Ignorance Is The Enemy of Opportunity (also I’m thrilled to announce I’ve joined U of Digital)

Myles Younger

Myles Younger / Head of Innovation and Insights at U of Digital

By: Myles Younger, Head of Innovation and Insights at U of Digital

It’s great to be here! I’m excited to announce I’ve joined U of Digital as Head of Innovation and Insights. I’ll be finding ways to scale the success U of Digital is already creating for blue-chip clients like TikTok, Reddit, Criteo, FreeWheel, StackAdapt, and many more.

Why learning and development matters in the business of digital media & advertising

How many of us have had this experience?

You’re excited to take your place at a proverbial negotiating or planning table. Maybe you’re a buyer, a seller, or a strategic partner. Maybe you’re an agency or a consultant. Maybe you’re a founder or a tech vendor. Regardless, you’re ready to make things happen and unlock value.

But then, despite excitement on both sides of the table, things grind to a near halt almost right away. You find that your counter-party (your client or prospect, your partner, your vendor) doesn’t understand your lingo. Or you don’t understand theirs. Or you both possess half the picture but don’t know how to complete the puzzle.

During my career, I’ve witnessed this time and time again, and I expect you have too: highly experienced and dedicated folks (including me) spending months and sometimes even years talking in circles and making frustratingly slow progress merely due to lack of fundamental shared knowledge. Multi-million dollar opportunities across our industry are kept locked behind a wall of the unfamiliar: strange jargon, new technologies, weird industry dynamics, or hidden motives.

This is especially true when it comes to new technologies, devices, or consumer behaviors; understanding of a new thing lags the thing itself as everyone fumbles to find ways to explain it. Most of our industry tolerates stubborn knowledge gaps (often without thinking about it) as a necessary evil; a cost of doing business. The unwritten rule often goes like this: if enough of us sit on enough zoom calls, or attend enough conference sessions, or google enough acronyms, or read enough explainer blog posts over a long enough period of time, eventually we’ll stumble into an a-ha moment that will unlock some small bit of forward progress.

When you think about just how interoperable and inter-dependent the ecosystem is, this default “grope around in the dark until you find the light switch” approach starts to look less than ideal as a macro business strategy. No company is an island in this absurdly complex industry of 10,000 companies. The success and adoption of every startup or technology or media format is rate-limited by the degree to which everyone understands it (and that includes people inside those companies!). Closing knowledge gaps is literally money in the bank.


U of Digital and learning-as-a-service

The growing demand to proactively address knowledge gaps is what U of Digital has tapped into and what I’m excited to help scale. Shiv Gupta and the amazing team at U of Digital have proven that knowledge gaps can be systematically identified and closed. With sophisticated and intentional “learning-as-a-service” offerings, U of Digital clients are unlocking value faster and more consistently, while maximizing the number of employees and stakeholders who can be enabled and empowered.

From a personal perspective, I’ve been tapped as the “explainer guy” countless times in my career. So on the one hand, I know what it’s like to help my peers have “light bulb” moments and I know that such moments don’t need to be accidental. And on the other hand, I am acutely aware of rate-limiters, having been rate-limited to, well, myself. For too long, demand for knowledge in our increasingly complex industry has far outstripped the available supply, in large part because there haven’t been solutions to tackle the challenge systematically. This is why I’m excited to be along for the ride as U of Digital helps establish a healthier equilibrium.

Knowledge is power!

Myles Younger

Myles Younger / Head of Innovation and Insights at U of Digital

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