Find a Simple Way to Tell a Complex Story (and another video!)

April 8th, 2008   |   by Frank Addante

Check out this video and then read the rest of this post:

I talk about simplicity all the time. In general, I think a lot of companies focus too much on “how” they do things instead of “what” they do. It’s an easy trap to fall in, particularly in startup companies that are so product focused. We get so hung up in the product and the technology and forget to describe to people why they should use it in the first place.

As an example, at the Rubicon Project, we are forging new territory. Along with this comes a very complex story to tell. We constantly struggle with trying to find simple ways to tell the complex story of how online advertising has evolved over the past 10 years.

Most people understand that the online ad market has grown significantly (to $27Bn in 2008). But most do not recognize how the landscape has changed and how it affects the challenges websites face when trying to monetize their ad space. I could tell you about the very complex technology that heavily leverages data and smart algorithms to solve this problem and all the C++, JavaScript, AJAX, blah blah blah that comes with it. And, I could talk your ear off about the 10+ billion ads that we’ve optimized for over 750+ websites across 62+ top ad networks and the mounds of valuable market data that we’ve collected as a result. But, none of that matters to you unless I can convince you “why” we need to exist in the first place and tell how this could help you achieve your business goals.

Today, we launched a number of tools for the online advertising industry. They range from simple and entertaining to in-depth and detailed. They are all geared around further educating the market:

  1. Video (above): the Rubicon Project presents: In search of online advertising’s Golden Egg (an entertaining and educational video on the changes in the online ad space)
  2. Market Report: 2008 Online Advertising Market Report – Q1 Ad Network Landscape, Trends and Outlook (a very detailed report based on our analysis of billions of ads delivered between ad networks and website publishers) [click here to download a copy]
  3. Ad Space Certification program: our first move toward creating an industry standard to ensure the safety, accuracy and trust for ad networks (and their advertisers) when placing ads on website [see Press Release]
  4. New Website: our business is technology and data driven, we redesigned our website to illustrate this by providing real-time data and access [check out the new site and our new Ad Space Finder]

There is a lot of deep, complex information behind each of these. So, to keep things simple, we thought it would be best to produce a video with a fun, simple story to describe what we do. I have embedded it in this post here:

Bottom line: you need to find a balance between sharing the complex information (e.g. our Market Report) with a simple way to tell your story (e.g. our Golden Egg video above)

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