Clark Landry is an entrepreneur and investor with several successful exits and 10+ years of experience at online advertising and consumer internet ventures. He is currently the founder and executive chairman at GraphEffect, a social media marketing company that helps clients advertise more effectively on Facebook.
Previously, he was co-founder of Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd. (TLDH), a publicly-tradedcompany on the London AIM that is applying for top level domains .eco (in a partnership with the Sierra Club) and .nyc (in a partnership with Ed Koch), among others.
He co-foundedTagWorld, a social networking company, which was acquired by Viacom, and was a founding investor of Adconion Media Group, the largest privately-held advertising network worldwide (by reach), and Traffic Marketplace, which was acquired by Vivendi.
Clark is an active angel investor, with stakes inEdgeCast Networks, a leading content delivery network, Burstly, an iPhone application monetization platform, EcoMom, a seller of environmentally-friendly products for moms and kids, Cloud Telecomputers, a developer of desktop smartphones, Blacklots, a flash sale and auction platform for contemporary art, ShopNation, a vertical shopping platform, LateNightShots, a nightlife-focused social networking and events company, CityMommy, a social networking website for new mothers, and Gotchoo, a local deals company.
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on GraphEffect. We help clients advertise more effectively on Facebook using our proprietary ad optimization technology. The company is doing really well. We’re in an enormous market that is growing very quickly. We were profitable last year, and recently raised a round of funding from several VCs and angels.We’re hiring salespeople, developers, account managers, you name it.
What does your typical day look like?
Wake up, play with the kids, check my email, and then off to work. Most of my day consists of calls, meetings, reading and responding to emails, and interacting with the team. We’re up to 12 employees and should be at 20 within a month or two. I try to get home before my kids go to bed (doesn’t always happen), and then back on the computer usually until bed. My wife Dayna is a fellow internet entrepreneur so she’s ok with the “always on” lifestyle.
3 trends that excite you?
I’m excited about the prospect of using social data to optimize TV content and ads, personalization based on social data, and online UI/UX improvements moving to the offline realm (cars, the home, etc).
How do you bring ideas to life?
Come up with the idea, and persist until it’s a reality. In my experience, the methodical, everyday push towards a goal is much more important than any initial flash of inspiration.
What inspires you?
People working hard towards a worthwhile goal.
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
I’ve been known to worry and overthink things on occasion. I think I’ve gotten better about living in the moment, enjoying what’s here now and letting go.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Start a social networking site for college kids with a clean, minimalist design. Make it a site about maintaining real-life connections. Limit it to just a few schools at first, then expand to others, but only allow those with .edu emails to sign up. Eventually open it up to everyone. Can you backdate this?
What do you read every day? Why?
Google Reader – my favorite feeds are Both Sides of the Table, InsideFacebook, VentureBeat. I’ve been spending more time on Twitter – Henry Blodget (@hblodget) is particularly entertaining. I get my political fix from RealClearPolitics. Offline I like Barrons and the Economist.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?
I imagine most of your readers have already read it, but The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Among other things, it reminds you to be ready for the completely unexpected.
What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?
I used PCs for years until earlier this year when I got a MacBook Air. It’s a great computer.
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
Reed Landry, founder of LateNightShots. He runs an extremely profitable local social networking site in Washington DC. The business model is ingenious – I haven’t seen it replicated anywhere else. And he’s my brother.
Where do you see yourself professionally in 10 years?
Doing the same types of things. Starting companies with people I enjoy working with.