Jordan Glazier Of Wildfire: “As we become ubiquitous, rewards are shifting from a differentiator to becoming table stakes for every relevant online service”

As we become ubiquitous, rewards are shifting from a differentiator to becoming table stakes for every relevant online service. Jordan Glazier is the founder and CEO of Wildfire Systems, which provides an enterprise platform that enables partners to embed social commerce, rewards, and cashback offerings within their existing services. A veteran technology executive and serial entrepreneur, […]

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As we become ubiquitous, rewards are shifting from a differentiator to becoming table stakes for every relevant online service.


Jordan Glazier is the founder and CEO of Wildfire Systems, which provides an enterprise platform that enables partners to embed social commerce, rewards, and cashback offerings within their existing services. A veteran technology executive and serial entrepreneur, Glazier was an early executive at eBay, where he was responsible for building several of the company’s largest business units from the ground up. Prior to founding Wildfire, he was the CEO of Eventful, Inc., which he built into the world’s largest discovery platform for local events & entertainment before it was acquired by CBS.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and builders, and that shaped my career perspective and goals from an early age. My grandparents built one of Chicago’s largest women’s clothing manufacturing businesses (now long gone) and my father was a commercial real estate developer. In a nutshell, I like building new businesses. At GATX Corporation, I built a new division for a 100-year-old publicly traded company. At eBay, I built three of the company’s largest business units, and then I turned my attention to building startups from the ground up. Wildfire is my third, and it’s the largest and most exciting opportunity I’ve ever sunk my teeth into.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

Consumers are coming to expect rewards and savings as part of their online shopping experience, thanks in part to the success of services like eBates (owned by Rakuten), Honey (owned by PayPal) and Capital One Shopping. However, all three of those services are proprietary to those companies’ audiences. Wildfire is democratizing the loyalty and rewards space by providing a unique, white-label platform that enables any online service to reward their users’ online shopping and sharing, while at the same time monetizing the e-commerce they enable.

For our 30,000+ merchant partners, each one knows that personal recommendations are the most potent influencer of purchase decision-making, and Wildfire is providing, for the first time, a scalable platform which allows them to motivate and reward word-of-mouth recommendations and in their own words, “turn customers into advocates.”Wildfire uniquely harnesses, monetizes and rewards the fact that people recommend products billions of times each day which drives trillions of dollars in e-commerce.

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

Early in my career, while negotiating some international joint ventures, I made the mistake of focusing too much on the breakup clauses in the JV agreements. I know this sounds like an overly-specific example of a mistake — but it was an important lesson learned, because when we focused on “what happens if this doesn’t work?” it brought us all into the mindset of failure and conflicted interests, and actually soured the relationship before we even got started. Lesson learned.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

I’ve been blessed with great mentors throughout my career.

At Boston Consulting Group, Mike Marcus (unintentionally) taught me the importance of maintaining work-life balance. It was midnight, and we were in a conference room cranking for a client presentation the next day. Mike said, “it’s too bad, tonight was going to be the only night this week I could’ve seen my kids.” That stuck with me. Mike and I have stayed in touch for the last 30 years, and he’s now actively involved as an advisor to Wildfire.

At GATX Corporation, my boss and mentor David Anderson taught me the importance of connecting with colleagues on a personal level as opposed to the sterile, business approach you often see. That definitely shaped my style and has resulted in great friendships I’ve made at every step in my career.

At eBay, Meg Whitman taught me to moderate my hard-charging attitude (I guess I can be intense sometimes). I remember during a 1:1 she said, “Jordan, you remind me a lot of myself when I was at your stage… it’s great to be a bulldog, just be careful not to be a bulldozer.”

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

Online marketplaces are, by definition, disruptive. The internet uniquely makes it possible to efficiently connect the many-to-many, and by doing so, disrupts less efficient businesses. At eBay, I built marketplaces for consumer electronics, computers and industrial equipment, and in doing so we disrupted entire (inefficient) supply chains that were built around print periodicals and age-old distribution networks. The result was a win-win for buyers and sellers. The same goes at Eventful, where we built a marketplace for local events that efficiently connected event promoters and event-seekers, disrupting the less efficient discovery services (i.e., print). Wildfire is also a marketplace model. We democratize the e-commerce rewards space by enabling any service to provide rewards to their users, and driving incremental sales to tens of thousands of merchants. As we become ubiquitous, rewards are shifting from a differentiator to becoming table stakes for every relevant online service.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

Honestly, I feel like I’m just getting started. The ideas for Wildfire have been percolating in my mind for over a decade — the culmination of lessons learned and pattern recognition across the last 20 years I’ve spent in e-commerce. We’re off to an amazing start, and we have our work cut out for us to become the ubiquitous platform for monetizing and rewarding organic commerce and social sharing.

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?

Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, struck a chord with me on many levels. Similar to the protagonist, Christopher McCandless, I’ve also been drawn to adventure, minimalism and journeys of self discovery. Yet, unlike McCandless, I never let myself get pulled over the edge, and I’ve achieved balance between those passions and the dedication, perseverance and connectedness it takes to be successful in business, friendships and family. The film’s soundtrack by Eddie Vedder just happens to be among my favorite albums.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Here’s a simple, but powerful, quote, which has shaped my life view… “LIfe is short, and meant to be enjoyed.” I adopted that as a credo when I was in my teens and it has helped shape me as an optimist, and influenced me to fill my life with memorable experiences and adventures.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire 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. 🙂

Every person has the power to make the world a better place, and I’d like to harness and motivate people to advocate for the causes they are passionate about. By doing so we create a widespread force for positive change across a global spectrum of causes. I’m involved with the Creative Visions Foundation, a non-profit based in Los Angeles, which supports and mentors individuals and organizations around the world who are creating a more just, caring and sustainable world through the power of media, art, technology and education (aka “Creative Activists”).

How can our readers follow you online?

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jordanglazier/

Wildfire Blog: https://wildfire-corp.com/

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

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