Vignesh Krishnan

Sep 20, 2021

The Power of Intent Data in the ResTech Industry – with Vignesh Krishnan of Research Defender


Episode Summary

In this episode of the Through Your Looking Glass podcast, we have a special guest here with us. One of the first employees at Lucid and currently an entrepreneur himself, Vignesh Krishnan. Vignesh was an invaluable part of our team at Lucid for more than eight years. Then, in 2018 he decided to pursue his own passion project, which we now know under the name Research Defender.

As Vignesh tells us in the episode, Research Defender does what its name suggests: it manages and prevents fraud in the industry. According to him, fraud has changed significantly over the years in the ResTech industry and is now more common than ever. That’s why solutions like Research Defender hold tremendous value in ensuring data validity and giving customers control of their product.

Join our host Patrick Comer and Vignesh Krishnan as they discuss entrepreneurship, the ResTech scene in New Orleans, and why intent data is key to driving business growth.


Name: Vignesh Krishnan

What he does: Vignesh is the CEO of Research Defender, a secure platform to help clients take control of their traffic and the quality of their product to create a clean, healthy, and efficient ecosystem in the research industry.

Company: Research Defender

Key Quote: “It is like an 11-year magic trick. Essentially there’s nothing, and then there is something except it takes 11 years for that to happen.”

Key Insights

  • Entrepreneurship comes with a set of challenges. Since Vignesh launched Research Defender two years ago, he has encountered many different business challenges along the way. From dealing with the unexpected moments of loneliness to figuring out how to market a product, he admits that the founder’s journey is rarely easy. We talked to Vignesh about the most significant challenges in his journey. “I was surprised when your quote-unquote idea of your baby’s not accepted. And that is a surprise. ‘Why don’t you like my baby? Why don’t you think my baby is attractive?'” Ultimately, Vignesh feels very proud of starting his own company, which makes all the obstacles worth it at the end of the day.
  • New Orleans is a center of the ResTech Ecosystem. Both Lucid and Research Defender operate from New Orleans, which has significantly contributed to the community’s narrative. Not only do these two companies contribute to the ResTech concentration of the city, but they’re also building a long-term vision for the future of technology. “The game in New Orleans has changed, and I think Lucid is a very big part of it. And I’m happy to give shout-outs to other companies like Level-set and others, Align, and so on within the ecosystem as well who really helped change that narrative within New Orleans. But certainly, Lucid has a big part to play as far as the investor community goes as well as the startup community.”
  • Regardless of the industry, companies should acknowledge the importance of intent data. ResTech companies such as Lucid and Research Defender have access to intent data instead of other industries that focus on data mining and secondary research. They are asking the key questions, such as What are you going to do tomorrow? What are you going to do next week or next month? Vignesh and Patrick talk about the immense opportunity for intent data on the market. “We are sitting on intent questions. Yes, we can quote-unquote predict the future, but that’s only as good as the quality you can bring to the industry. And as such, we take that role very responsibly.”

“Going back to the personal and professional thing, the fact that I have started the company, that’s a very positive thing in my career, I feel. So that’s something that I would take away, and the personal journey of working with some of the former colleagues, that’s been very positive for me as well.”

Episode Highlights

There’s more need for fraud prevention in ResTech today than before

“Our company from scratch has been created independently to create a safe place where people can identify and track fraud. […] Fraud has changed. You ask most people in the industry, and we would agree that fraud is much higher today than it was in 2010 or 11. And there are plenty of reasons for this. One goes back to the scale and introduction of exchanges, which you’re very close to. When you try and scale any specific industry or process, you’re going to get a lot of benefits out of it. But there are certain counterweights that we need to balance. And fraud is one of those counterweights.

Every single company needs intent data to drive the business forward

“The timing is right because, in the last few years, you’ve seen an acceleration towards programmatic and combined with the fact that we’re sitting in an undervalued business that can only go up one direction. Of course, I personally tend to be fairly optimistic. But I do think given those reasons and the pandemic and given the behavioral changes, and move online. The fact that every single company now needs, not wants, but needs to have future data or future intent data from our industry, I think we’re in a very good position.”

The importance of survey quality

“Quality goes both ways. You can’t just look at the quality of the seller. You also have to look at the quality of the buyer because there is real value in positive behavior on both sides. And there are also real-life conclusions that come out of it. So if you have a poor survey and it doesn’t have to be on a buyer, it doesn’t have to be like the buyer is bad, but even if a specific survey within a buyer list is bad, that survey is simply not going to get traffic.”






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