Introducing Ampush Media
I have accepted an offer to advise Ampush Media, a new online education marketing company. There are many big players in this space (see Ampush’s own research on the QuinStreet IPO), but this is the hottest new entrant.
The founding team is Aniket (Nick) Shah and Jesse Pujji, who both have Wall St. backgrounds. We will see how their ruthlessly analytic Wall St. approach will yield new solutions. So far they’ve made more progress in the industry than any other new company I’ve seen. Our lead gen industry is definitely getting attention from new groups of people; LeadsCon was 2x the size this year, and included large, previously unseen contingents from NYC and SF.
This is the sort of thing I like about this team: While reviewing their negotiations for an (impressively large) contract last week, I referenced Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power, and they knew the book inside out.
Everything in lead gen is measurable and requires optimization. They hired Demetri Spanos as Chief Scientist, a PhD from CalTech who is a bonofied search marketing expert. He has deep experience in machine learning and natural language processing. The first product, Teacher’s Pet, takes a lot of the quantiative finance techniques Nick & Jesse used to analyze stocks, and applies them to paid search keyword bidding. Using multiple algorithms, they’ve automated the entire optimization process including keyword selection, ad variations, bidding, and landing page variations, with feedback loops from lead conversions, applications and enrollments. They are currently working on a display media product which also uses quantitative finance algorithms.
The Extended Team