In my last post, I presented the idea of a data network effect (DNE) and explained why we pay so much attention to it at super{set}. We established a DNE as

any computational process that, with trust and privacy, harnesses the power of data from a collective to generate better results for the individual.

When it comes to a DNE, your objective shouldn’t be to luck your way into it, but rather to design it intentionally into every aspect of your business. In this note I’ll unpack the three central design elements of a DNE (Trust, Contracts, and Architecture), illustrate…

light bulb on top of bowl filled with binary code

At super{set}, our central commitment is to found, fund, and form data-driven companies. Our thesis is that AI without data is an engine on blocks in a garage, dormant and unmoving. To harness its power, you need a car, a driver, and, most critically — you need fuel. Data is the fuel and essential precondition for AI and all of the possibilities it portends.

Data-driven companies are all variations on a central theme. While the exterior and market focus of a data-driven company can vary widely, at its core, any data-driven company is in the business of

  • Capturing
  • Generating
  • Orchestrating

We are living in a time of extraordinary concern about the negative consequences of online platforms and social media. We worry about the damage interactive technologies cause to society; about the impact to our mental health; and about the way that these platforms and their practices play to our most destructive impulses. Too often, the experiences we have online serve only to polarize, divide, and amplify the worst of human nature.

There is good reason to be concerned. According to a 2017 Pew study, more than 40 percent of all Americans have been personally harassed or attacked online, and two-thirds…

You’ve decided to launch a business, but before you hurtle blindly into the breach, you need a bulletproof plan and a perfect pitch deck to persuade your co-founders, investors, partners, and employees to follow you into the unknown. In the third episode of The Closed Session, Tom and Vivek talk through the key elements of a coherent, convincing business plan for your new venture. Get it right, and you can dramatically increase your velocity and odds of success.

Tune in here or on the Apple Podcast app to find out more!

In the second episode of The Closed Session, Tom and Vivek discuss the framework for starting your own company from scratch, and the three dimensions that should be taken into account. Today, everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, but should they? Tom and Vivek help answer the tough questions, like should you start your own company? How do you know if you have an idea worth building, and how do you translate that idea into a profitable product?

Listen here or on the Apple Podcast app!

In the first episode of The Closed Session, meet Tom Chavez and Vivek Vaidya, serial entrepreneurs and podcast hosts. The Closed Session will discuss the process of building a company, with a focus on tech entrepreneurship and innovation. Tom and Vivek share lessons they have learned, topics they find interesting and yank back the covers on what investors want. They also discuss Super{set}, their venture studio where they find, fund and build technology companies.

Listen here!

Turner, one of the wholly owned companies within Time Warner, owns and operates some of the most important premium media brands in the world. Its portfolio includes niche television channels (Adult Swim), global news (CNN), and sports (Turner Sports, Bleacher Report) to kids programming (Cartoon Network) and well-known cable offerings such as Turner Classic and TNT.

When we first started working with Turner, it faced many of the challenges common to most major media companies. …

Marketers need to know as much as possible about their customers, and every granular bit of data is a clue to be stitched together with others in a relentless pursuit of new ideas to drive the business forward. “Data in” is the method by which we construct user profiles from everything we know and “data back in” is the way we look at user engagement across channels to enrich our understanding of users.

A powerful example of “data back in” is the History Channel’s tune-in campaign for Vikings. After debuting in 2013, Vikings was an immediate hit, drawing over six…

PSA Peugeot Citroën, the automobile company, was struggling to drive consumers to its showroom. Ranked ninth globally in terms of production, the company had recently taken a billion-Euro bailout, and was in the process of plotting a return to the U.S. market after nearly 20 years. The company was marketing aggressively in Europe, its primary market, but seeing little in terms of increased foot traffic at dealerships.

One executive spoke about her results with the media saying, “We have multiple agencies. Every time we meet with them, their recommendation is to spend more money. So we raise our budget. But…

Like it or not, every mobile phone has the ability to track our movements and, with “location services” enabled, every mobile phone can communicate with a beacon to identify our precise location. Neil Sweeney, head of Freckle IoT, a provider of beacon hardware and software, had helped CPG marketers get closer to their customers by understanding their store shopping habits with location data. Neil saw how dominant the mobile marketing channel was, connecting advertisers with on-the-go customers by understanding their shopping habits with location data.

Mondelez, owner of Velveeta and other prominent consumer packaged goods brands, was at arm’s length…


We are a crew of proven technologists, go-to-market assassins, and seasoned entrepreneurs launching and growing new tech startups. Learn more at:

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store