A (mostly) tech podcast hosted by Jeff Weisbein, an entrepreneur, blogger, tech guy, marketer, and early adopter. Jeff foundedBestTechie.com at the age of 13 and turned it into a successful online publication focused on technology. Each week, Jeff interviews different guests from the tech industry including founders, CEO’s, executives, journalists, and more to discuss important industry topics. New episodes released every Tuesday.
You can follow BestTechie and Jeff on Twitter: @besttechie @jeffweisbein
Episode 55: We spoke with Tiffany Rose, Co-founder at Lux Life Now (formerly Big Crowd Media), an influencer firm which specializes in loop marketing campaigns for big names including Amber Rose and Kyle Richards. We discuss how to build and measure successful influencer campaigns, the importance of Instagram Stories for brands, and how to best utilize hashtags. Enjoy!
READ MORE: Lux Life Now co-founder Jonathan Rose talks about how to measure influencer campaign ROI.
Tiffany Rose, Co-Founder of Lux Life Now (formerly Big Crowd Media), is a former actress and model who has graced the front covers of MAXIM and FHM worldwide, and shot to fame in the UK on the TV show HollyOaks. Through Tiffany's hollywood contacts, she was able to create a network of A list celebrities that shared her vision of driving celebrities Instagram traffic to corporate sponsors’ Instagram accounts. Lux Life Now was born and has resulted in clients gaining tens of thousands of new customers with reported spikes in sales and engagement.
Episode 54: We spoke with RJ Talyor, Founder & CEO at Pattern89. We discuss how RJ helped pioneer the concept of SMS marketing in 2002, his time as VP of Messaging Products at Salesforce, and how what he's building at Pattern89 is changing marketing for brands like Fabletics, LIDS, Finish Line, and more! Enjoy!
R.J.’s career started at ExactTarget, where he was the mastermind behind the company’s mobile strategy. He would eventually create the concept of SMS marketing in 2002, leading to Bank of America to sending its first SMS text. His leadership was instrumental when Salesforce later acquired ExactTarget for $2.5 billion in 2013, where he would become the vice president of mobile products for the company.
A couple years later, he wanted to take his knowledge on marketing, social media and analytics to create a company that would easily integrate Artificial Intelligence with social media marketing, and launched Pattern89. Since its founding in 2018, the company already has more than 700 customers, specifically within the e-commerce industry, with customers such as Fabletics, LIDS, Just Fab, Finish Line, and more. Customers seeing an ROI as high as 65% in as little as 15 days.
Episode 53: Yes, good news! We're back after a little break. I graduated from the Harvard Business Analytics Program in September and have been working on new episodes which will be released every Tuesday! Today we're speaking with Oren Zaslansky, CEO at Flock Freight. We discuss why the shipping industry is ripe for disruption, tips for outsiders of Silicon Valley to raise capital, and what to look for when selecting a Board of Directors.
Oren Zaslansky is a shipping industry veteran and CEO of San Diego-based Flock Freight, a company working to modernize the $40B LTL (less than a truckload) freight industry leveraging algorithms and logistics automation to carpool freight.
Oren was born both into freight and entrepreneurship. His parents worked for a mover before they started their own freight brokerage. At 21 he started a trucking company and soon after a freight brokerage. Realizing he wanted to work ON the industry not just IN the industry, he started Flock Freight to sidestep common shipping problems.
Episode 52: We spoke with Mitch Grasso, CEO at Beautiful.AI, a company creating a newer and smarter way to design your presentations. Prior to Beautiful.AI, Mitch founded SlideRocket which was acquired by VMWare. We discuss raising venture funding, his approach to customer acquisition, important design rules, and more.
Mitch is a serial entrepreneur with strong technology, design and product skills. Prior to Beautiful.AI, he founded SlideRocket, cloud-based presentation productivity software focused on team collaboration and co-founded AdSpace Networks, a digital signage network deployed to over 200 malls and reaching over 48M unique viewers/month.
Episode 51: We spoke with Sujan Patel, co-founder at Ramp Ventures, the firm behind products like Mailshake and RightInbox. We discuss building web-based businesses, how to generate leads and interest for new businesses, enhancing your SEO, and what it means to take risk.
Sujan is the co-founder of Ramp Ventures, a firm that helps companies leverage the latest and greatest marketing strategy to fuel their businesses. Sujan has over 13 years of internet marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Sales Force, Mint, Intuit and many other Fortune 500 caliber companies.
Episode 50: We spoke with Bryan Ciambella, Principal at B Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in the next generation of groundbreaking tech. We discuss Bryan's background as a serial entrepreneur, what he looks for when investing, what industry verticals he's currently interested in, and what it's like working with Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin.
Episode 49: We spoke with Larry O'Connor, Founder at OWC, a computer hardware company known for its Mac-based upgrade kits. We discuss how Larry started OWC 30+ years ago, the company's relationship with Apple, what Larry thinks Apple should do with the MacBook Pro, and why Apple's RAM is so expensive.
Also, a quick programming note—we're going to off for a couple weeks but fear not, we'll be back soon with new episodes!
Episode 48: We spoke with Ash Karbasfrooshan, CEO at WatchMojo, one of the largest YouTube channels with more than 20 million subscribers. We discuss how Ash realized YouTube was the best platform for video, why listicles have such staying power, how to keep your audience fully engaged, and if he's concerned about brand safety on YouTube.
Episode 47: We spoke with Jesus Chavez, CEO at Vertical Networks, a company building a mobile-first premium content studio featuring hit shows like Brother and Phone Swap. We discuss what it means to be mobile-first, what the future of mobile video looks like from a content and distribution standpoint, and what it's like being a first-time CEO.
Jesus has a deep understanding of digital operations, content marketing, social platforms and business strategy, prior to becoming CEO at Vertical Networks, he was most recently the COO for Mitu a digital media company focused on Latino youth. Before building digital organizations in the startup world, Jesus spent almost 9 years with Univision in multiple senior leadership roles where he ran digital operations and strategy for the Univision Television Group (UTG) and previously the Local Interactive Media Group. Under his leadership the UTG digital group achieved profitability. He also successfully led the expansion of the local digital business for the Radio and TV groups, re-launched 70 online and mobile sites in a seven-month period as well as the first Univision music branded app.
Episode 46: We spoke with Travis Bernard, Senior Director of Subscriptions and Audience Insights at TechCrunch. We discuss what audience development looks like at TechCrunch, what analytics TechCrunch utilizes (as well as who gets access to them), and the recent launch of Extra Crunch (including a sneak peek of what's to come).
Travis has helped TechCrunch nearly double its monthly active users since he started and is responsible for running paid and organic media campaigns to help promote TechCrunch's event business, resulting in millions of dollars in new revenue. He was also engaged in business development and partnership operations, including TechCrunch's work with Facebook Live, Messenger chat bot, and event integration with audio startup Otter.ai. He's currently running audience development for TechCrunch as well as leading the business operations and marketing effort behind Extra Crunch.
Episode 45: We spoke with John Biggs, entrepreneur and former TechCrunch East Coast Editor. He's currently working on projects including HypeHop, Tech4Reporters, and Typewriter Plus. We discuss TechCrunch in the early days, tips for pitching reporters, and ideas to save the media industry.
Episode 44: We spoke with Melanie Deziel, founder at Storyfuel and also an international keynote speaker who is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in native advertising and branded content. We discuss the biggest myths about content marketing, how to properly brainstorm your content, as well as how to distribute it effectively.
Hey guys, Jeff here from BestTechie.com! Today’s episode is more a quick update, as some of you may know in January I started in the Harvard Business Analytics Program and being that I do all the behind the scenes work of the podcast myself such as scheduling guests, research and writing of questions & topics, as well as editing and uploading, oh and of course hosting each episode—it’s been a little hectic around here. And that doesn’t even include my day-to-day stuff at BestTechie.
That being said, I plan to continue hosting the podcast and releasing every Tuesday. I’m currently working on booking a bunch of really great guests, in fact, some upcoming guests include, early TechCrunch editor and entrepreneur, John Biggs, leading native advertising and branded content expert, Melanie Deziel, founder & CEO at Taboola, Adam Singolda, Senior Director of Subscriptions and Audience Insights at TechCrunch, Travis Bernard, and so many more!
Thanks to everyone for listening, I’m super excited to continue releasing the podcast. I’d also encourage you to visit BestTechie.com for new content every day. If you want to get in touch with me, you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to tweet me @jeffweisbein or @besttechie.
Episode 43: We spoke with Callie Schweitzer, founder at The Callie Co, a creative strategy and consulting firm that helps businesses and individuals increase reach, relevance and revenue. She previously worked as Chief Content Officer at Thrive Global alongside Arianna Huffington. We discuss the future of media, including what Callie calls "conveners," how "town squares" will play an important role in the media landscape, and why engagement trumps everything.
Episode 42: We spoke with Apu Gupta, CEO at Curalate, a social commerce company that turns any image or video into a storefront for brands like Whole Foods, Nordstrom, and Crate & Barrel. We discuss how Curalate was born out of the ashes of a failed startup, the best ways to leverage influencers, the editorialization of ecommerce, and more.
Episode 41: We spoke with Alissa Fleck, Managing Editor at ICO Ranker, a site dedicated to providing honest in-depth ICO reviews and analysis. We discuss the current state of ICOs, what to look for when investing, and also spent time talking at length about crime and crypto including the anatomy of an ICO scam and which celebrities to be wary of.
Episode 40: We spoke with Manny Medina, CEO at Outreach, a sales engagement platform that increases the productivity of sales teams. We discuss what it was like to be on the original team building Amazon Web Services, the unique way he realized it was time to pivot his HR company into Outreach, and what it takes to create an effective cold email.
Episode 39: We spoke with Harj Taggar, co-founder & CEO at Triplebyte and one of the first partners at Y Combinator. We discuss his time at Y Combinator including how he evaluated startups and grew the program from 30 to 100 companies per batch. Plus, we talk ICOs and their benefits and drawbacks as well as whether blockchain will live up to the hype.
Episode 38: We spoke with Mike Murphy, Deputy Tech Editor at Quartz. We discuss how Quartz determines what to cover, whether an iPad Pro can replace your computer, what are the best tech gifts, CES, and so much more.
Also, a programming note: It has been such an incredible year and I want to thank all of our listeners and guests for tuning in every week. This will be the last episode for 2018 and we’ll be back with new episodes in early 2019. I hope everyone has a great holiday season and a happy new year!
Episode 35: We spoke with John Higginson, CTO at Enova. We discuss how the role of a CTO evolves as a company grows, exciting new technologies such as blockchain, and making difficult technical decisions.
Episode 34: We spoke with Taylor Lorenz, Staff Writer at The Atlantic. We discuss all different facets of internet culture—from YouTube stars and their drama, to teens using Instagram, to how to improve Twitter.
Episode 33: We spoke with Jacob Babcock, CEO & founder at NuCurrent. We discuss the juggling act of building a startup while working as an attorney, the move from wired to wireless power, and what the future of wireless power will actually look like.
Episode 32: We spoke with Nis Frome, co-founder at Alpha. We discuss how to build successful content marketing initiatives as well as new techniques and tactics content marketers should be using (but probably aren’t).
Episode 30: We spoke with Stacey Ferreira, co-founder & CEO at Forge. We discuss tips for how founders can successfully fundraise, the best way to ask for intros, and why millennials don't actually ruin everything.
Episode 29: We spoke with Paul Teshima, co-founder & CEO at Nudge.ai. This episode is all about sales! We discuss the most important elements of scaling your sales team, the future of sales, and how company culture can impact sales.
Episode 28: We spoke with Craig Vodnik, co-founder & CEO at cleverbridge. We discuss how he and his co-founders bootstrapped their company to profitability in two years, selling in the early days, and angel investing.
Episode 27: We spoke with Jeb Ory, co-founder & CEO at Phone2Action. We discuss how technology and politics are converging, advice for fellow entrepreneurs, and overcoming the challenges of a SaaS startup.
Episode 25: We spoke with Nick Cromydas, co-founder & CEO at Hunt Club. We discuss how he’s building a brand new type of recruiting company and how the Midwest is becoming a better place for entrepreneurs.
Episode 24: We spoke with Theresa Payton, former White House CIO in the George W Bush Administration and current CEO at Fortalice Solutions. We discuss securing the president’s technology, keeping our voting booths secure, and much more.
Episode 23: We spoke with Larry Gadea, founder of Envoy, a company solving office visitor registration. He’s also worked for Google and Twitter. We discuss figuring out pricing, company culture, and whether Twitter had a dedicated server rack for Justin Bieber.
Also, a quick programming note: I’ll be taking a few weeks off from TechieBytes, but fear not, we’ll be back with more awesome interviews soon. So stay tuned!
Episode 22: We spoke with Jason Amunwa, a SaaS expert who runs GrowthLook.com and who has spent several years building SaaS products, including popular website add-on Hello Bar. We discuss content analytics, identifying the right metrics for your company, and ways to reduce churn.
Episode 21: We spoke with Anthony Quintano, professional photographer and engagement editor at Honolulu Civil Beat. We discuss how to get more exposure, monetizing your work, and whether Flickr is better than Instagram.
Episode 20: We spoke with Rohan Castelino, VP of Marketing at IRIS.TV, a video personalization and programming platform. We discuss building a business with publishers, developing a loyal audience, and how to do video correctly.
Episode 19: We spoke with Alex Capecelatro, co-founder & CEO at Josh.ai, a home automation device built with AI. We discuss smart home automation, Internet of Things security, and why the company’s logo is a dog.
Episode 17: We spoke with Jonathan Levine, the founder & CEO of Master & Dynamic, a NYC-based audio company. We discuss how he's found success with Master & Dynamic, the challenges of manufacturing, and the future of audio.
Episode 16: We spoke with Roy Taylor, a former exec at AMD and Nvidia and current Advisor at Cubic Motion, an industry leading computer vision company. We discuss VR/AR (with a special focus on Hollywood and entertainment), growing sales from $0 to $300 million while at Nvidia, and more! Plus there’s a special treat towards the end.
Episode 14: We spoke with Mark Progano, a cofounder at Actively.ai, a company building an AI to make it easier to book and manage classes at fitness studios. We discuss how much data it takes to make a good AI, the future of AI and conversational UIs, and how to find success as an early stage startup.
Episode 13: We spoke with Ethan Agarwal, the founder & CEO of Aaptiv, an audio-based fitness app for iOS and Android. We discuss Aaptiv’s grow at all cost strategy and its recent pivot to a sustainable growth strategy as well as how other subscription based companies can do the same.
Episode 12: We spoke with Matt Hodges, a software engineer who developed technology for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. We discuss the Facebook and Cambridge Analytics story in detail, providing insights into how Aleksandr Kogan's personality quiz app worked, what Facebook users should know, and what this means for Facebook and developers going forward.
Episode 11: We spoke with David Drake, the Chairman of LDJ Capital, a multi-family office with a network based all over the world. Most recently David has been focused on investing and advising cryptocurrency and blockchain companies through ICOs. We discuss how he vets companies he advises and invests in, whether ICOs should be regulated, as well as whether or not he agrees with Jack Dorsey on Bitcoin becoming the world's single currency in 10 years.
Episode 10: We spoke with Toby Milstein, the Director of Business Development for Joy, a company that has built a magical hardware photo album. We discuss Joy, her approach to business development, and the importance of a strong team.
Episode 9: We spoke with Jason Wong, the founder of Wonghaus Ventures and a Meme Expert. We discussed how to find success as an influencer, tips and tricks to grow your audience, and what marketers should be doing to reach Millennials and Gen-Z online.
Episode 8: We spoke with Patrick Perini, a serial founder, who is currently the co-founder and VP of Product at Mira. We discussed what he’s currently building at Mira as well as past failures and making tough decisions as a founder.
Episode 7: We spoke with branding and marketing expert, Alexandra Matthiesen, who is the founder and Creative Director at Westward Creative. She’s worked with companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Veritas Technologies to connect their brands with human experiences. We also discussed ways to empower women in the tech industry.
Episode 6: We spoke with Michael Casalino, a gaming industry veteran with 15+ years of experience in game design. Hear what he has to say about the evolution of the game design industry and how he worked on games like Madden, Where's My Water, Tron, and more!
Episode 5: We spoke with Sarah Jean, a SFW webcam model who's been in the industry for 8 years. Get an inside look at the world of cam girls, the business behind it, the amount of hustle it takes, and how much money can be made.
Episode 4: We spoke with Varun Mayya, a successful entrepreneur who raised his first round of venture capital at the age of 20. We discuss the importance of persistence as an entrepreneur, tips and advice for founders, and what verticals new founders should be looking to start companies in (as well as which to avoid).
Episode 3: We interview Kevin Raposo who's a Media Relations guy at EZPR and the Founder & Editor of KnowTechie. Kevin and I discuss launching your own digital publication, the challenges surrounding it, and tips and tricks on how to build and monetize your site. We also discussed the worst types of PR pitches and how to make good ones as well as what's better: BestTechie or KnowTechie.