Usability/monetization death spirals

Certain categories of web2 websites and apps fall into a usability-monetization death spiral. 🧵

Relying on ads and monetizing at low CPMs, the incentive is to add ever more intrusive ads to increase click rates.

User experience degrades, requiring more intrusive ads, in a downward cycle.

News sites, cooking sites, games, music, Q&A, travel, and many other web2 categories that didn’t figure out subscriptions or high-CPM business models fall into this trap.

This isn’t the fault of the sites or the people behind them. They are generally hard working, creative people. The problem is that, until recently, ads were their only option.

This can be fixed by web3 and NFTs. Imagine NFTs that are some combination of collectibles, patronage, social status, and access.

Creators can develop deep, meaningful relationships, with their fans, instead of the transient, transactional interactions they have today.

Creators can get paid appropriately for their work, and users can enjoy a clean, modern experience that doesn’t compromise their privacy with intrusive ads.

We’ve already funded a series of game companies working in this area, and would love to fund teams in other categories.

Lack of genuine ownership and the reliance on ads was the original sin of the internet. We now have the tools to fix this.


Originally published on November 8, 2021

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