Prediction Series 2019: Interview with Ian Kane, Founder and COO, Ternio

Prediction Series 2019: Interview with Ian Kane, Founder / COO, Ternio
Ian Kane, Founder / COO, Ternio

Tell us about your journey into technology and how you started Ternio.

I have worked in digital media for over 10 years with a heavy focus on business development, sales, and strategy. My career started as the 1st employee in a media startup which grew into a $50mm a year business during my tenure. Over my career, I’ve had the opportunity to work in both early stage and mature organizations, be a part of acquisitions on the buy and sell side, and drive go-to-market strategy for various data and media products.

Seeing the inefficiencies and fraud issues in digital advertising is what led me to start Ternio with my partner. For many years I’ve followed the development of both blockchain and cryptocurrency so it was clear that blockchain had the opportunity to solve many of the issues digital advertising faces.

What opportunities and challenges did you and/or Ternio identified at the start of the 2018 and have things worked out as planned?

To be candid, the biggest challenge Ternio has faced is educating the market. Many people conflate bitcoin and blockchain, but they are not the same thing. People get caught up in sensationalized headlines about cryptocurrency prices that can skew their perception. We’ve been very focused on demonstrating how blockchain (not bitcoin) can help solve the lack of transparency issue within the programmatic ecosystem.

Ternio is best known for our highly scalable blockchain framework.  To my knowledge, it’s the only blockchain that can support the high QPS of programmatic advertising and write that data to the blockchain in real time. This is monumental not just for the digital advertising space, but blockchain technology in general. Getting this technology in front of people and showing them something tangible helps open their eyes to what Ternio can do. All of the feedback we have received has been positive.

What are your predictions on the “Role of Blockchain” for enterprise data management? How could this technology further impact Marketing and Advertising?

Two years from now it is going to be irresponsible for any media buyer not to buy blockchain-verified ad inventory.  Change can happen rapidly in the digital advertising space once you demonstrate a technology makes a business better, faster, or more efficient. At Ternio, we’re focused on showing how blockchain makes programmatic buying a more transparent experience. That transparency translates into better buying decisions and an improved ROI.

About 5 years ago, bot detection companies were starting to gain traction, but not everyone was using them. Today, a media buyer would not think of launching a campaign without a fraud verification company. The same will be true with blockchain, but it’s going to happen much, much faster.

Do you think AI-as-a-Service and Blockchain-as-a-Service could be the new destination for CMOs to invest in 2019?

100%.  I say that not to be biased for Ternio’s benefit, but from hearing CMO’s first hand saying they are interested in it.  2019 is going to be the year we start to see blockchain move from theoretical solution to real world application. How and where that’s applied will be interesting to watch. There is not a one-size-fits-all way to apply blockchain to your business.

How do you justify use of blockchain technologies to new customer community?

I let the numbers do the talking. In 2017, roughly $224b was spent on digital advertising globally. Approximately $18b of that went to fraud.   We’ve all seen stats where $1 enters the supply chain and $0.50 comes out the other end. If you’re a big brand your dollars are paying for that, so it’s important to understand exactly who you’re working with.  Ternio doesn’t dictate how or where a media buyer spends their money, we simply want to bring transparency to the process.

What was the most impactful lesson you had learned from 2018? How do you plan to implement the lesson in 2019?

Ternio launched this year. (2018).  Starting a business is hard, but starting a business with nascent technology in an industry that is often plagued with vaporware is even harder.  Add to that the philosophical difference of blockchain being a decentralized system compared to the centralized systems we all use today. The single best lesson I’ve learned is that you can give a brand or agency the best pitch in the world, but at the end of the day just showing them the tech is so much better.

Early on we spent a lot of time on the nitty gritty and showing how it could benefit a business, but putting the Ternio UI in front of them and demonstrating how it works is much more powerful. The details need to follow and that’s something we’re going to carry with us into 2019 and beyond.

Which leaders in the industry do you closely work with? How do they help you stay close to the business actions?

Ternio has been working closely with a number of large and small ad agencies. We’re currently dealing with all of the 5 major holding companies as well as many of the large consulting firms.  We’re also talking with major DSPs, SSPs, Ad Exchanges, and Publishers. It doesn’t matter where in the ad supply chain a company sits — everyone will benefit.

One advice to all the blockchain leaders in your community —

Keep fighting the good fight.  Change takes time, but the end result will be worth it.

I have worked in digital media for over 10 years with a heavy focus on business development, sales, and strategy. My career started as the 1st employee in a media startup which grew into a $50mm a year business during my tenure. I had the opportunity to work in both early stage and mature organizations, be a part of acquisitions on the buy and sell side, and drive go-to-market strategy for various data and media products.

As an advisor and investor in other ad tech companies, I always look to create value and continually broaden my knowledge of the ever changing landscape. My background enables me to bring unique insight and experience to the next set of challenges I face. Let’s connect if you think there is an opportunity for us to work together!

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Ternio provides a highly scalable blockchain framework called Lexicon to enterprise business clients. Lexicon is independently verified at over 1 million transactions per second, all on chain. Ternio brings transparency to programmatic digital advertising with its Lexicon framework. Lexicon is the only scalable blockchain solution for programmatic digital advertising – capable of supporting over 1 million transactions per second. Existing companies in the ad supply chain use Lexicon to verify users, instantly pay publishers, and protect advertisers from ad fraud.

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