My guest today is Jeff Green, the CEO and co-founder of advertising platform, The Trade Desk. The Trade Desk is the second advertising exchange Jeff has built, having sold his first venue to Microsoft in 2007. He started The Trade Desk in 2009 and has built it into a $30 billion public business. In our discussion, we talk about the parallels between The Trade Desk and an equity exchange, why Jeff chose to align with ad buyers not sellers, and how he shapes the culture of his firm. Please enjoy my conversation with Jeff Green.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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[00:03:09] - [First question] - What he’s learned about human behavior and how it’s impacted his business
[00:05:45] - Big differences in generational and perennial behavior
[00:06:56] - The strong link between vulnerability and creativity
[00:07:42] - The necessary preconditions that allowed him to build Trade Desk the way he did
[00:10:53] - What it would have felt like as an early stage employee at Trade Desk
[00:12:43] - The hardest parts about maintaining his type of company culture
[00:14:05] - How much of his company culture is interwoven systemically or whether it arises naturally based on talent choices
[00:15:59] - Defining what talent means to him and the dimensions of it that matter
[00:18:32] - Laying out what a compelling vision is to him and in the general sense
[00:22:03] - What he’s learned about delivering messages effectively
[00:23:49] - The founding story and history of Trade Desk
[00:28:33] - How he thinks about the key stakeholder groups around Trade Desk’s platform
[00:30:50] - Figuring out who Trade Desk’s key customers were and identifying them writ large
[00:34:55] - The composition of the universe and market of those who buy advertising
[00:36:11] - Practical product implications based on their choice of service
[00:40:16] - Building inventory legibility and its dimensions and importance
[00:44:26] - What it’s like building a business that serves the biggest corporations in the world and what the revenue curve is like for that
[00:47:55] - The time between the first line of code to a multi million dollar revenue stream
[00:50:29] - Markers for technology companies he’d look for that could achieve a similar scale
[00:53:35] - How not being able to simulate poverty or hunger translates into his parenting
[00:57:10] - Describing the margin differences between Trade Desk and Google
[00:59:00] - What stands out as the defining moment in his firm’s history
[01:01:50] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him