From MIT to Helping Amazon Sellers Optimize Revenue | Ernesto Reza
In this Prime Talk Podcast Sponsored by GETIDA – Ernesto Reza - Founder & CEO of Mayanalytics talks about going from From MIT to Helping Amazon Sellers Optimize Revenue, also more information about his life's journey. #Mayanalytics #ErnestoReza
About Ernesto Reza of Mayanalytics -
Mayan is the growth automation platform for Amazon sellers. Our technology optimizes Amazon ads on behalf of 3rd party sellers, achieving them greater returns on the $31B they spent on Amazon ads last year. We were founded by four MIT graduates, all close friends for over 10 years. Our CEO was employee No. 3 @ Thrasio, the largest Amazon seller aggregator, where he helped build their systems that grew 65+ brands to over $200M in Amazon revenue.
Find the Full Episode Below
Yoni Mazor 0:06
Everybody welcome to another episode of prime talk today I have a really special guest. Today I'm having Ernesto Reza. Ernesto is the founder and CEO of My Analytics. But also a fun fact is he was employee number three at Atlas Sian. We're going to get to that part of the story very soon. So Ernesto, welcome to the show.
Ernesto Reza 0:24
Thank you very much, Yoni. It's a pleasure to be here with you.
Yoni Mazor 0:27
Awesome. My pleasure to have you. So today's episode will be the story you. Right? Vanessa? Reza, you're going to share with us everything. Who are you? Where were you born? Where do you grow up? Where'd you go to school? How'd you bring in your professional career, station to station until we reached where you are today, especially with the world of E-commerce. So without further ado, let's jump right into it.
Ernesto Reza 0:47
Alright, man. So hi, everyone again. I was born and raised in Mexico City. To be exact. That's where I spent the first 10 years of my life. And then due to my father's job. When I was 10. We moved to Houston, Texas. We were the first sorry about that. We're the first.
Yoni Mazor 1:09
So again, it cuts Atlanta cut this part. Let's do it again. So yeah, yeah. So this part, I'm telling my editor, a video that we can send us the post-production. Okay, so let's put that without further ado, let's jump right into it. Go ahead.
Ernesto Reza 1:24
Hi, everyone. Thank you. Thank you for having me, Johnny. So yeah, man, my background is I was born and raised in Mexico City. I lived there until I was 10. Then we moved to Houston, Texas, because of my father's job. And as well but that was my first exposure to the US. I had lived in Jersey thing for like, a year or 10 months ago. In
Yoni Mazor 1:50
New Jersey and New York. New Jersey boy, which party? Do you know? Because I'm in New Jersey, by the way?
Ernesto Reza 1:56
Yeah, we were in the Somerset area. Yeah, that's when I was like two months to barely get into a year or something like that. So I don't remember any
Yoni Mazor 2:06
Of it. And what was your father's job? What was the nature of his job?
Ernesto Reza 2:10
Yeah, so he was an internal auditor. I think at that point, he was like, head of internal audit or global auditor or something like that. How we the how the opportunity came about,
Yoni Mazor 2:23
I don't know what kind of like ours and young Price Waterhouse Cooper.
Ernesto Reza 2:27
So yeah, that's what consulting firm he was, like, internal to a company. So like an internal team. But they a company took a group of like, 40 people from Mexico and move them all to Houston.
Yoni Mazor 2:44
The corporation was American or Mexican. Yeah, it
Ernesto Reza 2:46
Was in his 70s its part of like the Koch brothers I believe.
Yoni Mazor 2:51
So and this rich traditional industry.
Ernesto Reza 2:54
Yep. Yeah. Petrochemicals. Very cool. Yeah. And their
Yoni Mazor 3:06
My formative years were in Houston, Texas, it sounds like yeah,
Ernesto Reza 3:09
To an extent. And then we had like a kind of crazy beginning because, you know, had the opportunity to get our green card we're in the process of all of that and then an activist investor, which means that it was a public company, kind of peer company that he worked for, is an activist investor when they come in and buy like more than five 10% Something like that.
Ernesto Reza 3:28
It's like a really large controlling share, they basically said, like, ah, experts, it's too expensive. So they like, let everyone go. So then that was an interesting point of our kind of like family life is that we that at that point, had to make a decision or like, Okay, do we stay in the US and just continue working towards that green card or go back to Mexico and as a family, we decided to stay in the US and that's what opened so many doors for me, but also, it was a very challenging period for a family because
Yoni Mazor 3:58
All the events that happened
Ernesto Reza 4:01
Yoni Mazor 4:02
Yeah. Pretty young. Yeah. But it's formative it's for you, it will you know, make probably a world of a difference if you will move back to Mexico and we grew up there and you know, have one trajectory or staying in the US and like what you did, so let's just that so, you know, so I guess high school years where you're in the United States, yourself, you will you tried to do anything entrepreneurial, trying to make money on the side, you have some money for toys or gadgets or anything like
Ernesto Reza 4:28
That. So my life growing up was I was going to be either a soccer player, goalkeeper to be exact as the position or played for I think 1617 years competitively. And, or surgeon, that was where my mind is, and in the surgeon, I always had like, Okay, I'm going to do like, my independent practice. So that was kind of like my spur of like entrepreneurship and well, with soccer, football, as you can become an entrepreneur after you've kind of made it right because not like the career path itself, is entrepreneurial but
Yoni Mazor 5:01
It’s by a goalkeeper to a surgeon. That's pretty cool. But I guess you'd like soccer slash football. I know probably Mexico is your country of the national team. That's it's cool. I give you that. But what about like a global goal for a soccer team? Barcelona rial?
Ernesto Reza 5:17
Yeah, I like Barcia I grew up watching more Mexican soccer circles. And, yeah, the Mexican soccer team. But I didn't get to expose them to international soccer, mental moronic linear time and he was just a magician with Bosco Leino, then
Yoni Mazor 5:40
That’s all from us. Yeah,
Ernesto Reza 5:43
sorry. Yeah. Yeah, Ronaldinho,
Yoni Mazor 5:46
Then he kind of passed the torch to Messi right. As far as yeah, exactly. He kind of had his first game and you can help them out to break him. And that was kind of struggle and put them aside. I say playing So either you're going to be you know, a professional athlete or a surgeon and then you finish high school in Houston also.
Ernesto Reza 6:04
Yeah, I finished high school in Houston. And then from there, basically, at that point, I had the opportunity to try out with not the first team but like the reserve team of Mexican protein, when I was a, my videos, sophomore, junior spring break, I was invited to come back for the summer, but the coach that I was practicing honors kind of made my life hell. And it also likes, came very clear that if I was to go to the that's kind of like the unfortunate reality of football in a lot of Latin America's either go fully into the sport and forget kind of education, or you have to make a choice.
Ernesto Reza 6:48
And for me, I decided to go with education just more, you have more control over your path that way. And yeah, so the path of thinking, Okay, well, how do I get to med school, I didn't want to study chemistry or bio, because you still have to do secondary school for a lot of times to do something big with those degrees. And then a representative from SMU Southern Methodist University came to my high school at the time and started telling us about engineering, particularly, she made some biomedical engineering. And so that was like, okay, that's the one that aligns very well with being able to have a full degree that if you don't go to secondary school, you can still do work with and like, get hit with. But it also puts me in the past to be open to surgery. So at that point, I just started looking for the best
Yoni Mazor 7:39
Surgery, what kind of surgery did you have in mind which parts of the body I was
Ernesto Reza 7:42
Thinking, cardiovascular, neuro, or plastic? So yeah, I wanted something that like, very dynamic, not two days the same, so very light to how I also ended up intrapreneurship. But yeah, started looking for the best programs and ended up finding Johns Hopkins and MIT applied to those going into both and then decided through like the campus preview weekend, which is where you go visit the school to get a sense of like, how life is stark differences. And it really kind of took the trophy by farther beyond like the academics just a very welcoming space. It might, Johns Hopkins felt a little bit more cutthroat, and just the level of diversity and just the
Yoni Mazor 8:33
Maryland area, which is that yeah, yeah. Baltimore. Baltimore, right. Yeah. Okay, so you hit Massachusetts, right. MIT, Massachusetts institute of technology. Yeah. And while you was that when I guess when you start learning there,
Ernesto Reza 8:48
I wasn't thinking I was going well, I declared Biochemical Engineering by actually, a few months in Oh, sorry. Like your first year, it doesn't matter where you declare because you have to do the core requirements across the board. Unless you come with some advanced credits, and then, but yeah, basically, you start your actual major your sophomore year, starts in August, by late September. We have the career fair at MIT and MIT. We're so like, focused on numbers, data, and Science, Math.
Ernesto Reza 9:26
All the majors Yeah, all the majors are numbered like enumerate by number. So for example, course one is civil engineering courses, mechanical engineering, three, and so forth. So the career for each of the employers will have like, just numbers on the corner of like their booth, which signal like, hey, here are the majors that we're hiring for. So I went around looking at a time when I was still in Biochemical Engineering and they were all kind of like, oil and gas or your CPG kind of like more like Procter and Gamble type of like, chemicals. Yeah, I just didn't see my soul or deodorants. Yeah, exactly. Like, I don't see myself going into any of these industries, I got to rethink, like my major point I love going fast or adrenaline in general, like motorsports, like mechanical engineering seems like I could fall into that world. And so that's why I declared mechanical engineering with a focus on entrepreneurship, and that's what I ended up graduating with. And then three are my three co-founders for my analytics. They're also all from MIT during my time there.
Yoni Mazor 10:34
So let's see. So let me see. I'm Sam. So you graduate from MIT which year? 2013 2013. So you stay there. What if you were there for two, or three years? Four years? Yeah. Four years. And this was your secondary there. We got your first degree from Methodist.
Ernesto Reza 10:48
No, no, no. I only have one degree. My bachelor's in engineering is from MIT, got the representative from SMU she came to her high school and that's how I kind of found out about engineering in
Yoni Mazor 11:01
General. Got it. Okay, so after high school straight into MIT for a degree, you graduated in 2013 13 or so what's your next step after college?
Ernesto Reza 11:11
I went straight to Nordstrom. Right before graduating, I joined a good friend of mine, Pablo veto. And in a company he has started called drinking for those in the northeast, I think, or things are more popular now as well. Now there's a company called drizzly. The whole concept is of online alcohol deliveries.
Yoni Mazor 11:33
Frankly, I like drinking, and why the drinking? Oh, like, drinking? Got it? Yeah, so stay home, we got a delivery. Interesting.
Ernesto Reza 11:43
Yeah. So the whole concept was we were in Boston at the time is like you know,
Ernesto Reza 11:50
Going around to go your alcohol can be a pain in the butt. Especially in like, the cold months or when it's snowing. And you know, to get better prices, especially like Boston being such for young people that are just starting careers like 80 bucks, you can save especially on like alcohol is a good buck’s aid. So that was the premise that we would partner with, like, local. When I started first, we were partnering with local liquor stores, and we just do deliveries for them. Which included, it being fun. That was a fun project. So I want one part of the day that was kind of working on thinking of like the math of the algorithm and like, okay, you know, how do we pick which is the right liquor store to then send the order to the right driver to like, make sure that we fit
Yoni Mazor 12:39
The format or the business model. So the consumers where get a phone app, and they go and they choose and a liquid they want and you have to route which store wants to supply that and then you organize the delivery. That's exactly,
Ernesto Reza 12:53
Exactly. Okay. So from one, it was like actually free that piece out. And then the other end because we were bootstrapped and didn't have any employees was when we were doing our first deliveries from six to like think 10 or something like that. There's getting on a bike out there and doing deliveries. And one of the most memorable experiences from that is I'm out there, chugging along with this little card that says drinking on the sides like we made it very marketable. Now there's this street on when you're on Cambridge side, where were you going from like Harvard Square to MIT, or there's this part where you make this across this intersection where it's on Mass Ave, it's, you know, main avenue or Main Street, and then there's this small one that would come off and feed into it. So the lights are red, but there are no cars coming or anything. And I'm on my bike. I'm like, I'm just going to
Yoni Mazor 13:44
Run. Or something has happened. What happened?
Ernesto Reza 13:50
Well, I got pulled over.
Yoni Mazor 13:53
Oh, by police.
Ernesto Reza 13:55
Yeah, exactly. That was a fun time. But
Yoni Mazor 13:59
Yeah, got arrested and stuff. We're just a little,
Ernesto Reza 14:02
Just a ticket. But
Yoni Mazor 14:07
A lot of love for drinking, you know, to make sure every drink we get.
Ernesto Reza 14:12
We wanted to make sure. We wanted to make sure our client got the beers before the big game, you know,
Yoni Mazor 14:18
So I still want to sell cold. Okay, so. So how long do you say we're drinking? And what was the trajectory there?
Ernesto Reza 14:24
Yeah, I was there from May 2013 to January 2014. At that point. As I said, this is being bootstrapped. Those funds were running low and essentially like I wasn't going to be able to take a salary anymore. And I had student debt student loans to attend to so you
Yoni Mazor 14:44
Are the founder is an employee there.
Ernesto Reza 14:46
That was an early employee. Yeah. Okay.
Yoni Mazor 14:50
So where's the next station after that?
Ernesto Reza 14:53
Then I wanted to Accenture so when opposite went to the big corporation. They do technology consulting, I was on like the Data Storage data consulting
Yoni Mazor 15:02
Team, they are still in the Boston area, still in
Ernesto Reza 15:06
The Boston area. But at this point, I was doing a good amount of traveling. So I did Accenture for about two years where I had a project in Mexico that was with Messier Chile and Mexico. That was creating back-office operations and centralizing back-office operations for a big educational client, that their model was going around buying different universities in the world, and kind of creating their portfolio out of universities today essentially facilitate study abroad opportunities across like study opportunities in their network.
Yoni Mazor 15:45
Yeah, affiliate international cross exchanging in the other model, where they want to do real estate around it, because you're going to have campuses or,
Ernesto Reza 15:53
Well, they're already existing campuses, it's more like, hey, all of these universities that we're buying have finance operations, have IT operations have legal operations that force, like 80% of the work that they don't need to have like that university-specific focus that can be more like kind of centralized location. So that was kind of like the project that initial universities. Yeah. So when I was saying this, linking back to like, oh, man, I've been in this aggregated
Yoni Mazor 16:21
Models, you know, different ways.
Ernesto Reza 16:22
Yeah. Just saying, I'm
Yoni Mazor 16:26
14 Until what 216 17? Yeah. And then,
Ernesto Reza 16:29
I mean, I did like five or six different projects, they're ranging in like, in different ways. Well, basically, with a theme of data strategy, data architecture, Data Association, and leveraging data as a competitive advantage.
Yoni Mazor 16:41
Give us an example of that a little bit from your experience with Accenture is give us a, you know, an interesting case where you know, how data made all the difference, you know, making decisions and better outcomes?
Ernesto Reza 16:51
Yeah, one of them was, we were doing a project for this big financial firm where they do asset management, you know, I think they had over $100 billion in assets under management. And a project there was to rethink the architecture of their data structures because I mean when you have 100 Billion plus of money, that means you have, you know, a bunch of stock securities, different financial assets that you have these data. And so, one, you had to have very clear definitions of what each data element is and how it moves to other systems. So basically, that just shows that like, Hey, by having really clean data, a centralized data that everyone in the organization trusts, then you can empower everyone to make accurate and timely decisions to best do their role better.
Yoni Mazor 17:53
So this is a big financial institution, billions of dollars of, you know, financial assets. But the data was kind of structured all around, so you got to kind of centralize it. Well,
Ernesto Reza 18:02
Yeah, exactly. Just tries to make it accessible. And just a lot of self-serve aspects to it of like, hey, if I don't know what this one piece of data is, can I go and find out about it myself and know exactly where it comes from? And what ways it might have been changed? Or do I rely on people because the more that you have to rely on people, that's when you start creating bottlenecks around there?
Yoni Mazor 18:23
Right? So the more you rely on, oh, this person in the organization knows about it, because he has access to the data, I need to wait or reach out. Right? So it's kind of recruiting all these barriers and walls, were saying you got to centralize it, when needed self-service, you are at this point of data and go to the system, login and maybe submit a request or whatever it is if I'm authorized, or for my whatever, I can just access it. No, here we go and then move on. So it's much more scalable.
Ernesto Reza 18:46
Exactly. And then the other piece, especially for like these large corporations, where you have massive systems is you have to set up your architecture and technology in a way that is easily kind of transferable or can grow because technology and computers are like this technology, changes in access, constantly accelerating, constantly evolving and constantly allowing you to do more. So that's another key piece on like these huge corporations need to this, like, failure of the site is like, how do we set up ourselves for success today, but also give us the flexibility and access to be able to bring in new technologies that will enable us to be better?
Yoni Mazor 19:30
On the infrastructure study, even though you optimize it, it's most up-to-date, it's still open to getting more updates and seeing more than I make and evolve. Just to get keep on getting better and better as maybe as opposed to the old way of thinking of letting me get the best now. You're going to start aging. It is what it is after, you know, I don't care or something like that. He's just a much more strategic into the future.
Ernesto Reza 19:51
Yoni Mazor 19:53
That's pretty cool. Yeah, it's complex. It's big. It's strategic, but that's what makes it the best organization. In the world and being a part of that and or being able to facilitate that, that's very, very valuable business experience and life experience. Okay, so what's your next station after Accenture? Yeah. So
Ernesto Reza 20:10
Then after that, I did like three or four months at this company called Evers to another technology consulting firm by that point, that Evers e v s and vowel e rig s. But then once again, data architecture is essential for a banking institution.
Yoni Mazor 20:35
So what you just point whatever it is, which he was at
Ernesto Reza 20:39
2013 I want to believe
Yoni Mazor 20:45
Accenture, from 214 until 2015. Or what was the Yeah, yeah, for sure with drinking then a year or two with Accenture or sorry, yeah,
Ernesto Reza 20:54
Like 910 months with drinking in, like two years with Accenture. For months with errors. This other technology consulting firm, that I was really to get out of consulting, gives a shot at like an actual working for the actual company that employs me because Accenture or consulting like you're not working for the company that important for you, in a sense. So I went into NRG. And that was an awesome opportunity. And also just show me the power of networking at that point. Basically, what's RG NRG? Energy is generated and distributed just to refill NRG.
Yoni Mazor 21:36
Yeah, got it? Yeah. So what do you do there? And by the way,
Ernesto Reza 21:41
I was part of the rotational Leadership Development Programme. I did three rotations for four months each. During the first rotation, I was on the energy trading floor. So gas trading, even like actual electrical energy, are things that are also traded in a financial market. So there, what I was doing was taking weather forecast data from service providers, I think we had like seven to 10 providers, providing us weather forecasts, taking that data to then basically make forecasts of what does energy demand look like? Because the way that energy in the US works is for a lot of areas that you have kind of decentralized systems of like, hey, this, this region of the US is on this grid, there are other regions on this other grid. So for a particular grid, I was my project was okay, take the weather forecast for this area, and translate that into potential, like the demand of connecting the whole region is going to have
Yoni Mazor 22:51
Analytics and prediction. Yeah. Yeah,
Ernesto Reza 22:54
Really, except prediction. Machine learning, essentially, was my first exposure to machine learning there. Then, I did another rotation where I was in their strategy and m&a group there was also a whole kind of
Yoni Mazor 23:13
Aggregating aggregate scenario, this is for the energy sector,
Ernesto Reza 23:17
This is the energy sector. Now there were there was more we were creating, I mean, there were also aspects of like, hey, we're going to potentially sell this acid or buy this asset. So that was an interesting project of valuating, like, these massive power plants that Power to Gas and like, you know, what's a fair price to buy them or sell them at, then? Yeah, so that was,
Yoni Mazor 23:40
Give me a taste of that, if you can, well, what's the valuation of these plants? How do they value that as far as you remember?
Ernesto Reza 23:45
Oh, man, it's the main KPI, a fuel type. So is it natural gas is coal because then that also gives you kind of like the future value of that power plant is something that's going to be known we're going to have to retire or is like how's the public reacting to it. Also, just the dynamics of like the gas dictates how efficient the power plant is, which means how much return you get on that investment.
Ernesto Reza 24:13
The way that also works is to imagine that you have like Alright, here's your demand, right? And you have like a curve that's that you're going to fit the demand. And at the bottom you have your like, energy-efficient power plants, water power plants, wind solar, they say like, you know what, I'm going to bid my energy in at $0 or even negative just so I make sure I get in on the demand.
Ernesto Reza 24:38
So let's say that you have a demand of 100 kilowatts, each power plant you have, oh, I can contribute five kilowatts all I can contribute and blah, blah, blah, so forth. The one and just the, based on their economics, they start saying like, oh, I'm going to, you know, give you my energy at $20. I'm going to give you my energy at 40 the one that clears that okay, we had a demand for all of our regions of 100 kilowatts per 1000, whatever. The one that hits that, like, initial demand of like, okay, you paid us 100, and you’re the one that put us over the edge. Everyone below them gets paid that. So that's also part of like, this strategy that goes into the evaluation is like, Okay, how many? Like where would I potentially fall under that curve? And how often would I get my energy accepted by the grid or not?
Yoni Mazor 25:29
So the grid works in a way, kind of a bundling situation where they, you know, buy wholesale from a bunch of suppliers. So can you can that power plant fall within that bundle and get the pricing that they would like to get because of all the bidding or, or aggregator bidding? Let's put it this way. Exactly. Exactly. So So if the plant will be able to get into that bundling, and probably have a better valuation, if it's not more or less likely that it's better to have a lower valuation?
Ernesto Reza 25:55
Exactly. Because then that's how you that power plant generates revenue or not. It's like, how often it's amazing
Yoni Mazor 26:00
To me how complex companies they're, they're very heavy energy can be education, they just become a product, and the company has the product. Yeah, cuz you need to buy a need to sell it, and the way you structure the buying and selling and the value is just magic. It's all it's all very different. And original, for each sector and nuances. So yeah, it's fascinating. Okay, so you had another test of aggregation in another industry
Ernesto Reza 26:27
And the valuations. Yeah. And then finally, in the last rotation, there was I was part of the operations team. And the way that we worked or how we contributed was saying, Okay, well, we have 20 different power plants, these three or four power plants are very similar, they kind of generate the same amount of energy, they've all used natural gas, there's, they should have similar operating profiles.
Ernesto Reza 26:54
So what we will do is look at different pieces of data that they will produce and essentially kind of produce comparable or visualize this data to analyze, okay, you know, hey, this one power plant is generating a lot more revenue than these other ones. What's, why is that happening?
Ernesto Reza 27:11
So basically leveraging data visualization, to ask questions, and be able to answer them to just increase operational efficiency across the board. And then that was my last corporate job at that point, like, basically, when I joined energy, I was pretty sure that energy and just corporate life wasn't for me anymore. But I stuck it through the years because of some commitments. The way I got that opportunity was when we moved to the US in the neighborhood where we were living all the surrounding families were
Yoni Mazor 27:48
Energy is still in the Boston area, moved back to Texas.
Ernesto Reza 27:52
So I started in Boston, and the second rotation was in New Jersey, Princeton to be exact. And then I was supposed to come back to Boston, but then actually the last rotation that has been in Houston, Texas,
Yoni Mazor 28:03
So rotation, I mean, all within the energy, the corporation Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Ernesto Reza 28:09
Yeah, how I got the job is the one we were living in Houston, like two or three years after we moved there, another Mexican family moved across the street. So we became very good, close friends. Fast forward to, I think 2014. So like, three or four years after that family will then they left again because they have moved to New Jersey because of the husband's job. Fast forward to Yeah, 2014, something like that. He will have just been named CEO of an orgy. So that's how I came across that opportunity as well, which is what showed me the power of networking to an extent
Yoni Mazor 28:48
Its community and networking and relationships.
Ernesto Reza 28:51
Yeah, exactly. And, and so yeah, from there,
Yoni Mazor 28:55
So you felt he wasn't? I see Oh, and you feel committed to put them on a time there and be successful you do and then kind of move out? Gently?
Ernesto Reza 29:02
Yeah, exactly. It's like, okay, I, I had access to opportunity because of that relationship. And even though I knew early on that for me, it wasn't going to be it. I wanted to respect it. Like, yeah, I couldn't show
Yoni Mazor 29:18
You the job. You did. Well, I moved on. Yeah.
Ernesto Reza 29:20
So yeah. And then after that, I was like, okay, corporate life is not any longer for me. I. So why
Yoni Mazor 29:26
is that I want to touch it for more than what does that mean? Corporate. Let's take us there in regards to your life. Yeah. Everybody has. Yeah. So
Ernesto Reza 29:35
yeah, in regards to my life, the reason I don't like is I don't like playing office politics, or just those kind of I'm very much like my work speaking for itself or merit-based workplaces and just when you get to a certain size of the corporation, I mean, Accenture has 330,000 employees worldwide
Ernesto Reza 30:00
Intel had 330,000 employees worldwide energy, I think it's like 50,000. Like when you get to those types of corporations, it is as much as what you do as much as the kind of like how you kind of interact and move with
Yoni Mazor 30:16
it and navigate the organization. So, connectivity or actual performance, it's more like, what do you know? How do you know? How do you manipulate and do all the politics around to advance yourself in the ranks?
Ernesto Reza 30:27
Yeah. And so, like that. And, you know, I kept climbing up in the corporate ladder, if you will increase in salary and all that and like, I still was not happy fulfilled, I was like, you know, like that I can't, I can't Kate, Monday mornings and celebrate for Friday evenings like that's too much time of my life that I'm not enjoying myself.
Yoni Mazor 30:54
That's a golden age for your the first was specifically for the Nests residence case, it was you know, a cage made out of gold and the money is good, the reputation is good. And the resume is good. That's the goal, but still kind of locking you in a way where you felt like I needed something more. So take us to that station, we move out of corporate what happened?
Ernesto Reza 31:14
Yeah, so I took the opportunity while I was living in Houston at a time so I stay there for another year and change. I made the interesting decision at the time also to be back with my parents at that point. I was living in Houston and was like, you know, have some savings. But like, I knew at that point, I was going to go on to worship and try on my idea. So I was like, I want to save as much as possible, which I did, bless them. So thank you, for them. But also, it's just as when you go come back after living. What was that point? I think like, seven, eight years on your own.
Yoni Mazor 31:59
It's just being in corporate environments, being independent, and making good earnings, all of a sudden, you're back to basics. It's almost like your high school again, what is going to be the future, but you're already in the future, you're ready to 70 years ahead. You got all these achievements. So it's a little bit confusing or weird.
Ernesto Reza 32:14
It was more from like, it's tough for parents not to see their child as a child, even though I might be, for instance, me like, I thought I had tried to make some of those boundaries clear, but it didn't. But anyways,
Yoni Mazor 32:31
Family nature. Yeah, yeah. But the business decision wise is very smart. You be able to bootstrap, be frugal, and try to push yourself into something that you own, this is yours, it's your baby, and you have fewer things to worry about, like, you know, cost of living, so you can make a success out of it. So take us what do you do?
Ernesto Reza 32:50
Yeah, so at that point, I tried out several different things like just independent consulting on my own, I got the opportunity to work with a good friend that I met going on while playing soccer and his family. They have a, they were petroleum for some time. So I got to touch a little bit back more on my mechanical, mechanical engineering, design, background and help with some projects there gave several attempts at different ideas. One of them was candid, which came from a friend's wedding where I have this weird relationship with photos of graphs of myself in that, like, I don't like posing for pictures. You asked me like, hey, this will take this picture. I'm not a big fan of that. Yeah, I like candid pictures. I like pictures. It captures the moment that I'm eating or whatever. Like, I like seeing those pictures. So
Yoni Mazor 33:51
Authentic, organic, not pose. It's just you are where you are somebody comes to take the snap. Comfortable with that you'd like that.
Ernesto Reza 33:57
Exactly. And that the idea I pursued stemmed from my first friend's wedding, Javier Garcia was one of my co-founders now.
Yoni Mazor 34:06
They go to founders and minorities. Yeah, yeah.
Ernesto Reza 34:09
Yeah. So I have three co-founders. Javier Garcia. I'm assuming you're on Chris Campion. We've all been best friends for over 10 years. We met during our time there at MIT. We love that all three of them are married. We've been to each other. We've been to all of their weddings and respective bachelor parties. Yeah, we're very, very close. And that's been a great foundation. I think extremely. Yeah.
Yoni Mazor 34:37
Powerful, but you're still trying to kind of find your way. Yeah. So being independent.
Ernesto Reza 34:46
So. So an idea that I was testing personally was called candy, which stemmed from this friend's wedding. Where I was like, man, everybody spent money to travel to look good to celebrate this one. Have it and you know, unless you're doing your selfish, you're not getting a lot of pictures captured because the wedding photographers, as they should be, are focused on the bride and groom and the family, right. And the whole concept of is basically like, hey, you know, there's a lot of technology other than if you can package together, you can lead to some awesome moments and was taking like, speech detection technology where you can say like, how they say, like tears or capture the laughter and that serves as the trigger for the camera to then just capture an image
Yoni Mazor 35:33
By the camera which camera though which camera is that?
Ernesto Reza 35:36
So basically, candidate ID that I pursued some bit was taking the original operation was creating like different bases of like that are used that you know, for your central pieces at weddings and stuff. And that cameras and microphones into them. Now where the microphone is constantly listening for these key
Yoni Mazor 35:56
Triggers, creating like a set of a reality show, there are cameras everywhere, and certain keywords will snap, though, and it'll activate these devices. So you capture these moments, organically. Candidly. Exactly. Cool. Yeah.
Ernesto Reza 36:09
So I pursued that for a little bit. But then like, I wasn't
Yoni Mazor 36:16
Free was to sell hardware or sell a service that you will set it up and all these for, you know, for the weddings or the events.
Ernesto Reza 36:24
It was going to be like, the beachhead was going to be weddings, where I was going to rent essentially, like the cameras as a package. And then yeah, you just get different images.
Yoni Mazor 36:38
Yeah. And then people set up you just here's a gear, here's the technology. Here are the elements. And whoever the producers of the drawings or the DJs, or the photographers, they can set it up.
Ernesto Reza 36:47
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. It's basically like, with a focus on like, the centerpieces where a lot of the interactions happen throughout the wedding. To be able to catch you like people laughing and people cheering people maybe yelling, I don't know, just like
Yoni Mazor 37:01
Shedding tears. Yeah, yeah.
Ernesto Reza 37:05
But then I wasn't basically into it enough to like, find try to go find funding to try to raise money for it to really like
Yoni Mazor 37:12
To go crazy on it. Yeah, to go crazy on it exactly.
Ernesto Reza 37:15
But what I was going to go crazy on, which is actually why I did leave threads in the first place was something related to a pearl for international soccer tournaments. I love I've been excited. I grew up playing football, and soccer. And my favorite event in the world ever is the World Cup. I've had the privilege and pleasure and honor to go to three now. My dad took me to the one in France when I was seven. And then I've taken him to the one in Brazil, or there, we didn't get to go to any games. We just like, go to the screen.
Yoni Mazor 37:54
What did I watch? 1014 In Brazil, I took my brothers where as kids we always dreamed about going to World Cup the game. So what was that? What to say? Oh, I get tickets. It's Brazil. You know, it's not too far. And we did it. So we went to Macau. And we started Portugal against the United States. We can see Ronaldo. It was a nice game for two beautiful global events. Yeah, it's awesome. So you went to Brazil, you didn't go to the game, but you experienced the
Ernesto Reza 38:20
Exactly. And then went to Russia again for this patent the last one. And the plan is hopefully to go to this one in Qatar at the end of the year. But yeah, I just did. I mean, obviously a lot of it because of the sport or like, hey, it's the best soccer that you're ever going to watch. But more so is the, like, joy in your league. Like you're interacting with people from all over the world, everyone's there just to like, have a good time. They're just happy. For many might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, which adds to their like, thrill and just about it's just an amazing,
Yoni Mazor 38:57
I mean, it's magical. It's magical times every time
Ernesto Reza 8:59
Unique energy. I recommend everyone to check it out, which for many of the listeners hopefully becomes a more likely opportunity. 2026 It's coming to Canada and Mexico. Yeah,
Yoni Mazor 39:12
It’s awesome. Okay, so where are we going from here? So yeah, I was the only candidate and but you went to I guess apparel?
Ernesto Reza 39:21
Yeah, I wasn't interested in the 2018 World Cup. I was about to head to Russia. And before that, I had a friend's wedding. So I was going to be traveling for like, a month and a half of like, okay, man, there's a lot of expenses coming up. You're going to bleed yourself dry if you don't make some money. So that's when I was thinking okay, what can I do? And that's when I was about to go do this e-commerce for myself. I had created all the designs I had created for my Shopify website. I was ready to go which is manufacturing at that point.
Yoni Mazor 39:51
So this if your apparel company yeah, yeah.
Ernesto Reza 39:56
But then when I went to talk to the manufacturer’s beginner's mistake, I didn't realize that the design I had chosen, which I was very proud of was complicated to print. And I didn't want to sacrifice the quality to just complete Chase or like, you know what, I'm going to rush it, and I'm going to do it and it's not going to end up coming out, right, like, and it's just going to thanks.
Ernesto Reza 40:18
But let's just put it in a hole for now. And that's actually like, right when I was making those decisions. Carlos Cashman founder, one of the co-founders and CO CEOs at the time now, was probably co-THRASS CEO. He was part of the same living group that I was doing my time at MIT and said, cool. Like, the theory is a few years apart. And he mailed out to the alumni, they say, like, Hey, I'm up to my shenanigans, again, this time in the Amazon ecosystem. And I had known him have been successful serial entrepreneur, he's gone into the space that I was thinking, I was like, okay, perfect opportunity. Let's go, work with him, learn from him find his wine and learn about the space. So yeah, that was
Yoni Mazor 41:01
Just a little bit of a college. Cashman, you know, the co-founder, and right now the acting is CEO of threshold, just the ones who are not too familiar. It's probably the largest aggregator and the E-commerce space in the world. That's been buying Amazon native brands and creating a portfolio of brands on Amazon and then taking outside of Amazon, they can go to other marketplaces, and also brick and mortar, they have raised I think, over $3 billion. At this point, evaluation. The last valuation was about $10 billion. So this is a phenomenal success that Carlos, with his co-founder Josh Silver think, was his credit, but what was his background in a nutshell, as far as you know, Carlos, because you know, yet I guess, you know, a few the few decades of our career, what was his career path? And started, you remember up to that point?
Ernesto Reza 41:46
Yeah. So the know he was involved in several start-ups, the one that I'm most familiar with notable is one in kind of like the digital advertising space when Facebook was launching and how he helped companies be successful at advertisement and SEO. And from my understanding, Josh has a much more financial background acumen. So he's one like that essentially, like, that's what drives what we carry is like the kind of joint experience with like, their backgrounds.
Yoni Mazor 42:23
Financing, right, and m&a is and mergers and acquisitions, but also, you know, tech and advertising and an uptick. Because I know Carlos has, you know, from coming from MIT is probably an engineer, you know, involved with technology and building things, you know, great things. That's probably the elements of the agreements of threads. So as far as you know, okay, you jump into THRASS. You, your employee, technically, what number three?
Ernesto Reza 42:43
Yeah, number three. So what was the journey? What
Yoni Mazor 42:45
Would you guys be about this in 2019? I believe right.
Ernesto Reza 42:48
Now as of 2018, August 2018, is when I joined, and I started at this point, I mean, it was still it was Carlos, Josh, and John Haftar. It is a fox that had at this point, I think they had already kind of done the MVP of the MVP. They did an acquisition of a very small brand. Kapha. Casa was a coffee frother. That's kind of what became their like, test base of like, yeah, we can acquire a brand and we can do this
Yoni Mazor 43:28
Brand new, optimize it, and make it profitable or even more profitable. And that's the model.
Ernesto Reza 43:32
Yeah. And so I came as the first brand manager, started in August rated and that was one of the first actual true brands that we acquire that was more like the target size and like around like, the model. It was doing two and a half billion dollars of annual revenue through seven other Amazon marketplaces, I kind of basically fully run and operated that. Except for some of the advertising pieces which had them that point branded had come on, and kind of he was head of the advertisement. So is all of that.
Yoni Mazor 44:10
Brandon Hendricks. Yeah.
Ernesto Reza 44:13
And then basically, again, laying on my whole professional background around data visualization, just leveraging that as a competitive advantage. And analyzing all the different tools and systems that the brands that we were acquiring, were coming in quickly realized that for what we were trying to do at the ICO, nothing was going to cut it so started pushing to bring this in-house in six months in December 2018 is when I got the green light interesting to my role as head of product while I was helping lead the vision and development of their internal reporting and automation systems.
Ernesto Reza 44:44
And basically, the way I did that was taking my first-hand experience as an operator, taking all the pain points, frustrations, bottlenecks that I experienced and extrapolating those as like, you know, which was what snowball the fastest when we have 10 brands, 20 brands, 50 brands, and so forth. It didn't happen Using those insights with the expertise of all the leaders that thrice, he was bringing in one near SVP of the supply chain, Brandon Hendricks, VP of Digital Advertising across the board sitting with him to understand, you know, what data do you look at? How do you look at it? Why do you look at it this way?
Ernesto Reza 45:14
And how can we enhance it with more data and better process automation? And that's what I did for the remainder of my year and a half time there until June 2020. By that point, Thrasher, we had more than 60 or 65 brands under management, and we're doing over $2 million in annual revenue had already reached unicorn status. And I was like, okay, like, this has been a great ride. It's been amazing. It still is, I mean, as you mentioned, they're extremely successful in doing some amazing things in the Amazon ecosystem. But I was ready to go back to my eCommerce idea of the international soccer tournaments.
Ernesto Reza 45:53
But then we know how 2020 came about. And by I was aiming for the Euros point in 20. By March, I think they had already been canceled or something like that. So it became evident that okay, this idea is not going to happen. So then I just leave back what I learned and that's what kicked off my analytics. And then basically my last day a threat to was offset with the last day of Christopher's parents, Crystal Panama, and my other co-founders last day. So kick them off with a phone game, or like a very well-rehearsed pitch. And he was on if like enough group of friends. There's a pretty strong entrepreneurial spirit.
Ernesto Reza 46:40
And Chris has always been very blunt and straight with you about what he thinks on the merits of an idea he thinks something's going to fail or just not going to make it. So the fact that he believed that enough to join was great. Like positive signals were, so right away, I hit up, Javier Garcia, my CTO, and he was in right away. So then we started just kind of hashing, Hashi outings more, incorporated fully September 2020, launched in December of 2020. And then from January through March of last year, we went through the Y Combinator program, which was an amazing experience. We've got to interact or get talks from like, the founders of Airbnb of a strike, and just hear of their experiences and things that help them succeed or things that they would have done differently or key challenges that they faced. Then yeah, basically just a spin going at it ever since. And what we do in my legs is we're a growth automation platform for Amazon sellers. What that means is taking data on our automation to hone in on like key levers for growth for the sellers. And we're starting our focus with advertising and have done great work there already.
Yoni Mazor 48:05
Got it. So once again, the opportunity with my analytics for the Amazon seller for I'm selling an Amazon account to my analytics, you come in, you kind of shipped down all the components, see what's going on, where are the levers that can be pushed, accelerate growth? Yeah, that's kind of the main elements.
Ernesto Reza 48:23
For example, right now very focused on analytics and advertisement. So our solution today is full analytics, we record reports across sales, inventory, and advertisement, at the most granular level, it is like skew up to your highest level, whether it be brand or portfolio. And then on the ads optimization piece, what we do is we plug in via the back end. And we have a mix of Machine Learning Technologies led by experts. So you always have a human on your side. That's laser focusing on the technique, machine learning technology that we're building to make it truly effective and efficient for your advertising campaigns. So we go in there and restructure campaigns. We constantly readjust bids and budgets, we take a holistic approach. So really focus on what's going on in inventory, and focusing on really driving top-line growth. And sometimes that means dialing back on the advertisement so that you don't go out of stock, because we all know that going out of stock in Amazon is extremely detrimental, because that can lead to loss of rank, which is key to
Yoni Mazor 49:31
Several Yeah, you lose all everything you build kind of goes over because Amazon sees all the algorithm sees it as not reliable if you can't keep up the supply. So it allows some from another product.
Ernesto Reza 49:41
Exactly. So we focus on you know what is best for your business through the lens of advertisement understanding that at times that is to slow down or dial back the advertisement. We have told some of our customers to dial back their budget when we first start working with them because there's a lot of room to prove what's there. And then we can potentially increase budgets so we can focus ourselves, oh,
Yoni Mazor 50:06
You can accelerate later because you're going to hit a wall.
Ernesto Reza 50:10
Exactly. So we focus on partnering with everyone that we work with and are an extension of their team. And again, the fact that we always have someone from our team, working hand in hand with our customers means that if you have a changing strategy, or having changing goals that change from one day to the next because something happened in your business, you know, is causing you to make these drastic changes, we're able to immediately adjust to the new needs, and that's reflected on the performance and always hitting all targets. We've delivered the highest ad sales day at sales month for many more customers. We're already working with one of Amazon's top 10 sellers. And within the first month, we were able to grow their account by 140% in ad sales while increasing or s by 25%. So yeah, we
Yoni Mazor 51:02
So what's the typical size of Amazon sellers? If I'm an Amazon seller, if I'm a newbie, is this helpful for me? Or if I'm already bigger, make me bigger? What's the usual profile that hits the spot?
Ernesto Reza 51:11
Yeah, we work with sellers that already have an understanding of the value that advertising brings, which means they're spending anywhere from 10 to $15,000. A month or more. Because that, yeah, basically, if you're doing 1,000,500, really more closer to a million dollars in annual sales or more is where the plug in and be of a great partner for you. As you at that point, if we just go we have so many things going on in supply chain creative customer success, you're probably Omni channel that a focus solution like ours brings a lot of value at that point.
Yoni Mazor 51:53
Nice, very cool. Okay, so I want to kind of capture the story. And so we set up and see if we have everything correctly so far. So born and raised in Mexico City at a young age around 10 already moved to the United States, mostly based in the Houston Texas area. Then you went to study with MIT graduate about 2013 Then you had a career and about four or five companies you got a drink in you got Accenture you got ever Everest, and then NRG. And then after that, you just go back to your home base in Texas.
Yoni Mazor 52:26
And then realize you want to kind of you know, get out of the corporate world charter thing, do things yourself, you did candid, you tried to do also apparel. But eventually, you landed, you know, in 2018, an opportunity with Thrasher. And that sucked you into the world of E-commerce. And in a most powerful, impactful way. You did about a year and a half, there was the tremendous growth tremendous, you know, miracles, I would say even for the whole industry, and 2020 You start off and with three more partners for you guys, you know, you came analytics. And everybody derives from the magic and experience they created over the years in their professional experiences, to really service and push forward the E-commerce community and the sellers with, you know, their solutions that we've got everything crooked so far.
Ernesto Reza 53:09
Yeah, basically. Poker was two years at the rescue one. Yeah.
Yoni Mazor 53:16
Yeah, no worries. I'll give you that. Okay, so now I want to finish the episode with two more points. The first point is if somebody wants to reach out and connect, where can they find you? And the last thing and very, very shortly, what is your message of hope and inspiration for entrepreneurs listening out there, especially, you know, you went to the corporate world, you push yourself to the world of entrepreneurs, and you live there. So if you give us a message about that, go ahead.
Ernesto Reza 53:36
Yeah, so you can reach me at Ernesto at my analytics. Ma Ya NALYT ics.com. Or I'm also LinkedIn, this Reza, and Facebook as well. This eraser, and then my message of hope or inspiration for other entrepreneurs is or for aspiring entrepreneurs be just go do it, that the leap of faith is such a powerful barrier to like, you know, once you're actually in it, you get to learn so much like the there's so much of it that you can learn through theory or like reading books hear about stories, even joining like an early-stage start-up like men the joining thrash, I think, amazing opportunity, right, I joined so early, it's something that blew up so fast. That experience was amazing. Greatly helped me get a lot of foundation for myself, but it doesn't relate to the experience I have now as a founder of my relationships like just the amount of responsibility or different ways that you have to think about how you approach a situation or problem or the business. You can only kind of get while you're in the the
Yoni Mazor 54:58
Replace reality. Yeah, right. Reality is much stronger than any imagination.
Ernesto Reza 55:02
Yeah. And while it is a tough challenge is also extremely fulfilling. So yeah, my message is just gone do it? Believe in yourself. You know, we're, every single one of us in this world is unique or unique life experiences or unique way of processing those life experiences and your knowledge gives everyone a competitive advantage. So just leverage it trust in yourself and go out there and stay hungry.
Yoni Mazor 55:27
Yeah, and try to enjoy it beautiful stuff. So thank you so much. Good luck to you, my lyrics, and the entire team. I hope everybody has enjoyed it, stay safe and healthy the next time.
Ernesto Reza 55:37
Thank you, Johnny. Have a great day.