The seeds of Umbel were planted in 2010, while I was serving as the founding CTO at The Texas Tribune. A shared lifetime obsession with big data and the desire to improve the way our personal data is being used brought me together with my co-founders to begin the ambitious Digital Genome Project.
I believe that our future reality exists in an online world where the activities and traits of our digital personas are as important as (if not more important than) traits in our “real” lives. The Digital Genome Project set out to map all the traits we share online that make up our digital lives. Some call this our “digital exhaust,” and we saw the need to capture it, clean it, organize it, and create a simple, beautiful interface that allows us to view and truly understand our digital personas.
While building the technically mind-boggling Digital Genome analysis, we nerded out and saw an unlimited amount of possibility for our technology. I quickly realized that one of the most needed uses for what we built was right under my nose at The Texas Tribune. Publishers of all kinds need to really know who their audience is so they can create more relevant content, sell and deliver more efficient advertising, and secure sponsorships and partnerships with synergistic brands.
The trend of print publishers going online and then going out of business is scary stuff. Publishers are not able to realize profits online the way they have been able to for ages in the print world. This is a huge problem for our digital futures. To stay alive, we believe publishers must take hold of the most valuable asset they have—their audience. They must deeply understand their audience and demonstrate its value to advertisers and sponsors. I joined The Texas Tribune because I believed in empowering a healthier democracy through online publishing. I now lead Umbel because I believe in helping all publishers achieve their goals and thrive in the new digital world.
Over the past few months, we have been improving Umbel’s technology, showing publishers, brands and agencies how they can use Umbel to improve their business, and growing an amazing team of talented employees. The Umbel family has passion and drive to leverage cutting-edge technology in a way that makes our world a better place like I’ve never seen before. I am so proud of what we have accomplished thus far, and I know the future is very bright. We will be officially launching Umbel to the public in Q4 of this year and I can’t wait to share all the amazing things we are doing to help the world of publishing valuable content thrive!
H.O. Maycotte, President & CTO