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Le Cinq Interview with Founder, Keith Petri: On An Open and Free Internet, Quantitative Dieting, and Wood-Burning Ovens

Published March 16, 2021

View original interview at Le Cinq

Keith Petri is the founder of lockrMail, a pre-filter for your inbox, making your email work for you. Prior to starting lockrMail, Keith held executive roles for a variety of startups in the technology field, facilitating 4 successful acquisitions. As a product specialist experienced across emerging technology standards, digital privacy regulation, and complex partnerships among advertising technology vendors, Keith has recently refocused his efforts on the consumer. lockr’s mission is to empower consumers to benefit from their own personal data and the company’s first product, lockrMail, introduces a necessary lever of consumer consent into the email marketing funnel.

A fun fact: Here’s two:

1. I originally chose to attend Skidmore College in pursuit of a career in the arts. I was an accomplished photographer with a passion for pen and ink. While at Skidmore, I combined my love of art with a newfound respect for business.

2. Like the rest of the world, the pandemic has impacted all aspects of my personal and professional life. My wife and I have relocated to our cabin in the Catskills and I am suddenly obsessed with classic trucks and restoring the beauty of traditional tools.

Here we go.

What are you currently working on?

After a decade as a data broker, I am refocusing my efforts on the consumer – building products to empower consumers to benefit from their own personal data. Our first product, lockrMail, focuses on consumer consent in the email marketing funnel. As more and more websites require email registration to view content, personal and professional inboxes are becoming unnecessarily clogged.

lockrMail provides a public-facing email address you can use across publishers, retailers, newsletters, and other online services, enabling you to pre-filter and customize which emails you receive.

We are slowly rolling out early invitations to users on our waitlist, gathering feedback, and quickly iterating and adding new features. If you are interested in taking back control of your inbox, I’d be happy to get you set up.

What are you currently excited about?

Ever since losing 50 pounds the summer before my senior year in college, I have tried to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I was paleo for a few years, decided to trick my body and become vegan for as long as I could muster (2 weeks!), and landed as a pescatarian for the past 3 years. Throughout this process I have always approached any diet or exercise routine with a quantitative mindset. Whether tracking calories, sporting the hottest new wearable, or logging my physical activities – I did it all. As you might imagine, I am anxiously awaiting innovations around continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) from companies like Levels, Supersapiens, and the like.

What’s a story or article that you’re currently thinking about?

Having spent my career facilitating access to the open and free internet by optimizing the revenue publishers earn through targeted advertising, I am deeply concerned with the macro impact of policy changes at Apple and Google. Most recently, Google formally announced, “charting a course towards a more privacy-first web.” Authenticated traffic, identity, and the cookie drives the Internet’s unspoken economy. A lack of targeting capabilities has caused publishers to lose 64% of their ad revenue.

While Google (and Apple) have masked their strategic initiatives in the veil of privacy, it is the consumer who loses the most. The historical quid pro quo of the Internet – users see relevant ads in exchange for free content – is being re-written as users required to register and give up complete control over their personal and professional inboxes in exchange for free content.

The value exchange of the Internet was originally negotiated without consumers at the table. The death of the cookie presents an opportunity to redefine the Internet’s value exchange and incorporate consumer choice and consent. Now is the time to bring to the industry a consumer-facing tool to connect end users with the world of advertising in a trusted, transparent, and fully opt-in manner.

What’s a product you’re currently obsessed with?

There is an endless and futile debate among journalists, technologists, and the like on the various note-taking systems and organizational tools available today. I am not here to declare a winner, but for my personal use case, I find myself more and more entwined in the utility offered by Roam Research. I won’t butcher its sales pitch, but I will say that the supportive community paired with an endless array of seamlessly integrated extensions make the product extremely versatile for however you work best.

Wild Card: What’s an item you can’t shake your mind off of?

While I love building things with my hands, I am not a chef – and certainly not a baker. However, I have been blessed with a partner who is inspired by all aspects of culinary experimentation. We have enjoyed our fair share of home baked breads during quarantine, but more importantly, my wife has a new appreciation for the art of making pizza! As someone who always feels like the latest gadget and newest technology can only be additive to your experience, I cannot stop looking at all the innovative pizza ovens on the market.

I have my eye on Ooni’s pizza ovens – specifically the 16” gas powered. If anyone has any experience in this area – or even a self-made backyard wood burning setup – I am all ears!