Allon Caidar of TVPage: “Love, as an ambassador program”

Love, as an ambassador program. As kitschy as that may sound, that word embodies understanding and acceptance, which is what we lack in this world, more of which would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people. If we could structure a unified program where we could promote and bring more […]

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Love, as an ambassador program. As kitschy as that may sound, that word embodies understanding and acceptance, which is what we lack in this world, more of which would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people. If we could structure a unified program where we could promote and bring more love to the world, we have truly won, all of us, the entire human race.

As part of our series about the future of retail, I had the pleasure of interviewing Allon Caidar, Co-founder & CEO of TVPage. Allon is a serial entrepreneur in the content distribution and media sectors. Allon is currently Co-founder & CEO of TVPage, a platform which enables sellers for ecommerce (sales associates and influencers), and activates seller storefronts on brand sites for shoppable content. Prior to TVPage, Allon was Co-founder & CEO of Opticomm, a Broadcast Video Systems Company (sold to Emcore, NASDAQ: EMKR). Customers at Opticomm included NBC, Sony, Viacom and ESPN.

Prior to Opticomm, Allon was VP at Hotbar, an Internet Media Start-up that reached over 20M users in <2 years and was successfully sold thereafter. Before Hotbar, Allon was a VC Attorney at Goldfarb, Seligman & Co., focusing on the Israeli high-tech sector. Allon has a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Corporations from the NYU School of Law and a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from the Sussex University School of Law in Brighton, England. Allon holds a registered US patent for the system configuration of video networks.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

After growing and selling an online ad company, and then a video systems company, I understood the power of video. I also detected 2 additional points. I realized that the digital ad industry is broken — in fact, while video is the most powerful ad medium online, the video pre-roll ad actually keeps you from watching the video you want to watch. In addition, I noticed that ecommerce was struggling to bring video effectively into the online store at any scale.

I therefore figured that if we could build tech to integrate video into an online product catalog and make video shoppable, and that if we could source the video from passionate experts, we could replace digital ads with a much more effective way to reach customers by empowering them with a better way to learn about products online.

There is another way to explain this. While the likes of Google, Facebook and other large digital advertising companies will sell you fish; we will teach you how to fish.

The world is tired of ads that simply try to “sell” you on something because of a pretty picture. Consumers today are smarter than that. They follow people, experts, not ads. As a brand today, you need to be empowered with the ability to manage an expert online sales team that can help consumers, not just shove a random message in front of them and hope that they click. We figured out how to expose this real truth about how broken ads really are, and how much they need to be a thing of the past.

We were fortunate to prove this with large retailers such as Macy’s, HSN, Autozone, and Bed Bath & Beyond, and are now bringing people-powered video to the online world, at scale.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

I can’t think of one to share because there are just so many. There are so many people and moments I can recall that I found to have captured my interest, and guide me along the way. I think the more you are aware of this, and the more you believe in it, the more you notice it. There was a book I read many years ago called The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, which communicates a very interesting concept. I will share this concept as opposed to one specific experience because it embodies the many experiences I have had.

The concept is simple. If you work hard, focus on your goal, and never give up, despite the challenges, the universe will bring to you the people, experiences, and direction you need to achieve your goal. This is something I believe in tremendously and have seen happen to me time and time again throughout my journey; in fact more every day as we get closer to achieving our goals, myself as an individual, and our great team as a company.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or take away you learned from that?

Most of us on the management side at TVPage are in our 40s, or at least it started that way. I guess one of the funniest mistakes I made is that I really thought I knew how to work with millennials. I just didn’t. I learned that the evolution of our world over the last 10–20 years has created a very different generation and I realized that I had to learn how this new generation thinks if I was to ever be successful today.

I therefore made it a point to bridge this gap at our company and I must say that today we have found a nice balance, capturing the best from all generations. While there is a lot that the younger generation brings to the older generation, we all at TVPage agree that it definitely goes both ways. As kind of an internal joke, we name our tech after 80s movies and say that anyone who works at TVP at a minimum must be able to get to know these movies… I guess it’s both a joke about how old and nostalgic some of us are, yet at the same time helps bridge that gap in a humorous way.

We even put posters of these movies on the wall at the office 🙂

The end result is that both the Millenials and Gen X at the office can all laugh about these gaps and work together in a fun and relaxed environment. I think the biggest learning from this is that we are together bringing all of our knowledge and experience to the table in order to create the best product for today’s world, one that speaks to all consumers.

Are you working on any new exciting projects now? How do you think that might help people?

The most exciting project we are working on is our ambassador network — something I believe helps people in a big way. With our app, anyone can work from home, from anywhere, and share their passions, hobbies, and interests. We live in a world where we have great products that serve great hobbies, whether it’s fishing, hiking, cycling, boating, yoga, a love for fashion, home decor, you name it.. To each of us there is something that just keeps us sane, healthy, busy, entertained, and alive!

We also live in a world where the digital stage is our forum, and we no longer need to leave our house in order to learn about these products and seek the experts that can share their knowledge. The TVPage ambassador network enables these passionate people to share their knowledge, and fill that void online for every brand to reach out to the consumer in the most authentic and engaging manner. This helps make these connections and most importantly, empower passionate people to become financially independent while doing what they love. In a world suffering from a pandemic where people have recently lost their jobs because stores have shut down and we are forced to be at home, this has become even more powerful.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Baby steps. The largest of goals require the biggest of visions. The hardest challenge for any visionary is to accept that you just can’t do everything overnight, and when you try, you are not only less productive, but you get frustrated and so does your team, which can lead to burn-out. Therefore, plan wisely and break everything up into digestible and achievable baby steps that will enable you and your team to feel successful and accomplished more frequently, and at the same time chip away at the broader goal all the time. You will also find that this approach is very much in line with agile methodologies that have proven to be more effective simply because the learnings from each baby step make the next baby step that much more on point.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

Wow. There are several people, but I will mention the most important one, my father. My father always taught me to stay focused and invest everything into the one clear goal that you are focused on at the moment; not to spread yourself thin by trying to do many things at once. This advice has not only helped me in my career at every step along the way, but has also brought me the kind of satisfaction from my job that I remember my father also had every day that he got up and went to work.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I try to do this every day. For one, we are blessed by seeing the smiles that we put on every new ambassador’s face when they start generating sales and see their path to success simply from doing what they love. Secondarily, I believe that you can change the world every day just by creating a great, fun and productive work environment. When you are a part of making every person who works for you that much happier, you have, by definition, brought goodness to the world.

Ok super. Now let’s jump to the main question of our interview. Can you share 5 examples of how retail companies will be adjusting over the next five years to the new ways that consumers like to shop?

I can share these with you directly from our customer base.

Macy’s— turning on an army of a sales team who share their style and are redefining the retailer<>customer relationship, evolving from the department store of yesterday to thousands of virtual storefronts on See, example Macy’s ambassador storefront:

We are powering this across all of retail, selling via people-powered video across automotive (Autozone, Advance Auto), electronics (Crutchfield, Verizon, Lenovo), home decor (Bed Bath & Beyond, Floor & Decor), and many other categories.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Love, as an ambassador program. As kitschy as that may sound, that word embodies understanding and acceptance, which is what we lack in this world, more of which would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people. If we could structure a unified program where we could promote and bring more love to the world, we have truly won, all of us, the entire human race.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

While I have lots of ideas and thoughts to share, I must choose how I spend my time. There are only so many hours in the day. Outside of my day job, I focus my remaining time with my family. Therefore, you won’t find me posting too much on social media. You can, however, follow everything that we do at TVPage on and on all social channels.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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