Russ Fradin – Co-founder of Dynamic Signal

I can think of 50 failures. The solution is always the same: persistence and a positive outlook.

Russ Fradin, CEO and co-founder of Dynamic Signal, is a digital media veteran with more than 15 years of experience in online marketing.

Prior to co-founding Dynamic Signal, Russ was co-founder and CEO of Adify and co-founder of SocialShield. He was also senior vice president of business development at, executive vice president of corporate development at comScore, and one of the first employees at Flycast Communications.

Russ is an active angel investor and is on a number of boards. He holds a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Where did the idea for Dynamic Signal come from?

My co-founders and I have spent the past 20 years working on new forms of digital marketing. After selling our last company in the ad-tech space, we started thinking a lot about non-paid forms of digital marketing.

Influencer marketing and advocate marketing really stood out as areas with huge promise and potential, but there weren’t any real solutions to maximize their value, make them measureable, and make them scalable. As we started working in the influencer space, we realized that a company’s own employees were by far its most effective advocates.

What does your typical day look like, and how do you make it productive?

It really depends. I like to spend as much of my time as possible in the market working with our current clients and prospects. Obviously, when you run a company, you have a ton of other things to do, so some weeks are spent dealing mostly with internal issues. Those are my least favorite weeks.

How do you bring ideas to life?

We have a fantastic organization where we get direct and meaningful feedback from everyone at every level. We do our best to listen to everything and weigh those needs against our own vision for the future.

What’s one trend that really excites you?


What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I try my best to help other entrepreneurs who reach out to me. I’ve found enormous rewards from talking to other people about their businesses. Watching how other people think about problems and opportunities is more valuable than any business book I have ever read.

What was the worst job you ever had, and what did you learn from it?

When I was 14 years old, I worked in the receiving department of a major manufacturing company. My job was to work to ensure that the box claiming to contain 20,000 transistors actually contained 20,000 transistors instead of 19,752. After that summer, I realized it was time to learn to write code so I could have a job with a chair and air conditioning!

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I would have kept coding. I started my career as a developer and quickly decided that I preferred sales and business development. While everything has worked out fantastically well, I’m no longer as technical as I once was, and that’s a shame.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I try to understand other businesses. I believe entrepreneurs can be too focused on what they’re doing and their direct competition and miss other things happening in the broader industry that could impact their lives.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Constant focus on client success. We’re an enterprise company. The business is worthless if our product and service fail to produce value for our customers. It’s equally worthless if we produce great value but fail to keep our customers happy. I spend an outsized amount of my time thinking about delighting our customers. I don’t think enough entrepreneurs do that.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I can think of 50 failures. The solution is always the same: persistence and a positive outlook.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Someone should create a wearable device for people on a diet that tracks body movements associated with getting food (leaning over to look in a fridge, hand motion to reach into a candy bowl, etc.) and whispers, “You don’t need that,” into users’ headphones. It would be the most successful diet product ever created.

Tell us something about you that very few people know.

I’m an excellent juggler. My wife is, too. We love putting on shows for the kids where we pass clubs to each other.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Ambushed: A War Reporter’s Life on the Line” is an amazing book. I think it’s important to read about lots of things, not just books specific to your industry. It’s a profound story of people dealing with actual struggles. The “Harry Potter” series is good, too.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

• Fred Wilson’s blog ) is the best. I was fortunate enough to get to work with him in two different capacities over the past 15 years, and he’s hands down the best guy thinking about startups, trends, and building companies.

• Marc Andreessen’s Twitter feed: @pmarca

• Hunter Walk’s blog:

• Jeff Weiner’s posts on LinkedIn:


Russ Fradin on Twitter: @rfradin
Dynamic Signal on Twitter: @dynamic_signal
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