT Delhi. However, I have purposely not communicated with him before writing this post, and used only publicly available information to hypothesize and speculate.

 

Jason Calacanis’ 20 secret tips for pitch perfection (from the Lexity Live Sales LAUNCH launch)

Screen Shot 2013-03-15 at 1.16.04 AM50 startups launched at the LAUNCH festival this week, and if you watch the videos, it feels like each one of them channeled late Billy Mays, the legendary TV pitchman. So, are great founders born great presenters?

Turns out, behind the scenes, Jason and Tyler Crowley spent tens of hours working with every startup, helping them hone, and sometimes rewrite, their pitches. In-person, on-Skype, on-stage – until every startup sounded pitch perfect.

Lexity was one of these 50 startups who benefited, and launched to great applause! So what were the top lessons we startups learned from them? Here they are.

Top 3 Tips

  1. Show your product in the first 15 seconds. 6 years of data says – the audience gives you exactly 15 seconds before they turn to Facebook or Email. Nothing engages more then a picture or demo of your product, so show it to them quickly!
  2. Practice makes perfect. Dropbox got a 5/10 at their first rehearsal. The second time it was 8/10 – and a 9.5/10 by the time they got on stage. So keep practicing! (Lexity itself went from a 5.5 to… you be the judge)
  3. Things will go wrong. So, always be prepared. Have a full video of your entire demo, so you can run it and narrate over it, if need be. In fact, Lexity’s own demo hit WiFi snags while presenting, but the video recovery worked well.

Choosing the right content

  • Tell a story. Pick a customer, give him/her a real name and an actual background, and tell a story of how they’d use your product, and why it makes a difference to their lives.
  • Show your product. Use 2 slides at most – instead, focus on showing off your product. Do a couple of different use cases. Demo a signup flow if it drives the simplicity message. And, mention pricing so the market positioning is clear.
  • Include: testimonials. Exclude: trigger words. If you have prominent users with actual usage photos/stories/quotes, use them! On the other end, avoid trigger words like ‘it’s entirely legal!’ – leave that for Q&A :-)
  • Use context. If possible, use a familiar context. Some startups used Jason or the LAUNCH conference as context, Knowyo even used a picture of the presenter from the pitch right before them!

Structuring the delivery

  • Address the Elephant. What does the audience notice most when they’re looking at your demo? Is it a big, unexplained number in the middle? A large colorful icon you haven’t talked about? Explain things in the sequence they’ll be noticed, or at least address the elephant in the room quickly.
  • Humor hurts good products. If your product is good, let it speak for itself. Humor works, but in low doses. A lot, and the audience starts wondering if the presenter is compensating for the lack of a good product.
  • Identify the WOW. At what point in your presentation does the audience go WOW? If there isn’t one, make one happen. If there is one, make sure to make to build up to the crescendo!

Navigating the Presentation

  • Ctrl-swipe to zoom in. On a mac, you can hold down Control and swipe up or down with two fingers to zoom in and out. Use this to zoom the screen on what you want the audience to focus on.
  • Use Text expansion to enter text quickly. On a mac, program text shortcuts to write out long sentence you’re supposed to type, by typing a macro like ‘xxx’. This even works on the iPhone. Reliable, and quick.
  • Use Reflector.app to mirror a smartphone. Instead of relying on a video camera or ‘elmo’ to show interactions done on a phone, use the Reflector app, which display the contents of your iPhone on a Mac, and then project the Mac instead.
  • Or turn up the brightness. If you do end up projecting up the video of a mobile phone or tablet, remember to turn up the brightness, so the picture quality looks good.

On Stage!

  • Involve the audience (only if you’re sure!) Starting the presentation off with an audience question works really well – but only if at least 15% participate. If nobody does, it looks bad, and could throw off your rhythm. Use with caution!
  • Address judges by name. When answering questions, try to use their name. For some reason, all of us like the sound of our names :-)
  • Always sound confident. You don’t have all the answers – but the judges don’t need to know that! Think fast, be confident, but always give a specific answer.
  • Answer within 15 seconds. Answer as many questions as you can – and answer each within 15 seconds. Hard question? You can move to the next one quickly. Soft question? Answer it quickly, and drop the mike on the floor. #BOOM

These are the top lessons I learned – but there were so many more. Jason and Tyler really did a great job, and I can’t wait till next year!

What’s your best tip for doing pitch presentations? Share it below!

Amit Kumar
Founder & CEO, Lexity

Google puts reCaptcha to work interpreting Street View imagery

reCaptcha was a very interesting acquisition by Google in 2009 – at that time, they put the team to work on connecting reCaptcha with the immense Google Books digitization project.

Fast forward to today, and thanks to the Local and Mobile revolution, Google has a new digitization challenge to overcome. How do you connect street addresses with the imagery acquired via Google Street View?

Well, a picture speaks a thousand words:

Image

Google is now crowdsourcing its Street View interpretation project to the entire world. Brilliant!

- Amit

iOS6 Maps: It’s the Siri, Stupid.

ImageCommentators lauding and panning iOS6 maps are focussing on the core maps experience—for good reason—but it’s the Siri integration that’s worth paying most attention to.

The core maps scale with money and time – both of which Apple has ample amounts of. More planes will fly, more servers will crunch data, updates will be deployed faster to the web service. Nothing a billion dollars and a couple of years can’t fix.

Siri as your Navigator

It’s the Siri experience that I’m most psyched about. It is, after all, something I predicted in November 2011 – in a post aptly titled ‘Siri-based navigation is coming soon‘. It only took a year!

It’s a verbose post that maps out why Siri with a simple premise:

Typical car travel is a two-person activity – one to steer, and another to navigate. Sure, you can make-do with just one person fumbling with a GPS devices while trying to drive. But imagine a future where Siri becomes that navigator – skillful, omniscient, helpful and entirely hands-off.

The future is, of course, here. It’s a testament to Apple’s genius that when the future arrives, it hits you with a ‘well, duh‘ realization.

My personal experience with Siri as Navigator

This morning, when I left home, I asked Siri: “Take me to work“. And she did. I did not look at the iPhone even once (well OK, I did, but not to peek at the directions), and Siri even re-routed me when I hit traffic. I even asked her “Are there any gas stations near the route” and she found some. 

Funnily enough, when providing directions to the next gas station, one of the options she offered was “Find the next one“. She understands you might just have missed the exit to the first one. That’s smart!

Then I asked her “Is there a Starbucks near my destination?“. Siri couldn’t answer this – but it wasn’t so bad! She said “Sorry, I can’t find places near a business“. In other words, she understood what I was asking, but just didn’t know how to answer just yet. Of course, this will change in the future.

And this is where the data comes in

When Apple says they’ll get better with usage – don’t be fooled. The usage won’t actually improve the visual map experience that much – they probably already knew that Brooklyn Bridge don’t look so good. And they’ve already had the traffic data pumping in from the previous incarnation for years.

No, this is about Siri. As Apple gets real-world usage of a completely voice-drive application, because it needs to be, and it practically begs to be, they’re developing the deepest, most comprehensive understanding of how travel gets done, not just how maps look and feel.

So this is classic Apple – focus on learning how to make things better, not just copying what already exists.

Roadmap for Siri

Siri, as navigator, of course needs a roadmap. Based on my previous blog post, here’s a suggested roadmap for Siri actions. My humble suggestions for the product manager for this feature at Apple (or for the corresponding person at Google + Google Now, natch!)

  • [done] Spoken directions with Siri’s voice – “Next turn in 300 feet”
  • [done] Routing and rerouting commands, using Contacts information – “Take me home”
  • [done] Gas nearby – “Are there any gas stations near the route”
  • [untested] Adding gas stations as waypoints – “Siri: Added Shell gas station as waypoint”
  • Send message about current route to someone – “Let Abha know when I’ll reach home”
  • Notice unexpected slowdown and proactively suggest rerouting – “Siri: We seem to be stuck in traffic, but I have an alternate routing suggestion for you”
  • Find parking spot at destination – “What are the parking options at the destination?”
  • Nirvana – “Siri, let’s go home, but stop by Pete’s laundry and the Safeway near our home on the way”

Now, if only Siri could understand my accent well…

Amit

You are stuck with the profile pic you picked in 2007

It’s true. In the early days of the Internet, you were know by your handle, thankfully those days are past. For the better, or perhaps worse, you are identified by your profile pic now – and dare you change it!

Quick, do you recognize these people?

Of course you do.

A profile pic that’s instantly recognizable is so important, that people are wary of changing it, much as they might hate it.

Here’s an interesting example. Dharmesh Shah recently updated his old, pixellated avatar – but chose to keep the exact same pose and expression in the new one, to avoid resetting the instant recognizability. Smart!

Amit

Kenshoo is about to get acquired by IBM for $300 million

So, there are two possibilities.

  • A celestial, well-coordinated practical joke is being played on me (good job, guys – I fell for it!)
  • OR, Kenshoo is about to get acquired by IBM for $300 million.

How do I know? Either I’m being a good sleuth, or a big dummy. Decide for yourself, and comment below!

The first clues: Blog post on January 16

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Orchestra – great todo app (plus a feature request)

I’ve been enjoying using the Orchestra web and iPhone app experience quite a lot. Sharing and collaborating on to-do lists is a breeze – and the price can’t be beat!

A couple of features would make it beyond awesome. First, the ability to add more than one item to a list – with just one email. They currently support adding items by email – but only one at a time.

Second, and this one is complicated, I’d like to be able to use the earphone remote on the iPhone to add new items.

You see, the Voice Notes app on the iPhone allows you to control it with the earphone remote – click to start taking a note, click again to stop. This makes it super easy to take notes when, say, you are driving.

Imagine you could do the same with Orchestra. It already supports adding todos by voice – they’d just have to trigger this functionality when the earphone buttons are pressed.

Simple and useful!

Amit

32-year-old video of Steve Jobs, underscoring that Apple’s priorities lie in software

Even 3 decades ago, Steve Jobs had a clear vision of software‘s role in making computing personal. In this clip, dated a mere 4 years from the founding of Apple, he describes how he wants to use all this new hardware computing power to make the 1-on-1 interaction with a computer go smoother.

(From a rare clip contributed to the Computer History Museum by Regis McKenna)

Skip to 12:17 where he talks about this, specifically saying:

…we’re gonna start chewing up power specifically to help that 1-on-1 interaction go smoother – and specifically not, to actually do the number crunching and database management and word processing, we’re gonna actually start applying a lot of that power specifically to help us remove that barrier…

Of course, as with all great founders, he was quite optimistic about how soon this would happen:

…it looks like the timing is just right for that to occur. So hopefully, when we have our international Applecore meeting, the 3rd or 4th one from now, we’ll all be able to talk about how we’ve solved that problem, because I really think it’s gonna happen…

It’s incredible how well products Apple produced in the last 3 decades, under Steve Jobs, hold up against this articulation of Apple’s software strategy – and explains the inordinate level of effort expended in getting the user experience right. Apple products have a better user experience than other companies building similar products – not because they have incredible designers – but because these designers are building to solve a different, more aspirational, more human goal.

John Gruber’s recent post on Isaacson completely missing this centrality of software in the Steve Jobs narrative reminded me of this clip. People who marvel at how iPhone is truly a software-first device shouldn’t be surprised – Steve’s Apple has always been a software company first; they don’t make hardware because the margins are high, but because they need a certain kind of hardware to make the software vision a reality.

Amit@akumar

Modeling information dissemination on Twitter in formal Networking terms

Information geeks all over are relying on Twitter to keep them informed about everything that’s relevant to them. Was there an earthquake? What do people think of Google’s Privacy changes? What are the most interesting facts about the Facebook S-1? Where did everyone go for dinner last night?

Assuming you follow people relevant to your interests, and given enough time, someone will push what you need to know, right into your Twitter stream.

How does this happen? After all, we check Twitter only a few times a day, and only consume tweets originating around that time. Why don’t we miss out on major news events or interesting information?

Twitter’s product conventions and user dynamics make it more than just a glorified soapbox for the masses – I think it can in fact be analyzed as a formal information dissemination network, with clear parallels to traditional Computer Networks.

Parallels with Computer Networks

The Universe keeps you informed…

Structurally, Twitter streams are just a list of tweets from people one follows, sorted by the time of creation. Conceptually, however, we could view this stream as a multiplexed stream of information about various topics; with each person one follows contributing to various topics simultaneously, and to different degrees.
For instance, a set of people being followed might be tweeting about SES, another commenting on a football match that’s going on, while yet another set could be discussing the Facebook S-1. Of course, the people in these sets might very well overlap, with each such person participating in multiple conversations at about the same time. All of these tweets intersperse, and a picture of various topics emerges simultaneously.

In some sense, the Universe is conspiring to inform and educate, even if the people one follows couldn’t care less about our intellectual growth.

…in Tweet-sized chunks that resemble IP packets…

Due to the 140-character constraint, tweeters comment on topics in tweet-sized chunks. While they might sometimes continue the same thought over multiple tweets, generally, each tweet stands alone. Each of these tweets can be considered a separate informational entity as it flows through the Twitter network, being shared, retweeted and commented on.

Just like in IP networks, each tweet is expendable, since the underlying network is understood to be lossy. In other words, any given tweet could potentially be viewed by no one, and that’s perfectly consistent with the expectations of the network.

…via people acting like repeaters and routers…

As people interact with tweets, they act like repeaters and routers. When one retweets, for example, we’re essentially rebroadcasting an informational ‘packet’ from one subnet (one comprised of the followers of the person you’re retweeting) to a different ‘subnet’, the one comprised of all your followers.

In addition, since the retweets don’t have to happen right at the instant of the initial tweet, a retweet increases the TTL, ie, ‘time-to-live’ of the initial tweet. For instance, a tweet might be posted at 9:05am. It gets retweeted by someone who checked Twitter at 10:30am. Now, this retweet might be seen by someone who first checks Twitter at 11:35am that day – even if they missed the initial tweet.

The more people you’re following that have related interests, the more likely this routing effect is likely to happen, so connecting to relevant routers (active twitter users within relevant domains) is critical.

…while handling nodes that are down…

With a large enough number of followers with related interests, there might be enough critical mass for interesting information to flow, even if some part of the network is sleeping, in a flight, or busy in meetings!

In other words, there would be packet loss, but if there are enough nodes in the network, information flow would not be significantly impeded.

…for a reasonably lossless delivery.

This is still a pretty lossy channel, but as information dissemination architectures go, it seems to me to be a fairly robust organically evolving system. It certainly seems to be working very well for me!

Twitter doesn’t have to be real-time for this to work

Interestingly,  in this postulation, Twitter’s being real-time  is incidental, just like the fact that IP is ‘real-time’ is incidental to TCP/IP. In fact, the existence of ‘IP over Avian Carriers‘ shows that real-time-ness isn’t critical to the design of networking protocols – that’s just a repercussion of using an underlying electromagnetic substrate where bits flow pretty fast.

More analysis needed

I might be imagining things, but there seems to be enough meat in here for a PhD or two. I just don’t know if it will be in the Computer Science department, or the Sociology department!

Or, I might be way off base. Please comment below!

Amit

Photo edits made on iOS appear as reversible, non-destructive adjustments in Aperture | Finer Things in iOS

ApertureExpert.com noted a little while ago that edits made with iOS’s built-in photo tools appear as adjustments in Aperture. If you enable iCloud’s Photo Stream feature, any photos you edit in the Photos app will appear with the adjustments badge. In Aperture, you can hide and show the adjustments you made on iOS, or revert to the original photo entirely.

via Photo edits made on iOS appear as reversible, non-destructive adjustments in Aperture | Finer Things in iOS.

What makes startups work, or not work, in India? 5 founders share their secrets (highlights)

Lexity Labs started in Bangalore mid-2011, and we’ve been growing leaps and bounds since. It’s a core technology center for us – no outsourcing balderdash here – and we recruit top researchers and technologist from all over India.

To coincide with my visit to this office, Lexity organized two talks on entrepreneurship, in Delhi and Bangalore. The startup ecosystem in India is really taking off, and we are doing our part in helping it grow!

@ IIT Delhi – Rajul and Amit on Startups across the time/space continuum

Rajul Garg and I were roommates at IIT Delhi, and took different routes in our entrepreneurial journey. He’s now with Sunstone Business School, having started what’s now GlobalLogic right after school, in India; while I completed a masters program, and worked at a few different companies, before starting Lexity in the US.

We had a healthy audience, and covered a lot of topics. A few tidbits:

  • We discussed how there was a lot of investor interest in ecommerce startups in India last year, but there’s been more scrutiny of these businesses in the recent months.
  • What’s ‘hot’ in the startup zeitgeist really depends on, unfortunately, what the current hype cycle is. When outsourcing companies were growing leaps and bounds, a lot of startups popped up in that space. These days, the same story is being repeated in eCommerce.
  • Pivots are natural, and sometimes dramatic – one of Rajul’s companies went from a product company to a services company, while the other started as a services operation, and ended up building a product.
  • Mobile startups in India face the prospect of working with telco operators, know to be tough negotiators. You can control your destiny better with an app-oriented mobile startup, but distribution is still a tough problem.
  • Starting a company right out of school has the big advantage of a low burn rate – you can sustain yourself for much longer as you figure things out. Once you have a family, this becomes much harder to do (but not impossible).
  • Traditionally, India businesses have been averse to paying much for B2B products. As a result, B2B enterprise companies haven’t really taken off in India

@ Claytopia, Bangalore – Amiya, Anshuman and Amit on Building Startups

Founders of 3 hot startups – Zipdial (Amiya Pathak), MyGola (Anshuman Bapna) and Lexity (Amit) came together to chat in an intimate setting about what it really takes to do a startup, especially in India.

We had a very lively discussion with the audience – here are a few highlights.

  • When starting out, err on the side of sharing more, rather than less. Talking to people helps make ideas stronger, as each successive critique forces you to refine the idea further and solidify the pitch, feature, or product.
  • Valley-returned founders definitely miss the sense of urgency and excitement of Silicon Valley – simple things like overhearing other founders on Caltrain discussing their progress, and getting motivated by it.
  • Indian ‘jugaad’ is the name of the game – when faced with constant power cuts, MyGola packed up their bags and went to work out of Sri Lanka for a few weeks. Now, it’s an annual tradition!
  • All the founders acknowledged, to some surprise, that they always have a Plan B/Plan C tucked away in their back pockets. While you might be unflinchingly focussed on executing on Plan A, it’s also your responsibility to know what the various strategic options are, and keep them warm.
  • It’s natural, expected, and kinda important to take your time finding the right co-founders. You’re looking for someone with complementary skills, and make sure to ‘date’ for a reasonable period of time before committing.
  • Food – it’s important! Breaking bread together brings teams closer, and has all sorts of positive side-effects.
  • Startups often misdirect casual observers about what their most profitable products are, or downplay features that caused them to take off. In fact, often, the first products or features totally bomb.
  • Successful entrepreneurs in India don’t habitually share their stories, and every wave of startups has to learn from the same mistakes again and again. We agreed that talks like these are invaluable in spreading the knowledge and helping budding startups.

We really enjoyed sharing our experiences with entrepreneurs and students of the startup ecosystem. Stay tuned for more such talks in the future!

Amit - @akumar

Free idea for Apple: 3D VR video conferencing via a back-facing camera for the Macbook Pro

So here’s a germ of an idea. What if the Macbook Pros had a second camera, mounted right on the other side of the lid, across from the current camera?

Full-room video-conferencing

Let me set the scene for you. You’re at the office,  trying to setup an impromptu Skype conversation with your remote office (like ours, which you should join, by the way – it’s awesome). Let’s also assume you don’t have deep pockets, so you can’t afford to buy fancy high-end Cisco Telepresence products.

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8+1 principles that guide Lexity (aka, why we are the way we are)

We founded Lexity two years ago to build a different kind of an advertising/marketing company. While we’ve iterated our product, tried different pricing models, and watched experiments become full-fledged products in their own right – the core principles underlying Lexity haven’t changed.

We’re a fat startup – not measured by dollars in the bank (though we have a few), but by the grandness of the ambition, rigorous thought process, and relentless progress towards a clearly articulated goal. We believe that fundamental disruption in an industry as huge and well-established as advertising can’t come from feature companies (Dave McClure be damned).

In this post, I lay down some of our guiding principles – not only what we do, but as importantly, what we don’t do. All out in the open – for your feedback!

The complete list

  1. Small retailers first
  2. eCommerce first
  3. Simple, simple, simple
  4. Fair, affordable, upfront pricing
  5. Full transparency on ROI – and in real time
  6. Complete solutions for every ad channel
  7. Customized multi-channel marketing
  8. Relentless automation
  9. Bonus: Global ground-up

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