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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 LittleThings.com

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 Edmunds.com

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 Reputation.com

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

Friday
May262017

Tom Kwon: CEO & Co-Founder, Scoutsee

My NativeAdVice:

Bio:

Tom Kwon is a serial entepreneur, most recenently becoming CEO & Co-Founder of Scoutsee. Under his leadership, Tom has deployed over 700 sites and online applications; and has founded a number of successful ventures that improve online marketing and business operations. With his first venture, DynaMind, he connected every school and library in the state of Connecticut to the Internet. At DMIND, he developed one of the industry’s first multilingual content management systems and eCommerce platforms. Tom developed and implemented the global Web infrastructure for multi-national sites around the world. In his last venture backed company, Altruik, Tom designed and architected the world first SEO production platform. Today, he leads the next generation Influencer Affiliate Marketing Platform, Scoutsee. The company empowers anyone to make money sharing what they love on social media.  The list of organizations Tom has served includes Akamai Technologies, AIG, American Express, American Greetings, BJ’s Wholesale Club, LG Electronics, TDK, The US Peace Corp, Mitsui, The White House, …, and more. He was the finalist for Ernst and Young's “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” in 2001 and recipient of the "50 Outstanding Asian Americans in Business" Award in 2005.

How did you get into the industry?

When I was in my mid-twenties, I saw this thing coming called the World Wide Web and I just wanted to be a part of it. I started by building websites for companies and government organizations. My projects range from connecting schools and libraries to the Internet and building sites for the White House to launching over 700 sites and applications in the B2B space for large companies. Scoutsee is my first consumer facing application and is the result of the last 10 years of experience leading various eCommerce ventures. My 2nd venture, Altruik automated SEO for large Internet retailers. At a time when search engines couldn’t index/catalog deep database product content, my platform was able to index those pages and handle on-page SEO at a rate of 160k pages/second. It ultimately drove 10% of many brands’ traffic from SERP. During this process, I learned the primary revenue channels of eCommerce sites and manically studied and executed ways to optimize them for increased traffic and revenue.

Any emerging industry trends?

I think digital advertising is at an interesting point in history. The advent of ad Blockers has caused a shift in the way display-advertising dollars are spent. 99% of millennials have enabled ad blockers and brands are focused on finding new ways to reach their audience. Influencer marketing is fast growing avenue for brands to amplify their voice and we’ve seen dramatic increased spends in this area.  

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

After 4 years of forced/paid posts dominant in influencer marketing, we’re seeing that engagements are fairly low, relative to spend. The companies that can prove ROI value will be the disruptors. Scoutsee aims to provide measurable traffics, sales and overall ROI in this sector. Scoutsee activates brands’’ followers/fans into micro influencers that echo the brands’ voice and drive sales from social media. By downloading the Scoutsee App, users are able to tag products to their posts and when their followers click through and make a purchase, brands recognize a new revenue stream and the user receives commission for driving that sale.

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

In the ten years in this industry, there’s one thing that has always perplexed me. “Why is the buying experience online the same as it has been since the advent of ecommerce?” Essentially, it’s a product catalog with a shopping cart and a check out process. Sure, there are reviews, chat and even some user generated content (UGC) on product details pages. But for the most part, the framework is unchanged and a solitary buying experience. As a consumer, when you know what you want, you simply go and buy it. However, there is another journey that often takes place prior to purchase consisting of inspiration, discovery, affirmation and trust. Scoutsee sits in this nebulous inspiration and discovery space and the Scoutsee app is a tool for consumers to recommend products based on their interest pursuits and for the buyer to buy based on true affirmation and trust.

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

We are working on the release of Scoutsee Enterprise. It’s a self-activation portal for brands to turn their followers into an army of brand loyalists and active sales force. By signing up, brands would promote their customized Scoutsee App download landing page for their social media followers. Brands also have a real-time reporting dashboard. We are also forging key partnerships with leaders in the eCommerce and Social space.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

Partnerships

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

There are always difficult moments with startups. In 2o years of founding companies and running them, I find the initial phase to be most difficult. The idea or concept of a business often comes to me from looking at and/or dealing with problems. So it’s through contemplation of various aspects of a business and industry that spawns the idea. Then, going from concept to a plan and architecture of the technology platform takes another level of persistence and passion. Once this is complete, I have to assemble the talent and personalities to build it and make it actualize the initial idea.

Being able to see the indicators to modify and even pivot the product is what I’ve learned over the years. In summary, create with passion and vigor… drive without ego and create value for your customers.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

Increased traffic, sales and data insights from inspiration and discovery to path to purchase of the consumers. Our customers are able to turn their dormant followers/fans into a vibrant army of brand loyalists that echo their voice and drive traffic and sales. In this process, their able to obtain valuable actionable data of their customers journey from inspiration and discovery to path to purchase. By empowering brands’ followers with Scoutsee, they are now able to be a part of the inspiration and discovery phase of the purchase journey.

How do you motivate others?

I believe motivation comes from deep inside an individual. I’m fortunate to work with smart people and mostly very passionate people. These people are over achievers and motivating them requires a strong vision and great product. I always talk the long term vision, but I focus on the small milestones and when we achieve them, the sense of accomplishment is a great motivator. Celebrating the small wins eventually gets you to the finish line… and everyone feels good during the ride.

Career advice to those in your industry?

I always talk about deferred gratification. What I mean by that is… pay your dues up front. Invest in yourself and do it deeply. Research, read, learn by talking and associating yourself with people in the industry and think out of the box to differentiate yourself and your capabilities. The most critical personality character trait I look for it determination and grit to execute despite adversities.