From video game to programmatic advertising, Darren Herman has been a pioneer in developing products to monetize audiences. Today, at Bain Capital, he helps re-invigorate existing brands with fresh and impactful growth strategies. A few words about his journey:
My founder story
I founded my first venture-backed company right after I graduated college in the early 2000s. We built advertising infrastructure for PC and Playstation games. In the mid-late 2000s, I became an intrapreneur within a large publicly traded advertising holding company. We built one of the first in-house programmatic ad platforms, invested in a dozen ad/martech startups, and worked on some of the largest national and global brands. Almost a decade later, I found myself in Silicon Valley, being an intrapreneur again, building one of the first privacy-respecting content and advertising platforms at scale for Mozilla/Firefox. And now, I am a Partner at Bain Capital, surrounding myself with entrepreneurs. Why? I love the creativity of entrepreneurship - putting together a puzzle with no guide or instructions. I look at entrepreneurship as an art form, and it's most inspiring.
An example of acting deftly
During the pandemic, I was traveling materially less, so I wanted to teach my children (ages 14 & 12) a life skill. We chose entrepreneurship. What better way to learn than diving right in and starting a business? We chose sports cards as our business since we are already passionate about it (I'm @MidlifeCrisisCards on Insta), created a few products, including a market value repack SKU, set up a Shopify-enabled site, created our marketing, ran some ads, and sold some products. My children have been involved the entire way. I've learned that they don't like the shipping & logistics component of the business: trying to get them to package up a purchase, tape up the box, and affix the shipping label is more challenging than getting them to brush their teeth or make their bed! We also made a handful of angel investments in/around the card & collectible space which taught them a bit about being an investor and doing diligence.
Why I joined the deftly.vc community
I love staying close to entrepreneurs and the respective craft of entrepreneurship. I met Arie over a decade ago as a fellow board member and was immediately impressed. I jumped at the opportunity to back Arie and be alongside him for this fun journey.
Excited to have your backing. Welcome aboard Darren!