Oct 14

Are Newspaper Ads Really 25x More Effective Than Online?

I was working at DoubleClick back in 2000 during the dotcom bomb so I got to witness first hand as CPM prices crashed from $50 to $5.

In looking at CPMs today I found something that surprised me: newspaper CPMs are approximately 25 times more expensive than online ads.











That means businesses are paying a premium for static ads that are difficult to track. The only way that makes sense to me is if companies aren’t comfortable with the newer technology.

That might also explain why radio and TV are cheaper than their paper counterparts, it requires more technology and work to create a radio spot or TV commercial than a simple static Ad.

But, I’m a bit surprised by the fact that newspaper CPMs are so much more expensive than Magazines. Maybe it’s due to the fact that smaller papers have a tighter geographic focus and are therefore more attractive to local businesses?

But this 25x differential in pricing really can’t last. I expect that means that CPMs for traditional media are going to fall rather than online CPMs rising a great deal. This will be good for companies that buy advertising, but is only going to further injure traditional media.




Oct 14

POP – A Great Prototyping App

Last year I started teaching an entrepreneurship class at NYU Poly; while it has an official name we affectionally call it “Entrepreneurship for Hackers.” My co-teacher and I essentially teach tools similar to Steve Blank or the Lean Startup to engineering students over 13 weeks.

In our class on prototyping we cover a bunch of tools from crude sketches on paper to high fidelity mockups done in CSS. This is how POP, Prototyping on Paper, came to my attention. It is a brilliant way to do mobile mockups using only an iPhone; simply draw the app, take a picture, and then add links to sew your screens together and make a sample workflow.

One of our teams used this and I was really impressed with how simple yet powerful their prototype was. If you’ve got a great idea for an app this is a simple way to show it to your friends with only an hours work.

Oct 14

The Next Twitch.tv

Let’s start with a confession; I like to watch video games. Even when I was a kid, I preferred watching my friends to playing myself. In a fighter plane I’d be the the navigator.

It is rare for me to be on the front edge of a consumer trend since my hobbies tend to be pretty geeky. But when Twitch TV came along, I was an early adopter; I had already watched hours of gameplay videos on YouTube.

A while back someone wrote a piece about unbundling YouTube in which they stated that Twitch.tv was the first step. (Sadly, I can’t remember who wrote it, and my Google Fu was not up to the challenge of finding it.) My thought is that an obvious next step is “haul videos”.

Shopping haul

Haul videos are when people unpack their shopping and show their followers what they purchased. A subset of the haul video is unboxing, where the host unboxes anything from high-end tech gadgets to cheap toys. The New York Times Magazine has an article about a woman who is making millions unboxing Disney toys.

Clearly people love this content, and YouTube isn’t designed with this in mind. There are such obvious ways to monetize and brands should be all over this. I’d love to see someone create a site for this niche since I think it will be huge once it goes mainstream

Oct 14

A New Tool In The War On My Inbox

I’ve written before about my struggles with my inbox. Thanks to Product Hunt I recently found The Inbox Checkup, an app that let’s me compare my email issues with others.

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 5.24.35 PM

This was from my first run in August. As you can see, I receive a lot more emails than the average person, and I send even more. But this volume has hurt my response time. I re-ran this again today so I could compare results.

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 8.39.09 AM

As you can see, over the past couple months my response time actually increased by an hour. I’m a firm believer in the idea that we optimize what we measure. I’m going to keep tracking response times with an eye towards bringing my time down. Expect an update in a couple more months.