Jon Walsh is SVP Strategy, Europe at EMX Digital, the header bidding and programmatic arm of ENGINE. He’s been in the digital industry for over 20 years, with a short detour into blockchain, and has worked at companies including eType, one of first third-party ad sales houses, Monetise and Glam Media.
Who is your digital hero?
My digital hero is Ben Barokas, CEO and Co-Founder, Sourcepoint
What has he done to win hero status in your eyes?
Ben is not only a hard worker, but a guy that is able to see several moves ahead of most.
Building Admeld into a top-performing SSP only having a raised a paltry (when compared to all competitors) $30 million, scaling up the business, and then being smart enough to exit to a top company was impressive.
However, diving into to save digital publishers’ revenues through Sourcepoint has demonstrated his fearlessness to attempt to solve a problem that not enough companies have – publisher compensation for content beyond advertising in a world of adblocking.
How has his heroism helped drive digital?
Ben has been a pioneer in the space, and is on the side of the good guys.
This lifts up all of us.
What the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?
It’s not so much a single hero we need for this, but lots of heroes are required for us to work together as in industry and create an identity solution that works for all, and no single entity is in control of.
We need industry figures to champion the “we” mentality over the “us/them” mentality.
What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?
I don’t know about the word heroic, but my most fearless achievement was to move back to adtech having built a name for myself in the Blockchain space, only to come to the crashing realisation that Blockchain is a white elephant in almost all enterprise scenarios.
Performing that 180 wasn’t easy, but I had to accept what I was seeing without a cognitive delusion.