Dave Williams, one of Atlanta’s leading entrepreneurs, is far from the intersection of Peachtree & Peachtree. This all-around authority on interactive advertising is currently traveling the world in vagabond startup style.
Dave is an expert in online media, social media advertising and SEO. He is the the founder of BLiNQ Media, which has been awarded Fastest Growing Company, Healthiest Company, and one of the Best Places to Work. Before BLiNQ, Dave cofounded 360i in 1998. In 2005 360i was acquired by Innovation Interactive, which was later acquired in 2010 by Dentsu for $275mm. 360i is one of the country’s most successful search marketing firms and is the company behind the Oscar Mayer “wake up and smell the bacon” app.
Dave won TAG‘s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010, was a Metro Atlanta Chamber Small Business Person of the Year Finalist last year, and is a regular columnist for Ad Age. We recently caught up with Dave to give you the inside scoop on the most missed man in Atlanta.
What do you read or follow to stay abreast of industry trends?
I mostly use Google News, The New York Times, Ad Age, TechCunch and DavidCummings.org.
What tech/tools are essential to you?
Email, Texting, WhatsApp, Uber and the Internet. Right now, I am focusing on disconnecting for a bit and going low tech: person to person meetings, writing notes in moleskin notebooks, no mobile phone, and old fashioned walking-and-talking!
Why did you choose Atlanta to build your businesses?
I graduated from the Goizueta One Year MBA program in 1997 and fell in love with Atlanta then. Atlanta offered a great entrepreneurial foundation with low startup costs, highly educated tech/marketing resources, less competitive tech/marketing environment, excellent business environment, and lots of great clients to work with!
What prompted you to leave the corporate world for entrepreneurship/marketing?
I studied accounting and business at Washington and Lee University and then went to work at PriceWaterhouse after gradation which is where I received my CPA. The CPA was valuable but I never had the intention of working for anyone else which is why I went back to grad school to advance my skills and network. At the time, the Internet was just starting to take off and I fell in love with the idea of the Internet for business, its accountability and the marketing opportunities available. There was never a doubt that I would be be an entrepreneur, it was just a matter of when and doing what?
What’s next on your list to learn?
I want to help educate the next generation of entrepreneurs locally and even abroad. My wife and I have a lust for travel, adventure and the outdoors. My goal is to help others succeed in their dreams and help guide them to success should they have the energy, passion and focus needed. By working with the next generation, I always feel that I am learning new things and getting back as much if not more than I am giving.
As an entrepreneur who loves to build things in Atlanta, we’re excited to see what he does next. Follow Dave on Twitter @Dave360.