StartApp Co-founder Gil Dudkiewicz on What it Means to Live in a Mobile World

StartApp co-founder Gil Dudkiewicz gave HC an insight on what it's like to work in the tech world and what it means to make a mobile experience a moment

HC: What exactly is StartApp? It’s described as an “insights-driven mobile technologies company,” but could you break this down for our readers?

Gil: "At StartApp, our goal is to connect our partners with consumers in ways that ultimately benefit the consumer’s mobile life. The principle way we accomplish this goal is through mobile data insights. We help our partners understand what today’s mobile user is really like – where do they spend their time in the mobile space, what experiences they gravitate towards when it comes to interacting with their favorite brands, and more – and we then help those partners make a real connection with those users by creating what we call 'fulfilling mobile moments.'"

HC: How did you come up with this concept?

Gil: "To go back to the very beginning, StartApp was founded in 2010 by myself and my co-founder Ran Avidan as a mobile monetization company – in other words, we helped app developers earn revenue from their free apps. We developed our own SDK, or software development kit, that enabled app developers to connect to the advertising ecosystem. We were one of the first companies in this space and, as a result, we now have our SDK on over 350,000 apps, growing at about 8,000 apps a month. Because of this, we now see about one billion users globally every month."

"In addition to connecting app developers with advertising, our SDK also captures and provides data that is used internally to optimize our advertising solutions and provide higher revenue to developers. Recently, we have started to develop other data products that diversify what we can do with our data so we can offer our solutions to more partners."

"At StartApp, we believe that mobile tech enriches not only our daily lives, but also our communities and our world. Mobile devices are people’s most personal object, and it is important for each mobile user to get the most fulfilling and enriching experiences - something that makes them feels special: a 'moment.' In order for our partners to deliver these moments to mobile users, we at StartApp dedicate our resources to analyzing mobile user data and then delivering those insights to our partners. Our partners can then tap into our suite of technologies – from advertising to virtual reality to branded content experiences and more – to create fulfilling experiences for their target audiences."

"When it came time to boil down StartApp into just a few words, 'insights-driven mobile technologies company' truly encompassed what we do today as a company."

HC: Since your start in 2010, you’ve partnered with some of the world’s top brands, such as Yahoo!, Zillow, Mattel, and Uber (among others). Could you us about your most memorable partnership?

Gil: "Every partner we have – from the independent app developer to a huge global brand like Mattel – is important to us and we value all of them immensely. In terms of our most memorable partnership, I would have to say Mattel. Our partnership with Mattel was the foundation for a whole new branch of StartApp – our digital content solution. Today, we work with brands to connect with audiences within social apps, and we’ve now helped brands become part of the consumer’s daily conversation through branded keyboards, emojis, and more. This is an area of our business that is developing rapidly."

HC: What do you hope to accomplish with StartApp within the next five years?

Gil: "The mobile industry moves so rapidly that it is hard to say where we will be in terms of technology in five years’ time! I wouldn’t have believed you five years ago if you had told me that we would launch a virtual reality advertising solution in just a couple of years. That being said, I know that we as a company will continue to innovate and stay ahead of the technology curve while also continuing to perfect all of our mobile and data solutions. I also hope to see us continue to expand across the globe."

HC: As the co-founder of StartApp, what does a typical work day look like for you?

Gil: "As the CEO of a global company in such a fast-changing industry, every day is something different. There is a lot of travel and a lot of time spent on the phone. One day I could be in our office in Israel meeting with my management team, the next be in New York to meet with clients, and the next in San Francisco to speak at an industry event."

HC: How do you feel about the female/male ratio in the tech world?

Gil: "The bottom line is that representation in the tech world is currently far, far behind where it should be in the year 2017. That being said, it is clear that strides are being made across the industry and that is something to be celebrated even as we as an industry continue to recognize and address sizeable gaps."

HC: Is StartApp doing anything to help bridge this gap?

Gil: "The gender balance at StartApp is something that we celebrate and are very proud of. Having a diverse range of experience and insight in every department – from R&D, to data analysis, to marketing, to finance  - only makes us stronger as a company. I believe StartApp’s CRO, Gabi Cohen, said it best in a recent article:

'Having 50 percent women in the company makes discussions different. It reduces the tension and ego-based conversations. And it also allows us to make more well-rounded decisions because we have different perspectives and ideas being brought to the table.

I think our balance between genders creates a positive environment in the office, and that leads to openness and better communication among employees. And I think that having a gender balance indirectly affects men’s approach to work/life balance, giving them the encouragement and legitimacy to take on a more active role in their home environments.'

At the end of the day, I know my managers are hiring the best people for the job - whether that person be male or female, gay or straight, and on - because that is the type of culture we have built as a company and the type of culture we value as a company."

HC: What else can you tell our readers about StartApp?

Gil: "We’re hiring! We pride ourselves on a culture based around the values of collaboration, creativity, and innovation, and we give you the resources you need to advance skills, develop professionally, and grow within the company." 

"Check out our openings at: www.startapp.com/careers"