Chief Digital Media Officer
The Media Kitchen/kbs+p; Founder, Varick Media Management
What are you reading right now?
I’m currently finishing up Jerry Della Femina's advertising industry tome, From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor. The book was originally published in the 1970s, but was re-released this year and was said to be a lot of the inspiration for the current hit show “Mad Men.” I love business-related books.
What person has been the biggest influence on your career?
My father, hands down. He was the first in his family to immigrate from South Africa, and he had to figure life out for himself. He knew few people when he came here, and had few job prospects. Within a few years, he was an executive in the fashion business. He has done pretty well for himself. He taught me that you always have to keep your feet moving and roll with the punches.
If you could have lunch with one person, living or dead, who would it be?
Stewie from Family Guy. I find him hilarious and would love to pick his brains about his media consumption habits. But in reality, I'd love to grab lunch with Ralph Lauren. I think we have three things in common: fashion, passion for cars and entrepreneurship. He has built a world-renowned empire, and I think we'd have a great conversation.
What brand do you admire the most, past or present?
While this may seem like the easy way out, I promise it's not: Apple. I’ve been fascinated with the Apple brand since the Apple IIE computer, and I used to receive flyers for the Home Brew Computer Club. I loved their irreverent attitude way back when, and love their vision for where the computing experience will be in the decade ahead. It’s a company that could have gotten stuck on the “desktop,” but they saw the future. Bravo.
What’s your go-to late night snack?
Dark chocolate Toblerone bars. I don't have them too late at night or that frequently, but it's one of my favorite desserts. When I travel overseas, I like to pick them up in foreign airports. Delicious.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
The only superpower that I'd want is changethediaper power. Have you heard of it? Since I have a two-year-old and a 10-week-old, a superpower that would allow me to say a secret word and have my children's diapers changed automatically would be awesome.
What is your favorite quote?
“I don't do many endorsements. I'd rather get doused by Gatorade than bust my butt selling it.” – Bill Parcells
Darren Herman is an active angel investor and board member in New York City for technology-based advertising companies. He currently is the Chief Digital Media Officer for kbs+p/The Media Kitchen and the founder of MDC Partners Demand Side Platform, Varick Media Management.
Darren Herman is a globally recognized digital media pioneer who is inspired by the white space that exists between advertising, media and technology. Over the past 10 years, Herman has started five companies, sold two, and raised more than $40M in venture capital. His companies achieved numerous awards including Avenue-A | Razorfish's critically acclaimed Breakout Company of the Year and AlwaysOn's Top 100 Private Company. He also won BusinessWeek's Top Entrepreneur award in 2006. He has been featured in an MTV documentary and is frequently quoted in global marketing, technology and financial periodicals.
Over the past decade, Darren has stewarded clients such as Viacom, Panasonic, Sony Pictures, MTV, AT&T, eBay, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, American Eagle Outfitters, and PBS (amongst many others) into digital-media campaigns utilizing search, rich media, traditional display, digital video, video games, mobile, and digital out-of-home.
In 2008, he released his first book, Coloring Outside the Lines: Confessions of a Digital Native.