The first 120 days – Loren Hillberg’s transition from advisor to President of Thinknear



Here’s a first after 561 previous episodes: I’ve never interviewed anyone that has replaced a startup founder within the same company. I have had a few repeat guests but they are still the guys running the show or, in some cases, running a new show. This time around that isn’t the case. The company is the same but the guy running it isn’t.

The “guy” in question is Loren Hillberg and the company in question is Thinknear – the company previously started, run and sold to Telenav by Eli Portnoy (now co-founder of Sense360).

So, this is a unique episode as is a good portion of the content. We do dive into the quarterly Location Score Index report that Thinknear releases identifying the accuracy of location-based ad inventory (SO important). We do pontificate on the relevance of search and the impact that relevance, context and location will have on the way we “find” things. We do look at trends that are affecting location based marketing. We do talk about the history of the company (Loren was on the acquiring side with Telenav when they bought Thinknear). Where it is unique is when we talk about the transition from advisor to President and GM and Loren’s first 120 days in the role.

This is a very candid snapshot of a company growing in size and importance in our industry.



Key takeaways from this episode. Click on the link and the video will take you to that clip

1. Loren’s background 2:55
2. What does corporate Telenav think of Thinknear? 5:50
3. Why did Telenav buy Thinknear? 8:10
4. Was taking over Thinknear when Eli Portnoy left your first thought? 10:50
5. How were the first 120 days? 12:00
6. How do you define your role in the company 13:45
7. What was the transition like for the company 15:55
8. What is the burning issue that has emerged after 120 days 20:00
9. What does the likes of Twitter and Facebook getting into location mean to Thinknear? 22:50
10. The Location Score Index summary 25:00
11. 2 trends that affect location accuracy 26:00
12. What do you think the decline in accuracy is from? 30:40
13. The glaring result that can’t be ignored from the Location Score Index is… 32:50
14. What is Thinknear focused on going forward? 34:45
15. Does relevance and context kill search? 39:15


Transcript coming soon!

iTunes Audio iTunes Video Soundcloud

About Loren Hillberg
Loren Hillberg ThinknearI am the President and GM of Thinknear, a leading location technology company focused on connecting brands and agencies with mobile consumers.

I previously served as a strategic advisor to Thinknear. During that time I also served as the General Manager of the Mobile business unit and the Carrier business unit of Telenav, Thinknear’s parent company. I also have been the General Counsel for Telenav since I joined Telenav in April 2009. Over the years I have been deeply engaged in the digital technology space, helping to grow companies such as Telenav, Macromedia, Macrovision (now Rovi), and Micro Focus to leading players in their respective industries.

Most recently I have been focused on all manner of mobile technology and have applied my operational and strategic experience developed through several senior executive roles to the unique and interesting challenges of the mobile space. My focus at Thinknear is on evangelizing the power of mobile location data and working to help leading brands connect with consumers. I am delighted that we have a great team at Thinknear that is allowing us to lead the industry in location innovation. Thinknear’s capabilities allied with Telenav’s history of location based services provides a powerful platform to drive future innovation.

About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to get things rolling.

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