Mike Billingsley is the CEO of OnePulse. For the past 15 years, while much of the market research industry has focused on dated methods, Mike has helped brands capture insights from consumers using innovative technologies while always focusing on a positive consumer experience. An early pioneer in digital survey data collection, Mike is part of a team that owns a patent on screening and survey data collection. Before joining OnePulse, he led global teams at AOL, Dynata and Toluna while also launching the research consultancy Interloq. Born and raised Texan, Mike lives in Dallas Texas.
My first taste of the startup world was at a company called DMS, which AOL eventually purchased. I then learned the excitement of creating something that was the first of its kind. In 2012, I started a consulting business focused on building custom research communities. The company still exists today as a full-service market research firm.
A lot has happened in the past four years! The primary changes were to recommit ourselves to being a SaaS business and taking OnePulse global. We also, in 2019, implemented a unique pricing plan that made the company much less transactional than our competitors.
The defacto location to capture immediate insights from consumers all over the world. We are already there, so it is about continuing to scale the business and improving our offering.
Valuations. The UK tends to prioritise short-term games and the importance of profitability quicker.
The ability to adapt to complex challenges without changing your primary focus. We are on the tail-end of the pandemic (hopefully) but now storming into an unknown economy. In both cases, we needed to adjust our strategy, but we still knew what we wanted to be.
Hiring talented people has probably been the biggest challenge. But when you get it right, it is the most enjoyable part of my job. I wake up every morning and work with some of the brightest and most dedicated people I have ever worked with.
Communication is key. You cannot assume that people can read your mind, so you must take the proper time to ensure that you carefully communicate while also ensuring everyone in the company has a voice.
I am a big fan of Mark Cuban. He has already done so much and has now started Cost Plus Drug Company, disrupting the bloated US pharmaceutical industry. I also enjoy Ryan Smith, the founder of Qualtrics, and how they bootstrapped the company before raising funding, selling to SAP, and ultimately taking the company public. It is probably not a coincidence that they both also own NBA basketball teams!