Every crisis needs a villain. The advertising crisis is no exception. Some want to blame ad networks, others want to blame programmatic pricing tools, and still others believe that bad coding is at fault. Page load times are an obvious villain, but maybe we should blame the evildoers who clutter our world with massive amounts of interruptive, unwanted ad fodder. In practice, there are a number of easily identifiable tactical and executional factors contributing to the industry's existential crisis. Sadly, even if the industry could solve all of them, the effort would do very little, if anything, to correct the misalignment of outcomes and incentives that are the root of ad evil.
Perhaps a better title for this article would be "TiVo BOLT – For People Who Love to Be Informed, Enlightened and Entertained by Watching Free Over-the-Air Television or IP-Delivered Traditional Television Content Through a Set-Top Box Rented from a Cable, Satellite or Telco, but Hate the Commercial Advertisements that Subsidize the Content." No matter how you spin this, the TiVo BOLT is a referendum on the state of the commercial television business. After all, you don't really hate TV; you really hate TV commercials. You probably also hate the experience of trying to get all of your content to play on your big-screen TV. This is all about to change.
If former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did delete emails from her private email system (that she should not have deleted) will forensic computer technicians find them? It's about the most popular question I get asked these days. So – for your reading pleasure – a primer on email deletion, data destruction and hard drive erasing.
Fake women, fake privacy, real hack – that's the way my eulogy for Ashley Madison's IPO would start. Fake women, because the ratio of female names to male names in the hacked database dump is skewed extremely male. Fake privacy, because everyone now has access to Ashley Madison's private database. Real hack, because the hackers have actually ruined people's lives.
Remember the receptionist on the 15th floor who used to take excellent phone messages on those adorable pink pre-printed message pads? Her job predeceased yours by a few short Internet years.