Joint Interview with blogfoster's Founder and the New CTO

It took our portfolio company blogfoster almost a year to find the right CTO. The “one-stop-shop” for advertising and monetization of the long tail of publishers has proven it’s concept. So the time for heavy scaling is obviously now. Thus, an experienced specialist in highly scalable systems and data-driven ad tech is a key position within the young team. Right now the founders Jan Homann and Simon Staib employ 9 people. The most recent recruit is Dominic Umbeer, who joined the team as CTO and is looking for Front and Backend-Devleoper. We talked to Jan and Dominic to find out how they met and to ask Dominic about his technical vision. Hello Dominic, hello Jan. How did you meet each other? DU: The first contact was via Xing. Jan and Simon approached me via a private message and we scheduled a lunch date at the beginning of 2015. The first time we met was at Spaghetti Western. Straight away we jumped into a discussion about the advertising-industry and how blogfoster could be the market-changer for monetizing the long tail of publishing, eg. blogs. JH: We got on well with each other right from the start.

Dominic, how did you feel when you first read the mail? DU: To be honest, as a developer you get tons of direct messages from various people. The difference from other messages was the personal touch, no mass message template. I had the feeling that they had already spent time researching me to check if I could be a good fit. This was the reason why I initially answered the message. And you already know the end of the story.

Jan, is Dominic still allowed to have a XING profile? JH: We will get him a premium account! With that he will be able to find even more excellent and kick-ass team members for blogfoster. Dominic has already dived deep into our technology, shares our vision and is seeing the huge opportunity blogfoster has in the market. Given this, we are confident enough to allow Dominic his Xing-profile. ;)

blogfoster is known for a lot of blogger-friendly tools. What’s next? JH: blogfoster’s first goal is to build monetization solutions for bloggers to market their blogs as well and as fast and simply as possible. We are constantly working on new ad formats which empower the blogger to increase their revenues and enhance the user experience. The long-term vision is to build a blogger ecosystem which offers all kinds of service that are necessary to run successfully a gorgeous blog and make your living from it.

Dominic, you worked for Trademob and YOC before. Why did you choose blogfoster? DU: There were several reasons for joining blogfoster:

- The product played a big role in my decision process. Blogfoster really solves a real problem in the advertising -sector, which they have already proved. There are huge blogger-signups, churn rates around zero and we are winning big advertisers that are recurring.

- The founders themselves. Both are really passionate and highly motivated people. Their achievements, ideas and vision have impressed me a lot.

- I have been working in the ad tech industry for a couple of years now. Given my role at blogfoster and the knowledge and experience that I have gathered, I am very confident that I can have a positive impact on the future development of the company.

- Working in a real startup has been a dream since I relocated to Berlin in 2011. I have the feeling that nothing can get more challenging than building a company from scratch.

Which role do you both think the technical part play for blogfoster? DU: To be crystal clear… blogfoster is a tech company. The whole foundation of the company is driven by technology. And that had better be so if you are focusing on building ad-handling solutions for millions of publishers. Therefore, we put all our efforts in the direction of a data-driven company. And this is massively important because we like decisions based on data, not on hypotheses. Furthermore, “Machine Learning” will play a key role in the optimization of our ad-recommendations and the delivery.

Good luck to you guys and thank you very much for doing this interview.