VentureFizz Reports: Working in Boston Tech According to ownerIQ
This article originally appeared in VentureFizz, Working in Boston Tech: ownerIQ, and features Jay Schaufeld, ownerIQ’s SVP of Human Resources, about the company’s culture and the inner workings at “The Q.
Can you share the details on what ownerIQ does?
ownerIQ (“The Q”) is a transparent data marketplace in adtech. The Q focuses on creating successful partnerships for retailers, brands and marketers alike. We help retailers and brands form natural marketing partnerships and leverage the digital audiences of their marketing partners.
There’s a lot of talk about second-party data on your website. Can you share some info about what that term means?
Second-party data is the transparent access to a trusted and relevant partner’s first-party data. A second-party data cloud is built specifically for the transparent sharing of a relevant partner’s first-party data. This data source has already gone mainstream within relationships between two entities with an existing and symbiotic relationship, such as retailers and brands. Beyond these instances, the adoption of the concept will depend on the particulars of the association between the parties at hand. Organizations with an adjacent relationship, organizations that share an agency, and organizations that share a platform are all common examples of other second-party data use cases.
Who are your customers?
Retailers and Brands.
You recently moved into new offices which we recently featured on an Office Tour. What are your plans for growth in terms of hiring in 2017 and for what positions?
ownerIQ has been growing at an incredibly rapid pace, with close to an 80 percent increase in hiring in the last three years, and around 50 percent in the last year and a half alone. We don’t foresee this trend slowing down in the near future. Quite the opposite, we expect this growth to continue as we’ve budgeted for 25 percent increase in headcount. In fact, the Q is hiring in all offices across the US including, New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
What are your company’s core values or how would you best describe the culture and working environment at ownerIQ?
On a basic level, our culture motto is simple: work hard, play hard. Once at the Q, however, you’ll see that there’s way more to this than a written description. You’ll quickly become part of one rising, passionate, grown-up startup. ownerIQ has benefited from 10 years of incremental and progressive growth; we literally own the second-party data marketplace. Given the opportunity and shift in this market, there’s an air of urgency and entrepreneurialism that makes the Q feel like a true startup. There’s so much opportunity and progress in the space, that at times it feels like we’re back in grad school – learning, working together to get the job done, and are combining our smarts and opinions to bring tremendous value to our customers and the employees.
What types of activities are employees involved in at or outside the office?
ownerIQ employees love partaking in various philanthropic events and are always looking for more ways to help out their local communities. Most recently, the Q’s Client Services team supported the Greater Boston Food Bank, which remains an ongoing initiative. The Q also regularly hosts educational sessions for outside organizations and schools, with 35 students from the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance visiting a few weeks back.
Share some random fun facts.
This one is both easy and difficult because there are so many awesome things about the Q!
- We can start with the fact that we literally doubled our footprint in Boston; and not only is our new loft-like office space incredibly cool, but it’s allowing us to more easily accommodate for a 25 percent increase in headcount, as well as maximize our space to host more gatherings and internal events!
- Outside of Boston, we more than doubled our space in NYC, and are now actively looking to secure more legroom in our Chicago and Seattle offices. We’ve also hit a 125 percent increase in revenue growth in the last three years – this is pretty cool, indeed.
- What’s more, we cater monthly lunches from delicious local hotspots, have bagel and fruit Fridays, and so much more!
- But wait, there’s even more: all new Q employees take part in QUniversity (QU), an onsite training and company overview at the Boston headquarters.
Rapid Fire Questions
- What’s on tap? Seasonal local beers served fresh and daily. In fact, we take our beer so seriously that we even named our meeting rooms after local breweries
- iPhone or Android? You can say we’re a mixed device kind of group. We love to support businesses that support us, and much like our digital ads, we’re device agnostic. When it comes down to it, we’re all for the device that gets the job done in the most innovative way possible.
- Favorite employee perk? One of the biggies is our generous PTO policy for every Q employee, including folks who have just started. Everyone gets four weeks! Otherwise, the Q has a very progressive new parent leave policy, as well as a complete and robust benefits plan for a company our size – but we’re always looking to evolve and expand our #QtheBenefits initiatives.
- What super hero could you see working at ownerIQ? Iron Man, because he’s a tech genius. We also have a real Iron Man on staff; our CFO, Doug!
- What music is playing in your office? We’re always playing some tunes, so take your pick. Our recent company event, for instance, featured a DJ and a live drummer.
- What the view like from your office? Rumor has it you can see Rob Gronkowski’s pad from our office, but you’ll just have to see for yourself.
“ownerIQ’s business model made a lot of sense to me. The whole “data-sharing” concept blew my mind because I came from a retargeter, a first-party data advertiser, and had never before fathomed the targeting possibilities that could be unlocked with second-party data partnerships. I saw value in it and felt like this was something I would be passionate about representing in a new sales role. Everyone I spoke to at the Q during my interviews seemed really humble, welcoming, and down-to-earth. This felt like a professional environment where I could be myself, transparently. Since joining I have grown tremendously because of the mentorship of my boss.” – Nirvanna Lildharrie, Brand Recruiting Specialist
“The startup environment has many roles that are undefined and many problems that don’t have owners, so it allows for people who are thoughtful and diligent with their work to move up in the organization quickly. Having the opportunity to grow your career, alongside many of your friends in the company, while also watching the Q grow has been extremely rewarding.” – Dan Hopkins, VP of Finance and Yield Management
“It’s vital as a new parent to have ample time to bond with your baby and adjust to parenthood, as the first employee on ownerIQ’s new paid parental leave policy, I was able to have the freedom to do so without jeopardizing my career advancement or family’s financial future. More companies should take ownerIQ’s lead to implement a paid parental leave policy that is inclusive of all new parents.” – Aidan Bradley Murphy, Marketing Director