AiThority Interview Series With Ivan (Ive) Guzenko, CEO at SmartyAds
The biggest challenge for Blockchain is a significant hype around technology. We have all seen the Bitcoin craze and many people rushed into Blockchain to find a solution for many industry problems.
Know My Company
Tell us about your interaction with AI and other intelligent technologies in your daily life.
Sometimes we don’t even realize how much AI shapes up our life. For instance, AdTech is what starts and ends my daily schedule, not only in terms of company operation. Noticing how the algorithms of Facebook or Google are targeting me everywhere helps me to understand technology patterns more precisely.
I am an absolute fan of the Chatbots.
When Bank of America launched the chatbot- Erica, I did not realize how cool and fast the interaction with the app could be. AI helps me to figure out the best routes to the destination, eliminating the chance to get stuck in the traffic jam. AI in Spotify matches the music to my mood and AI on my wrist reminds me of all the useful things I need to accomplish during the day. My best characteristic for the current state of AI development – it becomes seamless and unnoticeable as if it always was there!
What inspired you to join SmartyAds?
If you really love advertising, you go all-in. The idea of pure programmatic trading was my biggest inspiration at the moment of founding SmartyAds. By pure programmatic trading, I mean that robots should trade with robots. Decisions on which ad should be served, at what time and why, should be made by AI, end-to-end, this is what we’ve achieved in SmartyAds. Now the scenarios are getting even more sophisticated.
My biggest ambition and vision is to bring ads to the integrated reality which we’re going to implement in a few years from now. Always on, looking at the world through glasses that will make our reality as pretty as it was never before.
As a CEO, how do you see the raging trend of merging AI with Programmatic capabilities for advertising?
I think that this had been happening for years. But, the biggest challenge is to merge the creative minds of CMOs and Brand people with the Tech minds of the Machine Learning and AI teams. The AI is already waiting for it. In my opinion, people are not ready to trust AI yet.
As a mentor in the tech industry, advice how should young marketers and sales professionals train themselves to work better with programmatic technologies?
For all the young professionals my only recommendation would be – don’t shy off technology. The Marketer of tomorrow is a creative and tech mind blended in one. Learn to code, try to understand Big Data, trust numbers, try to see what is not automated yet and make it automated.
What makes understanding Blockchain for businesses so hard when it comes to actually deploy them?
The biggest challenge for Blockchain is a significant hype around technology. We have all seen the Bitcoin craze and many people rushed into Blockchain to find a solution for many industry problems. However, due to the lack of use cases (not only in the AdTech but overall), the subject is still too abstract. So, when the one tries to go into details of marketing promise, there is nothing there. We do need a broad technical discussion and a lot of criticism to separate the hype from reality. That’s what I set as my personal goal for now.
Which is harder – choosing blockchain technology provider or working with technology?
I think the hardest part is to understand why do you need blockchain at all. In 99% of cases, it creates over-complexity that will cost a lot of money and return nothing but regrets. The biggest challenge is to define what is a blockchain provider and how your technology can align with a solution. It’s all about the mass adoption and we do need real, simple cases that illustrate that we can’t do without blockchain implementation. For now, they do not exist.
Would most businesses turn to Blockchain eventually for better customer service?
It may sound a little disappointing, but I think that blockchain has nothing to do with improving customer service. However, most businesses that need to work out some kind of the Consensus of the parties, and who don’t trust each other for whatever reasons, will definitely adopt blockchain in-house.
Elaborate on your playbook for company-customer interaction. How much of blockchain do you use within SmartyAds and with your partners?
At SmartyAds, we are using blockchain for the settlement between the publishers and advertisers and for the differentiation of the Data origin. Many complex models are applied, however, we try to keep it simple for our customers. The strong part of our ecosystem is that we are selling a lot of products to the market on SaaS and WL model. All of our products are blockchain empowered and blockchain agnostic (meaning that the customer can bring own blockchain to the table). That makes it easier as all the systems speak one language.
Where do you see Blockchain, machine learning, and other smart technologies heading beyond 2020?
From my point of view, the integrated reality will define the future, where everything that could be automated will be automated. We have to free our hands and engage with the world differently. Remember Terminator 2, when the robot scanned and analyzed the environment – that’s how it will look like for all of us. Education will never be the same as the ‘children of today’ are born with touchscreens and know how to talk to Alexa or Siri. The ‘children of tomorrow’ will see reality through computer vision and won’t imagine it the other way.
The Good, Bad, and Ugly about blockchain that you have heard or predict –
Large enterprise solutions will solve the problems in the financial sector that we have today.
Mass ignorance is causing myths that are being spanned around, this slows down the adoption process.
Companies are sucking money from VC’s and private investors making fake promises. For now, not a single ICO made something as valuable as Facebook or Uber, even though many of them collected much more money than the game-changing startups at the early stages.
The Crystal Gaze
What blockchain start-ups and labs are you keenly following?
Only 1 – Distributed Lab. Shelf network is the first really working blockchain application. Bitcoin foundation as the key to all of it.
What technologies within Blockchain and computing are you interested in?
Definitely, everything that makes Blockchain work faster. For computing, the biggest revolution would happen around the Quantum computer technologies, that’s why we named one of our products Quantum Analytics. Biotech is in conjunction with AI.
As a tech leader, what industries you think will be fastest at adopting Blockchain solutions? What are the new emerging markets for advertising technology?
Banks and financial institutions will adopt faster than others. Governments will make a lot of the public services spin around the blockchain, like the Auctions. Adtech won’t be as fast as the market is too fragmented and massively governed by counter-logical things. The interested parties do benefit from the existing situation in many ways, that also will lag the process a lot.
What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
Turn off the messengers unless you have something really urgent going on. It’s the focus against the distraction.
Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Thank you, Ivan! That was fun and hope to see you back on AiThority soon.
Ivan is the CEO of SmartyAds. Think Big. Rule the World. Working hard to disrupt the ever-changing landscape of the AdTech.
A strong believer in the “Robots optimize and hit the targets better than humans” and “0 transactional costs” concepts. Will be happy to help everyone get as deep as it takes to the technical understanding and business processes of the Advertising processes of today and nearest future.
SmartyAds provides a full-stack package of complex AdTech solutions for digital advertisers, publishers, and ad agencies worldwide. Our innovative products help businesses to achieve impressive results across all channels, devices and ad formats. Finding new possibilities within artificial intelligence, Blockchain technology, and Big Data analytics, we are reshaping the future of programmatic advertising, making it surprisingly simple for every client