One of the most insightful things our team learned during the launch of our product in public beta is that the presentation of information is as important as the information itself.
Jehan Hamedi is a social network analytics and digital marketing expert who is the Founder and CEO of Adhark, a Boston-based streaming marketing recommendation company, and the creator of Cuckoo.
A marketer turned software inventor, Hamedi holds multiple utility patents including one for the revolutionary system that automatically detects new marketing opportunities on social media. Previously, Hamedi led global market development for Crimson Hexagon, an award-winning enterprise listening provider that was founded at Harvard University.
Hamedi has helped develop new customer insight strategies for some of the world’s top technology companies, retailers and brands including Google, Twitter, and Paramount Pictures. He is also an advisor, frequent speaker and writer on the intersection of social media and business intelligence and has been featured in WIRED magazine, Adweek, Ad Age and PR Daily. Hamedi graduated summa cum laude from Boston University.
Where did the idea for Adhark come from?
My parents inspired me to start Adhark for the millions of people who want to grow their businesses, but need timely marketing advice in order to be successful. Growing up, I watched my parents’ manufacturing business in Wisconsin often struggle to get new leads. I asked myself: “What if it was possible to use public consumer data to get marketing advice from the very people you are trying to reach?” I’m proud to have the opportunity to take what I’ve learned about social networking, analytics, and digital marketing, and develop a platform that can help every business discover how to do their best marketing, instantly.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Every day is different when you run a startup: on any given day, I am managing recruitment or fundraising one minute, and then marketing or product management the next. In order to be productive, I have found that it is important to have a plan, while still being flexible enough to re-organize my time and style-flex, based on the issues that need my attention most.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I believe that our best ideas are developed within a collaborative environment. The Adhark team works really hard to maintain strong communication between all of our members.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Data-driven creative. Every retailer and consumer brand wants to know how to most effectively reach and engage their audiences with content. Instead of guessing what’s going to resonate, analytics can provide these companies with meaningful, data-driven answers. For example, at Adhark we use proprietary computer vision and image analysis algorithms to identify the trending colors within any target audience in real-time. Armed with these insights, companies can promote their most compelling styles and colors of products to improve the performance of their marketing.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
As an entrepreneur, I think it’s important to be good at multi-tasking. There are so many moving parts and fluctuating priorities; the ability to easily shift from one topic to the next is key.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Get involved with more startups. I believe that you can never have enough hands-on experience developing and bringing a new product or service to market. The more you know the process, the better you will be able to manage the process.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Ask for feedback. At Adhark, learning is the foundation of our business. Our software platform uses artificial intelligence to allow businesses to truly know their target audience so that they can make better marketing decisions every day. As a company, we are constantly working to better understand our customers’ needs, and that starts with regularly asking them for input and feedback. We use this information to constantly enhance and fine-tune our product offerings.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Adhark has grown as a result of our strong team. Everyone works together to achieve both our short and long term goals. We communicate frequently to solve problems and create an atmosphere where collaboration is encouraged and innovation is everywhere.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One of the most insightful things our team learned during the launch of our product in public beta is that the presentation of information is as important as the information itself. User workflows and paths to information must be clear and intuitive for all users. We applied this insight to our product strategy and successfully improved the user experience with our platform.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Data processing costs to support the development of Adhark’s enterprise analytics platform.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Slack. We use Slack as the primary communication tool for our team. It is tremendously useful when coordinating with a virtual team, because it allows us to communicate instantly with one another across multiple business channels.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki is a good read for every entrepreneur because it outlines the essential steps to launch and grow any type of business.
What is your favorite quote?
“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” – Thomas Jefferson
Tell us about one friend or acquaintance of yours who we should interview on IdeaMensch. Who are they, what are they doing and what’s their email address?
Bernie Borges is the Founder and CEO of Find and Convert, and the Executive Producer of Social Business Engine. He is a veteran B2B marketer and an authority on social selling and social business strategy.