My Media Week: Dave Gwozdz
This week, David Gwozdz, chief executive of Mojiva, gives us a sneak peek into living the start-up life, spending much of his time in transit and in discussions with investment bankers, venture capitalists and private equity firms.
David Gwozdz: chief executive of Mojiva
Most people dread Mondays. Not me. After many years of living the start-up life, I've come to grips with the fact that Monday is like any other day. Monday looks like Saturday and at Mojiva we are pretty much always on. However, I did try and get away this weekend and was almost successful, except for signing a few legal documents and editing a corporate presentation, which I will be giving this week.
Having logged into Skype and Twitter, I get myself ready, have a family breakfast with my wife and three youngest kids while checking the morning news then head off to catch the 7.30am train for my usual 1.5 hours commute. I catch up on last night's emails, Twitter, Skype and review our overnight revenue reports.
I eventually find my place at Mojiva's headquarters in the Little Italy section of Manhattan. "My place" is relative as we have an open office environment with large open workspaces. I tend to move around a bit, rarely parking in the same spot for long.
First up, I host a two-hour meeting in the morning with a company who is intent on deepening their technical understanding of our ad network.
I follow this up by meeting with an investment banker, down a quick juice from Fuel restaurant, then head uptown for a meeting with a potential investor. Actively meeting with investors to fund the continued growth of the company is key right now.
The day closes with our monthly all company meeting involving all global department heads who update the rest of the company on progress. Then I head to JFK for a 6pm flight to San Francisco and more investor meetings.
It's well after 1am EST when I land. Luckily for me, there was Wi-Fi on the plane so I was able to catch up on the day's emails. Five hours later I'm up, ready for a quick work-out before preparing for my first presentation.
I meet Bennett Thiemann, Mojiva's COO for breakfast and head down to Palo Alto to visit some well-known venture capitalists. Following some good meetings we drive back to the Mojiva offices in San Francisco and take them out for a bite. It's good to catch up with the team, they work extremely hard but I'll hand it to them, they also know how to play hard. I duck out early.
Feeling much better after a full night's sleep. I meet Bennett in the lobby at 7.30am for a drive down to Redwood City for another venture capital meeting, my next meeting is back up in San Francisco so it’s back on the 101.
I take yet another call from a potential investor in the lobby of my next meeting, then head upstairs to visit a potential customer of Mocean Mobile Mojiva’s ad serving platform.
This is a typical scene these days, an online ad network that is struggling with the fact that online ad impressions are flattening as mobile usage grows. They are fixated on monetising ad impressions but don’t have the technology to do it. Hopefully, we can help.
After that, we race to the airport for a flight back east arriving after midnight. I’ve missed a big day at home as my youngest got braces on his teeth. He is not happy.
I grab breakfast on the go today and my iPhone is bursting with emails, mainly from different areas of the US and also the UK. I skim through to try and find any major wins or concerns and unearth nothing untoward apart from an email from a large investor wanting to chat. So I shelve the breakfast and spend the morning on the phone.
It's been a busy week as two mobile companies have been acquired in the past couple of weeks creating a lot of noise. Customers want assurance that we're not looking short term but investing in the product roadmap we have shared with them.
Our investors – current and prospective – want to know what implications there are in the recent events. I can only see this as a positive validation of our strong position in the market.
One particular example is a message I had from an ad agency in Paris called Joule. It wants to know if we're still progressing as planned with our private exchange, I assure them we are. It's exciting to be in such a dynamic industry.
In the afternoon we have a lengthy meeting with a private equity firm who have been tracking us for a while, then hit a train bound for NY.
Along the ride, I have several conference calls, most notably one with Erika Alonso, Mojiva's global head of marketing. We have so many events planned and are revitalising much of our marketing, (collateral, web site presence and so on) – there is lots to do here. I also use the train journey to try to catch up via text message with my sons in college.
Finally, I arrive home at 8pm, soaking wet from a vicious thunderstorm and just in time for dinner.
When not on the road, I try to work from home on Fridays and use the day to circle back with any managers I haven't caught. First up at 7.45am is Nick Marsh, our UK VP sales.
The best thing about today is that I’m able to chat with the kids again this morning and even drive them to school which is a great time to hear about their week.
A big dance is coming up this weekend for my 7th graders and they are getting nervous. My son Owen also has his season opening football game on Sunday – he is really pumped for that.
I have been tasked as the team photographer for the past five years, so I will spend several hours each Sunday shooting and editing these games. If all goes well, I may even try to slip out Saturday morning for a round of golf.
Favourite media: mobile – it's the centre of every other media now.
My biggest inspiration: that's wide open. I am inspired by so many people who never say never and accomplish more than others say they can.
Dream job: I should say the one I’m in... Not exactly true, centre fielder for the Boston Red Sox wouldn't be so bad.
Not a lot of people know this about me: I think fishing should be an Olympic sport.
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk
Latest jobs Jobs web feed
- Senior Insight Manager Jarlett de Grouchy £30000.00 - £40000.00 per annum + car allowance+ bonus, Berkshire
- Associate Director, Consumer Research Jarlett de Grouchy £38000.00 - £45000.00 per annum, Oxfordshire
- Senior Innovation Manager Ball & Hoolahan £58,000 per Car/ Car Allowance, South East
- Range and Merchandising Executive Ball & Hoolahan £33,000 per annum, London
- Global Brand Manager Ball & Hoolahan £55,000 per annum, London
- Global Brand Ambassador Ball & Hoolahan £55,000 per annum, London