Monday, June 2, 2014

RTB 2.0: Real-Time Bathroom Updates

At YellowHammer HQ, we’ve been hard at work trying to figure out how to improve our RTB systems. Last quarter, management gave our engineers a directive: use our internal data and insights to take RTB to the next level for our internal teams. Unfortunately, we should have specified that RTB stands for real-time bidding because they have spent the last 90 days using our internal data to develop a complex, data-driven real-time bathroom system.

The pilot program officially launched today with the unveiling of a magnet-based, “cloud” technology that notifies employees (and the web-at-large) about the availability of one of our office bathrooms.

When the bathroom door is closed, LED bulbs throughout the office change colors from green to red, a wireless speaker announces the unfortunate news that the bathroom is occupied, and the bathroom’s Artificial Intelligence tweets that it is in use and also uses the Twitter API to change the account profile picture to match.  

We are not kidding.


How it works:

The system involved the installation of a magnetic contact switch on the bathroom door, which is wirelessly connected to a locally-hosted hardware hub.  Thanks to a firmware modification of the Philips Hue lighting system, the server is able to control the status of the LED light fixtures throughout the office.  When the door opens or closes, the system triggers an audio announcement over a speaker outside of the the bathroom and simultaneously adjusts the Hue bulb to red or green. Finally, an IFTTT recipe connects to the Twitter API to Tweet the current occupancy status and as well as change the page’s cover photo.

If all of this sounds very complex, that’s because it is. Now that we’ve tackled the real-time bathroom problem, it’s time to move onto real-time bidding. Wish us luck.

If you’re interested, you can follow our bathroom on Twitter @yh_bathroom (


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Possible Reactions to the YellowHammer Team at the Uncubed Conference

We’re participating once again in our favorite hiring conference, Uncubed. Here are a few mildly-exaggerated reactions from our fellow attendees:

"YellowHammer shot up our booth with some sort of automatic nerf gun. When we asked why, they gave us a list called "Top Ten UNBELIEVABLE Reasons Why We Jealously Attacked Your Booth"  - Buzzfeed



"One of the YellowHammer people came by our booth, examined the dog we brought with us and said ‘That dog isn’t furry enough to attract a real crowd. I think they also slipped him some bacon…’" - Bark & Co


"Those guys have been monopolizing the ping-pong table we brought since the conference opened. They won’t let anyone else play."  - Splash


"Some guys from YHMG strolled up to our table wearing leather jackets & snapping their fingers and asked if we wanted to have an optimization throw-down. We declined." - MediaMath



"One of the YellowHammer people got huffy and told me that the bird in their logo looks ‘way tougher’ than the birds in our logo." - Chloe & Isabel


That’s about it! Come join in on the fun for the next two hours at NYC Uncubed.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Signs inside the YH office

The Yellowhammer office is a freewheeling, creative environment, but like any workplace, we have rules that need to be gently reinforced and announcements that need to be posted.

Passive-aggressive signage has evolved into an artistic medium inside of our office. Some choice examples can be found below.

Outside of restroom #1:

Exit door of restroom #2:

On the refrigerator: 

Beside the television:

In the break-room:

Thursday, April 4, 2013

YH COO Hagan Major to Speak at the AppNexus Summit

The annual AppNexus Summit will be taking place next Wednesday in San Francisco and will feature product announcements, new exchange innovations, and industry speakers (including Yellowhammer co-founder Hagan Major).

Hagan will be taking the stage with AppNexus’s Director of Product Management, Dave Himrod, to discuss RTB optimization for campaigns and placements. He requests that Yellowhammer well-wishers and his “fans” (read: family members) show up to laugh loudly at his jokes and riot in the streets immediately following his presentation. Please, no autograph requests.

If you can’t make the summit in person, the live video will be streamed on the AppNexus website.

The speaker listing and a mugshot of Hagan can be found here:


Monday, March 18, 2013

Ryan Hubbard Speaking at a Meeting

By Tyler J.

So this is what goes on in the back of the room during all-hands company meetings…

Friday, March 15, 2013

Yellowhammer Press Round-up

We have not been blogging much lately, but we’ve been keeping busy generating content for outside publications. Below are some of the most recent Yellowhammer press mentions.

Ryan Hubbard was featured in Mapping Where the Tech Titans Call Home in NYC (Real Estate Weekly)

Hub was also quoted in a press release by VoltDB Yellowhammer Selects VoltDB for New Advertising Platform (Yahoo Finance)

Hagan Major was cited for his hatred of a ridiculous viral marketing fad in the article Harlem Shake Still Draws Some Marketers (Clickz)

Jared Christopherson offered phone advice in an article about the Most Essential Office Technology (MSN Business)

Speaking of Jared, he also offered advice about effective ways to hire tech talent in 15 Ideas for Testing Your New Hires Before You Commit (Huffington Post)

And finally, a Yellowhammer ad for One Kings Lane was featured in an episode of the new Comedy Central show Nathan For You.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The loneliest birthday

By Tyler J.

Senior AdOps exec Alex Blazer’s birthday went completely overlooked yesterday. While we usually throw a nice party for birthdays, someone overlooked Alex’s.

By the time 3pm rolled around, he realized that the surprise pizza party he was anticipating was never going to happen - he proceeded to order himself a large pie with everything on it and sat at his desk stuffing his face, listening to Mad World by Gary Jules.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

YellowHammer Celebrity Look-Alikes

It’s well known that the members of team YH are ridiculously good looking, but did you know that a handful of us have spot-on celebrity look-alikes?

Here are just a few of them:

Tyler Johnson - Ron Weasley, Harry Potter


Jeremy Elbaum - Steve Harwell, Smashmouth


Ryan Hubbard’s Mad Hatter - Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter


Ben Wilson - Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO


Austin Cornelio - Pop Stars Evan and Jaron


Friday, December 7, 2012

The Neighborhood Condo Board Has Rejected Our Sign

Forgetting the holiday spirit, the neighborhood board has officially rejected our proposal for a beautiful sign above our office entrance:


As you can see, it would have been unobtrusive and pleasing to look at, but the board apparently thought otherwise. Our emissary that was sent for approval was told that opposition to our bird sign was the first thing the board agreed on unanimously since 1983.

Apparently, though, it’s okay for our neighbors to have eye-sores like these tattered old remnants. We’re not naming names (nevermind, we are), but Elisha Framed Pictures and tattered sign company that looks like a garage, you should be ashamed of yourselves.



For shame.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

YellowHammer is the 18th out of 2,095,294 Best Place to Work

The Crain’s list is out, and YellowHammer was the 18th best place to work in New York City. Our condolences go out to the 2,095,266 businesses that we beat out. Metlife, we’re looking at you.