The Minds Behind Yieldmo: Duc Chau, CTO
At Yieldmo, we’ve built a business on the idea that individual ad experiences matter. The people behind creating these experiences are passionate about understanding the way humans interact and unlocking the insights associated with those behaviors. But who are the Yieldmates that help create seamless advertising experiences on behalf of our clients looking to connect with real people?
Today, we are excited to share the inaugural post of our “Minds Behind Yieldmo” series featuring Chief Technology Officer Duc Chau. Check back to our blog over the next few weeks to learn more about what makes our Yieldmates the best in the business.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I was born in Frankfurt, Germany. I have a twenty-year background in Engineering. I built and launched the first version of MySpace (Held the first active profile). I was also on Wheel of Fortune. I enjoy technology, real estate, dim-sum, classic cars, and all things vintage.
What are your favorite 3 words to describe yourself?
Intuitive, Curious, and Ambitious
What does a great weekend consist of?
Hiking the bluffs, good food on the grill, and movie night.
What’s one thing from pre-COVID days that you miss the most?
Interacting and collaborating with people IRL. Zoom fatigue is real!
Talk about your journey. What are you most proud of in your career thus far?
I worked as a network engineer during the first dot.com wave in 2000 at an ad tech company called L90 that went public and ultimately sold to DoubleClick. After L90, I went on to build an email marketing technology for a company called Responsebase which got acquired by a company called Euniverse. We then ended up building and launching MySpace. From 2003-2005 I led engineering at an email infrastructure company. After, I started a mobile social networking company that enabled users to upload video and photos from their phone to the web (pre-iPhone, Android, and Instagram).
A pinnacle moment in my career was from 2007 – 2018. I founded Rubicon Project in 2007 and took it public in 2015 with three co-founders. I stayed till 2018 and then joined Omaze and helped the company achieve the milestone of raising $130M for non-profits. Fast forward to today, I have joined Yieldmo and looking forward to a bright future ahead!
How have your first few months at Yieldmo been?
Fantastic! It was a good feeling to hit the ground running. The people are welcoming, the tech is awesome, and there are tons left to do in Ad tech. What’s not to like?! 🙂
Why did you choose to come to Yieldmo?
I came because of the team, technology, and the vision of the company.
What are you most excited about in 2021?
Professionally, I’m excited to be apart of the growth of Yieldmo in our current and new markets. And I’m looking forward to a less divided and more unified world.
What do you do to make Yieldmo great?
I’m bringing my experience and ability to apply engineering principles to grow business value and bring products to scale our business.
What’s next for your team at Yieldmo?
Operational excellence, Efficiencies, Automation and Growth
If you could go back to the early days of the internet, what would you change?
Since I was introduced to it in 1995, I wish I would’ve gotten into it earlier!
Where do you see tech going in the next few years?
Tech is always changing, and I see a lot of opportunities on the horizon. First, as the barrier and cost to build and deploy technology dramatically lessens, thanks to the cloud, open-source, and SaaS offerings create a more “connected” and efficient world. As engineering teams bring SaaS offerings into their tech stack, they will no longer have to build everything internally, allowing companies to innovate, move fast and introduce new business models. Automation and algorithms will continue to drive efficiencies and cost down in nearly every sector, from consumer goods to healthcare. There will be a continued rise in entrepreneurship and creativity due to ease and accessibility to technology. It is easier than ever to turn ideas into reality. And there is no end in sight for the Buzzword soup: AI, Algos, Machine Learning, NoCode/low code, SPAC, Deep Tech, Headless, Serverless, 5G, and VR/AR/Mixed.
What are your thoughts on programmatic and where it’s going in the next few years?
There are a few obvious trends that will continue to dominate the programmatic industry. First off, the Triopoly will get bigger as Amazon eats into Facebook and Google’s market share. As third party cookies go away, there will be more Innovation around identity/contextual/fingerprinting/targeting. I think more people will pay attention to supply chain optimizations (SPO/DPO), so publishers work with fewer SSPs and advertisers will work with fewer DSPs. Advertisers explore TikTok as a place to deploy budgets. Walmart’s advertising business is going to get stronger and more significant. And finally, vertically focused ad exchanges will gain more popularity.
There are a few less obvious trends that I think will start to sneak their way into the conversation. First, I think there are going to be some interesting M&A partnerships on the horizon between ad tech companies and Airbnb, DoorDash, Uber, Tiktok. While still in the experimental stages, I think there are going to be new ways of buying media such as cost per hour, cost per min, cost per sec will become more of a thing but still experimental. CTV adoption is taking longer than the market predicts due to a lack of infrastructure for targeting and measurement. And last, but not least, contextual is going to be back in full force.
What was your AIM/ICQ first screen name?
My first AIM screen name was Jawas626 after the name of my first band and area code of my city. After I wanted to be more serious about screen names so I changed it to duckychau.
What’s the last good book you read?
My buddy, former graphic artist, David Yoon wrote a book that became a national bestseller titled “Frankly In Love.” The book was hilarious, clever, and insightful. One of my favorite reads. You never know what great talents people are hiding!
What are you watching these days?
Dirty Money, Cobra Kai, Blown Away, and Throwbacks on Disney+.