I'm Edwin Watkeys, an experienced product- and business-savvy technologist working in mobile, adtech, and ecommerce. I've helped found (and exit) venture-backed start-ups, most recently as Chief Technology Officer of ActionX, a NYC-based mobile ad-tech start-up acquired by WPP in 2015.
Earlier, I was head of product at Half.com. I have held product managment, software engineering, and user experience positions at Intuit, CDnow, and Infonautics, as well as a variety of roles in pharma, financial services, and marketing.
During my career, I've had the opportunity to do a lot of things, including design a consumer ecommerce marketplace sold for over $350MM to eBay, build multiple deterministic cross-screen DMPs, design the UX for consumer ecommerce sites and adtech consoles, architect retargeting-optimized RTB bidders, design and build agency-side analytics mediation platforms, develop CPA/RoAS campaign optimization strategies, build a performance marketing optimization platform atop Hadoop, and build constraint modeling systems packaged as friendly mobile apps.
The unifying theme running through my work has been helping businesses succeed by employing advanced technology in ways that customers love. Thinking more broadly, there are additional important elements to creating a successful business, such as understanding and adapting to the fundraising and talent landscapes—as well as broader society. I try to make sure these other concerns are given their due.
I have a unique perspective on these challenges. My education—incomplete because I dropped out to join my first start-up in 1994—was in philosophy and art history as well as computer science. I grew up in my parents' successful stained glass retail and wholesale business, where I learned, among other things, how to program, write ad copy, lay out catalog pages, and build Excel-based pricing models.
I encourage you to reach out to me so that we can discuss the opportunities, challenges, and plain old problems that you, your product, and your business face.