YPDaily: Dave Coleman

Dave Coleman is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Spreed Inc., a mobile publishing, analytics and advertising platform that counts a huge roster of informational clients under its umbrella. But like in any start-up, his day can vary and his role permutate from sales lead to operations to product development and all in between. Find out more about this tech-savvy YP in today’s feature.

Where did you go to school? What did you take?
I went to Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and studied Political Science with a focus on International Relations and National Security and Defense. Although it may not seem like I am using my degree today, it is surprising how often my studies and lessons learned have come into play on a day to day basis.

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I helped start up Spreed, one of the world leaders in the mobile publishing, analytics and advertising space. On a day-to-day basis I lead national and international sales for Spreed, helping expand their network of media brands who use our system to build their mobile audience (through apps and mobile sites), measure their mobile audience, and monetize the channel. As in any start-up, though, I wear many hats and spend a good portion of my time on product development, marketing and operations.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I am in love with the start-up ecosystem in Canada and more specifically in Ontario/Toronto. We have a long way to go in terms of making the innovation commercialization ecosystem more efficient and helping start-ups commercialize technology, and bringing our innovations to global markets is an inspiring challenge.

In addition, I am in love with newspapers, both from a content perspective and from a societal perspective. They play an important role in how governments are kept in check and how citizens are informed about the world they live in. It is of no great surprise that the newspaper industry is struggling right now to retain relevance. Spreed is doing our best to help newspapers stay relevant and take advantage of the mobile channel. We see mobile as a potential mulligan for the industry and being on the forefront of this industry is both exciting and inspiring.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
I have the opportunity to build relationships with some of the most notable newspaper publishers in the world. I absolutely love educating the industry and letting them know about the great opportunities available to them via the mobile channel. Bringing a new paper into our network and introducing them to mobile makes my day worthwhile.

This is also the most challenging part of my day. The media industry, like most other industries, are slow to adopt new technology. Selling a new platform can be a painstakingly slow process, but at the end of the day it is worth it.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself either in Private Equity or at the helm of my own start-up.

What does success look like to you?
Easy, three things calculate success in my mind: 1) Have fun; 2) Make money; 3) Help the world around you. If I am able to achieve these three elements, then I know I am successful.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
I can’t mention names, but signing my first major media network was a pretty big deal to me. It’s one thing signing up a single newspaper, it’s another thing to sign a company that publishes hundreds of newspapers around North America and know that millions of people around the continent will be using your technology to stay informed on a daily basis.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Be ambitious and always stay passionate. There is something unique about our generation in that we seem to be inclined to taking risks. So many of my friends have either shown interest in starting up their own company or have actually gone out and done it. Don’t be confined by what society tells you is the status quo. You are able to do, learn and be anything. Take a risk, be ambitious and drive towards your goals with passion every day of your life.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I sit on the digital advisory board of the Web Foundation. The Web Foundation is an offshoot of the W3C, was founded by Tim Berners-Lee, and is responsible for proliferating the web in developing nations. I believe in equal access to information. With access to information comes knowledge and the sky is the limit if you have access. Anyone can learn anything on the web and if we make this information more accessible to those who are less fortunate, I think we can really start to narrow the gap between the developed and developing world.

What to you is notable?
Someone who is always striving for success. (See above definition of success.)

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
All of the above, but those who follow me know that at heart I am an Apple fan boy.