Digital advertising has broken the internet

Pivvt 4 days

Background

I spent almost two and a half years working in digital advertising at Yahoo and Rakuten. I learned a lot as I managed ad-tech platforms on both the demand and supply side of the ecosystem—but I struggled because I hated our products. I hated how online ads work.

During my last months at Rakuten, I spent time doing research on ad blocking and how publishers were dealing with the threat to their revenue model. During that period, it was very clear to me that it was a losing battle and that the fundamental model of digital advertising was broken. I left the industry a short time later, and the first thing I did after leaving was install an ad blocker on my laptop.

Wrong Incentives

The use of online advertising has helped to keep content "free" but it never has been free. Users are the product of online businesses, and advertisers their customers. Advertisers spend a lot of money to get their ads in front of users, often using data to target who is most likely to click on the ad or buy something.

Ads are how web sites and apps make a lot of their revenue, so their incentive is to get users to view and click on as many ads as possible. This has led to a large amount of click bait articles full of ads, articles split up into multiple pages with new ads for each "next" you click, and an increase of volume of content over quality.

The desire to serve more ads has also led to apps and sites focusing on addictive behaviors to keep users in their app for as long as possible. This is why the feed is the primary user interface you see in apps today, like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and yes, even LinkedIn. Once you open up the app, it is easy to find yourself endlessly scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling.

Need for Change

This is the very reason why Pivvt is focusing on this industry. The negative impacts of what advertising has left us with is prevalent, including tech addiction, ideology bubbles, and depression. The internet has so much potential for good, but the current model has led to the degradation of our wellbeing as humans.

We believe that there is a better way, and that we do not need to settle for what we have. The big players are deeply entrenched in this advertising model, but our goal is to break away from that with a solution that creates value for everyone: Users, creators, and sponsors/advertisers.

Follow along our startup journey as we build out a better internet, for everyone.

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

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A new direction for Pivvt

John Dodson 1 month
If any of you have been paying attention to what has been going on here (you three know who you are), we have been hyper focused on college sports. Our goal was to create a community of college sports fans by helping schools to raise money.

COVID brought on a disruption so large that every school was worried about revenue to cover 2020 expenses. However, with that came smaller budgets and less willingness to try something new. So I decided to make a pivot for Pivvt, to open up our focus.

Starting today, December 1, we are opening up the focus on college athletic departments to creators. These are people that create content for an audience. Our goal is to help those two groups connect in ways that other apps have not effectively managed to do.

Here's to our future. It is time to create a better internet experience.

Photo by Simon Berger, Unsplash

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Updates from NCAA for winter eligibility, transfers, NIL

Pivvt 3 months
There's a lot to unpack here, but the NCAA made some sweeping decisions that impact college sports in the short term and long term. That includes an extra year of eligibility for winter sports, a proposal for immediate eligibility for transfers, and the removal of requirements for 2020-21 bowl eligibility.

Most importantly, they have clarified their proposed rules for name, image, and likeness, which would be set for voting in the coming year. That is unless Congress does not step in and create law that would supersede any bylaws that the NCAA creates for itself. The debate and scramble continues...

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Pivvt 3 months

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Pivvt 3 months
The Name Image and Likeness debate continues amid the ongoing pandemic, as legislation in the earliest states are set to trigger at the beginning of fall 2021. As it is an issue with national implications, It is good to see that members of congress are looking into tackling the challenge.

The disruption to the college athletics fundraising machine is real, and schools are going to have to adjust to the upcoming change in the landscape. This excerpt from the article points out a big risk that many may not have put much attention to.

The lack of protection for schools’ sponsorship agreements will bring opposition from some college administrators, who have expressed concern that companies ranging from global shoe-and-apparel outfits to local car dealerships might reallocate money from deals with schools to deals with athletes.

The story continues. College sports is set for a big change and who knows what everything will look like after the dust settles.

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Pivvt 4 months
Pressure from all fronts has pushed the Big Ten to schedule a football season later this fall. Naturally seeing other teams successfully pulling off games in front of them, and then the financial pain their programs are all experiencing, pushed them over the edge. Everyone is adapting to the current environment and moving forward.

The Pacific Northwest is covered in smoke, already another punch to the gut following COVID-19 shutdowns, but what will happen next for the Pac-12?

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Pivvt 4 months
This is a very interesting concept being put on the table. It will be interesting to see how sports will evolve based on everything that has been learned during this unusual year.

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Pivvt 4 months
We are living through a time of unprecedented change in college sports, and the product that is left standing after all the dust settles is likely to look very different than we once knew. The biggest question is how much will everything change going forward. 

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Pivvt 4 months
Last month Utah AD Mark Harlan spoke about a loss of around $60 million with the shutdown of fall sports. This is a massive move that clearly demonstrates the domino effect of canceling football this fall. College sports impacts not only the schools and student athletes, but everyone associated with the department, workers at events, and businesses in the proximity of these universities. The pandemic impact is large and wide, and this might be just the beginning of furloughs or cuts across the industry.

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Pivvt 4 months
The beginning of the pandemic in the United States led to the cancelation of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. The NCAA cannot afford to lose a second tournament. It has been positive to see how the NBA has been able to run a championship playoff of their own, so there is some precedent for college sports to possibly follow. This will be an interesting one to keep an eye on.

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