Our ‘Profile: A Day in the Life of’ feature takes a look at some of the global professionals working across performance marketing. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the flourishing industry. This week we head to San Francisco to speak to Mike Driscoll, CEO at Metamarkets. 


Mike Driscoll.

Job title and company: 

CEO of Metamarkets.

In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?

Metamarkets is a real-time analytics platform for the digital advertising space that gives programmatic marketplaces, buyers, and sellers the ability to visualize trends as they happen and the freedom to focus on building deeper client relationships instead of software.

What are the company’s unique selling points? 

In a space where hundreds of thousands of dollars in ads can be bought instantly, there’s a significant advantage for those who can see the results immediately instead of waiting hours or days.Metamarkets’ technology brings reporting down to 6 seconds and helps clients make sense of the complexity and enormity of their data streams to gain operational intelligence about their businesses and the larger market.

Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?

We are particularly enthused about the growth we’ve seen in our client base of mobile video firms, Vdopia being a prime example.  Metamarkets and Vdopia Inc., the world’s largest mobile video advertising company featuring a global programmatic buying and selling platform named Chocolate, partnered to bring real-time analytics and reporting to its platform. This partnership enables Vdopia’s clients and partners to buy and sell more effectively by monitoring their marketplace activity in real-time.

Duration in current role:

Two and a half years.

Where are you based?

San Francisco, CA

Previous performance marketing-related companies you have worked at: 

I founded Metamarkets in 2010 after spending more than a decade developing data analytics solutions for online retail, life sciences, digital media, insurance, and banking. Prior to Metamarkets, I founded and sold two companies: Dataspora, a life science analytics company, and CustomInk.com, an early pioneer in customized apparel.

 My background is not in ad-tech and rather, engineering big data, which has provided me with an in-depth understanding of layering data on top of digital advertising.

What are your main job responsibilities?

Fred Wilson, a Venture Capitalist, has said that there are just three responsibilities of every founder/CEO of a start-up.  

  1. Maintain the vision
  2. Hire great people
  3. Don’t run out of money

I feel these sum up my responsibilities fairly well.

What top three websites can you be found browsing during your lunch hour? 

Like a lot of people, I think less about websites and more about apps:  the three apps I use most are Twitter, Prismatic, and Kindle.

On Twitter, I follow about 300 thought leaders in programmatic advertising, which usually links me to articles on MediaPost, AdExchanger, Ad Age, etc.  Prismatic is an automated news curation service app that brings me news on the venture and technology world.  Kindle is a way for me to keep up with actual long-form content – the last two books I’ve read were Andrew McAfee’s “The Second Machine Age” and I’m currently reading Isaacson’s “The Innovators”.

What are your top three tips for someone looking to get their hands on a job like yours?

  1. Learn to code:  As Marc Andreessen said, “software is consuming the world.  You can’t manage something you don’t understand.”  Every young person should learn to code before they are 30 — I didn’t start until I was 25 and working on the Human Genome Project.
  2. Learn to network:  Find people who share your passions and get to know them.
  3. Learn to sell:  Whether it’s selling your ideas, you products, or yourself, everyone should understand the basic art of persuasion.  (One book everyone should read on that topic:  _Influence_ by Cialdini).