For the developers among us, we recently launched the monthly Hack Deploy Scale tech talk series.
Our first official speaker was Dave Pacheco of Joyent, talking about how Joyent uses node.js in production.
Our thanks to Dave and Joyent for a great talk.
Don’t see a video above? Watch on YouTube
See more photos from the event
December 2, 2013 - 5 days ago
With an IPO looming, Twitter has a big road ahead.
In conversation with Betty Liu of Bloomberg’s “In the Loop at the Half” broadcast, Jon Elvekrog (@jonelvekrog) said Twitter is well-positioned for a successful IPO.
If you just look from a macro perspective, with Facebook now back way beyond their IPO price, at an all-time high, the overall market even this week, surging, from that timing perspective, a great time to get out. If you look specifically at Twitter, and there will be a lot of comparisons between Facebook and Twitter, they’re at a very different stage. Facebook already had 1.2 billion users, Twitter is somewhere between 200 million and 400 million, so they’re still in this hockey stick growth phase, which I think the Street will really like.
Listen to the whole interview or read the transcript below.
ELVEKROG: I think there’s a lot of reasons why now’s a great time for Twitter to go public. If you just look from a macro perspective, with Facebook now back way beyond their IPO price, at an all-time high, the overall market even this week, surging, from that timing perspective, a great time to get out. If you look specifically at Twitter, and there will be a lot of comparisons between Facebook and Twitter, they’re at a very different stage. Facebook already had 1.2 billion users, Twitter is somewhere between 200 million and 400 million, so they’re still in this hockey stick growth phase, which I think the Street will really like.
LIU: How big of a moat, as Warren Buffet likes to say, do they have around them so they don’t get beaten by a younger, more nimble competitor?
ELVEKROG: There are two points that are really relevant. During the Facebook IPO, or even during the early days of Facebook, there was a view that social networking would be a winner-take-all game. But it’s very clear now that there are a lot of people — even the same people — on a lot of different social networks for different reasons: in Facebook to be with friends and family, in LinkedIn from a business perspective, and Twitter from a news perspective.
There’ll be a lot of room for new social networks: Pinterest, Instagram, etc. One of the other pieces, that’s hugely in Twitter’s favor is the fact that it’s really a news feed when you boil it down. That utility aspect, the fact that it has effectively replaced RSS, it’s the way people find out a lot of breaking news, find out about celebrities. That’s really built into the fabric. And it’s a really functional tool, so from a longevity perspective I think that’ll be around for a long, long time.
LIU: But isn’t that a fairly easy technology to replicate and do yourself?
ELVEKROG: [Twitter is] at a point where they have so much momentum behind them. There’s an aspect where you almost want that to be a natural monopoly, one place where all that info is sourced, so if you’re Shaquille O’Neal you’re not having to post to fifteen different sites. So if they play their cards right, they’re in a really good competitive position. If you look everywhere, from sports fields to TV commercials to entertainers, it’s all about some hashtag, or “follow me on Twitter.” That’s really powerful. They’ve really ingrained themselves into society and into business.
LIU: What does Twitter have to do to prove to investors that they are worth it to invest in? What are investors going to want to see?
ELVEKROG: They’re very smart over at Twitter, from Dick Costolo on down. They have their financial story in line, and I think that will work out and investors will like that. Probably the hardest thing is — people still have this idea that Twitter is something where you post what you have for lunch, something that’s not an actual tool or a real business, and will brands spend big dollars on Twitter. And that’s one of the nice things about the IPO. Once Twitter’s public and has their financials out there, people will look at them and take them more seriously. Not that they don’t already, but that’s just another certification layer, if you will, and that will help propel them forward. And once people understand the usage cases better for how people gather information or break news around the globe and move away from that old idea, that will help investors and their mindset.
Listen to the rest of the interview on Soundcloud.
What do you think it will take for Twitter to achieve an impressive initial public offering? Let us know in the comments.
September 16, 2013 - 2 months ago
Marketers value location for targeting their social ads. But identifying where people are isn’t as simple as it seems. Users’ locations are more nuanced than simply “where are they now?” Social ad firms discussing location often leave this out, for simplicity. We don’t blame them: with billions of interest connections being generated every day, social offers a lot of data for analysts to crawl.
Public social data can show us the difference between where people say they are and where they’re actually spending time. For example, you might have added “Austin” to your social profile, but all your latest check-ins and geo-tagged posts are in Louisiana.
This article is part one of a two-part series on understanding location in social.
What is Geographic Drift?
So you may state you’re somewhere but be observed somewhere else. The difference between your stated location and your observed location is your geographic drift.
It’s tempting to think of geographic drift as a measure of honesty: why would people say they’re somewhere they actually aren’t? But people’s conception of location doesn’t stop at cartographic borders.
In fact, stated location can illustrate how people imagine a geographic area. We’ll explore geographic drift and the reasons behind it with a few visualizations.
When a City Is Bigger Than a City
The map above marks out six different metro areas. The circles around each city is a hint at how how widely (or tightly) people conceive of the city.
Take Chicago, for example. Of all social users who say they’re in Chicago, more people were observed outside of Chicago’s blue circle than inside it. Put another way, people who say they’re from Chicago are often not even near Chicago.
By stark contrast, the geographic drift for most who state their location as Jackson, Mississippi is much more tightly confined. The same principle applies to this part of the chart — more people who say they’re in Jackson are observed outside the circle — but the drift is much less.
Measuring Drift: Defining Location in Social
The idea that people aren’t where they say they are is huge. Let’s back up and talk about how we measure geographic drift. How do we know to attach locations to people?
Contrary to what many people might think, there’s no single way that people record and report their locations. In social platforms, it happens a number of ways:
- People on all social platforms add real or vanity locations to social profile bios
- Foursquare and Facebook users check in at locations on platforms
- Twitter users elect to attach GPS location data to their posts
- Apps use IP addresses to distinguish their users
Stated vs Observed Locations: What’s the difference between where I am and where I say I am?
The 140 Proof Labs team differentiated between stated locations (“I’m from Chicago!”) and observed locations (You’re actually in Indiana!) by starting with a few assumptions. One assumption, for example, is that automated location tagging is less likely to be affected by user bias and thus can be an observed characteristic. So observed location data includes GPS tagging and IP addresses. If it happened without much help from you, you were observed. And stated location data includes profile-reported locations and check-ins. If you clicked or tapped it, you stated it.
Why Do People Drift?
Major factors affecting drift can include: commuting, clarity, credibility, and social graph distribution.
The map below (right) hows how commuting can increase geographic drift for a population in Los Angeles, a city known for its freeway traffic.
It’s the same story for New York (left): wide availability of transit makes it easy for self-proclaimed New Yorkers to show up well outside of Manhattan.
The chart on the left is mapping people who say they’re in New York (defined with a yellow border as Manhattan). All the colored shapes outside Manhattan show where those “New Yorkers” actually are. Same for Los Angeles: people who say they’re in Los Angeles are actually observed in a wide distribution across Southern California.
Another explanation for drift around very large cities could also be that people understand that names like “Los Angeles” and “New York” are more recognizable than “Bridgeport” and “Santa Ana”, so people in social are more likely to just say they’re in LA or NY. It’s simpler that way.
Why DON’T People Drift?
Here is an example of two cities that, by contrast, show little geographic drift.
People who say they’re in Napa tend to be observed in Napa. Why? You might already know that Napa, California is famous for its wines and attracts tourists year-round. But what about the residents? They’re largely retirees, families, and local business owners. So they don’t have as much reason to leave Napa as a high-octane Manhattan resident or an LA road warrior.
And Irvine, California? It’s another suburban town of about 215,000 people — most of whom are families and over 10% of which are college students. While Irvine-dwellers get around a bit more than the Napalese, they generally stick closely to Irvine.
Stay tuned for part two, in which we examine how diverse interests (defined as personas) are represented regionally.
This study was authored by @williamcotton, @jm3, @NotoriousKRD, and @vnaylon of the 140 Proof Labs team.
September 16, 2013 - 2 months ago
We at 140 Proof are proud to announce that Matt Rosenberg has joined us as SVP Marketing. In his new role, Rosenberg will shape the company’s brand and product stories, build the company’s industry profile, and develop programs to support advertising sales efforts.
Rosenberg joins recent Ed Darmanin, 140 Proof’s new Chief Revenue Officer, as the company expands its executive presence in the New York media market. Already in 2013, the company has grown advertising reach over 100 precent, launched new social ad solutions for Pinterest and expanded its native ads into social sites and blogging platforms such as Tumblr and WordPress.
“140 Proof’s business has been exploding and with a seasoned marketer like Matt and a sales leader like Ed joining the executive team, we expect to further build our profile in New York and nationally and accelerate our growth,” said 140 Proof CEO and co-founder Jon Elvekrog. “Matt’s agency, client-side, publishing and ad tech experience is as valuable a combination as it is hard to find. Having been on all sides of the marketing ecosystem, he has the business understanding and organizational empathy to deliver focused, relevant, useful communications.”
Rosenberg joins 140 Proof with a 17 year history of thought leadership and innovation in the digital marketing industry. He most recently led marketing for New York-based ad tech vendor Taykey, and prior to that was VP Solutions at SAY Media, where he founded the global strategy and market research groups. Previously, he led business development and client services as EVP at boutique digital creative agency Big Spaceship, and he oversaw media and creative accounts at Organic. Rosenberg was also an early digital marketing hire at Sony Pictures, where he worked on marketing over 300 movies. Before going all in on digital marketing, he was a television writer.
“I couldn’t be happier to be joining 140 Proof,” said Rosenberg. “The technology is spectacularly effective, which is a great foundation for the guy whose job is to promote the technology, and the Blended Interest Graph is an elegant way to identify and deliver the right audience for an advertiser that also happens to drive measurably better performance.”
September 11, 2013 - 2 months ago
Who are the most in-demand audiences in social? While consumers are everywhere, marketers and advertisers value certain audiences highly for their social campaigns.
The analysts at 140 Proof Labs examined demand data for audiences in social, ranking the most requested audiences for Q1 2013. The more highly an audience is ranked, the more fervently brands were trying to reach it.
The #3 most in-demand audience was Sports Fans, and the #2 top persona was Mainstream Music Lovers. Who do you guess topped the list at #1?
Learn about the top 10 most desirable personas and where they are found in social:
If the embedded presentation above doesn’t appear in your browser, click to view Top Personas in Social Advertising on Slideshare.
We’ll update the top personas list regularly to keep you apprised of who brands are looking for in social.
September 11, 2013 - 2 months ago
We welcome our friends and all innovation-curious people to visit us at our Detroit and San Francisco offices this fall for the OpenCo conference.
It’s an open house for startups and innovative teams, hosted by the businesses themselves. Interested in who’s driving the “innovation economy”? Meet the people, see the spaces, and hear the stories behind such names as Uber, Adobe, Red Bull House of Art, Soundcloud, and Wired.
This year, 140 Proof is participating in both the Detroit and the San Francisco OpenCo events. We’ll be sharing the story of how 140 Proof got its start, why we’re on a mission to socialize advertising, and why these particular cities are important places for us to call home.
OpenCo Detroit: September 12
Shane Doyle will be leading our Detroit session on Thursday, September 12, at 11:00 am. Come to the Elevator Building at 1938 Franklin Street. Sign up to attend
If you’re planning to attend the Detroit conference and are looking for more recommendations, visit our friends at Drought later that same day, at 4:30 PM.
OpenCo San Francisco: October 11
John Manoogian III will be presenting at 140 Proof headquarters on Friday, October 11 at 10:30 am. Come to 77 De Boom Street (off 2nd, next to 21st Amendment brewery). Sign up to attend and get a head start on learning why we love San Francisco.
We’re looking forward to seeing you and sharing!
September 3, 2013 - 3 months ago
We at 140 Proof are proud to announce that Ed Darmanin has joined us as Chief Revenue Officer. In his new role, Darmanin will lead 140 Proof’s efforts to drive its A-player sales team to full speed to keep up with rapid market growth.
Darmanin is an experienced sales leader who has been building digital products and sales teams since 1998. Darmanin joins 140 Proof from AccuWeather, where he rebuilt the AccuWeather sales team and revenue strategy, focusing on top 100 advertisers and their ability to leverage audience growth across mobile, tablet and desktop platforms. Key accomplishments include launching a new iPad sponsorship strategy with premium advertisers including Marriott, Jeep and Lincoln.
“140 Proof has attracted some really outstanding new team members over the past year to help us keep pace with our explosive growth, and Ed Darmanin joining as CRO is another feather in our cap,” said 140 Proof CEO and co-founder Jon Elvekrog. “Ed is known in the industry for being a methodical leader and outstanding mentor to his sales team, with the proven ability to build and nurture relationships and grow business. We’re thrilled to welcome him to the 140 Proof team.”
In his previous role as Vice President of Sales for The Weather Channel, Darmanin helped match the unique audience mindset with brand advertisers across online, desktop, mobile and television media. In 2007, he led the effort to grow The Weather Channel’s international revenue, hiring and training sales teams in the UK and France while helping to launch new sites in four languages.
Before working on the interactive side with The Weather Channel, Darmanin was on the sales team at Fox Cable Networks, helping with the re-launch of FX. Upon graduation from the University of Delaware, he got his start in the media business with DDB Needham’s buying team as a specialist in national TV, Radio and Syndication.
August 19, 2013 - 3 months ago
Dear San Francisco,
We love you. Thanks for being our home the last four years as we’ve grown 140 Proof. Our founders, Jon Elvekrog and John Manoogian III, are from Michigan but knew that San Francisco was the place to get things done. And since then, our team has grown by a multiple of eight.
Four-plus years in SOMA and still going.
When our founding team got together, before 140 Proof was even the germ of an idea, most people thought of Silicon Valley, not SF, as the Bay Area’s center of technology innovation. But we thought there was more fun to be had in San Francisco than Palo Alto. We sweated it out for a couple years in a SOMA basement, and when it was time to start 140 Proof in 2010, we moved to our awesome digs on 2nd Street.
Let us tell you about our favorite haunts.
At 11:50 am every day, the “burrito train” departs for Mexico au Parc in South Park (one of our hackers is nicknamed “Burrito”). Plus Mehfil Indian, Del Popolo, JapaCurry, and Off the Grid are fun. We wave at the brewers next door at 21st Amendment. And House of Air in the Presidio is one of our favorite places to blow off steam.
We love our cyclists and public transit commuters.
Half of our employees take Muni to work, and a quarter of our workforce commutes by bicycle on a daily basis. Our office has bike parking for 14, a general-use bicycle any employee can borrow. Stop by our office on De Boom, off 2nd Street, if you need a pump. If you want to discover other neat startups by bicycle, we recommend you join the Startup Bike SF meetup.
You’ve been really good to us, San Francisco. Thanks for everything.
August 16, 2013 - 3 months ago