An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Kevin Marcus, the founder and CTO of Versium, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of Versium – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
About a decade ago, data analytics started to show real promise in the marketing arena – that “one to one” marketing dream started to sprout legs. ROI was calculable and there were many new analysis techniques that could measure outcomes reliably. Doing these things wasn’t easy. Setting up systems, hiring data scientists, and tagging/tracking everything was very arduous and expensive. Data in internal systems was old, wrong, and unstructured. Versium was created to automate and simplify these marketing issues, bringing the complexity down to a level that didn’t require a PhD to understand.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
Finding the right people for the organization is and has always been challenging. People are what make the company tick, and we want people who are passionate about the data world and our products. With many large companies in the area driving salaries higher and soaking up top talent, it is a struggle to find people who’re talented, dedicated, and affordable
What does the future hold for Versium?
Versium has spent a lot of time engineering core data technologies and building out one of the most robust and comprehensive identity graphs. While this work continues, the new world of “vanishing cookies” and “know your customer” opens incredible opportunities for us to leverage this graph. We currently continue to see new opportunities to use our B2B2C graph to built better insights into business activity and expect new products around this powerful technology.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Redmond?
Redmond is a wonderful small city in a big metro. There is tremendous character and the recent downtown improvements really increase the draw to do things near the office. While costs are generally high, the quality of work-life that comes with it seems to be a good tradeoff. Plus, we avoid most of the issues “big cities” like Seattle face and have a great pool of talent from some of the larger companies in the area. With the latest COVID chaos creating tremendous opportunities all around, I expect to see the tech startup scene grow dramatically in the months to come.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
To make a great startup, you really need only three things: great products that solve your customers problems, great people to work with, and of course, fiscal discipline. Everything else will follow.