MPF 2019 A View From the Edge: The Future of Innovative Marketing



Mike Edelhart | Managing Partner, Social Starts and Joyance Partners
Christian Brucculeri | CEO, Snaps
Jake McGraw | Co-Founder and CTO, The Block

Social Starts is a venture capital firm that evaluates 4,000 companies annually related to work platforms, Internet of Things software, content, and commerce; its focus is on artificial intelligence, data security, and health care. Products include

  • emotion model of brain waves
  • looking at software layer all the way up to wearables
  • heart rate, light, room temp, small pieces
  • individual insights
  • factors that go into happiness and sadness
  • use for wellness, mental health, reduce friction before it even happens
  • conversational AI platform
  • consumer shift from public and large to private and small
  • create new experiences in the smaller environments
  • write into a brand with a problem, use natural language to track that intent
  • most intelligent, impactful experiences
  • global enterprise businesses
Social Starts looks for the right
  • team
  • temperament
  • timing
  • tech
  • terms

Humans still need to be influenced. In a world where you can’t use traditional advertising, one-to-one relationships are based on emotions, location, a personalized experience, and intelligent and effective messaging that needs to be valuable.

Technology in development can measure the sentiment in a room by using sensors that measure external biological signals, such as breathing and heart rate. Eventually, such sensors on a store shelf could measure the sentiment of a shopper, and dating apps could “read” users’ chemistry.

Specialized tokens measure loyalty on steroids. They already can offer different pricing for different consumers.

We need to enter a trust relationship with the consumer: “I have something for you—will you accept it?”

Rules-based entry fosters trust, enabling communication.

Start aligning behavior, using economic tools to drive the extras.

Blockchain is the biggest innovation since TCIP—it enables anonymity, greater trust, and personalization for a future that’s less centered on media. We need ways to identify customers by emotion and needs. Blockchain is set of tech rules based on

  1. Anonymity. A distributed network makes data more secure; it’s stored in blocks and isn’t linked to you.
  2. Trust. Blockchain means high security. A driving idea behind cryptocurrency is that no one can steal it, or even that you possess it; it operates under the rules you set.

The web can’t support the number of transactions that will be happening and will stop functioning. It needs new architecture and a new payment system, using a distributed network on a decentralized internet.

Secure media buying is the next thing for our industry: if every ad is a unique unit in the ad block, that may solve the attribution problem.

Privacy is a construct in the eye of the beholder. We didn’t have it in the Middle Ages; it’s a modern idea, and ideas don’t last forever.

The products and the networks are now us. We as a fund look at 5 Ts:

  1. Timing. Good timing is the reason innovation succeeds.
  2. Tech. The right tech makes real change happen.
  3. Team. It’s very specific. We call it entrepreneurship.
  4. Temperament. We look for the teams that love what they’re doing.
  5. Terms. We make our bones by getting into the right investments. We’ll be wrong on half of them.

Blockchain represents trust and personalization. Your future will probably be centered on media, and you’ll need to identify and reach customers by entering into a one-to-one relationship of trust.

Everything of value is inside the game. If you stop playing the game, the cost of the game’s value goes down by specified amounts, and then you can denominate that: like loyalty points on steroids. Private currency is really good with that.

A home will soon have lots of things set—the temperature, the lights, the music—and that setup will bring opportunities to build customer intimacy. Imagine walking by a product and being able to get it for free because of the bio response, or walking by a person, and an app saying “that person is the one for you!”

See all session highlights