John Cole, Ezoic: Staying in stealth for three years, and balancing UX & Monetisation in Testing/AI


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The Balderton Podcast: Tech Investment | Venture Capital | Startup Funding


John Cole is the CCO of Ezoic. Ezoic is a Google award-winning artificial intelligence platform designed to automatically test ads, website layouts, mediation, and more to increase ad revenue and optimize user experiences at the same time. John is the Chief Customer Officer of Ezoic. Formerly an officer in the British Royal Navy, John was a founding Director of Media Run Group – which started several online businesses in the mid 2000’s (Media Run Search, Media Run Ad Network, and Blowfish Digital Ad Agency). Following the acquisition of Media Run Ad Network by Adknowledge Inc in Oct 2007, John managed Adknowledge in Europe, which included the Super Rewards virtual currency platform (which monetized Facebook, MMO & Mobile Games) & Cubics – the first Social display advertising platform inside Facebook. After a brief and successful foray into the world of independent online publishing (he was founder of UK website operator ‘Epirical’), John sold his online interests to Ezoic in Dec 2011 and joined as CCO. John moved his family from London UK to live in San Diego in August 2013. 0034 John explains that Ezoic combines ad-testing, CMS and UX; and dives into some of the complexities of multivariate testing 0205 Why did Ezoic stay in stealth for three years? 0400 Even though the company has pivoted, the central idea has remained the same: where and how an ad appears on a page is as important as retargeting and context. 0500 John explains that Ezoic bought 500 websites, and used them to test and hone their theories 0715 The secret sauce is achieving the balance between UX and monetisation - the assumption is that one usually compromises the other. 1055 John talks about the human cost of staying in stealth for three years, and resisting the urge to shout about Ezoic from the rooftops 1400 Does staying in stealth for three years to undertake a long period of testing and re-testing mean that you guys are anti-'lean startup'? 1540 John explains the strategic rationale behind the choice of the name 'Ezoic' 2300 What's next? Times are exciting at Ezoic - making acquisitions and winning awards!