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Paul O’Brien

Paul OBrien Speaker

CEO of MediaTech Ventures, early mid stage startup and venture capital consultant, and economic development advisor.

This, SEO’Brien, is my professional creative outlet; a forum for my ideas – this is where you can learn some things for free.

I have 3 amazing kids, a wonderful wife who makes it possible for me to be who I am; I’m in my 40s now.  I love Netflix, being a Cubmaster, coaching robotics, and playing Minecraft with my kids – I’d rather do that (and admit it, so would you).

For whom I work best: Organizations fostering innovation, founders seeking funding, and investors endeavoring in startups.  I started my career at Yahoo 20 years ago, have helped launch a string of successful startups, and foster economic development through a focus on venture capital ROI. 

Here’s how I work…

  1. Analytical.  Everything we do starts and ends with the data. You wouldn’t be here, exploring marketing, if your opinion was working well.
  2. Sincere.  I’m an open book and all over the internet.  Let’s be honest, collaborative, and build a relationship.  No, I’m not signing your NDA or non-compete.
  3. Up-to-Date.  Marketing technology changes as light speed. One of the key jobs of your CMO is to consume knowledge voraciously.   Know YOUR market.  Know the market.  Know what’s possible and effective.  That’s my job.
  4. Driven. You might be satisfied, I am never so.  Since I was humiliated a bit in 4th grade during an Olympics of the Mind brainstorming session, because all I could come up with making is a milk jug bird feeder, I can’t stand being satisfactory.
  5. Audience.  There are two factors that create value in business: being innovative and your audience.  Those two things create customers, without which you should just go home.
  6. Storytelling.  From your elevator pitch to what makes journalists care, tell stories.
  7. Resourceful.  Solve problems quickly and efficiently.  Stop spending money on things that don’t work.  Stop wasting it on solutions that have been replaced by better alternatives.
  8. Objective.  Let’s focus on outcomes and not next steps.  What do we need to accomplish?  The answer to that is not what you want to accomplish right now.
  9. Open-Minded.  If you can try, test, optimize, and repeat, we’re going to be friends.
  10. Search.  The way the world works today is thanks to Google.  Customers search for answers; not necessarily through Google nor search engines.  Let’s address how your audience seeks what you can provide.  Let’s search for the path to your success.  And yes, that means making sure *SEO& and AdWords are capably covered (since 70% or so of all business now happens through there).

Does Paul O’Brien mentor or advise?

Yep, online and publicly so everyone can benefit.  Start here or contact me about engagements.

Where I’ve spoken


Amazon AWS Startup Day

Founder Institute


CEA San Francisco


Stanford Univ. Web 2.0


Affiliate Summit

IASP Summit Austin

FUND Conference

Ticket Summit

Search Insider Summit

AMA Hot Topic Series

Startup Week Austin

What I’ve been doing, generally speaking

I help startups get funded. I work as a partner in venture capital, as founder of MediaTech Ventures, as Director for Texas of the global startup incubator Founder Institute, and through my work on the Boards of the diversity incubator, DivInc, and of Funded House.  Those are my passions and my philanthropies: that’s wherein I’ll meet for coffee or mentor (a bit) but, know yourself and your business – time is valuable; so is mine.

Profiled as one of 25 online marketing heroes

For over 20 years I’ve been working with entrepreneurs, startups, and venture capital firms to foster innovation in public / private partnerships and to help drive capital and growth.  A few articles here are completely off topic while we otherwise float from social media to local search, fund raising to advertising, and from industry research to conferences and events. I learn from you through our discourse here; the hands-on experience I get building this site a testament to what I do.

I uncover why startups and ecosystems are going to fail so we can figure out how to prove me wrong.

Please take some time to listen to Paul O’Brien who to me is one of the best minds in the startup world. He speaks about Funded House at SXSW as well as MediaTech. Well worth the listen.

Eric Samdahl; Founder, GHSD, and Change Management COO

Where I’ve Been

I’ve held a few formal roles, from VP of Marketing for Zvents and Outright, to managing interactive marketing for HP and designing online advertising for Yahoo! I am honored most of all to be one of the 25 distinguished marketers featured in the Michael Miller book, Online Marketing Heroes, as well as appearing in or writing for Forbes, Techcrunch, Silicon Hills News, Crunchbase, KGO Radio, SXSW, and Webmaster Radio.

Paul O’Brien Speaker Bio

Long time Silicon Valley technology and startup veteran, Paul O’Brien is known as SEO’Brien for his extensive past in the search industry. Now Texan, O’Brien works in Venture Capital Economic Development, serving the investment and venture capital economies directly, through thought leadership, consulting, and startup development. He’s the founder of MediaTech Ventures, a founder and managing director of Funded House, and Director in Founder Institute.

Notably, O’Brien is a seasoned marketer with an early career at Yahoo! and HP. From there he led the early growth of startups such as Outright.com (Acquired by GoDaddy), Zvents (Acquired by eBay’s Stubhub), and MicroVentures (Venture Capital). With technical expertise, O’Brien has consulted with various web properties, designed and developed sites, online communities, e-commerce stores, and web services. Paul was featured in the book, Online Marketing Heroes, and continues to blog at seobrien.com.

Don't take my word for it...

  • Highly respected in his field and a frequent speaker at many top level conference where I've witnessed standing room only time after time. He is a master at explaining search in ways that even the most novice students get it.
    Matthew Gonzales | appbackr
  • An exceptional marketer, particularly in the realm of Search Engine Marketing, where he remains one of the most knowledgeable and forward thinking experts on the channel I have met
    Kevin MacLean | Sapient Nitro
  • Paul has the great ability to juggle 8 balls at once and is a jack of all trades. He is not only helpful on everything related to press, PR, marketing and social media, but has also added value by providing strategic direction/advice and even gets his hands dirty with technical development. He can be relied upon as a trusted partner and project manager.
    Jeff Schwartz | Loop & Tie
  • Paul is a tremendously talented marketing executive with a well deserved industry level reputation for excellence and leadership. His energy, sharp wit, and keen insight into online marketing, make him a standout performer. Highly recommended!
    Gordon Rios | Principal Scientist at Pandora
  • Hands down, the smartest Online Marketer I have ever met. He combines his creative thinking, analytical skills, and attention to detail to create highly effective customer acquisition strategies for HP.
    Michael Brito | Group Director at WCG, a W2O Company
  • Paul is a highly capable change-agent, leading Interactive and Multi-Channel Marketing at HP's Home Store. In particular, his strategic and practical knowledge of multi-channel Search marketing is among the best I've seen from comScore Retail & Technology clients - pushing the limits of comScore's extensive market research to obtain granular, actionable information beyond even the search engines themselves. Other HP divisions look to Paul for his insight and leadership.
    John Miniati | Lecturer at Kellogg (Innovation & Entrepreneurship)