In May, 2009, Harald Neidhardt, CMO of Smaato, a world-class mobile ad network, appeared in a podcast interview on IM-Mobile, one of two main blogs I write, to discuss his vision of mobile advertising.
Smaato, a network of 20 advertising networks, works on behalf of a mobile publisher to find the right advertisement in a local market for that person watching the content. Essentially, Smaato matches, for example, an English publisher with a local advertiser in Belgium.
Talking with Harald during the podcast--and later meeting him in San Francisco at the Smaato mobile advertising events in October--confirmed in my mind again that people who are passionate about life and their professions invariably achieve personal happiness and successful careers.
I recall meeting Silicon Valley entrepreneurs in the late 80's who were very much like Harald, people who exuded optimism and plowed ahead in their ventures despite lack of funding, setbacks and naysayers.
Those who became successful, like Harald, had that spark in their eye, the drive, the optimism, the relentless "push" to climb their own mountains without looking down or pulling back. People like this are on a mission.
As I listened again to the podcast interview with Harald, he reminded me about those days here in the Valley when anything was possible given an inspired leader with followers who shared the same vision.
The 80's and 90's in Silicon Valley were very different from the dot-com boom and bust where many entrepreneurs blindly threw their time and money at intangible enterprises that never made any sense at all.
In a personal blog post called "Passionate People Colliding with Passionate People," written during the Smaato events, I commented:
"It’s very energizing to meet people who share similar interests. It’s like an auto collision without the damage…In our personal and business lives today, I see less passion and fewer collisions. Whether it’s the recession, friends and family splintered across the country or a re-alignment of the stars is up for grabs. It just is. I guess the point is: seek out people who are passionate about things that interest you. You might have more people collisions in your life–collisions that re-energize the spirit, encounters with people who care deeply about something important in their lives."
Harald is a man on a collision course with the future of mobile.
Enjoy listening to: "Passionate About Mobile Advertising: Smaato's Harald Neidhardt"