Pothole Observation With Daniel Barber, CEO & Co-Founder of DataGrail

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Marketing Trends Background


“I think a lot of what I was trying to do prior to starting DataGrail is watch other founders, other CEOs, other executives, and try to observe where they’ve hit potholes.” 


Data is not going away, nor are users’ demands for privacy. Daniel Barber, CEO & Co-Founder of DataGrail, explains how businesses must understand the personal data they hold and then strive to be transparent to necessary parties. Learn more about how Daniel prepared for success by studying business potholes.

Key Insights


Why Should CMOs Strive for Transparency?

“We’ve entered this age of privacy, but really what we’re seeing is a sense of skepticism of how businesses are using our information. And the modern CMO is going to continue to struggle with that because ultimately they need to be transparent with their consumer or employee or whoever the constituent may be that they’re looking to target because if they’re transparent, ultimately that leads to trust for the consumer… “

What Lessons Did Daniel Learn From His Experience in Japan?

Daniel shares a company value: “One of our values is ‘iterate and evolve.’” He connects this value to a book that is provided to all employees at DataGrail, “The Lean Startup,” and then to a mentality he came to appreciate in Japan.  

“But If you think about “The Lean Startup,’ that concept is really from Kaizen — the Japanese concept of continuous improvement. And so I think the Japanese figured that out [and] that it was very effective. It’s built into their cultural DNA as well about incremental change.” 

Daniel suggests those in the US could benefit from this notion of “incremental change.” Perhaps in the states we are too concerned with immediate results. Substantial change often takes time and is won through many successive, small steps.

What’s the Value of a Shared Entrepreneurial Journey? 

Daniel expresses the helpfulness of having two other co-founders by his side at DataGrail.

“And I think most founders need a partner. That is very important. At least one, to go through the journey together because it’s hard. There’s no doubt about it…  For us, what was interesting Is we all came from backgrounds of third-party applications and had seen these challenges.”

How Are Businesses Addressing Data Privacy Across Borders? 

“What I can tell you that we’re seeing though, which is interesting, is DataGrail customers, and most businesses we speak with, are honoring the rights that you and I have no matter where we are. So the right to have control of our information is being honored by most businesses, no matter what location you live in. So, there’s becoming a global standard of rights that you and I have because businesses just have no other choice.”

It’s fascinating to consider that even though there is no uniform worldwide privacy policy, companies are starting to come up with a certain standard across boundaries. Is this the best people should hope for in terms of the protection of data privacy?  

About the Guest:

BIO: Australian-born US citizen with professional and academic experience in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany & Japan.

Daniel has been covered on the topic of privacy and security by major television and media outlets such as CNBC, TechCrunch, USA Today, Fast Company, Fortune, and Barron’s.

His insights in the field have also been distributed in security and privacy publications such as IAPP, CPO Magazine, Consumer Affairs, CIO Dive, and Dark Reading.

Specialties: Intercultural communication, business development, market strategy, survey formulation, data analysis, management consulting and consumer behavior.”

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Episode 325