Advertising-based businesses are on an unending quest to capture our attention. This means they’re watching what we’re watching, and will do anything to interrupt us. In the process, they destroy the medium.

  • Snail mail: destroyed by junk mail.
  • Telephones: ruined by telemarketers.
  • TV: made annoying with constant ads.
  • Email: clogged up by spam (thank you for protecting us, Gmail!).

The pattern is predictable:

  1. An ad-tech business’s core innovation is to insert themselves in to the next frontier of human communication.
  2. They raise money and grow fast and successfully infect that communication channel.
  3. Competitors follow suit, making the channel even more noisy.
  4. The channel loses value and people abandon it.
  5. The innovative, fast-growing ad-tech company loses value as well.

The whole process is short sighted, unimaginative, and Sisyphean. Entrepreneur friends of mine have made lots more money than I ever have innovating in sales and ad tech, but I have to wonder whether they really believe their time on earth, at least while building those ad tech companies, was well spent.pilule cialis

What’s powerful about Google, Facebook and WeChat is that they’ve created platforms that hold attention, and they can determine what is advertised. Because they care deeply about retaining peoples’ attention over everything else, they are constantly balancing the user’s experience with profitability. The platforms are where the value is at.

Companies that can innovate within these platforms are often temporary successes that lead to base-hits rather than home runs. They’re more like features than businesses, which is why I’m generally skeptical about each next amazing ad-tech innovation.