Don’t Look at The Ad

“My advice to the game companies, Web 2.0 startups and others pushing to garner eyeballs so as to monetize their offerings with advertising: be careful and make sure you don’t interfere or take away from your core value proposition.” – Steve Borsch

I suspect I’m not the only one that finds it ironic that calling undue attention to Google’s AdSense ad is a violation of their terms. Ironic, because ads that don’t call attention to themselves have an inherently lower click-through.

What a fine line.

“Pssst, hey, buddy, don’t click over there.”

I got a call the other day asking if I’d produce a podcast just for the ad dollars I could sell on top of it.

That’s doing two jobs (product development and ad sales) and getting paid for one (ad sales). Though Google and other have made advertising more efficient (how could they not), it’s still two jobs. A dollar spent on selling an ad is a dollar not spent on product development. Unless a startup just received millions in venture funding (one big advertiser) every dollar is precious.

Ads will detract, ads do detract, otherwise they wouldn’t work.

My advise to projects and companies aiming to skewer eyeballs with the sword of advertising: Either build something that doesn’t need advertising or something that is only advertising.


…we prefer to focus on execution, and specifically on locking product development to user demands.” – Antonio Rodriguez