Meet Or Shani, CEO of Adgorithms

Forbes Technology Council members are in a wide range of industries and come from a diverse set of experiences. However, they all have lots of great insights to share, from best practices for technology departments to smart predictions for the future of tech. To showcase their expertise, we’re profiling Forbes Technology Council members here on the blog. This week: Or Shani.

Or Shani is the founder and CEO of Adgorithm, the first artificial intelligence marketing platform. It uses machine learning to maximize the returns on ad campaigns.

We asked him three important questions. His answers are below:

What is your background, and how has it influenced what you do today?

Before starting Adgorithms in 2010, I spent a decade working in online advertising, primarily as a data scientist and ultimately as a VP of Marketing. I went into marketing because I’d envisioned digital advertising as something sexy and new. But what became very clear within the first few months of taking my first job was that this new type of advertising was old school. As I moved into the day-to-day tasks and learned what people did to run their programs and campaigns, I realized that everything was still so manual and unsophisticated — not a smart use of digital technology. Because of this, the results weren’t good enough either.

Adgorithms is the marriage of my marketing background and years of experience in programmatic buying and predictive analysis. I understand technology not only through the eyes of a technologist, but through the eyes of businesses that are affected by it. Adgorithms now works with hundreds of brands, each with nuanced business problems to solve.

What do you think is the most interesting piece of new technology today? (And / or how do you see the technology landscape changing in the next 5 – 10 years?)

Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies that simplify the complex are very interesting to me. Past technological revolutions have revolved around automating simple tasks, but over the next 5 – 10 years, AI and machine learning-oriented technologies will focus on automating complex tasks. Products will get smarter. Many of the complications resulting from technology and having too much data will become simpler. User interfaces will be easier to use, but have more complex things happening behind the scenes.

What’s your best piece of advice for technology executives to keep on top of the rapidly evolving tech space?

Introduce structure and automation around your data efforts, and hire tech problem-solvers rather than tech “geniuses.” Companies have so much data and it multiplies with time. It’s a machine’s job to keep up with and interpret it, but many companies sit around praying that their data scientist will somehow make it work. Make sure there’s structure around how you process data, meaning an organized process for analyzing and executing on it. Then find ways to automate data analysis and put it to work.

On the technology side, it’s less important to hire the “geniuses” than it is to hire the people who know how to solve the real-life business or consumer problems your product or offering promises to solve. They need to be able to think through problems and execute in a way that addresses them, rather than building cool technology for the sake of showcasing their skills.