Heard on The Street, Episode 13: Location Intelligence and Brewing Beer With Harry Dewhirst
Harry Dewhirst may be the real-life version of Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting Man In the World.” President of location intelligence company Blis, he holds no permanent residence, dynamically bouncing among Airbnbs and hotels, including the undisclosed location in Singapore where we reached him for the latest episode of Heard on the Street.
Dewhirst boasts an eclectic background that includes everything from music to theater to fashion. As for business, and specifically the local angle, Dewhirst has been through two successful exits of mobile ad companies, experiences that have left him with edifying lessons to let us in on.
“I’m lucky to have gone through two successful acquisitions—successful in the sense that they concluded,” he told us, “and also successful in that post-acquisition, it was harmonious. It is a large risk, though: Businesses that become almost desperate to sell or really want to get their liquidity event maybe can overlook the fact that they’re then going to work with these people … and if they’re not sure they can make that work, it could end up coming back to bite them.”
In the world of Blis, the company has experienced rapid growth and geographic expansion that includes the U.S. up next. It’s continuing to refine its location data chops, including its Smart Pin technology, which scores location data and infuses greater integrity into location signals. This is a longstanding pain point and key success factor in location intelligence.
“Smart Pin is a data visualization and scoring system,” Dewhirst said. “We, through a host of machine learning, can ascertain a score for accuracy of data sources. Once we’ve done that, we can use that as a way to benchmark subsequent data from there on. So it’s self-learning, self-cleaning, and is something that over time gets better and better.”
Check out the full episode above, which also includes tactical discussionsabout what’s working in location intelligence and more musings on Dewhirst’s eclectic and enviable lifestyle.
Find out more about Heard on the Street here, and stay tuned for episodes every two weeks.
Mike Boland is Street Fight’s lead analyst, author of the Road Map column, and producer of the Heard on the Street podcast. He covers AR & VR as chief analyst of ARtillry Intelligence and SF President of the VR/AR Association. He has been an analyst in the local space since 2005, covering mobile, social, and emerging tech.