Spinnakr's Co-founder Michael Mayernick On How He Made A Web Analytics Platform
Spinnakr is a Privately held Information Technology and Services company founded by Michael Mayernick and Adam Bonnifield in the year 2011. Spinnakr is based out of Washington DC, United States.
Spinnakr, a web analytics platform, is democratizing access to big data insights, recommendations and action in real-time. The data driven analytics insights provided by Spinnakr eliminates the need for digital strategists to interpret web analytics data. This thus reduces the cost of using data and helps a large number of business access to sophisticated analysis for the first time.
In an exclusive interview with CrazyEngineers.com, we got Michael to talk about his experiences at Spinnakr, his prior entrepreneurial ventures - ProudlyMadeInDC and DCTechMeetup, his co-founder Adam Bonnifield, the business model for Spinnakr and a lot more. Michael also tells us about how he convinces others about his belief system and ideas. Read on!
CE: Could you please tell our readers more about Spinnakr?
Michael: Spinnakr makes it easy to understand your web analytics. Instead of requiring you to decipher a bunch of charts and graphs, Spinnakr automatically monitors your analytics data for interesting events - like a spike in traffic from a certain source, a long term trend, or a correlation, and notifies you when that happens. We give our users powerful tools to take action on these notifications as well, like targeting certain visitors with a custom discount or offer, so that you can go from insight to action instantaneously.
CE: How did you come in contact with Adam Bonnifield, your co-founder at Spinnakr?
Michael: Adam and I have been friends for many years. It has been a huge asset to work closely with someone I know well and with whom I have a strong relationship. We worked together previously building social media targeting technology for political campaigns.
CE: You have also co-founded ProudlyMadeInDC and DCTechMeetup prior to Spinnakr? What was your first startup idea? How long did it take to get it in action?
Michael: I try to stay active in the startup communities I'm part of, and support other entrepreneurs in their projects and companies. I've always enjoyed building things. My first project was building an online portal for my high school while I was a student. I used Macromedia Dreamweaver to build it, but my technical knowledge has come a long way since those days.
CE: How did Adam and you decide to transform Giv.to to Spinnakr? What was the business model?
Michael: Giv.to was ultimately serving a smaller market - political campaigns and non-profits. While it was a successful product for us, the limited nature of the opportunity made us realize there were more interesting problems to work on. In some ways, we think of Spinnakr as an extension of Giv.to, but for a much broader audience.
CE: What is the one thing you would most like to change about Spinnakr?
Michael: Currently we just work with web analytics data, but the problems people have getting value out of and understanding web data exist for all kinds of data. Our goal is to eventually be able to look at any data question and help users gain insights without the analysis.
CE: It is possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
Michael: Truth is a measure of reality, but as an entrepreneur, you're in the business of creating new realities: new markets, new habits, new processes, new tools. So the real challenge is not to question your convictions, but to persistently bring them into existence through force of will.
CE: When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in? Were you able to convince the world?
Michael: In some sense, in any pitch you're starting from scratch. Whether it is an investor, a reporter, a prospective employee, or potential business partner, you have only your vision and conviction in it's value. I've come to love the challenge of pitching - each pitch is it's own unique puzzle, depending on who you're talking to and what they're interested in.
CE: Has your greatest fear ever come true? How did you deal with it?
Michael: I don't think so, but I don't spend too much time considering my fears.
CE: Thank you for your time. Any message for our readers?
To quote Paul Graham: "Startups rarely die in mid keystroke. So keep typing!"
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