Mike Seiman is the global digital ad guru that’s built his company, CPX Interactive, to a 2.5 billion ads a day machine. I sat down with the CEO to talk late 90s beginnings, getting more sleep, and how he plans to double revenue by next year, on this session of The Startup Sit Down.
Hey Mike, thanks for taking the time to give us the CPX Interactive lowdown. Our KillerStartups fans are looking forward to being inspired!
Let’s get started…
Tell us a little about what inspired CPX Interactive.
MS: In the mid to late 90s I was a web publisher, building some sites, and advertising just started happening and I got involved in that working with the only two or three ad networks that existed back then.
I built an ad server and grew the company for about 12-13 years; Today we’re 70 people in 5-6 offices around the globe. Digital advertising platform—video, social, mobile display. We manage about 2.5 billion ads a day in about 65-70 countries.
Can you tell us a little about CPX Incubator?
MS: Sure. The idea behind Incubator is to incubate ad tech companies, so any tech company that has a synergy in online advertising. The idea is that we bring our efficiencies to the market to help other entrepreneurs that are starting out–one’s that are generally raising money for operations and being able to infuse those operations in terms of what we do for them.
How many companies are you looking to take on?
MS: Probably 3-4 a year. At this point, we’re in negotiation with a couple who are an exciting fit, so we might be announcing one or two launches in the next 3-6 months.
What’s your office vibe?
MS: Very young. I would say the majority are under 30. There’s a good culture, good team-building, very family oriented. A lot of people hang out together after work as well. It’s a very open and casual atmosphere, but everyone is very hungry and works really hard. They’re dedicated to pushing the company forward.
Where do you find inspiration or how do you motivate yourself/your team?
MS: I just do. To me, if I’m not doing something it’s a waste of time. Everyday I need to accomplish things and I push myself to make things happen and I push my team. I’m always looking at where we could be as opposed to where we are, and I’m always motivating everyone to see where the company could be and how life is more fun when we get there.
What would you be doing if you had one year off (and it can’t be tech related!)?
MS: What would I do? I would play more golf, see more beaches. I would sit at home a lot and relax, hang out by the pool, play with my dogs. I would probably…just…sleep more.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
MS: Don’t worry about how much you pay yourself. Invest in the business (if that’s your goal). Figure out how to make money as soon as possible, and then improve your product. A lot of entrepreneurs raise money thinking, “OK, it’s going to take us a year to build this thing perfect”, but if you are bootstrapping then you need to get a sellable product as quickly as possible and sell it cheaper. But make margin, get cash flowing through the company and then use that cash to bump the operations up.
App or site you can’t live without?
MS: My laptop, obviously. And, Linkedin I think business-wise is a great to find people and connect.
What’s your next projects or goals you’re working on?
MS: Diversifying streams of revenue for the company, and looking at where we invest our resources. To a certain extent, we’re almost incubating our own business and we’re looking at all the ways we generate revenue from digital advertising and we’re starting to break them out. So, separate mobile division, separate video division, separate display, etc., so we can rationalize which ones create the most profit, where we should invest so we can forecasting how we can grow those businesses and double revenues by next year.
Thanks Mike! Check out CPX Interactive and see how they are bringing efficiency to online advertising.