Ad Ops All Stars: Jeremy Gan, MailOnline

by Kathleen Booth, on Nov 24, 2021 9:00:00 AM

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How did Jeremy Gan go from being a "young, hungry, and scrappy" engineering student to VP of Revenue Operations at MailOnline?

On this week's episode of Ad Ops All Stars, Jeremy shares his career story, including what it took for him to advance within the ad ops ranks at Daily Mail, why mentorship was key to his success, and how his immigrant background has impacted his career and outlook.

Listen to or watch the full episode, or read the transcript below, to hear Jeremy's story.

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Kathleen: Welcome back to the Ad Ops All Stars podcast. I'm your host, Kathleen Booth. And this week, my guest is Jeremy Gan, who is the VP of Revenue Operations at MailOnline. Welcome to the podcast, Jeremy.

Jeremy Gan: Hi, Kathleen. I'm honored to be here and thank you so much for having me.

Kathleen: I am super excited to have you here. We met for the first time in person at AdMonsters Publishers Forum in Vail, and it's always fun to then get a chance. Those events are crazy and you never really, I feel like have an opportunity to get to know people super well. So I'm excited to have a little bit more time today to dig into your background and hear about what you're working on, and what your day-to-day is like. But before we start doing that, loyal listeners know that I always ask the same question in the beginning, which is, how do you describe or how would you describe what you do for a living to a five-year-old?

Jeremy Gan: That's a very interesting question. And I think to a five-year-old, it seems a little bit tough, but I think one of the things that I always say, or maybe it's an oversimplification of the way I describe what I do is to keep the internet free. I think, maybe it sounds a little bit very superhero, or even too altruistic in some way shape or form. But I think in a nutshell, I think that's what we do, on an ad ops side of thing is essentially that, we're trying to fund the internet and we're trying to keep it free.

Jeremy Gan: I think really until the Netflix, or Spotify era, where people start paying for streaming services, this generation or rather our generation, maybe even further down, people are very used to free content in the internet. And having advertising to fund that crave for instant news it's key. And I don't really like to use the word necessary evil, but I like the fact that good advertising can actually achieve something for a lot of people.

Kathleen: I think you're spot on. I mean, it is a nice, simple way of describing it and pretty much every, I don't know, if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but pretty much every five-year-old I know these days is using the internet in some way, shape or form. So they would definitely understand it.

Jeremy Gan: I really liked that, I always think about the last time I looked for something that I need to buy. For example, buy a stroller, or water bottle, or something, and all of a sudden when good advertising is done correctly it kind of does the research for you too, right? You will see competitive brand comes up and you would just have more options to look into. I think that when advertising is done right, it's really not terrible. If anything, I like that.

Kathleen: We're going to actually come back to that in a little bit, because I agree with you and I have really strong feelings around that, and I want to talk more about it as it relates to cookies and privacy. But in the meantime, I want to understand, I looked at your LinkedIn profile before we spoke, and you've been at MailOnline for a while, and you've really risen through the ranks.

Kathleen: And I want to talk about how you got into advertising operations in the first place, because that's always interesting in these conversations, everybody has such diverse backgrounds, nobody comes from having majored in it at college. So what led you to the field of advertising operations?

Jeremy Gan: It's funny you said it's been a while, yeah, it has been awhile, I think, especially in the world ad ops and maybe even borderline tech, being when you've being in a company for what? Close to seven years for me, people tend to look at you like a dinosaur or a veteran and in some way shape or form. I think I have to say to your point sort of stumbled into the industry, right?

Jeremy Gan: My background's in engineering, but I've always really wanted to have the really good specific interest in technology. And I just wanted to be on the forefront of things. I remember going back to when I was younger, I had the first Google Glass, I wanted that, I wanted all the latest and greatest gadget. I lined up at Grand Central overnight to buy the latest iPhone and things like that.

Jeremy Gan: I've always had that interest in technology, but the opportunity really came out of, a lot of it's out of frustration, I have to say. And I have as I mentioned electrical engineering background. I spent four years getting my degree and my bachelor's and I realized that my capstone project, which I spent over a year and a half, that I don't want to be an engineer, because of how much time I spend in the lab just programming robots and doing a lot of electronic stuff.

Jeremy Gan: But what I realized is I started gravitating towards more the project management side of things. I really liked working with developers and engineers and people that maybe are actually far more smarter than I am, but at the same time, me managing that timeline and getting it to market situation.

Jeremy Gan: And then I went on to do my masters in sort of in management of technology, sort of trying to hone in on that area. And when I graduated from my master's, I sort of thinking like, what industry actually is this cross section? Everything that comes to mind was like, oh, VC, you're getting into venture capitalism and be involved in incubators and startup areas.

Jeremy Gan: It doesn't really fit what I want to do. And one day I just was looking for a job and obviously, a full-time job to anchor myself in an industry that continue to grow. And this job posting at Daily Mail came up, and personally I've read the Daily Mail since I was back home in Malaysia. So being a reader of the site, I kind of knew about the brand.

Jeremy Gan: I interviewed for the role as a programmatic analyst, and while I was preparing for my interview, I looked into some of the stuff of what even programmatic means and this is back in 2014, and sort of the advent of... There's not a lot of materials around programmatic and for a lot of devices there's actually not even such a word and it auto corrects you to some weird word.

Jeremy Gan: I sort of stumbled upon it, I looked into it and I was like, "This is pretty exciting." And the opportunity obviously to work for a brand that I know, and I personally I'm a user or other reader of just resonated me and I did the interview, I obviously got the job. Over time I've asked my director as well as the hiring manager then, was why did you hire me and how many candidates you were interviewing?

Jeremy Gan: And the thing that he told me, "You were the only one out a few people that actually could say something, or explain, or elaborate anything about programmatic." And that was just based on a few hours of research and just reading on whatever material I can get my hands off. And so that's sort of sparked my interest and I've since been in the industry and continue to do what I do.

Kathleen: I love that story, and I love that you were kind of an engineer by background, because I do think we can get to this in a minute, but I do think that programmatic is becoming very tech driven and being able to understand the tech is so important in terms of your ability to be successful in these roles. So you definitely have a leg up on that, of course compared to most other people.

Kathleen: Talk to me about the evolution of your career at the Daily Mail and MailOnline. I mean, I think a lot of people when they go into ad ops, they start out at an entry level and there are obviously different paths they can take. And I would love to understand from you, what was it that you think you did to position yourself well for advancement within the organization?

Jeremy Gan: When somebody asks me, how do I continue to be in the same business for so long and just feel like you're doing something new every day. And the reality is, it is true, even as I first started in the business, I felt every day is different and that's a good part about it. And I love that about the industry. I'm a big fan of Broadway, so I always think about Hamilton and the first opening song and says, "Young, hungry and scrappy," and that's pretty much it.

Jeremy Gan: And I was young, I was eager to impress and I was jumping on every opportunity that people would trust me upon. And I'm very grateful to be put in a team, where I know my director absolutely have that trust. And that trust really comes from the fact that it's given you an opportunity to do something, and I just grabbed it with both hands, right?

Jeremy Gan: And it started off when my very first project here was, to this day, some publishers are still struggling with is, basically integrating all of our partners that we work with, advertising partners into a centralized data platform. Back then, we couldn't tell how much we were making from one ad unit. And back then we worked with a handful of partners today, we will be a lot more, but even then you have to do just the process of just pulling Excel report every single day. Just mind-boggling. I just cannot imagine someone was doing that every single day.

Jeremy Gan: And to a point where an Excel file became so big that one mistake you make, it like crash report, right? I came on board and one of the company that we just signed on back then called Staq, S-T-A-Q. And they were a startup then and we were one of the first clients and nobody really knew how to use Staq, right? And we had an integration with them, and I just decided to learn the platform. I was like, "I don't know anything about data reporting, but I'm just going to try and hack it and see what we can do about it."

Jeremy Gan: And that's sort of my very first project into, or other first foray into the data side of the business, which turns out for programmatic is a very powerful area to be in because you get the knowledge of how things are actually doing and what sort of changes you can make to impact the data, or affect the data in some way, shape or form.

Jeremy Gan: That's how I got into it. I tried data and then obviously, ever since young, I love traveling. I love being part of conversations and being able to be like I said, being able to be forefront of everything. So that sort of resonates with the partnership side of the business, right? Like talking to our partners on what is the latest greatest technology they're developing or product they're developing, and how do we integrate that in our ad stack to make sure we are continued to be leading on the forefront of making sure that we are trying new things and pushing boundaries.

Jeremy Gan: That till today is sort of this ethos that we have internally where we're trying to integrate the latest pre-build module, we're trying to integrate new partners in try out new things. And we have come down to a path where we work with some companies that has done really well over time. And we've continued to evolve and grow with them and so in industry.

Jeremy Gan: That's the partnership side of things, and then I obviously have an engineering background, sort of the integration side and QA and testing has been sort of a side job. It's not a very sexy job, nobody really likes doing QA and testing, but if you want to bring a product to market, if you want to make sure that it works well for your site, somebody's got to do the job and spanning across different products, whether it's the website, on an operator website, whether it's platforms, whether it's apps or video, every different part of the business is interesting and different in its own way.

Jeremy Gan: And sort of having that interest in doing so, making sure you're meticulous in everything you do is very important. So going back to your question, how did I actually end up here? I don't know, [crosstalk 00:13:15]. And just trying and making yourself available to make sure that you do your best.

Kathleen: Well, you're obviously someone who's very intellectually curious and who has what I always like to call a high figure it out factor, which is like, "Hey, nobody knows how to do this. I'm going to be the one who goes and figures it out." And then the detail orientation, I can see how all of those things would really contribute to your success. Can you describe in the role that you have today, what are your primary responsibilities?

Jeremy Gan: I think it's still today at my current role, it's more about trusting, I guess, paying back. Really trusting that my team and making sure that we continue to excel and operate in a high level across all the different areas that I'm talking about. We still have to do partnership and being able to vet new opportunity, new businesses, new technology in market in, and some of it is even new areas.

Jeremy Gan: People are talking about NFTs today, how does NFT impacts our business? These are all areas that we need to continue to put ourselves in a position to make sure we are at the forefront of things, but at the same time we need to maintain. I think operational excellence is a huge part of it. How do we maintain current integrations without especially going to Q4, like a time like this, or rather in Q4, you don't want to rock the boat or you want to make sure everything is status quo as much as possible, because this is the time of the year everybody makes money.

Jeremy Gan: Any flaw in the system that you don't spot quickly enough it can be catastrophic from revenue perspective, right? So making sure that there are people constantly looking at the sites or other personally as a user, as an employee, making sure that I look at the site as much as possible, and then whatever dev time left for before code freeze, making sure that we can push any last minute projects before the end of the year.

Jeremy Gan: So making sure that we test everything ahead of time, partners are aware that we are doing releases so that they can also help monitor. A lot of all these and making sure that... I think going back to my point is trusting that next, that my team, that we are capable of being on top of this. So putting people in responsibility and in position that they will be empowered to make sure that we continue to perform at high level.

Kathleen: That is a lot of responsibility, what is your day-to-day look like usually?

Jeremy Gan: It's a good question. Day-to-day really it's checking in, checking in with each individual across what's really happening. We do with my team, we check in on Staq or rather actually we're back in office for the most part of the week. So we actually catch up what is our top priority? We all actually handle our own like Trello board for our own team. It's a little bit more-

Kathleen: I love Trello, side note, that's what I use for everything. It's so easy and intuitive.

Jeremy Gan: Each person has I guess, a deck. We would make sure that we push everything who is responsible for what, making sure that the latest comments are on there, in terms of where things are progressing. And then if there's any issue that we need to bring it up to upper management or get more help on, make sure that it's made in a timely fashion, because we operate in a global business, so there are a lot of... Our developers are based in London.

Jeremy Gan: There are a lot of things that we need to do before 12 o'clock in the Eastern time and prioritizing those needs and work first and then working on whatever we can do in the afternoon. We also have team in New Orleans that looks after Australia and New Zealand. So end of day is usually sort of making sure that they have what they need for them to start their day.

Jeremy Gan: I think the day-to-day is very different every day, it depends on what's top of mind for us. But the main part is we have a ton of dashboards, we have tons of dashboards that monitors very different part of the website and very different KPIs and that sort of like making sure that everything is a top-notch and optimum.

Kathleen: And you mentioned that you have a team, how big is the team that you work with?

Jeremy Gan: Very lean team of, I have to say, I have three direct reports, three other dotted lines that span across. So there are a specific individual that does only data analytics and they handle it globally. They are specific individuals that does all the partner management, so making sure that any day-to-day issues are resolved and properly communicated.

Jeremy Gan: There's also an individual that does sort of like data analytics and performance, new management, making sure that we are on the data side of things, sort of a conduit between the two is doing well. Not a very a large team, but definitely one that is high-performing I hope.

Kathleen: Yeah, that's great. And what percentage of the business that you guys do is programmatic versus direct?

Jeremy Gan: In the US, we're pretty high amount now. In the US, close to 85, 90% programmatic. And there are months where it tips more, but pretty high amount in the US I have to say.

Kathleen: And I love asking everybody I talk to about challenges, because I do think there's a lot happening in the world of programmatic advertising these days. And in advertising in general, what do you think are the three biggest challenges that you and or your team are dealing with at the moment?

Jeremy Gan: I think top of mine have to be staffing. We have been in market trying to expand the team for the longest time. And it used to be that when we put out a job posting, there are like hundreds and hundreds of applicants. And since the pandemic, it's little bit different, that the response that we got been a little bit more lukewarm and the type of talent that we attract is somehow not what it used to be.

Jeremy Gan: Nevertheless, since I think staffing is a huge issue, I think, not just for us, but also in speaking with industry peers, it seems to be an issue for every publisher, or every ad tech company at this moment in time.

Kathleen: And outside of ad tech, I'll say it's the same in marketing. Every marketer I know is just struggling to get good staff.

Jeremy Gan: Yeah, which is a weird conundrum to have, because you feel like a lot of people are out of a job, or at least you read about a lot of people not having jobs, but at the same time not having the right candidates through. So it's a little bit of a weird situation to be in, but it's a top of mind staffing. Number two, really just making sure the team is motivated to go along with what your hopes are or rather what you want to achieve, right?

Jeremy Gan: When I say motivation, because working from home sometimes it takes a toll on people. Also lack of FaceTime and also lack of talking about things outside of work, making sure the team they're all doing well, not just professionally, but also personally. And they are all feeling good. Sometimes it's just too much, right? And people don't get to travel, people don't get their time off.

Jeremy Gan: Making sure that they feel motivated, whether it's through giving them extra time off or even actually just giving them what they feel like doing and giving them that opportunity to work on a side project or whatnot. So I think making sure the team is motivated it seems to be another challenge. But I welcome that as a challenge, I think it's a good challenge to have, and it's also as you grow older it's sort of one of those things a leader should be doing.

Jeremy Gan: Because I always say that I'm only as good as my weakest member of the team, so we have to make sure that everyone is coming along and doing what they need to do. And sorry, is your question about publishing or is it about-

Kathleen: Either one, I mean, I think what's the most top of mind for you? Sometimes people answer this question and it's more about what's happening in the industry, but I love that you focused on really in your role personally, what are the biggest things?

Jeremy Gan: I guess, the last thing to sort of dovetail into answer your question really is from an industry perspective is, there's a lot of uncertainty, so you really need to be nimble enough. We need to make sure that we are nimble enough to make major moves. Given the cookies going away, there is a lot of sub groups within the company and just tackling different problems and trying out new things, where we don't know what the outcome would be, but we have a sense of what to expect.

Jeremy Gan: Making sure that we as a team are nimble enough to jump on all these projects and making sure that we are supplementing these projects with the necessary data benchmark so that when it's ready to go to market already to expand to other countries, or more countries, or at a larger scale it would make sense.

Kathleen: The whole thing with the privacy changes and cookies, it's amazing to me because having watched it, I mean, I'm obviously not inside of a publisher, but watching it from the outside, it feels like everybody has a solution. All these solutions are competing with each other. At some point there's going to have to be a reckoning and a simplification within the ecosystem. I mean, you have a technical background, so how are you approaching evaluating all of these different potential solutions to the challenge?

Jeremy Gan: I think that the rule of thumb for me is, if it's too good to be true, it's usually not true. So that's my first rule of thumb in evaluating them. I think today, all these solutions are, most of them at least, are still cookie base. And I think people would try and do enough marketing around it to make sure that it doesn't sound like that. But I think technically when you look into it, it's still largely cookie-based.

Jeremy Gan: But I think to your question on how do I go around doing it? I think the most important part for me is to keep an open mind. I try not to go into meetings with some form of prejudice based on the person who pitch it, or the person who approached me, or how they approach me and stuff. But just to go into a meeting, just keep an open mind and be willing to learn, instead of...

Jeremy Gan: Sometimes being a premium publisher, you kind of become overpowering by trying to tell them exactly what you're trying to solve and hope that the solution would fit in then. But really for me to go to a meeting just to sit down and understand exactly what their product is trying to do, and then asking the hard questions, not be afraid to ask the hard question, to make sure that it's technically sound.

Jeremy Gan: And then I think that the last part is also taking the notes back and then bouncing that idea around people that you trust and people that you know, and just to get their take, because sometimes it can sound an echo chamber, where you are just talking to the same people over and over again. And it just makes sense, but then sometime when you speak with someone who maybe not even being an industry, and they just ask them one question and be like, "Oh yeah, I'd never thought about it from that perspective."

Jeremy Gan: I think keeping an open mind, be willing to test. I love setting up test pages, because it's just an environment where everybody can see how it actually works, and then you can ask that questions.

Kathleen: So ironic that you talked about not loving being in a lab when you're an engineer, and now you're doing all this testing.

Jeremy Gan: It's a little bit ironic, but I think it's a little bit-

Kathleen: Kind of same.

Jeremy Gan: It's a little bit more fun when you're not looking at just lines all the time from a machine.

Kathleen: I'm going to switch gears for a second, you talked about before we did the interview, the important role that mentorship played in the development of your career. And earlier you mentioned that you grew up in Malaysia and so there's this dynamic of coming here and an immigrant and I would love it if you could just share some of that backstory with my listeners.

Jeremy Gan: And I appreciate we be sort of like going into depth, because I think the immigrant story is actually in a very, maybe in today's world a little bit more talked about more acceptable, and I think it's a good time to sort of talk about it, because I was born and raised in Malaysia. I left home when I was 18, wanted to go to Canada, and I guess my life would have been so different if I ended up in Canada, but 2008 was sort of the recession year, it's the one of weird year where Canadian dollar was more expensive than the US dollar.

Jeremy Gan: My dad was a presidential scholar at University of Waterloo, where most of the ad tech engineers come from. So I really wanted to go to Canada, but it didn't work out for financial reasons. And I had a younger brother who also wants to go abroad. And funny thing about Malaysia is that, we all race to one day go abroad and study. It's kind of a weird concept, I just started to realize raising a child to go abroad. I've always thought about that, and so I told my dad I would go anywhere who would give me a scholarship. And so I ended up in Oklahoma.

Kathleen: Oh my goodness.

Jeremy Gan: I've never been there, I don't know much about Oklahoma. I just went there because they were willing to give me a scholarship. But it will turn out to be the best four year of my life. Because I grew up in a capital of the city. And so going there is sort of like rehab a little bit, and you just focused on education, you just focus on what you intend to do. And I had the best time, I wanted to stay, I really wanted to stay, but you know, the problem with Oklahoma is that, it's not really a problem, but it's all military contracts.

Jeremy Gan: You have like thinker Air Force base, Boeing and all these very industrial military type of jobs. So thank goodness, I met my wife now, my girlfriend back then and she's a designer. And she had this dream of coming to New York City and I was like, I'll give New York City a try. I don't know, I've been there, I loved it, but obviously staying there it's going to be different.

Jeremy Gan: And so we came here, we came here and I did my masters. And so I think throughout especially going to Oklahoma, you're always being told that you're not allowed to do internships, or you're not allowed to do such thing, because a lot of establishment, or rather even universities are not aware of the type of opportunity that an international student could to do. And even the visa process is a little bit different when you are not exposed to what the metropolitan city is.

Kathleen: I can't even imagine how complex the visa process must have been. I mean, it just seems very daunting.

Jeremy Gan: Yeah, it was, it was and I think that I have had a lot of sleepless nights because of that. But you work hard, you work hard and you trust the process because the process is as tedious as it is, if you go through it, you would be thankful of all the hard work that you've put in. And so while we are very fearful of our visa status and all that stuff, we always play within the rules and make sure it works out.

Jeremy Gan: There are times in my career where I had to take up prior to the mail, I had to take up opportunities where it's unpaid, but you have to prove yourself and you have to get the necessary experience. And one of the first thing that I told my younger brother, when he came to America upon my graduation was that, you should get a job and as soon as you can, freshman year get as much experience as you can.

Jeremy Gan: And because at the end of the day, people want to look at your resume and you need to be able to have something on there. And I'm so grateful that he took my advice and he started working as soon as freshman year was over. And today he's thriving in the ad tech industry as well. So I'm very happy for him. But at the same time, I say that to a lot of people when they asked me like, how do you stay in America? And how do you end up getting a job in America and now even have a family to here?

Jeremy Gan: And I'm like, "When the opportunity comes, you have to grab with both hands." And I think I always say like, and this are fellow immigrants I'm talking to, I'm like, "Don't feel like you're being taken advantage to." Yes, you're being taken advantage of, because there is some truth to that matter, but at the same time, you never know where opportunity would come from in taking up an opportunity.

Jeremy Gan: Because once you're in the position when you're taught doing the work, you might meet someone, or you might do something that might open your eyes to areas where you never thought that you were going to be a part of. For me, it was programmatic. When I did my internship, I knew exactly what I don't want, I don't want to do sales. When I did my senior project, I knew I didn't want to be in the lab, things like that, there you learn from experience and then you just work on, and you just double down on what you think that makes the most sense for you.

Kathleen: I love how you described that, because I always felt growing up, I had a ton of different jobs, everything from store clerk, to lifeguard, to working stuffing envelopes. I did it all. And I always talked about it as a process of elimination. In the beginning, it wasn't so much about finding what I loved. It was about finding what I didn't love.

Jeremy Gan: And also, I mean, I have to say a part of my journey or a lot of my journey is people taking a chance on me and I've been incredibly blessed to have mentors along the way who not just believe in my skillset, but one me to succeed in life. And even today in my current organization, having the person that hired me still here in a business and still advocating for me and that looks past my age, my wherever I'm from, and my experience just trusting me that I could in my ability, because that's just the culture that we have. And I think, I'm obviously very blessed and more so than most people. So I'm really grateful obviously.

Kathleen: Anyone in particular who's really helped or supported you along the way that you want to shout out?

Jeremy Gan: Oh, I have to say my, I guess my director, I consider him more of a friend now than anything, given that he's moved back to London, Matthew Wheatland, he was that shining light for me. He was the guy that hired me. I remember we only a year apart in terms of age and I came for an interview. I was like, this guy is... Back then I was what? 2014. I was 24 years old and he was 25 years old.

Jeremy Gan: And he was like a director in this position. And I was like, I told myself after the interview, I'm going to be like that guy someday. And obviously I didn't become a director when I was 25, but he certainly was my mentor then, he was also someone that I look up to and today I'm very blessed to be able to call him my friend as well as a colleague. So being able to work alongside him has been tremendous.

Kathleen: That's great. All right, we're going to change gears now. And I have two questions. I always ask all of my guests, the first being that we've already talked about how quickly everything's changing in the world of ad ops. Are there certain sources that you rely on to stay up to date and to keep yourself educated on the things that are important for your career?

Jeremy Gan: You probably won't like this answer, maybe it's too common, but Twitter. I love Twitter.

Kathleen: I love Twitter too, no, I love that answer.

Jeremy Gan: I love Twitter. I have a whole long list of ad tech. I consider them ad tech influencer and I'm just obsessed of their thoughts sometimes. I talk about sounding board just now and also being able to compare tell myself, "Am I crazy? Think about this, think about this, this way." Like hearing your thoughts. Guys like Ari Paparo, Eric Sifford, Paul Bannister, someone that maybe is a little bit more controversial, like Antonio Martinez, who was at Facebook and then was briefly hired at Apple.

Jeremy Gan: But anyways, so a lot of what I consider ad tech influencers, just basically following, they obviously would share the latest news around ad tech or acquisition or whatnot, but I do follow them a lot. I also follow a lot of reporters in industry. Shoshana Wodinsky, she's cutthroat, she just tells you the facts. Lara O'Reilly, obviously, Alex Kantrowitz, who's not really in an industry, but I guess, on the tech space in between media and tech. There is this guy also named Dare Obasanjo, I don't even know if I'm pronouncing his name correctly, but his an analysis over some of the recent new has been really amazing.

Kathleen: Ah, now are these people in an actual Twitter list or are they just in your followers?

Jeremy Gan: Yes, on my followers, they are list. It's just that a lot of them, I actually do have notifications switched on. So every time they tweet, I do actually try and read into it as much as I can really.

Kathleen: Yeah, it's interesting, because I love Twitter as well. And a lot of the names you mentioned are people that I follow, there were a couple of new ones though, which I'm going to have to go out and follow as well. But one of the people that you said, you follow a Paul Bannister, he was one of the first people I interviewed for the podcast. And that's what he said. He said, just go look at my Twitter lists, who I'm following. And that's really who the authorities are. So I thought that was interesting.

Jeremy Gan: Twitter is a really good place to be in. Obviously, Paul's a great friend of the company. And he obviously said the same thing too when we met in person and I think I definitely doubled down on this list, especially in recent, I guess, the recent 12 to 18 months, because there's so much going on. And there's Eric Sifford is probably the authority in anything ad or IDFA related. So for me, to just look into what... I've never follow him in 12 months or 18 months ago, but now I'm listening basically to any clubhouse he's on or any session he's on, because he does have a little bit more authority on that area.

Kathleen: I think the magic of Twitter that people seem to forget is that, it's really the one platform where you have direct access to all of these people. It's not like LinkedIn or Facebook, where you need to be connected to really correspond. On Twitter, anybody can message anybody and respond and start a conversation, which I think is really wonderful. So it's very democratic.

Jeremy Gan: Yeah, definitely, but there's just a lot of Slack groups that is pretty interesting in the space. And it's like a mini Discord, I guess, Discord is massive, but Slack is more curated. That I think was pretty interesting like Eric's efforts to have his own mobile dev memo and there's a ton of very technical people on board there whenever that changes to software, whether it's iOS version or even Android 12, everybody is really talking about it within the community.

Jeremy Gan: And then we have the luxury of working with independent analysts as well as consultants like Matthew Scott Goldstein, or MSG, who he's better known as in an industry, he's an amazing connector in a space. He's definitely a resource for me too, in terms of, what we should be paying attention to given that he has such a large platform across multiple publishers.

Kathleen: Having relationships with people like that, who can provide you with shortcuts is so key, I think, because there's a lot of noise out there. And so knowing who to turn to, to say, "We're going to cut through the noise and this is what you should be paying attention to is enormous." All right, second question, you provided a great segue is, this podcast is all about profiling people who either are currently in or have in the past, been in ad ops leadership roles, who out there do you think is really doing great work in this area and we should profile next on the podcast?

Jeremy Gan: Yeah, I think I have to shout out maybe my Asian ad tech community here, because I think they are all doing amazing work. Oda Sham, used to be a colleague of mine, and now she is leading up the team at Group Nine Media. Samuel Youn at Chegg, who is really, really smart. And somebody that I speak to a lot when it comes to new ideas. Michelle Kim, Trusted Media Brands, she's leading the team over there and she's one of those that's like characters, there's no bullshit and she speaks facts all the time.

Jeremy Gan: William Wang at Brainly, really smart guy that's been in really a high-profile or at a premium publisher all of his life doing really good job. Who else, who else? Gordon, Gordon at AccuWeather, I'm not going to butcher his last name, but Gordon. I think he's doing amazing stuff as well with the resources that he has. And then maybe the one other guy, who am I missing here? Dustin, Dustin Park Penske, I haven't spoken with him for a long time, but whenever we get a chance to connect, he's always have the latest and greatest ideas.

Kathleen: That's sounds like an amazing list. Now, you mentioned Twitter being important for you. What is your Twitter handle in case somebody wants to follow you or see who you're following?

Jeremy Gan: Yeah, I don't tweet as much, but Jemmy Gan, J-E-M-M-Y-G-A-N, it's my Twitter handle. It's a play on words, most people back home don't pronounce my name, Jeremy, they call me Jemmy.

Kathleen: Oh, perfect, I love that. And if somebody has a question or wants to reach out and connect with you, what's the best way for them to do that?

Jeremy Gan: I guess, my email, Jeremy.gan G-A-N I'm always happy to chat, talk shop. It's something that I've always pride myself in and also I was making myself available for such conversation. So yeah, anybody feel free to reach out.

Kathleen: That's great, I love that you're willing to give back in that way. Well, this has been just so much fun getting to know you and your story more. Now I'm definitely going to go out and look at who you're following on Twitter to make sure I haven't missed anybody. If you are listening to this and you enjoyed it, I would love it if you'd head to the podcast platform of your choice, we're pretty much everywhere, and leave the podcast or review.

Kathleen: And if you know someone else who's a really amazing ad ops leader, send them our way, because we'd love to interview them. But in the meantime, if you want to hear more interviews with leading ad ops experts, you can head to our website at And while you're there, check out our resource center to learn more about protecting your user experience and your revenue. That is it for this week. Thank you Jeremy, for joining me.

Jeremy Gan: Thank you for having me.

Kathleen: It was a lot of fun.

Jeremy Gan: Likewise, take care.

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