Closer look at a CEO: DataSift's Rob Bailey

Krystal Peak · November 16, 2011 · Short URL:

The newly appointed chief executive of DataSift says having a social media stradegy is not optional

The Twitter data-filtering program created by DataSift launched Wednesday, only two days after its new CEO, Rob Bailey took the helm. I had a chance to speak with Bailey, formerly the VP of Business Development at SimpleGeo (which was recently acquired by Urban Airship.)

The new service allows individuals and companies to sort through all the noise on Twitter and find tweets and trends that are important to them or their brand. The pay-for-results service works in real-time and is one of only a few that can access the entire Twitter database (not just the text within a tweet.)

Bailey jumped at the oppirtunity to share a little bit about himself and why he is passionate about the latest Twitter tech he launched Wednesday.

Name: Rob Bailey.

Company: DataSift.

HQ: UK and SF.

Founded: 2007, launched November 16, 2011.

Age: 40.

Town of residence and hometown: San Francisco.

Education: BA from Brown, MBA from MIT.

Companies Founded: Four, all much different from DataSift.

What inspired you to get into the tech sector: I am passionate about the opportunity for apps and big data to improve people's lives.

What excited you about joining DataSift: Twitter is revolutionizing communications, news and how companies interact with their customers.  DataSift is going to be a core driver of that change.  I'm passionate about Twitter and the opportunities it presents.

What is the biggest challenge you face running a company: Creating an amazing customer experience for everyone that uses our platform.

How important is having a social media element to a business: A few years ago it was a great option but, frankly, if you aren't thinking about social media you are probably out of a job. Today I would liken it to driving down the highway at 80 mph with a blindfold on. You just can't even consider it.

What is your favorite part of entrepreneurship: Working with incredibly smart, motivated and talented people.

What would you say to inspire more young people into the entrepreneurship or the tech sector: There is no other sector that offers more opportunities for young people than tech. No other industry can claim to having billion dollar companies created by entrepreneurs under 30.

What type of phone do you use: iPhone 4 powered by iOS 5. Can't wait for the iPhone 5 to come out.

Three favorite apps: Twitter, Instagram and Uber.

What type of social media do you consume: I learn about most things through Twitter. I spend more time on that platform than I do on any cable channel . . . I've learned so much more about events like the occupy movement that cable news just wasn't covering . . . and I was able to see that the RIM audience was getting more and more frustrated leading up to the outages they experienced. It's such a powerful news source.

Technology/service you've fallen in love with lately: Square is an incredible company with an incredible product.

Tech stereotype or assumption that grinds your gears: That there is a causal effect between wearing hoodies and being a good entrepreneur.

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DataSift Inc. is a social data platform company, enabling enterprises and entrepreneurs to aggregate, filter and extract insights from the billions of public social conversations on Twitter, leading social networks and millions of other sources.

Through a licensing agreement with Twitter, DataSift provides companies with both real-time and historical Tweets to filter and uncover insights and trends that relate to brands, businesses, financial markets, news and public opinion.

DataSift is an on-demand platform with a flexible pricing scale that makes enterprise-level data accessible to companies of any size. DataSift has offices in San Francisco and Reading, U.K. It has received investment from IA Ventures (Roger Ehrenberg), a fund that is focused exclusively on Big Data, and from GRP Partners (Mark Suster). For more information, visit and follow us on twitter @datasift.