How would you like to be the next Steve Jobs? The opportunity is sitting out there waiting to be taken.
All you have to do is find an effective advertising use for the web. It's that simple.
The web is an enormously powerful medium, but no one has figured out how to make it a great advertising medium. It's as if TV existed for 20 years and no one had invented the TV spot.
We have all kinds of lousy ways to use the web, but no reliably effective way.
An article in Digiday this week entitled Banner Ad’s Creators Dismayed By Its Current State laments the condition of display advertising. Display is the dominant form of web advertising. Despite a growth rate of 20% this year and almost $20 billion in sales, no one seems to be satisfied with banner advertising.
"Publishers in particular rue how commoditized it has become in a sea of 5.3 trillion annual impressions. Advertisers and agencies lament the lack of creativity typically given banners, which some see as on their way to becoming a purely direct-response tool,"Worst of all is consumer reaction -- universal disregard. I have never once heard two people talk about a display ad. It is the one and only form of advertising that I can say this about.
But banners are only the most obvious failure.
The reason it's so clear that banners are a dud is that they are easily measurable. Every form of online advertising that can be easily measured has been exposed -- banners, podcasts, QR codes, blogs...
The only forms that are still retaining their cred are the ones that are not so easily measurable, like social media and content. This is not because they are any more effective, it's just that it's a lot more difficult to prove their ineffectuality.
This allows the online ad industry and web zealots to pretend that their ideological commitment to these modes has a basis in real world success. But this is a fantasy.
The web is almost 20 years old and the ad industry has still not figured it out. Maybe it will be like the telephone -- a universally used medium for which a brilliant advertising purpose will never be discovered.
Frankly, I doubt it. Someone is going to figure out how to use the web wonderfully. It might as well be you.
If you read the comments below, you'll see what an idiot I am. Vinny Warren clears away the weeds. Someone has already figured out advertising on the web and made zillions -- Google. Doh.