XNV - The Exponential Ventures

Ad-clicking business model fever

Adriano Marques

Google reaps billions every year with advertisements, and people just get crazy about that dream of making “easy” money. Not saying that Google’s money is easy, because I know it isn’t easy at all to keep such a huge infrastructure. But, people just think it is… or they want to think it is, because they want to build the next Google or next highly profitable ad-clicking business model based company.

The fever for the last years was to find a way to build something, put of the web and reap money with advertisements. We see blogs, games, social networks and all sort of other fancy and trendding web sites possible written from scratch to match the requirements of an ad based business model.

Suddenly, someone asked the good question: “If instead of pointing their incredible infrastructure at making people click on ads, they pointed it at great unsolved problems in science, how would the world be different today?” – That was Jeff Hammerbacher, who left Facebook back in 2008. Ironic, uh?

Most digital mafiosi would loudly answer to Jeff’s question: Then I wouldn’t have my digital mafia and wouldn’t see snoopy dog blowing up an armored car live on ustream.

What do you think people is really interested in? Seeing snoopy dog blowing an armored car, or having our top world class ultra smart engineers finding a solution for making electric cars more efficient than combustion based ones, ways to make wind turbines and solar panels more efficient, or finding better treatments for cancer/aids/malaria/”your bad disease here”?

That’s what drives traffic: stuff that people enjoy doing to perpetuate indefinitely their state of procrastination and false entertainment. Cool… So is this the formula for easy money? Make a website that allows for people to procrastinate, then fill it with ads? Sorry, this is the bubble we’re talking about. This business model is a bubble, and sooner or later it will burst.

Fortunately, from my perspective, even people that would make themselves available on Ustream to watch live snoopy dog blow the truck, are beginning to care more about changes that are happening in the world, and how our collective behavior impacts our lives. We’re seeing a lot more green products reaching mainstream, and that means something. Is that the beginning of a change?

PS: For those who missed this awful demonstration of what people really seems to care about, here is the thing:


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