This year’s group of DMN 40Under40 winners have a few things in common. Well yes, they’re under 40. Also they have a proven track record of marketing excellence and leadership, whether they’re in roles supporting global brands, or leading their own thriving start-ups. Over the next few weeks, you’ll get to know our winners, and what they’ve accomplished.
Brian Stempeck is Chief Client Officer at The Trade Desk, an online advertising marketplace.
What has been your proudest career accomplishment to date?
In 2016, we took the Trade Desk public. It wasn’t easy. A lot of investors didn’t understand ad tech, or had been burned by the sector in the past. It was super exciting to be able to change Wall Street’s mind about an entire industry. Advertising is such a huge industry, but is one of the last to undergo the massive changes driven by AI, automation, and analytics. I think we played our small part in helping Wall Street understand the scale of that opportunity.
What’s the best piece of advice you can give to future 40Under40 honorees?
In the words of the great Kendrick Lamar, “be humble.” The number one rule we have when we hire new people at the Trade Desk is that we look for humility. There are tons of smart, hardworking people in the world. There are far fewer people who are self-aware, thoughtful, and humble.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years?
The thing I’m most excited about in the next five years is the future of television. Because of Netflix and streaming, TV has already changed in a massive way that I don’t think most people fully appreciate. TV advertising alone is a $300 billion industry globally, and it’s going through a revolution. There’s a super interesting battle that will play out in the next five years between companies trying to keep TV the same, and companies trying to blow up the status quo. Whether you’re a writer, a TV producer, a network, or a consumer, there are massive changes coming. That’s an exciting place to be.
What is one interesting fact about you that few people know?
For five years, early in my career, I was a journalist on Capitol Hill. I covered politics and policy, spending most of my day bouncing between the House and Senate, interviewing members of Congress, lobbyists and White House officials. Being in a rapidly changing environment like that was really addictive. It’s actually not that dissimilar from the tech world.