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Gil SadehGil Sadeh
Co-Founder & CEO Signals Analytics



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What problem does Signals Analytics solve?

There has been an explosion in both data and companies efforts to become more data-driven. However, 90% of the world’s data is unstructured, unconnected and unable to be analyzed by traditional analytics.

Our mission is to give companies a way forward to utilize and understand this data and how it impacts their business, so they can drive a richer more lasting experience and sustain growth.

I don’t like the taste of this pill. I can’t swallow this pill. I can’t open the packaging. I don’t have enough money to pay for my medication. I don’t feel good after taking this medication.

Consumers express concerns about a variety of products in the U.S. and around the world. Yet, how can companies identify, analyze and harness this unstructured data in meaningful ways that actually supports their product development and growth initiatives?

Signals’ technology applies the proven military principles of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) to machine learning and predictive analytics technologies, to create meaning from unstructured data designed to answer key commercial questions on product portfolio performance and forthcoming market trends and needs.

What’s special about you?

Prior to founding Signals I spent nearly 15 years as a commander of an elite special forces unit in the Israeli Defense Forces.

This is a role where your very survival depends on the quality of your intelligence, and it needs to be current, up-to- date: what are my conditions? How have they changed? Does this affect the time or point of entry? Is this bank transfer a true signal or just noise?

My expertise is truly in transforming random data into intelligence, and mapping it against go or no-go decisions.

Why are you doing this?

Kobi Gershoni and I co-founded Signals with the vision of applying the principles of military intelligence to product portfolio management and corporate innovation.

Together we had over 30 years of training, and we set out to develop a cloud-based platform that detects signals from the noise and provides a unified, always-on system-of- record for product decisions.

Historically, the military has been decades ahead of business in leveraging unconventional approaches that support real-time decision making and result in optimal outcomes.

We saw a unique opportunity with the explosion of unstructured data: there was a need for a new offering that empowers executives to respond to conditions of uncertainty and anticipate a constantly changing marketplace.”

What are some of your other pearls of wisdom?

  1. There is no magic 8 ball when it comes to analytics solutions and data science. Technologies are good, and advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to be transformative, but the man plus machine combination is what ultimately delivers value from any system. Think of it as “augmented intelligence.”Any successful data science strategy must start with a foundation in the topic domain, with knowledge of the business challenge that needs to be solved. Then, models and data schemes can be developed, and data collected, but one does not work without the other.
  2. Getting smarter about unstructured is as much about changing how we think about corporate intelligence and decision-making as it is the tools and data. Once we acknowledge that our world has changed – consumers have never been more fickle or empowered, the pace of the market has accelerated, disruption is global and coming from everywhere – decision-makers immediately welcome new ways and tools for thinking about decision-making.


Gil Sadeh — Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Prior to co-founding Signals, Gil served as a military intelligence and reconnaissance consultant for several defense-related governmental entities throughout the world, utilizing his vast experience honed as a commanding officer in an elite special forces unit of the Israel Defense Forces. He is a frequent guest lecturer and editorial contributor on the application of open source and signals intelligence to drive innovation, delight customers and reduce the risk of commercial decision making. Gil holds an LLB and MA in Government, Diplomacy and Strategy from the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel.

ENGAGE: NYC Digital Storytelling Conference

I enjoyed last week’s ENGAGE: NYC Digital Storytelling Conference. Talk NYC founder Derek Smith and his team put on a great event, featuring thought leaders from agencies, startups, and major brands. They covered the state of storytelling and where it’s going.

Below I share some of the highlights:

Aki Spicer, Chief Digital Officer of TBWA/ChiatDay covered the evolutîon of the agency and a day in the life of their teams. The operation seemed more like a busy newsroom with a mix of roles and talents. They have trend spotters, mixed-media specialists, and former journalists on staff. It’s a much more diverse mix than the traditional creative and account director-led teams.

Rodney Williams, CMO of Moët Hennessy talked about old brands employing new storytelling tricks. They are in a regulated industry which prevents MH from selling direct to consumers (like the car business). The company employs experiential storytelling and won an award at the TriBeCa Film Festival for Moët Moments short films.

One of the most interesting things Rodney covered was about the cult of Cognac and the master distiller. It’s something I never knew about (kind of reminded me of the rigors of the master sommelier in the wine world). E.g. new recruits don’t even speak up in tasting meetings for the first 10 years – that’s how long it takes to get your Cognac “nose.” And Cognac master distillers come from long lines often stretching back eight generations.

An audience member suggested using VR to capture the experience of a tasting session – but Rodney demurred. Doing so would pierce the veil, transparency has its limits and it is important to pròtect the mystique – no watching the Cognac sausage getting made here.

It was great hearing from former Boxee CEO Avner Ronen. He is heading up a new company called Public that has an app of the same name. It uses text messaging to help teens collaborate and tell stories. The app is aimed at members of communities such as middle and high schools.

Navid Khonsari of INK Stories talked about storytelling through gaming. I am not really a gamer – and one might not instantly connect the medium with brand marketing. But Navid made a compelling case and spoke about cool titles they’ve produced like 1979, which brings you into the Iranian revolution.

Then it was time for the session “The Rise of the Storytelling Bots” and I thought: great, here comes the Trump communications team (ba dum). Seriously, Hakari Bee of Rapp NYC spoke about the topic. It’s fascinating. Who knew you could go to a site called ChatFuel.com and build a Facebook bot in 5-7 minutes, without coding? Hakari covered best practices and case studies, including Mr. Miles (a bot and fictional character who flies KLM and Air France), covered by DM News.

Joe Hyrkin, CEO of Issuu (pronounced “issue”) made a compelling case that basically says creators are inheriting the Earth – they are the real kings of storytelling. Joe cited examples ranging from the singer Solange to Sweet Paul. He said that storytellers are building new media companies, and going where they want to share; it’s a creator’s world.

There were other great sessions. Unfortunately, I missed the later ones, as I could not stay the entire afternoon. I look forward to attending the next ENGAGE DSC.

Interview: Andrew Weinreich, Startup Veteran

Andrew WeinreichAndrew Weinreich,
startup veteran

predictingourfuture.com (podcast)

What problem does Andrew’s Roadmaps solve?

The idea behind the program is that, in order to succeed, entrepreneurs need to have a minimum level of competency in every discipline that they will confront while building and scaling their startups. We provide best practices and plans in all the disciplines associated with the life cycle of a digital startup  (e.g. lessons and templates for a business plan, cash flow projections, marketing plan, sales plan, product plan, etc.).

What’s special about you?

I have over 20 years of experience building tech businesses and have gained an appreciation for how planning shortens the overall execution time and reduces risk. I also have a fairly good track record at predicting massive disruptions that are likely to occur in different verticals, whether it has been anticipating the social network, public WiFi hotspots, or mobile online dating.

Why are you doing this?

I throw the Roadmap boot camp because I love working with and helping startups. Often, when I work with entrepreneurs, I learn as much from them as they’re able to learn from me. The reason why I’m doing the podcast is that I’ve found that the best way to understand where the world is headed is to talk with lots of disrupters who have developed specialized knowledge about their particular spaces. Then I synthesize what I learn from them into my own coherent narrative about how I foresee a particular space developing over time. I’m also trying to share with aspiring entrepreneurs promising areas in which they might start a business.

You are the only entrepreneur who shared the concept of the alpha, someone who makes up his mind and who others follow. They put up 10% and nine of their friends follow with the other 90%.

I do believe that most people look to be inspired at work and to participate in teams that are building something of which they can be proud.  If you want to be a startup CEO, your first job is to paint a vision and then inspire others with skills you lack to make that vision a reality.

What are some of Andrew’s other pearls of wisdom?


  1. Great founders develop a macro thesis about a space. A macro thesis is a perspective about large trends that are dictating where an industry is headed. Their expertise on the space is more important than their initial implementation. Expertise, or the ability to develop a compelling macro thesis about a vertical, is what allows founders to pivot. One reason to pivot is when you realize your macro thesis needs adjustment.

  2. Great founders all seem to have the right combination of arrogance and humility.

Another topic is how you think and why it’s special. I don’t know what else you have done besides six degrees. How do you determine what to move forward with?

I’ve founded (or co-founded) 7 companies in spaces that I’ve tried to be a disrupter in:

  1. Social networking (sixdegrees)
  2. Bringing WiFi to public places (Joltage)
  3. Online fundraising for political campaigns and non-profits (I Stand For)
  4. Mobile dating (MeetMoi)
  5. Mobile CRM (Xtify)
  6. Business analytics (Indicative)
  7. Startup education (Andrew’s Roadmaps / Predicting Our Future)

The value of your podcast is your thinking, your success and how you are sharing it with others. Are you other future change topics relate around solving your problems. I.e. Manufactured housing vs stick build onsite housing?

No. It’s usually easier to start with your own problems, because you’re likely to have considered a problem for longer and be more intent on solving it.  

Internet Society Meetup Explores Fake News

I attended the Internet Society’s “Content Rules?!” session the other week. The panel drilled down on what we now call The Fake News problem (I couch it like this because, as you’ll see it’s not a new one), defining it and exploring causes and solutions.

There’s been a lot already written about fake news. It’s turned into a real meme and hot button, but there’s been lots of noise and confusion. That’s not surprising because it is a complex topic, one that only recently hit our radars in the wake of the election.

Giving it a name gave it legs, a thing to blame (in some cases just because someone doesn’t like an article), and evoked lots of teeth gnashing. The session gave me the opportunity to hear from some very smart people from different sides, better understand the issues and crystallize my thoughts about how we might address the problem.

Not a New Problem

Journalist and American University Professor Chuck Lewis started by explaining that fake news has been around for years in various forms, e.g. government disinformation and propaganda. Toni Muzi Falcone’s DigiDig wrap (in Italian) also discussed this.

“The irony of us feeling victimized by fake news is pretty thick,” he said. “We’ve gone from truth to truthiness to a post-truth society, and now it’s fake news,” said Chuck, “but it’s been going on for centuries.”

He blamed the number of people “spinning information” vs. reporting it, and the ratio of PR people to journalists (which has grown to 5:1), and said it is a crisis for journalism. The big questions are, who decides what is true, and how do you set standards for 200+ countries? We’ve traditionally relied on the press to be content mediation experts.

“We are at a critical, disturbing crossroad,” Lewis said, as “No one wants the government to be the mediators.”

A Systemic Problem

Compounding the problem are the changing ways we get info, and the growing influence of social networks. Gilad Lotan, head of data science at Buzzfeed, discussed this.

He’s studied political polarization in Israel. Gilad showed some fancy social graphs that tracked the spreading of stories in the wake of IDF’s bombing of a Palestinian school. Two different story lines emerged. Neither was “fake” Gilad explained; “They just chose to leave certain pieces of info out in order to drive home points of a narrative.”

Gilad further discussed how your network position defines the stories you see; this leads to polarization and homophily (a fancy way of saying echo chamber). He also explained the role of algorithmic ranking systems. “You’re much more likely to see content which aligns with your viewpoints,” he said. This spawns “personalized propaganda spaces.”

It gives bad actors a way to game the system. Gilad illustrated this via what had been the elephant in the room – the 2016 US presidential election. He shared images that showed phantom groups manipulating the spread of information.

“The awareness of how algorithms work gave them a huge advantage. To this day, if you search for ‘Hillary’s Health’ on YouTube or Google, you see conspiracy theories at the top.”

Moderator Aram Sinnreich, associate professor at American University added: “My impression as a media scholar and critic… is that there’s been a lot of finger-pointing… everyone feels that there’s been a hollowing out of the Democratic process… undermining of the traditional role that the media has played as the gatekeeper of the shared narrative and shared truths; people want to hold the platforms accountable.”

Flavors of Fake News

Andrew Bridges, a lawyer who represents tech platforms, said that it is important to define the problem before considering solutions. The knee-jerk reaction has been to try to turn social networks into enforcement agencies, but that would be a mistake, according to Bridges. That’s because there are seven things calling fake news that could have different solutions (I list them with the examples he cited):

  1. Research and reporting with a pretense of being objective (e.g., major newspapers)
  2. Research and reporting in service of a cause (National Review, Nation, New Republic)
  3. Pretend journalism – claim to be a news source but is a curator (Daily Kos)
  4. Lies – the ones that Politifact and others give Pinocchio noses or “pants on fire” awards
  5. Propaganda – the systematic pattern of lying for political gain
  6. Make-believe news, like Macedonian sites. They make up news from whole cloth.
  7. Counterfeit sites – they make you think you are at ABC News.com, for example

Then, he dramatically challenged the panel and audience to label certain big ticket topics as fake news or not: Evolution, global warming, the importance of low-fat diets, the importance of low carb diets.

Bridges said that there’s not necessarily a quick fix or tech solution to the problem. “These things have been out there in society, in front of our eyes for years.” He likened the problem to gerrymandering, gated communities and questions about Hillary’s health.

Some have proposed algorithmic transparency (not surprisingly, Bridges thinks it is an awful idea; “Opening them up just makes it easier to game the system”).

What could work, according to the lawyer? “I think we should look to algorithmic opacity, and brand values of the organizations applying the algorithm.” What about content moderation? He said “Do we turn it over to a third party, like a Politifact? Who moderates the moderator? We know what moderation is – it’s censorship.”

In Bridges view, education is important. We should teach the importance of research and fact checking, and keep each other honest: “Friends don’t let friends spread fake news.”

Other Challenges

Jessa Lingel, Ph.D. and assistant professor at Annenberg School of Communications, seemed to be the youngest on the panel and spoke up for millennials:

“You can’t promise a generation of Internet-loving people a sense of control and agency over content and not expect this breakdown in trust.” She talked about the growth of citizen-driven journalism and the shift from content generation to interpretation. Jessa bemoaned the digital natives’ loss of innocence:

“We were promised a Democratic web and got a populist one; a web that that connects us to different people, instead we got silos. Geography wasn’t supposed to matter… anyone with an Internet connection is the same… instead, geography matters a lot.”

Jessa siad that algorithmic transparency is important but said that it is not enough. “Opacity? I do want to pay attention to the man behind the curtain. We need more than that tiny little button that explains ‘why did I get this ad?’”

Up Next: More on Solutions

As you have hopefully seen from my post, there are many opinions on the situation, and it’s a complex topic.

What do you think? In my next post, I’ll share my thoughts on fake news problems and solutions.

Happy New Year: Let this be the year of solutions


I feel that a lot of last year was all about showing up. Sort of like when they started to give all members of a school sports teams a trophy. Did they win? No, they just showed up. Or when Mayor Guiliani called all those at the World Trade Center heros.

Life isn’t like that. Life is too scarce to have all who show up to be winners.

In this age of you don’t know who to believe the only thing you can control is your truth. And accompishment of your goals is your truth. Take responsibility.

Happy New Year.

AdTech 2016 Wrap


Cross-posted on Flack’s Revenge

I attended AdTech last week, which featured a great lineup of keynotes and panels and over 100 vendors.

It seems like there’s never enough time at big shows to check out everything (Fusion PR is one stop away on the 7 subway line, too close to keep me from work’s orbit). Some of the most interesting things are not in the program – they occur “interstitially”, during networking and conversations in-between sessions.

E.g. at the happy hour on Wednesday I chatted with a number of very compelling startups and established players. I list a few below, and also include some of the top tweets related to the event.

  • Ads on Top – An innovative solution for out-of-home ads that target consumers “in the wild” via digital signs.
  • Adaptive Campaigns – It’s a programmatic real-time engine that delivers the most relevant ad content for every impression; there’s some pretty interesting predictive tech behind Adaptive.
  • Algomizer – Interesting Israeli tech that helps improve online marketing results.
  • MediaStinct – A global, digital ad network providing search, video, mobile and display advertising solutions.
  • Sigmoid – Big data analytics, applied to advertising (and other markets).
  • Wynzyn – Incentivizes consumers to watch ads – they have some pretty incredible attention and conversion numbers.


Those who think, think, those who do go to AdTech


AdTech is next week at the Javits Convention Center to NYC.

You go because of who is there. Both the exhibitors and the other attendees. There is budget and an immedicaly to be a first mover. If you have an offering for the adtech community attending is a lot cheaper, faster, and more efficient, then making 20 or more sales calls.

Your customer is there, so should you.
Your compeditor is there, so should you.
Your next job is there, so should you.
Your company’s partner, customer or buyer is there, so should you.

New York is such a big place. The world comes to NYC. There is a cost to Ad-Tech. It removes those from attending who aren’t serious. For your business and your career its both time and money well spent.


Startup World Cup We’ll feature the US debut of the Startup World Cup U.S. regional competition. This is the first ever event of its type, organized by Fenox Venture Capital, a Silicon Valley-based multinational VC firm. You may have seen this release a couple weeks ago.

There will also be a new immersive content area called “Machina.” The folks developing the show for the community really believe brands, marketers, advertisers are only beginning to understand the potential of VR and AR, and MR, so as part of the new ad:tech, they will bring the best of the future of martech to the audience. Some amazing immersive content and presentations by a diverse mix of co’s will be happening here @Machina.

A few quick highlights.

Keynotes with Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Strategist and member of the Directoire+ of Publicis Groupe, Guy Primus, Co-founder and CEO of The Virtual Reality Company, and Laura Henderson, head of Global Content & Media Monetization at Mondelez International.

Heavy-hitting discussions

Advanced TV

Addressable Advertising


Future of Search and Social Good.

Take our survey You will receive a discount code in your email by monday.

Hope to see you there.

Where the jobs are and where the jobs are going…..

Linkedin is a way for HR people to stay fully employed. They fill round jobs with candidates who fit in round job roles. The best way to get a job is from those who know what you do and that you do it well.

Angel list for me has become more active. Its more for earlier companies seeking capital or senior management or advisors. The only communication I received was from a startup founder. He wouldnt give up. I finally spoke to hiim. He is raising money for his last mile delivery service. Its operational. I’m wasn’t interested. Put persistance pays off, sometimes. He has raised 2/3 of his round. He has called 300 investor prospects and received 11 checks. He will do it. Thats what Angel list is for. Prospecting for investors and talent for your startup.

Not only is it talent, but its, as Steve Jobs used to say, in the words of Wayne Gretsky, the don’t skate to where the hockey puck is, you skate to where its going. If you want to know where the job opportunities are read on…

And if I may some some words about Jim Sternes eMetrics Summit. Jim knows where the hockey puck is going. Read on….

Having just attended eMetrics, the world will change a lot. If you don’t manage your data you will drown in it. Our Jim Sterne is the data diva? Excellent all around. If you are looking for new client offerings or for internet use its going to be hot for years to come.

See Tom Smart’s keynote and other

presentations. http://www.accelerating.org/slides.html

Link to slides from

Oct 2016 | eMetrics Summit NY (SLIDES) Smart Agents and the Future of Marketing (40 slides). A big picture look at the bright and disruptive future of Smart Agents, for marketers and analysts. We’ll consider the future of values marketing from an agent perspective, and look at opportunities and pitfalls in agent use in eight categories: Consumer Goods and Services, Media and Education, Social, Financial and Productivity, Health, Political, Environmental, and Security Agents. We’ll end with a few action items for analyst ROI with respect to agent tracking and use in the near term.

Want a good jobs board? The digital analytics associations jobs board has ten jobs for every applicant. www.digitalanalyticsassociation.org.

Where technology innovation only happened on desktops, then a laptops, then phones, now iOT, every thing, living or battery operated will have its own DNA for both itself and its actions.

Want to live a stop shelf life get onboard. the laggards live in stearage.


Professional services are those services which you do not have a degree or a license or certification or registration. They aren’t your core skill set and you don’t perform them daily. Like flying a airplane.

The secret to finding the best professional service providers is to find the provider with customers that you want to do business, either now or later. Its all about leveraging your vendors relationships.

For example banking. More specifically Start up banking.

The bank I would use is SiliconValley Bank as they are early lenders to cash flow positive enterprises. They have a huge phone book of both companies and investors. And they are active in lending/investing before other banks.

It’s best if you have an introduction to them from someone they respect. Their customers or professional service provider whose clients bank with them.

As with all your professional service vendors, you should pick the ones which have relationships with those types of companies and individuals you want to associate with as your company grows.

A friend started a food blog. He hired an expensive west coast law firm. I wondered why he did it. He was smarter then I. When there started to be consolidation in the online space his company was purchased by a major media company. His unfair advantage was that this major law firm client was the company acquiring his.

The best networking isn’t always your friends but their friends. First you learn who is really a friend. And who is a frenemy. Those who help are friends, those who don’t are too worried about how your relationship will change if you move up the food chain.

Maestrano Launches in US via NYC Office

It’s the First Cloud Platform to Share Data and Insight Across Key Software Applications

Australia-based Maestrano is bringing its proven app connectivity solution and marketplace to the US. Maestrano equips enterprises to better engage with SMB customers via a platform that combines cloud applications and services, integration, and a reporting dashboard that provides real-time business insights.

Maestrano’s turnkey platform and marketplace make it easy to connect business applications – no software development is required. This means SMBs no longer need to choose between best-of-breed technologies and software suites; they can have the best of both worlds. It gives enterprises a way to better support and engage SMB customers, through software and integration with their own applications.

“Maestrano democratizes access to business applications, allowing enterprise clients to equip
companies of all sizes with the same sophisticated app and data integration that was previously
available only to the largest organizations,” said Stephane Ibos, CEO of Maestrano. “We believe there is a strong opportunity for large enterprises like financial institutions to improve customer loyalty and retention by differentiating themselves and playing a pivotal role in client IT initiatives.”

Maestrano’s big data engine provides enterprise-level analytics and identifies actionable insights. It works out-of-the-box, using information from an organization’s entire suite of software solutions.
Once aggregated, the data can be analyzed to identify inefficiencies and opportunities.
The platform uses a patented Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) approach to connect apps in the company’s marketplace without relying on development or APIs. By creating and transporting individual objects through an organization’s cloud-based applications, Maestrano garners considerable efficiencies for its users.

Among other benefits, users of Maestrano’s platform will see:
● Improved security and business continuity preparedness
● Decreased reliance on data entry throughout their organization
● Access to an ever-growing suite of applications that can be incorporated seamlessly to
address business concerns.
● Immediate opportunities to improve operations, as a result of Maestrano’s big data

The core technology of Maestrano was developed by software engineers using defense- grade
technologies and architectures, and has been used in a variety of mission-critical settings. Major
organizations like PricewaterhouseCoopers are among enterprises offering Maestrano to their clients.