thoughts on ad blockers on mobile

Ads have gone overboard and there is a huge overhead from many of them especially with JavaScript running in the browser.  Ad blocking improves performance and battery life, and therefore overall user experience.  If you were making money off of ad revenue, guess what? Suddenly you need to rethink your business model.  I think it’s a great thing and it may lead to many great innovations.  Folks who are going around saying “people who block ads don’t like to pay for things” (quoted from a recent TechCrunch podcast) include those whose revenue depends on these ads and they aren’t so comfortable with a changing game.  Which is sad for them, because they should have realized long ago that mobile is a constantly changing landscape – you can not play in this market and survive if you aren’t able to adapt and keep up with the rapid pace of change.

Furthermore there is another issue of consumers expecting software to be free.  Services generating revenue through ad revenue help promote this by keeping software free or cheap and making easy money off of ad revenue instead.  Entire companies are built on this business model – take Google, Facebook, and others who’s entire business is built on selling your personal data to others.
As a developer, if you aren’t building software that people are willing to pay enough money to more than balance your cost of development, again you really need to rethink your business model.  The gold rush days are over, and so is the easy money.  We need to return back to real-life business and software development.  So either your software itself should be invaluable to the consumer, or your software needs to facilitate an actual money-generating business.  Take for example any banking app.  Banks develop these apps at cost and give them away free to the consumer.  They don’t need the app itself to generate revenue – the app is actually facilitating their real revenue generating business.
update: Seth Godin’s take on ad blocking.


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