- Newyork Event -
After a marvelous exploring of life, connection and conscience with David Staller founder of The Gingold Group and a reveling in Echezeaux, we are ready for the Fall!
The Talk: From Idea to Exponential Growth (and all the Challenges in Between)
Our speaker Jonathan Opdyke is a self-made tech entrepreneur, joining us from the world of Unicorns and the Big Four, to share some stories from the front lines of today’s tech revolution, bringing us insights we all need as we navigate our business and personal lives.
Son of a dentist and dental hygienist from Grosse Pointe, Michigan, Jon grew up with little interest in teeth, instead fascinated by his father’s entrepreneur friends and stories of his grandparents’ business ventures. As early as he can remember he was drawing pictures of J.W. Opdyke’s Department Store and envisioning a day he would have his own company.
With two partners he bootstrapped his business working nights and weekends while maintaining a day job, then grew the business for 7 years on a small investment from friends and family and growing client revenues before eventually raising venture capital. His story is one of perseverance through ups and downs, business model pivots, staff turnover, difficult to manage executives, boardroom drama, lots of prospects saying “no” and eventually exponential growth. But it is also an exploration of Peter Drucker’s dictum that the main purpose of a business is to “create” a customer. And in his industry, that was needed, as a value space was being created.
Jon successfully built and sold his business on the insight that the owners of data needed to measure advertising outcomes and that knowing this, would actually control the flow of advertising spend itself.
By providing closed loop measurement, advertising could be optimized in real-time and wasted spend could be avoided. On this premise, he predicted that Amazon would become a major force as an advertising platform and that other leading retailers would need technology and services to build similar businesses. This year, Amazon may generate nearly $10 billion in ad revenue and growing fast, challenging Google and Facebook dominance in the industry.
Today, part of his work involves helping smaller retailers to gain access to the same kind of data insights, such that they can effectively challenge the larger players, lest we lapse into a data led oligopoly or nearly monopolistic position dominated by Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple in their categories, with trillion dollar market caps in their sights.
He is an avid advocate for alternative tech ecosystems and advises leading brands on the dangers of overdependency on a small set of dominant companies.
He will share with us not only the need to “create” customers, the importance of sticking to a focal vision, but also the key need to leverage data so we can wield it, rather than just being dominated by it.
Jonathan Opdykeis Chief Strategy Officer of Criteo, a global digital advertising company based in France and traded on the NASDAQ. In his role, he manages corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, partnerships and strategic growth initiatives. He joined Criteo through the $250MM acquisition of HookLogic, where he was co-founder and CEO.
At HookLogic, he pioneered the concept of advertising built into ecommerce websites, enabling brands like P&G, Microsoft and Hasbro to better promote their products on the websites of Walmart, Target and Best Buy.
Jon met his future co-founders at his first job in 2000 at Beyond Interactive, a start-up digital ad agency based in Ann Arbor where he led international operations. He next worked at Xerox, which took him to Palo Alto, London and New York, where he ultimately co-founded HookLogic.
At HookLogic he consciously chose Michigan as the company’s technology center in 2008, eventually bringing nearly 100 jobs to the area at one of the worst economic times in the state’s history. He also worked with leading venture capitalists including Bain Capital Ventures and Intel Capital.
In his earlier years, Jonathan was an Eagle Scout, valedictorian of his high school class, and a short order cook at a pancake restaurant. He earned bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan. During college he was president of AIESEC Michigan, an international exchange organization that helped expand his world view as he traveled to over 30 countries before graduation.
He currently splits time between New York and Litchfield County, Connecticut with his wife and 3 young children. In his spare time, he grows vegetables, is an amateur chef, and is passionately pursuing redevelopment projects in his hometown of Detroit.
The Tasting: Riesling and Red Riesling- an exploration of Paul Grieco’s heart and history– with a little Italy thrown in
Most people are aware of Paul Grieco’sintense love of Riesling and his championing of the grape. He will take us through a focused, fascinating, and deliciously delightful tasting of dry Rieslings from the Old-World showcasing the depth, allure and versatility of the grape.
Grieco was a server at Gramercy Tavern imbibing the “enlightened hospitality” evangel of Danny Meyer. He went from Captain to Assistant GM overseeing their wine program. Two James Beard Awards were forthcoming over his tenure, for Service and Wine Service.
He went on to open the marvelous restaurant Hearth, then Terroir, redefining what a wine bar should be and would be. He personally now oversees Terroir Tribeca, and in 2012 again received a James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine, Spirits, Beverage Professional in the country. He is a true “character” and abounds with vinous inspiration.
His other love is Nebbiolo. Nebbiolo is often lovingly called the Riesling of the red wine grapes for its brimming acidity and energy. This also happens to be a favorite grape of Paul’s not just for its haunting ability to age, but also because it is a reflection of his Italian roots. He will take us through an exploration of Nebbiolo’s fascinating beauty throughout the known and less-known villages of Piedmonte over dinner.
The Dinner: The Classy Allure of Craft
Each year, this is one of our favorite venues, as the Chef and team conspire to take the locally sourced cuisine, augment natural flavors with innovative finesse, and “wow” us with their co-equal focus on both refreshing simplicity and delightful distinction. As ever, an original menu is being prepared to marry with the marvelous wines we’ll be pouring.