Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Alex Rahaman

The digital industry’s not really about technology, it’s about people. The digital economy is supported by technology but is conceived, created and developed by people, the heroes of digital.

But who are their heroes? Who inspired, supported and taught them along their journey and to become digital heroes?

We want to find out. So, we’re asking some of our industry’s leading figures to nominate their digital hero and to explain what’s so special about them.

Alex, CEO of NEXD, is an adtech pioneer. He founded StrikeAd, the first mobile DSP before selling it to Sizmek in 2015. Prior to this he launched and ran the Unamimis mobile ad network before its sale to Orange and led the spin out of global media exchange OpenX to Index Ventures.

Who is your digital hero?

Boris  Mouzykantskii.  He recognised that a single programmatic infrastructure that could be licenced was more relevant than many building their own.    

How has their heroism helped drive digital?

Many, many of the largest global digital businesses have relied on IPonWeb or now Bidswitch to build their programmatic stack. They have often stayed behind the scenes to let these businesses get on with building the ecosystem we rely on now.

What the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?

Fraud — particularly in the mobile app industry. Almost all the players in this space are complicit and fed by fraud at a mass scale.

What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?

When war broke out in Ukraine, I opened a new office in nearby Krakow, Poland for 30 of my StrikeAd engineers to relocate into a safe, EU location.

My Digital Hero

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My Digital Hero: Barney Worfolk-Smith, MD, EMEA, DAIVID

Barney Worfolk-Smith is MD, EMEA, DAIVID. He’s workedin been in digital “since the agencies started ‘digital’ departments as a catch all to deal with that ‘internet stuff'”.  After leaving RealPlayer in 2009, he joined ChannelFlip which sold to Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine in 2011. After a stint at Unruly, he launched social creative agency, That Lot, selling to Weber Shandwick in 2018. He is now heading up DAIVID, founded by another former Unruly executive, Ian Forrester.


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