SiteZeus is Proud to be Recognized as Top 10 Tech Startups; Again
This year, SiteZeus had the honor of being recognized as one of the top ten tech start-ups in Tampa Bay by The Tech Tribune for the second year in a row. We sat down with SiteZeus Co-CEO Hannibal Baldwin to get his thoughts on this recognition, as well as some insights into the challenges and opportunities the company faces as we head into 2019.
1. How do you feel about being recognized as one of the top ten tech start-ups in Tampa for the second year in a row?
First of all, it’s important for me to point out that it’s not just me that’s being recognized; it’s the company and the technology. This was a massive team effort. It’s an amazing feeling.
I grew up here, being fifth-generation to Tampa, and it’s exciting to see the tech community here start to flourish. It’s awesome to be validated and realize that what we’re doing matters to the community, and to know that people are looking to us to help prove that Tampa can make a space for itself in this industry.
2. What have been some of the challenges the company has faced in the past year?
I’d have to say one the biggest challenges we’ve faced—and it’s a happy challenge to have—is growth. We’ve gone from a couple of co-founders just a few years ago to a team of around thirty talented and incredible colleagues. So the challenge there is how to scale company and departmental processes as we bring new people on, and having training in place to help new teammates learn the technology. This is something that every company faces, and it’ll continue to be a challenge as we grow.
From a product standpoint, we’re constantly evolving the architecture of the product, chasing a massive backlog of requests and features to deliver to a broader and broader customer and industry base. It’s vital to drive data around some of the decisions we need to make, from the new industries we’re going to target to which features we’re going to prioritize and build.
3. So, what has been the fun part of all this in the past year?
All of it is fun! Any opportunity that I get as a stats and math geek to apply data to a challenge—whether it’s an operational problem, or a design problem, or a data science problem—to tell a story and drive a decision, that’s what’s exciting to me.
Apart from that, one of the most fun things I get to do is to act as product owner and designer. It’s a blast to get to focus on UX/UI and envision some of these features in a new way. The pinnacle of this for me is looking at a new form of machine learning that we’re developing on the R&D side and translating all of those analytics into a user-experience that’s extremely simple and comprehensible to an end-user who knows nothing about machine learning. That is exciting.
4. What can the Tampa Bay tech community—and our customers—expect from SiteZeus in the coming months and years?
Expect the company size, along with the product and revenue, to continue to grow. Expect us to grow our name in the community, and to give back to the community, whether that’s through our impact on the companies we serve, or through direct involvement with charitable organizations.
Within the realm of the product, look for us to execute on our multi-year vision of not only helping with site-selection for brick-and-mortar retail and restaurant brands, but getting into the more granular marketing-based analytics. We’ll be using things like mobile data, mobile ads, purchasing data and transactional data and tying it all back to help those same brands with their day-to-day marketing activities.
We’ll also be getting into the operational aspects of these brands, to become a full suite of centralized technology that multiple departments within an organization come to for strategic analytics for their operations that all tie back to a centralized “brain” as I would call it. When all the analytics you’re using to make decisions are driven from a centralized place, you have cohesion and agreement.
And finally, on a really broad level, you’ll see us start to move beyond the restaurant industry to tackle all kinds of location-based problems, ranging from helping property appraisers and governments put taxable values on homes, to helping city planners place fire hydrants, to helping state governments figure out where to place polling stations. Any problem that involves where and how to optimize a location-based decision, we eventually want to be the ones to solve it.