Community//

Marty Krátký-Katz: “I believe that government should be compelled to make decisions for the common good based on data, not partisan politics; To move toward that objective, we have to change how we do politics”

…I’ve given this a lot of thought. Post exit, I can see myself entering into politics. Most of our modern politics and government has not meaningfully changed in the last 100–200 years. It’s still fundamentally the same system. Meanwhile, technology has drastically transformed the way we live our lives, and that transformation shows no signs of […]


…I’ve given this a lot of thought. Post exit, I can see myself entering into politics. Most of our modern politics and government has not meaningfully changed in the last 100–200 years. It’s still fundamentally the same system.

Meanwhile, technology has drastically transformed the way we live our lives, and that transformation shows no signs of slowing down.

To that end, I believe that government should be compelled to make decisions for the common good based on data, not partisan politics. And to move toward that objective, we have to change how we do politics.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Marty Krátký-Katz, co-founder & CEO at Blockthrough, which helps publishers recover the revenue they lose to adblocking without pissing users off. Prior to Blockthrough, Marty co-founded MicroMetrics, an award-winning SaaS company with a customer experience product for retail & hotel chains. He received a Forty Under 40 award as well as a couple of local business awards for his previous ventures. Marty speaks five languages fluently and is a dual citizen (Canada & Czechia).


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

I started my first company nine years ago. At the time, I was working at a call center for what’s essentially the Verizon of Canada. I didn’t like it. I was very bored and the work was the most soul-draining job imaginable.

My roommate at the time was into startups, and we came up with an idea for a website where people can rate their politicians on various criteria. We got the business up and running, but unfortunately, it never really took off.

From there, I started a small SaaS company in 2013, and then in 2015 started Blockthrough. These experiences made me realize how much I enjoy building companies that do novel things.

Can you share your story of Grit? First can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?

When my co-founder and I started Blockthrough, it’s fair to say that we didn’t know anything about the advertising technology (adtech) space. We both came from different industries. But we fell in love with this idea of helping content publishers make more money by monetizing their adblock users in a respectful way.

This became the founding mission for Blockthrough, and our thesis (that most adblock users just want a lighter ad experience) has never changed. What’s changed is how we accomplish that at the adtech level, and the process of figuring out how to do that was undoubtedly our greatest challenge.

Because we weren’t familiar with the industry, we had to try a lot of different things that didn’t work. Because there was no traction, we struggled to raise money, and more than once, we were saved by a miracle angel cheque with less than a week’s worth of cash in the bank.

Finally, as virtually all of our competitors were in the process of dying or pivoting, we figured out product-market fit when we re-launched for the 4th time in March 2018, and did >$1M in net revenue in the product’s first year.

Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

Coming from a sales background, I’ve learned the value of persistence and resilience. I think of it in terms of mathematics; the longer and harder you keep trying, the closer the probability of succeeding approaches 100%.

What also really helped was that I had friends, family and angel investors who supported us even though things weren’t going well. I had zero desire to go back to them and say “Hey, thanks for investing in and supporting us, but I have nothing to show for it.”

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 on, I pulled the classic “try to get everyone to sign NDAs” mistake. Rookie move.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I think there are two key things that make Blockthrough stand out. First is the monetization aspect. What we’re doing at Blockthrough is really blowing the competition out of the water. We are fortunate to be in a spot where our product monetizes 2–4x times more than the competition. Secondly, we are proud to deliver users a lighter, acceptable advertising experience that gives users control.

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

I’m the wrong guy to ask, ha! Seriously though, I think the biggest thing is working with people you like and respect.

When you tolerate working with people you don’t get along with, the result is you don’t want to spend time at work. There’s the old adage that “you don’t need to work hard if you work smart.” I think there is truth to that, but I also believe that you have to work hard and smart if you want to be ultra successful.

And if you want to work that many hours and stay sane, you have to surround yourself with smart people you like and respect.

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?

I think it’s unfair to all the people who have helped to call out any one person. One of the things that’s accelerated our success at Blockthrough has been the help we’ve gotten from various people in our advisor network.

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

I try to go out of my way to help other entrepreneurs, by being supportive without asking for anything in return. I’ve been through the struggles of an entrepreneur; it can be a dark and lonely place. I believe it’s important for more experienced entrepreneurs to be helpful to up-and-coming entrepreneurs they encounter.

(Choose) What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. You will probably not succeed on your first try.

2. Be extraordinarily selective and take it slow when choosing co-founders. Be aware of their strengths and flaws, and be sure they complement yours.

3. Don’t ignore your instincts; train them instead.

4. Get good at knowing what’s important, and then prioritize ruthlessly.

5. If your company doesn’t have great traction (think mountain goat), raising money will be hard, emotionally draining and constant.

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. 🙂

I’ve given this a lot of thought. Post exit, whenever that happens, I can see myself entering into politics. Most of our modern politics and government has not meaningfully changed in the last 100–200 years. It’s still fundamentally the same system.

Meanwhile, technology has drastically transformed the way we live our lives, and that transformation shows no signs of slowing down.

To that end, I believe that government should be compelled to make decisions for the common good based on data, not partisan politics. And to move toward that objective, we have to change how we do politics.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

https://www.linkedin.com/company/blockthrough

https://www.facebook.com/blockthrough

https://www.linkedin.com/in/martinkratkykatz/

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

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.