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PowerPlayer: GoGo Cast CEO David Paolo

Monday, June 11, 2012

 

This week’s PowerPlayer is David Paolo, CEO of GoGo Cast, the out-of-home digital media network. Mr. Paolo was kind enough to chat with GoLocalProv about his company and his fascinating career.

1) Tell us about the creation of GoGo Cast.

GoGo Cast is a great company with an evolving business model centeredaround the digital media and digital advertising space. Although I’d love to take credit for the formation of the company it was actually a Silicon Valley based company founded by Eric Decker, employee number 16 at Cisco Systems. Eric was responsible for major development in Cisco’s early IOS operating system. John Chambers, CEO for Cisco Systems said, "If it wasn't for Eric Decker, Cisco would not be where it is today", this was due to Eric's ability to take customer ideas and requests and then build exactly what they wanted.

In late 2008 I was introduced to Eric and his team of executives who had previously held senior rolls at Netscape, AOL, SCO, McAfee and Nokiaby Greg Argyle, GoGo Cast’s COO. I was challenged to take the raw technology and create a vertical segment, market, critical mass and to provide the vision to develop the technology into an industry leading standard. With that challenge I moved the company and some of its notable executives to Rhode Island, became one the majority shareholders and today GoGo Cast boast over 1000 screens deployed reaching over 25,000,000 million viewers per month and the leader in the space as we continue to build the largest retail television network in the country which is expected to reach over 150,000,000 viewers per month by the end of 2013.

In March we announced our new GoGoMobileservice. This exclusive micro-targeting advertising solution creates new levels of consumer engagement by providing them with real-time deals through their mobile device. GoGoMobile complements GoGo Cast's unique digital signage Go-Screen marketing solution giving individual retail chain stores the ability to extend their reach from within the store, directly to the consumer. The APP is now available for download in the Apple Store for iPhone and iPad and the Google Market place for Android and we have a tremendous backlog of retailers looking to participate.

2) You were part of the 5th best performing IPO in the history of the stock market with Log On America. What was that like?

That was a truly euphoric moment in my life in what some people like to refer to as being a first round draft pick for the NASDAQ. To take a little start-up company from one computer (which I still have on display) and create a quarter of a billion dollars in shareholder value, over 300 jobs in Rhode Island and at that moment be the 5th best performing IPO in the history of the stock market knocking Mark Cuban’s company out of that spot was something you only dream about.

3) Take us through a day in your life.

As most people know, I am very passionate about hockey so a typical day for me starts out with a morning skate with a group of guys I have been skating with for over ten years. I find that playing a team sport which requires both a mental and physical aspect of the game as well as the importance of utilizing teammates for success is one of the most essential aspects of my day which prepares me for the challenges in today’s business environment.

After the skate I head to the office where I greet my team, put on CNBC, peruse through the mountain of emails, Facebook messages, text messages and voice mails from the night before while I have my morning coffee. Around mid-morning I have an informal meeting with my partner and GoGo Cast COO Greg Argyle where we get level set as to where we are on various projects and initiatives and to check the status of how we are tracking with all the companies’ goals and objectives.

Following that meeting I will make my rounds around the office visiting the various groups to socialize, see how their day is going and to check on any challenges that may require a greater intervention to solve. Once I am comfortable that everyone is on task and there are no major concerns it’s usually time for lunch which on many days I can find it’s with a potential customer or vendor.

After returning from lunch I will usually check in with our west coast development team in Silicon Valley and get status updates and more importantly learn of any development challenges. From there I will spend the rest of the afternoon fielding phone calls, drafting emails and working on the many projects and acquisitions we have in the works. The day will usually end with meeting various business associates for drinks and sometimes dinner before heading home to spend time with my family where we share stories about our exciting days.

4) You're a Rhode Island entrepreneur. What is the state doing wrong when it comes to job creation?

Seems like a timely question with the state’s unemployment rate one of the highest in the country. Rhode Island just seems to never get it right. The past administrations have failed miserably when it comes to job creation and economic growth. I like to compare it to a game of poker; they either fold their hand or go all in with no master plan of success. Economic growth is more like a chess match where each move is calculated and analyzed because every move you make today affects all of the moves in the future and ultimately the outcome of the game. I don’t necessarily believe that throwing money to stimulate growth is the total solution; I think changes in policy, fees, tax rates and deferred tax payments need to be made at the state and federal level to encourage young entrepreneurs to take their passions, their ideas and their energy and bring them to the business community.

Today there is too much red tape, too many fees, too many taxes and so many burdensthat the barriers to entry for a small business are too great to even begin to get started. If these burdens were addressed and entrepreneurs had the freedom to use the business community as their canvas to create we could start a new entrepreneurial revolution. Legislation has to realize that relaxing that burden today will have a profound effect on tax revenue for the future, sort of like a chess match.

5) Tell us something nobody knows about you.

What most people do not know about me that my closest friends and family do, is; that I am the loyalist dog in the pound. If you are a true friend you have me in your corner even to my own detriment

Quick Hitters

Role Model: Jack Welch

Favorite Restaurant: Federal Hill, pick a spot, they are all great!

Best Beach: In the world, Paradise Island Atlantis, here in Rhody, Sand Hill Cove where I am looking to purchase a summer home.

Best Book You've Read in the Last Year: Jack Welch - Winning

Advice for the Next Dave Paolo: Less advice and more my hopes and aspirations, because entrepreneurs need to blasé their own paths, I hope that I can be instrumental in creating a more friendly environment, change policy and have a profound impact on what it costs for start-up to emerge so that the entrepreneurs to follow can realize their dreams and build a sound and prosperous economy.
 

 

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