Featured Startup of the Day — Polygraph Media

Two things stand out from this interview. One is that if you are a startup, you are "a thesis that has yet to be proven." The other is a question. Is Facebook marketing a waste of time, or is it really just a great opportunity that lacks enough metrics to make it feasible? Principle UX Evangelist Chris Bernard interviews CEO and founder of Polygraph Media, Chris Treadway in this short interview. We've also included a video. 

Tell us who you are and your role in the company: 

Chris Treadaway, Founder & CEO of Polygraph Media.

What did you do before creating your company?

I'm the co-author of Facebook Marketing An Hour a Day, and I spent 3 1/2 years at Microsoft in the Developer Marketing Group. Prior, I was on the founding team of two other startups -- Stratfor is the one you may have heard of previously.

How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?

It's exciting -- and it echoes the great feedback we've been getting in the marketplace.  I love positive reinforcement. 🙂

What is your company’s mission?

It seems that everyone today is pouring time and money into Facebook marketing -- ads, software to manage it all, etc.  People seem to think that Facebook is the place to be.  But if you ask around, a lot of people can't tell you why they should do marketing on Facebook, or if the things they are doing actually work.  Our mission is to bring a basic understanding of cause and effect to marketers, agencies, and brands who spend a lot of money on Facebook but don't really know why.

In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:

Polygraph is the "truth detector" of Facebook -- we tell marketers, agencies, and brands what works & what doesn't by analyzing social data.

How did you get the idea for your company?

I was researching the 2nd Edition of Facebook Marketing An Hour a Day, and hearing the same exact feedback across some of the biggest brands and smartest marketers in the world.

Tell us about your funding history. A re you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?

We are looking for funding -- approx $1.5m for a Series A.  But we haven't started fundraising yet -- we've been too busy collaborating with agencies and customers to take the time that fundraising truly needs.  Soon though.

How many employees do you have? How many developers?

We have a team of 5 people right now with three developers.

Are you hiring?  If yes, what are you hiring for and where?

We're always looking for talented .NET folks with some experience in Azure.  Like a lot of the world's top companies, we hire for intellectual horsepower first.

Which platform are you building on?  Why?

Windows Azure & .NET.  From the business side, we want to understand our costs.  Azure certainly helps with that.  But we also didn't want the hassle of migrating and managing servers.

Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?

Certainly, there has been a revolutionary move from the PC to laptops to mobile devices and tablets.  That megatrend certainly isn't going away, although I do think we're several years into it now and the opportunities may not be so obvious.  I think a lot of infrastructure still has to be built thought to support a seamless 3 screen computing experience for both consumers and business customers.

What do you think about the BizSpark Program?

BizSpark has helped us adopt and experiment with Azure.  That's definitely a big plus.  I look forward to meeting colleagues who work in big data and other complementary areas -- as well as the enterprises who are looking for solutions to their big data problems.

Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?

You're a thesis that has to be proven.  Very rarely will the market just accept you for how brilliant you are.  You really have to do something impressive to make the world take notice.  And often times, it takes a few attempts to get there.  Sometimes, the best experience you can have feels terrible as it is happening.  But you have to be resilient and tough, and get used to hearing "no" for an answer.  Fighters win, and the battlefield is littered with people who failed and gave up.

Who’s your role model?

I love Mark Cuban -- he's brash, aggressive, and brilliant.  Interestingly, I even visited his Mavs on a bizdev/sales call last year -- and his staff were as knowledgeable as I'd expect him to be.  He's just a great guy who is living the dream, but also seems to remember where he came from.  I love that.

What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?

We're doing big data on Azure and it's working.  If this interests you, let's talk.

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