Advertising as a basis for company sustainability leads to an onslaught of annoyance, manipulation, and noise. As the value of the product or service goes up and/or the level of capture involved for those being advertised to increases, the willingness to oversell and overpopulate with ads increases. Have you walked through the labyrinth of mall-style airports lately trying to get to your gate on time? Have you seen the per-seat video screens on the newer planes pushing ads you can’t mute or turn off? Have you noticed the increase in ads on every online platform from Facebook to YouTube to Twitter?
What started out appearing “free” will soon come with a huge cost, and we’ll miss the days when our TV and radio programs had a reasonable set of commercial breaks.
Ready Player One, Snow Crash, Black Mirror, etc have given us a foreshadowing of what’s coming.
What to do about it?
I think tokenization with decentralized autonomous organizations plays a role to bring balance so that everyone is a customer, employee, and owner. That, combined with many competing, open source alternatives with little to no switching costs, gives us an opportunity for autonomy and choice. It allows for evolution and experimentation. Some projects will fail and some will find evolutionary stable strategies where we determine together out how to keep expenses paid while maximizing value for all stake holders with skin in the game.