Posts Tagged ‘DoubleClick’

FindTheBest CEO Kevin O’Connor’s Reddit IAmA

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Last week, Kaizen interviewee Kevin O’Connor, former co-founder and CEO of DoubleClick and current CEO of FindTheBest, engaged in an extended question and answer session (“IAmA”) on the social news site Reddit. Here is Mr. O’Connor on internet ads:

“Yes, I’m fully aware people don’t like ads but they prefer free content even more. How do we know people like targeted ads? Because they vastly outperform untargeted ads.

Better performing ads->more revenue to publishers->better content->better user experience.

Without targeted ads, most publishers would die and the internet would be a really crappy or expensive place to be.”

Read the full IAMA here [occasional adult language from reddit users].

Interview with John Chisholm

Monday, May 10th, 2010

John Chisholm is the founder, former CEO and chairman of Decisive Technology, a pioneer in online survey software (now part of Google), and of CustomerSat, a leading provider of enterprise feedback management systems (now part of MarketTools). A 30-year veteran executive of Silicon Valley, he holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He chairs the MIT Club of Northern California, serves as trustee of the Santa Fe Institute, as member of the MIT Corporation Development Committee, and as mentor with the MIT Venture Mentoring Service. Previously, he has served as Chairman of the Board of the Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society, one of Stanford’s twelve independent laboratories; as a member of the visiting committee of the MIT Department of Mathematics; and as vice president of the worldwide MIT Alumni Association. He is author or co-author of two patents in online polling. We met with Mr. Chisholm in the San Francisco bay area to explore his thoughts on the benefits and challenges of entrepreneurship.

Kaizen: You have founded two high-tech companies, Decisive Technology and CustomerSat. Were you technically oriented as a youth?

Chisholm: I think you would say so. I liked to take clocks apart and try to figure out how the gears and springs worked together. I grew up in Jupiter, Florida, a small town about 20 miles north of West Palm Beach. In junior high school, my best friend Al Pion and I each memorized pi to over 100 decimal places—we would recite it alternating the digits, like tossing a ball back and forth. Talk about geeky!


Interview with Kevin O’Connor

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

oconnor-webKevin O’Connor is co-founder and former CEO of DoubleClick. DoubleClick is the world’s largest Internet advertising technology company and was recently acquired by Google. Prior to DoubleClick, Mr. O’Connor founded and developed several successful Internet businesses and is now the principal of O’Connor Ventures, a venture capital firm that provides funding for startups. For this interview we met with Mr. O’Connor in Santa Barbara, California to explore his thoughts on Internet entrepreneurship, venture capital, and success in life.

Kaizen: Before you went to college, you were a young man with an experimental turn of mind. Some of those experiments went well—and others didn’t?

O’Connor: Well, there was the one when I tried to build a hot air balloon and it was too windy, so I launched it in our garage and it caught on fire. It was about six o’clock on a Sunday morning, and all the hot ashes flew up in the rafters and almost burned the whole house down and killed the family. So I had to put everything out before anyone woke up.

Kaizen: What was your parents’ reaction to that?

O’Connor: My dad actually helped me build a new one, and we went out and launched it, but it was too windy and it burned up again. But it was outside. He was always very good on that. And the other time, I think I was building a rheostat and it was very, very hot and it caught the carpet on fire. I tried to hide it and somehow my dad always found everything I did. He was totally cool with it; he was fine. He liked the story and he was glad I didn’t kill anyone.

Kaizen: So rather than dampening your experimentalism, they took the risks and—maybe keeping an eye on things the way parents do—encouraged you down that road?

O’Connor: Yep. He never even kept an eye on me. I don’t know why. They were fairly conservative people, but I think my dad had a bit of a hidden wild streak in him.

Kaizen: So by the time you went to college you had years of fun experience with technology and great parental support?

O’Connor: Yep. My dad used to go out with me every garbage night. We’d go out and collect TVs and radios and anything with electronics. He used to help me do that.

April 2009 issue of Kaizen

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Kaizen 6 cover image

The latest issue of Kaizen features our interview with Kevin O’Connor, co-founder and former CEO of DoubleClick. DoubleClick is the world’s largest Internet advertising technology company and was recently acquired by Google for $3.1 billion. Also featured in Kaizen are reports on a new course coming soon from Professor Asongu, our guest speakers, and projects by students Bridget Markin, Khetsiwe Dlamini, Stacy Moore, and Goran Mamic.

A PDF version of Kaizen is available here. We will soon post the full version of the interview with Mr. O’Connor.

If you would like to receive a complimentary issue of the print version of Kaizen, please email your name and postal address to CEE [at]