Startups #nofilter sits down with Omri Halevi, CEO & Co-Founder of Mobile Research Labs, which offers innovative services for measuring consumers’ media consumption, wherever they are and throughout their day, in a non-intrusive ‘lean back’ approach. MRL’s service is software-based, and works on mobile devices as well as back-end computing resources.
1) Mobile Research Labs offers a service for measuring consumers’ media consumption, no matter where they are, spanning across traditional devices such as TV and radio as well as mobile devices. Can you give us more details in terms of how you measure data?
The app constantly samples nearby audio and silently compares it with what is played that time on TV & radio for identifying such occurrence, it can also look for specific known content such shows of particular video ads or ad campaigns.
2) Do you have competitors? What sets you apart from them?
Most of Mobile Research Lab’s competition was either acquired or is focusing and optimizing their solutions to domains that do not relate to market research – the domain on which MRL has focused, which allowed MRL to establish itself as the leading provider for smartphone based passive always-on-media detection.
3) What has been your PR strategy? How do you gain clients?
We have operated for over 5 years without any PR, where clients ‘found’ us based on peer to peer recommendations from within the market research industry. Most recently, during the past 6 months we have started to actively participate in conferences, (still not as sponsors) but as invited speakers for sharing from our experience being the first to deploy and successfully manage such solutions worldwide. So far we have not paid anything for PR.
4) What are you most excited about right now within the mobile industry?
We take pride as we see how our vision from when we started the company is becoming reality. When we launched the company, smartphone penetration was less than 10%, so few believed that our approach would ever become attractive, and that samples based on it would become representative to the population. But now that everybody own smartphones our potential becomes evident.
We find traditional and big markets, for example China, among our clients, as well as fast moving and the most technologically advanced ones such as South Korea, are adopting our solutions and sign up for our services. We are delighted and take pride in that our vision and our decision to stick to it and not turn to other things are now paying off.
5) What is one regret you have since you started Mobile Research Labs?
We have not yet found a way to move all this into the open source domain. Strongly believing in that exposing it all to the developers community can assist in making our (or any) technology better, as well as help establish it as a widely accepted approach for serving both consumer needs to discover and interact with media & content services, and for brands to be able to connect to and understand consumers better.
6) Do you have any growth numbers you’d like to share with our readers? Number of clients? Growth you’ve garnered for clients?
We shall pass on that.
7) As CEO, what is your long term vision for the company? Are you attempting to create a large company, or do you prefer a lean and agile environment?
I have never measured a company by its head-count, but by its impact and contribution. YouTube were less than 60 people when they were acquired by Google, they surely did well!
8) For fun- What website do you go to when you need to check if your internet is working?
DPreview, I always am keen to see if my dream photographic-enthusiast, yet compact camera was just announced.
9) For fun- One piece of advice for Startups #nofilter?
Don’t fear competition, seek the CEO of your competition and become his friend – you will be surprised at how much you will learn!