TripleLift coffee chat
We got together with the TripleLift team, Luke ('18 BSE Computer Science) and Steven ('19 BSE Computer Science), to hear more about what was on their minds coming into the final week of PSIP.
TripleLift is a programmatic ad exchange where publishers sell their ad space on their websites to potential agencies and brands that want to increase brand awareness or sell their goods/services. TripleLift separates itself by only serving native ads, which means that the ad seamlessly fits with the style of the content on the page.
What are 1-2 big take-aways you have from your experience this summer?
Luke: A big take away for me was that I overall really enjoy working on larger scale software engineering projects in a real work environment - something I didn’t know I would enjoy before this summer. It also reinforced my belief that in order to be successful in a work environment I need to take the initiative to ask for mentorship and show genuine interest in the things I’m doing - or at least show an ability to learn. That way I build better relationships with people and learn more ways to be able to help out, which makes me more valuable to the company while in turn allowing me to learn new things.
Steven: My biggest take away from the summer is that the biggest difference between working in a company versus in the classroom is the fact that you have to work under and with people. One of the most stressful times at work was when I was tasked with creating a workaround for a project that I had no context about. I had to set up a meeting with the project manager to learn more and talk to another engineering team about their API. I learned how to communicate effectively and was able to finish the project before the deadline.
If you could recommend one place to eat and one thing to do in NYC, what would it be and why?
Steven: There’s this really great place called Miscelanea that sells affordable Mexican sandwiches I had on my first day of work I’d recommend. I’d definitely go to Washington Square Park and sit down. There’s always something cool happening and it’s so relaxing in the summer.
Luke: I would definitely recommend Xi’an Famous Foods for delicious spicy cumin lamb hand-pulled noodles. I’d recommend Levain Bakery for the best cookies in NYC. And I’d DEFINITELY recommend checking out Prospect Park in Brooklyn - I like it a lot more than Central Park (it’s quieter, less crowded, and feels more like you’re away from the city).
What is one thing you didn’t expect to learn this summer?
Luke: I didn’t expect to learn that, at a startup, success or failure is mostly dependent on the founders and core group of people that build it from the beginning. If the right group of people is working on something, any roadblocks or hits the company takes can be worked through by way of perseverance and hard work. I used to believe that a successful startup was commonly a one man show. Almost every founder or speaker that came to talk to us at PSIP shared this idea.
Steven: I didn’t expect to learn so much about the industry I am working in. I thought I would be working on a project that could be contained in a little bubble, but what I found out is that I was working on all sorts of things and had to understand how it affected the company and ad tech in general. I have a much better understanding of the industry of which I had not even known about a year ago.
How do you define a startup, and how has your definition changed after this summer?
Steven: I define a startup now as a group, no matter how big or small, that all work to achieve a common goal of innovating in a given industry where everyone is integral to how it functions. I think this definition has changed by also realizing that a startup isn’t necessarily a 3 person bootstrapped company but can be any size.
Luke: I would define a startup as an entity run by a core group of likeminded, driven people with complementing skillsets that are looking to fill a demand or capitalize on an untapped market. My definition became more “people-focused” after this summer.