4 Reasons Why We Added Patrick Keane and Ran Harnevo to the @Onswipe Board of Directors
When we raised our first round of funding about a year ago, we setup a structure for a 3-person board that consisted of myself, representing common shareholders; Alex Finkelstein, representing Spark Capital and a third to-be-named independent board member.
For the first 9 months, finding an independent board member was an important issue, but something we could hold off on. Almost overnight Onswipe seemed to explode. We grew from 2 people to nearly 20, and our reputation grew with both publishers and advertisers. To help the company and to grow as CEO, we accelerated the search for an awesome board member. I, Alex, and my co-founder Andres narrowed the list down with Patrick and Ran at the very top.
After a lot of thought we came up with a wild-card idea: why not add both to the board and make it a 4-person board? We’re not a traditional company, and we weren’t looking for a traditional board. We were looking for people to help grow Onswipe into the largest tech company in NYC. Why settle for one person when you can have twice the brainpower?
Below are 4 reasons why we added Patrick and Ran Onswipe’s Board:
5min and Onswipe share very similar businesses for publishers
Board members are meant to provide guidance and to make sure you don’t make mistakes you don’t know that you are about to make. 5min’s business dealt with both publishers and advertisers to provide more value in video, then hot new space. This proves Ran has already hurdled many of the problems we will encounter at Onswipe. As CEO, Ran can help me grow as a leader and avoid many of the mistakes that I might make.
Here’s why Ran said he joined the board:
“Amazing, hungry founding team; set of impressive investors and a market that is growing into a revolution in the way we consume content. On top, as a co-founder of the biggest video syndication platform in the US, I’m a huge believer in syndicated technologies that can create an amazing offering for publishers across the web.”
Patrick’s lessons from Google can help us scale tremendously
Patrick helped turn AdSense, one of Google’s largest businesses, into a revenue powerhouse. At Onswipe, we see a very similar parallel to Google where we gain distribution by powering experiences instead of searching for publishers. We believe in not only powering large publishers like Slate and the BBC, but also longer-tail vertical publishers like ZeldaUniverse. Thanks to our ability to service the long tail, we have an AdSense-like effect, where we are cutting checks to hundreds of thousands of publishers on a monthly basis. This requires a ton of operational work while growing a company to massive scale. Patrick has seen how this is done before, and now he can help Onswipe grow as well.
Here’s why Patrick joined the board in his own words:
“Great investors, excellent technology, huge market opportunity and a passionate and smart founding team. Plus, as one of the early members of the Google AdSense team, I know a lot about the monetization opportunities for content.”
CEO Mentorship in growing Onswipe to the next level
This is not an easy job by any means…though it is a ton of fun. We’ve gone from 2 people to nearly 20 in about a year. Our business is a complicated mix of hardcore engineering and process-orientated sales. Patrick and Ran have both been successful CEOs of large, developing companies in the past. As we grow as a company, there are internal and external issues that I will need counseling on. We have ambitious goals over the next 5 years, and meeting them will require mentorship. Patrick and Ran can provide that mentorship.
Patrick and Ran are a huge part of the NYC Startup Scene
We absolutely love NYC, and it’s going to be our home for a very long time. We wanted to have entrepreneurs on the board who love the city and have contributed to its success. With 2 very successful exits under their belt, Patrick and Ran have paved the way for Onswipe to be another NYC startup success story.
As of writing, we’ve already had 2 board meetings with Patrick and Ran. The dynamic has been absolutely awesome, and we believe their ideas will make Onswipe a monstrous success. Instead of being boring status updates, the board meetings are discussions around nitty-gritty strategy. They rock, and we’re lucky to have them on board.