Monster In the Mirror: UM’s Mitchell Weinstein

UM's Mitchell Weinstein Embraces the Chaos

In this week’s Monster In the Mirror, we feature ad ops industry leader and OPS Markets 2013 speaker Mitchell Weinstein, senior vice president of ad operations at UM. In between working through the “chaos” that is the ad operations industry, Weinstein keeps a fairly tidy workspace. And, as for work afterhours — Weinstein shuts it down; but, it’s never a bad time to start teaching the industry’s future leaders, e.g., Weinstein’s kids, who get an earful on the industry. 

Read more about how Weinstein navigates the workday below. And, if you haven’t yet, make sure to read our previous Monster In the Mirror with NRP’s Bryan Moffett. Also, reserve your seat today to catch Weinstein discuss viewable impressions at this year’s OPS Markets. 


Name: Mitchell Weinstein

Title: SVP, Ad Operations

Company: UM

Location: New York

Current Computer:  HP EliteBook 2530p

Current Mobile Device: iPhone 4S

One word that describes how you work: thorough and diligent (2 words)

How do you describe what you do to your family?  All those ads you see on the internet – I put them there….

If you weren’t in ad operations, what would you be doing?  I’d be a sushi chef.  I really love good sushi.

Last AdMonsters Event?  OPS Screens

Management of Time Questions

Inbox – aim for zero or is it infinitely long?  Thousands of messages, but I know where to find what I need

How do you manage your to-do list?  Generate a list in excel every morning, and cross things out with a strikethrough as I go about the day. It’s very satisfying crossing items off on a list, and creates a sense of momentum.  Usually there a few tasks that carry over to the next day, but I try to keep that to a minimum.

What’s your workspace like?  Pretty neat, not very cluttered.  Monitor, keyboard, mouse, docking station.  A large pile of business cards that I am not quite sure what to do with.  AdExchanger calendar, pictures of my family to keep things in perspective, reusable water bottle, and a real (not mobile) phone which doesn’t get used very much.

Are you 24/7 or do you turn off work at some point?  Turn off to spend time with my family at night.  People need to sign off and recharge.  It’s extremely important.  But…I do talk about work with my kids, trying to create the next generation of Digital Media experts

What do you spend most of your day on? Management? Tech? Operations? Trafficking? Management, client deliverables, evaluating new ad tech, contract negotiations, process refinement, integrating our backend systems, and going to lunch with ad tech salespeople

Ad Operations/Tech questions

Which ad ops, process apps, software or tools can you not live without?  Twitter, Excel, Ghostery

What’s your least favorite industry buzzword?  SoLoMo: 1) I don’t like the sound of it (sounds like a drink you order at a college bar); and 2) each one of those areas (Social, Local, Mobile) is its own discipline with a lot of power behind it, and they should not all be lumped together as a single entity.

What buzzword do you find yourself using the most? Viewability – it’s a single word but has a world of nuance and possibility behind it.  It starts with whether or not an ad has the “potential to be seen” but it affects so much of what we do and how we work.

What industry trend are you following the closest?  Convergence (another buzzword) of TV and Digital

What’s your advice to up-and-coming digital strategists?  Embrace the chaos.  Our industry will always be high-energy, competitive, aggressive, unpredictable, but really exciting and extremely rewarding.  It’s not for everyone.  Learn to love it, and you’ll do well.