Yieldbot Appoints Media Pioneer Cathleen Black to its Board of Directors

Posted March 27th, 2013 by admin in Company News


Black will advise Yieldbot on its strategic direction as the Company continues to grow its real-time consumer intent marketplace for advertisers and premium publishers.

NEW YORK, New York – March 27, 2013 – Yieldbot today announced it has appointed Cathleen Black to its Board of Directors, effective March 18, 2013. An experienced media executive and business leader, Black will advise Yieldbot on its strategic direction as the Company grows its real-time consumer intent marketplace.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Cathie to Yieldbot’s Board of Directors,” said Jonathan Mendez, Yieldbot Founder and CEO. “Cathie’s leadership and knowledge within the media and publishing industry is extensive. Her experience and perspective will be invaluable to Yieldbot as we continue to bring new revenue streams to publishers and better results for advertisers through our real-time consumer intent marketplace.”

“It is very exciting to join the board of such a promising company at this early stage and to play a role in its growth and success,” said Black. “Yieldbot’s technology is at the forefront of the real-time data and analytics evolution, and has the potential to bring important new insight to publishers as to how they view their data and use it to deliver better experiences to audiences in the form of content and advertising.”

Black was President, then Chairman of Hearst Magazines, one of the world’s largest publishers of monthly magazines, for 15 years, and oversaw such titles as Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, O, The Oprah Magazine, and nearly 200 international editions. Called “the First Lady of Magazines,” Black has been named to Fortune Magazine’s andForbes’ “Most Powerful Women in Business” lists numerous times. Black was also President and Publisher of USA Today for 7 years in its beginning.

Black served on the boards of IBM and the Coca-Cola Company for 20 years, before becoming Chancellor of New York City Schools in 2010. She is a member of the National Council of Foreign Relations and her book, Basic Black: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life), is a New York Times bestseller.

Black joins Yieldbot 10 months after the launch of its real-time consumer intent marketplace. The marketplace currently captures 1.6 billion real-time consumer intentions each month across its base of premium web publishers. Yieldbot makes these intentions available for purchase by search marketers to match ads against in real time. The Company has doubled its advertising revenue every two months since the marketplace’s launch.

“We use Yieldbot for a number of different clients here at TargetCast, and have been seeing search-like performance on the front end, and more importantly, on the back end of our campaigns,” said TargetCast SVP Interactive Marketing Director Philippe Sloan. “Yieldbot has opened up a whole new marketplace for our clients to connect directly with the real-time mindset of their consumers in the publisher domain.”

“Yieldbot’s intent-based advertising has provided us with a critical supplement to our paid search efforts,” said Alliance Health Networks Marketing Manager Marin Rowe. “The conversion rate performance and number of conversions are equal to, and have sometimes exceeded, those of our SEM.”

Yieldbot’s publisher base has grown exponentially, as well, tripling page views each quarter since the marketplace’s launch.

“Yieldbot is looking at publisher data in a way that no other company has done before,” said Black. “Its technology can be very powerful for media companies seeking to transform their businesses in today’s digital environment.”

“Cathie’s whole career has been forward-looking,” said Mendez. “Cathie’s joining us validates the importance of what we’re doing for publishers and premium content providers.”

With Black’s appointment, Yieldbot’s Board of Directors now comprises five members, including Scott Johnson, Founder & Managing Partner, New Atlantic Ventures; Jonathan Mendez, Founder & CEO, Yieldbot; Jerry Neumann, Partner, Neu Venture Capital; and Eric Wiesen, General Partner, RRE Ventures.

To learn more about Yieldbot’s products and services, its real-time consumer intent marketplace, and how publishers can increase their yields while advertisers strengthen their intent-based marketing results, please visit our website.

About Yieldbot

Founded in 2010, Yieldbot captures, organizes and activates real-time consumer intent before, after and outside of search, creating a new marketing channel for advertisers and new revenue streams for publishers. Through its real-time consumer intent marketplace, Yieldbot enables advertisers to deliver ads at the exact moment consumers are most open to receiving relevant marketing messages. The Yieldbot marketplace currently captures 1.6 billion intentions each month and frequently delivers performance equivalent to, or stronger than, search marketing performance.

For media inquiries, please email

Yieldbot 2012 Review

Posted December 31st, 2012 by admin in Company News


2012 was a huge year of progress at Yieldbot. We started off the year by taking our second round of funding in February from true VCs that didn’t need to see “traction” before making their bet. With that investment we grew the company over the course of the year from 5 to 19 full-time employees in New York and Boston. Companies are about people first and we have put a together a tremendous team of data scientists, developers, engineers, strategists and sales people who have joined us from companies like Criteo, Microsoft, Kayak and the Wall Street Journal.

After two years of development from that small team of 5 we launched our real-time consumer intent marketplace in May. It was worth the effort. The amount of paid clicks in the Yieldbot marketplace has doubled every two months since we launched. Doubling the size of your business 4 times in 8 months presented numerous scaling challenges that touched all parts of the business. Our team handled them incredibly well.

We have a good number of the word’s leading brands and many other marketers large and small extending their Search budgets into Yieldbot to buy real-time intent on a performance (Pay Per Click) basis. Speaking of performance, in many cases advertisers are seeing results as good or better than what they see in Paid Search from traffic derived from Yieldbot. As most industry observers know, this is heretofore unseen.

Best of all we truly unlocked a direct path for Search Marketing budgets to reach Premium Publishers and buy intent in real-time. This is an industry first and we consider it a monumental achievement in digital media. Yieldbot’s largest publisher partner is on a $2M 2013 run rate for new revenue - Search revenue. These are budgets they have never touched and their direct sales teams have never called on. We truly have created a new channel. That doesn’t happen very often.

In 2012 Publisher partners were stacking Yieldbot behind their sponsorships/direct sold impressions and ahead of exchange/network. That’s a great starting place but we aim to create much more value as our technology improves in 2013. We saw over 15M different consumer intentions across more than 2.7B page-views in 2012. The more data we capture the better we perform. This is one reason Yieldbot overall platform CTR (click-through rate) has gone up every month even as impression levels have skyrocketed. There are efficiencies created as markets get larger and those will benefit both Yieldbot advertisers and publishers.

Major initiatives around automation and artificial intelligence were also started late in 2012 that will make optimization of Yieldbot performance completely automated. From campaign set-up and launch through goal management, the use of first party data and ad server integration creates an opportunity to reshape what is possible with marketing technology and reduce the resources necessary to manage campaigns.

We head into 2013 fully aware that we have not accomplished anything close to our goals and we are still at the beginning of building our business. We have 2 new verticals launching Q1 and more growth to manage ahead of us. There is also pressure that comes from the sheer enormity of the opportunity in front of us. That’s a good thing. It was Billie Jean King that said “pressure is a privilege” and we’re privileged to be solving problems that bring the highest quality consumers, world’s top marketers and premium content publishers together in a way that delivers relevance and value to each simultaneously.

Should old acquaintance be forgot and never thought upon? Maybe. But if you did not make the acquaintance of Yieldbot in 2012 and you are a Search Marketer or Premium Publisher we hope you do in 2013. In the meantime, Happy New Year!

Measure Twice, Cut (over) Once

Posted June 5th, 2012 by admin in Company News


This past weekend we did a deploy at Yieldbot unlike any other we’ve done before.

At its completion we had:

  • upgraded from using Python 2.6 to 2.7.3;
  • reorganized how our realtime matching index is distributed across systems;
  • split off monitoring resources to separate servers;
  • moved out git repos that were submodules to be sibling repos;
  • changed servers to deploy code from Chef server instead of directly from github;
  • completely transitioned to a new set of servers;
  • suffered no service interruption to our customers.

The last two points deserve some emphasis. At the end of the deploy, every single instance in production was new - including the Chef server itself. Everything in production was replaced, across our multiple geographic regions.

Like many outfits, we do several deploys a week, sometimes several a day. Having no service disruption is always critical, but in most deploys is also usually fairly straightforward. This one was big.

The procedures we had in place for carrying it out were robust enough though that we didn’t even internally notify anyone from the business side of the company when the transition was happening. The only notification was getting sign-off from Jonathan (CEO) on Friday morning that the cut-over would probably take place soon. In fact, we didn’t notify anyone *after* the transition took place either, unless you count this tweet:

I suppose we cheated a little by doing it late on a Saturday night though. 🙂


We have a few kinds of data that we had to consider. Realtime streaming, analytics results, and configuration data.

Realtime Streaming and Archiving

For archiving of realtime stats, the challenge was going to be the window of time that old systems were still receiving requests while new servers were starting to take their place. In addition to to zero customer impact we demanded zero data loss.

This was solved mostly by preparation. By having the archiving include the names of the source donig the archiving, the old and new servers could both archive data to teh same place without overwriting each other.

Analytics Results

We currently have a number of MongoDB servers that hold the results of our analytics processes, and store the massive amounts of data backing the UI and the calculation of our realtime matching index.

Transitioning this mostly fell on MongoDB master-slave capabilities. We brought up the new instances as slave instances pointing to the old instances as their master. When it was time to go live on the new servers, a re-sync with chef reverted them to acting as masters.

There was a little bump here where an old collection ran into a problem in the replication and was replicating to be much larger in the new instance than in the large instance. Luckily it was an older collection that was no longer needed, and dropping it altogether on the old instance got us past that.

Configuration Data

Transitioning the config data was made easy by the fact that it uses a database technology that we created here at Yieldbot called HeroDB. (which we’ll much more to say about it in the future).

The beneficial properties of this database in this case is that it is portable, and can be easily reconciled against a secondary active version. So we copied these databases over and had peace of mind that we’d reconcile later as necessary with ease.


We tested the transition in a couple different ways.

As we talked about in an earlier blog post, we use individual AWS accounts for developers with Chef config analogous to the production environment. In this case we were able to bring up clusters in test environments along the way before even trying to bring up the replacement clusters in production.

We also have test mechanisms in place already to test proper functioning of data collection, ad serving, real time event processing, and data archiving. These test mechanisms can be used in individual developer environments, test environments, and production. These proved invaluable in validating proper functioning of the new production clusters as we made the transition.

The Big Switch - DNS

DNS was the big switch to flip and the servers go from “ready” to “live”. To be conservative we placed one of our new edge servers (which would serve a fraction of the real production traffic in a single geographic region) into the DNS pool and verified everything worked as expected.

Once verified, we put the rest of the new edge servers across all geographic regions into the DNS pools and removed all of the old edge servers from the DNS pools.

The switch had been flipped.

There Were Bumps (but no bruises)

There were bumps along the way. Just none that got in our way. Testing as we went, we were confident that functionality was working properly and could quickly debug anything unexpected. As any fine craftsman knows, you cut to spec as precisely as possible, and there’s always finish work to get the fit perfect.

Chef, FTW!

The star of the show, other than the team at Yieldbot that planned, coded, and executed the transition, was Chef.

We continue to be extremely pleased with the capabilities of Chef and the way that we are making use of it. No doubt there are places where it is tricky to get what we want. And of course there’s a learning curve in understand how the roles, cookbooks, and recipes all work together, but when it all snaps into place, it’s like devops magic.

Working at Yieldbot

Posted January 31st, 2012 by admin in Company News


We’re adding more developers to our team and pushing things to the next level. If you like seriously interesting and challenging work in the areas we’re looking for help in, you should be talking to us. You’ll have a single-digit employee number, so you’ll be getting in early and powering us on our way to fulfilling the huge potential we’re sitting on.

What can you expect if you decide to jump in and join us on our mission to make the web experience more relevant? For one thing, no shortage of interesting hard problems to solve, and the latest tools to do it with.

A Great Environment

For our devleopment environment we each have an AWS sandbox that deploys the same code as production, so everyday work is production devops training too, with a Mac for your local dev environment. You’ll have Campfire group chat up all day, and be in the middle of all the important conversations around what we need to do and how we need to do it, from the CEO on down.

The language and tools you use most during the day will depend on what part of the platform you’re focusing on.

A Distributed Realtime Platform

A large part of the core platform is in Python. All of the code around scheduling of tasks and managment of the platform are found here, as well as the key ad serving logic and realtime event processing. You’ll be making use of MongoDB, redis, and ElephantDB. You’ll be solving problems on running the platform distributed across several data centers worldwide. You’ll likely be doing some devops stuff here too, and loving the ease with which Chef lets you get that done.

Bleeding Edge Analytics

If you’re working on our analytics then you are loving the use of Cascalog (a Clojure DSL that runs over the Cascading API on Hadoop). The power-to-lines-of-code ratio here is ridiculous. More than that, you’ll be writing realtime analytics in Storm. That’s not cutting edge, it’s definitely bleeding edge.

Focus on UX

To work on the UI you’re pushing the limits on the latest Javascript UI tools like D3.js and Spine.js. Have you thought about how clean client-side MVC should be done? Spine is it. We’re serious about quality of UX here. If you’re serious about it too, this is where you should be.

An Awesome Team

The team you’ll be joining has been there before. We’ve founded and built successful products, platforms, and companies. We know our industry and what it takes to be successful. And we’re doing it.

The most important thing that keeps us developers here at Yieldbot energized is that we’re building something people want, that’s been clear from the beginning. Our mission to make the web experience more relevant resonates with users, publishers, and advertisers.

If you’re up for the challenge contact us at We have some seriously challenging work you can get started on right away.

Looking for a Few Good Devs

Posted September 26th, 2011 by admin in Company News


At Yieldbot we’re a small team building incredible technology that’s getting major publishers and advertisers hooked. We’re always looking for the best technical talent to join our development team and work with us on getting to the next level, and as CTO I think it’s only fair that you know what we’re looking for. 🙂

What you need to know:

  • We’re a small talented team looking to become a bigger talented team.
  • We work on tough interesting problems, use cutting-edge “big data” technology, and enjoy winning.
  • We’re working on revolutionizing how web advertising works.
  • This is gonna be big.

What we need to know:

  • You like to solve tough problems and have a history of winning.
  • You can code in a few different languages and are expert with one of them.
  • That language is Python or you are py-curious.
  • You want to make big contributions on a small team and build a valuable business.

Some technology stuff:

  • Python’s big here, but we rock Clojure and Javascript too.
  • We use Django. Bonus if you know it, but if you don’t it ain’t so hard.
  • We wrestle some serious big data, and use Hadoop to do it.
  • MongoDB and HBase compete for our love.
  • Chef and the Vagrant knifed Puppet and we’ve never been the same

If you’re a fit, dust off your Python and contact us:


”.join(map(chr,map(lambda x:x[0]+x[1],zip(map(ord,str(dir)),yieldbot))))At Yieldbot we’re a small team building incredible technology that’s getting major publishers and advertisers hooked. We’re always looking for the best technical talent to join our development team and work with us on getting to the next level, and as CTO I think it’s only fair that you know what we’re looking for. 🙂

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