NativeAdVantage 10-Q2BA:

(10 Questions 2B Answered)

What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Biggest success?
What are your aspirations?
Most challenging moment?
Favorite Motto?
Favorite People?
Favorite Places?
Favorite Products?
Current Passions?

Featured NativeAdVantage:

Andy Weir: Author of "The Martian"

John Philipson: VP, Six Senses Resorts

Tom Sito: Chair of Animation, USC Film School

Elizabeth Wynn: Broker, Sotheby's RE

Leonard Greenhalgh: Professor, Tuck-Darmouth)

Ryan Blair: NY Times Best Selling Author/Entrepreneur


Featured NativeAdVice:

Shai Reshef: Founder of University of the People

Paul D'Arcy: SVP of Indeed

Susan Hatje: GM of Mandarin Oriental, NY

Dan Laufer: Co-Founder of RentLingo

Hilary Laney: President of Tri-Digital

Greg Marsh: Co-Founder of onefinestay

Omar Qari: Co-Founder of Abacus

Gabriell Weinberg: Founder of DuckDuckGo

Stacy Rauen: E-I-C of Hospitality Design Mag

Jon Gray: CRO of HomeAway

Joe Speiser: Co-Founder of

Ben McKean: Co-Founder of HungryRoot

John Boiler: Founder/CEO of 72andSunny

Wayne Pacelle: CEO of The Humane Society of the US

Tom Guay: GM at The Sagamore Resort

Dr. Alejandro Junger: Founder of The Clean Program

Rob Flaherty: CEO of Ketchum

Neil Thanedar: Founder/CEO of LabDoor

Andy Grinsfelder: VP of Sales/Marketing, Delaware North Resorts

Laura Frerer-Schmidt: VP/Publisher of Women's Health

Avi Steinlauf: CEO of

Kathy Bloomgarden: CEO of Ruder Finn

Gabriel Flateman: Co-Founder/CTO of Casper

Mark Bartels: CEO of StumbleUpon

Bill Hagelstein: President/CEO of RPA

Adam Singolda: Founder/CEO of Taboola

Jonathan Plutzik: Proprietor of The Betsy-South Beach

Jessica Scorpio: Founder/VP of Marketing at GetAround

Ralph McRae: CEO of Leading Brands

Warren Berger: Bestselling Author

Liz Kaplow: Founder/CEO of Kaplow Communications

Dave Girouard: Founder/CEO of UpStart

Dave Asprey: Founder of BullectProof Executive

Douglas C. Smith: President of EDSA

Val Difebo: CEO of Deutsch NY

Guido Polito: CEO of Baglioni Hotels

Doyle Graham, Jr.: CEO of Valencia Group

Oscar Farinetti: Founder of Eataly

Angelo Sotira: CEO of DeviantART

Ali Khwaja: CFO of Safecharge

Zach Erdem: Proprietor of 75 Main

Jim Beley: GM of The Umstead Hotel

Alexis Gelburd-Kimler: Proprietor of West Bridge

Elie Georges: Proprietor of Hotel San Regis

Kalen Caughey: Founder o VOKE Tab

Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG

Donna Karan: Founder of DKNY

Edward Nardoza: Editor-in-Chief of WWD

Scott Dadich: Editor-in-Chief of Wired

Rhona Murphy: Former CEO of The Daily Beast

David J. Pecker: CEO of American Media

Lilian Roten: VP of Swissotel Hotels

Kenny Dichter: Founder/CEO of Wheels Up

Joshua Tetrick: Founder/CEO of Hampton Creek

Paul James: Global Brand Leader of The Luxury Collection

Dr. James Wagner: President of Emory University

Amy Thompson: President of ATM Artists & Management

Neil Gillis: President of Round Hill Music

Brett Matteson: President of Columbia Hospitality

Jonathan Reckford: CEO of Habitat For Humanity

Phil Harrison: President/CEO of Perkins+Will

Chef Bill Telepan

Tony Horton: Founder of P90X

Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group

Michael Fertik: Founder/CEO of

Dana Cowin: Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine

Bob Proctor: Chairman of Proctor/Gallagher Institute

Dennis Turcinovic: Owner of Delmonicos

Vittorio Assaf: Co-Founder of Serafina Restaurant Group

Shafqat Islam: Co-Founder of Newscred

Matt Williams: CEO of The Martin Agency

Bruce Rogers: Executive Chef at Hale & Hearty

Caleb Merkl: Co-Founder of Maple

Candy Argondizza: VP of Culinary at ICC

Neil Sazant: President of The Sagamore

Matt Straz: Founder/CEO of Namely

Terry Couglin: Managing Partner of Marta/Maialino

Andrei Cherny: Co-Founder/CEO of Aspiration

Ronen Nissenbaum: Managing Director of Waldorf Astoria NY

Patrick Godfrey: President of Godfrey Q

Sarah Berman: Founder/President of The Berman Group

Michael Schwartz: Owner of Genuine Hospitality Group

Stephan Aarstol: Founder/CEO of Tower Paddle Boards

Peter Shaindlin: COO of Halekulani Corp.

August Cardona: Founder/CEO of Epicurean Group

Nick Kenner: Co-Founder of Just Salad


Mahi de Silva: Co-Founder & CEO,

My NativeAdVice:


Mahi de Silva is the Co-Founder and CEO of, a platform that enables companies to measure, optimize and manage the full life-cycle of a brand experience. He has been deeply involved in the tech world since 1989 working for Apple and has an in-depth understanding of technology’s ever-growing role in brand management and customer engagement. Prior to helping found Botworx, Mahi was part of the founding team, as CEO, of AdMarvel Inc, a mobile ad platform that enables publishers and operators to source, manage and track advertising from any ad network. After their buyout by Opera Software ASA in 2010, Mahi served as CEO Opera Mediaworks, the world’s largest mobile advertising platform, and then Strategic Advisor of Opera Software ASA. Along with leading and developing, Mahi currently serves as chairman of the board for Noventis, Inc., a digital payment-processing platform.

How did you get into the industry?

I’m a geek at heart; I love finding innovative ways of solving real-world problems with cutting edge technology. My 30-year career in the tech industry has been centered  around content and communication. Each company I worked for, or formed, had one, or both, of these two characteristics  at the heart of what they did. While working at  Apple, a big focus was enabling high-quality design, content and publishing, and at VeriSign, we built the foundation of trust for the Internet that enabled secure communication and commerce. At Opera Mediaworks we were all about helping mobile publishers acquire customers and monetize their content. All of these previous experiences led me to co-found, where we are helping brands dramatically improve the way they communicate and transact with their customers via the next wave of chatbot and AI technology.  

Any emerging industry trends?

Artificial Intelligence , specifically machine learning, has been around for a while at places like NASA, Google and Amazon, organizing content and building predictive models for everything from image processing to search optimization to purchase intent. However, The pace of innovation around AI is accelerating, aided by vast amounts of real-world data, which can be fed back into machines to teach and train them to improve decisions and outcomes.  You can see this at work, around voice-recognition systems like Siri and Alexa or collision avoidance systems in passenger cars.  These aren’t perfect yet, but they are getting better and better every day.  At a macro level, this trend will allow us humans to focus our effort and attention on more rewarding activities, leaving the mundane (and error-prone) activities to AI assisted bots.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

Companies continue to be challenged with acquiring and engaging customers.  The Internet, e-mail and search engines created a self-service revolution.  Social Media platforms amped up visibility with social sharing and significantly better ad targeting of consumers. Then mobile took this up another notch, with location awareness and ubiquitous connectedness.  But across all these mediums, engagement is starting to plateau. E-mail marketing is lost on millennials, “banner-blindness” has moved from desktop to mobile. Lots of consumers are combatting the barrage of multi-media advertising via ad-blockers. Search engine optimizers are conquering popular search terms and delivering fake news. Phishing attacks are moving from e-mail to SMS. Brands need to take a deep breath and re-focus on a more authentic relationship with their customers and prospective customers.  Using AI and rich messaging apps, we now have the unprecedented ability to engage consumers in a one-to-one “conversation” across their desktop, mobile and internet-of-things experiences. These conversations can be ephemeral or long lasting - across the customer lifecycle, from discover to purchase to support to re-purchase.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

The inspiration really comes from attacking a common pain-point experienced by CMOs across every marketing vertical; the challenge of constructing direct, meaningful and lasting relationships with customers.  Our vision is that we can elevate a company’s effort around data-driven marketing to Authentic Conversational Commerce.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

We are working closely with a few early adopter customers to build marque examples of how our platform can be used to transform their businesses.  Some of them are here in the US and some in developing markets around the world.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

We are focusing on verticals where customers serve a large pool of consumers or constituents; Media and Entertainment, Financial Services, Fashion, Travel and Politics.  We focus improving their marketing ROI and expand the use of our platform across transactions and customer care.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

Many customers don’t really understand the current state of Artificial Intelligence technology and how to harness the vast amount of consumer and transactional data that is housed across a variety of their systems and supply chain.  There’s a good bit of education and hand-holding in the early stages.  We’ve learned that we have to focus on a very specific outcome – and build from there.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

There’s a couple of ways we can easily move the needle for our customers.  First, we make it easy for a company to expand their social media landing page on FB or Twitter into a more dynamic channel of communication and customized engagement.  Secondly, for clients that focus on content, we create a new channel for deeper engagement that drives higher monetization.

How do you motivate others?

Since we are breaking new ground, we have to reference our past experiences – what worked, and what didn’t, to create inflection point in the marketplace.  We’ve had the good fortune of successfully driving adoption of new technologies across content, communication and commerce – and these concrete examples and our ability to draw convincing parallels with our current challenges, tends to motivate people towards a shared success.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Big shifts in technology adoption are highly unpredictable.  Many detractors (customers, investors, partners) make the false assumption that a lack of broad adoption today is a sure sign that the technology isn’t ready for prime time.  Yes, things take time, but rest assured that every aspect of technology is ripe for disruption. Disruptors gain an unfair advantage in accelerating the adoption curve by successfully attacking an industry-wide pain point.  Back up your assumptions with good data – if the data doesn’t prove it out, then find another pain point.