Dmitry Yurchenko: Episode 7 (@dyurchenko)
The conversation opens with a discussion of the changes in the perception of entrepreneurship in Russia in recent years. Dmitry talks about the differences between how entrepreneurs are seen in contemporary Russia and here in Boston, having taken part in an exchange program between SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management and the MIT Sloan School of Management. He says that one major difference he has seen is the belief here in the US that any small startup might change the world.
Dmitry talks about the process of developing software in Russia, and the difficulty of creating buzz, with Chat Roulette as a contrasting example where a simple idea created by a young Russian programmer took off globally and created a runaway PR sensation. He also talks about the difference between the internet landscape between Russia and the US (For example, Google only owns 10% of the search market!)
Dmitry talks about the development of AdOffer, the inspiration, and the cooperative process that got it to where it is. He explains AdOffer’s simple, but effective model. He also discusses the effects of weaker intellectual property rights in Russia.
AdOffer is working in a new channel of internet advertising called offer advertisement. It is based on a CPA (cost-per-action) model, which allows advertisers to pay for readily defined end-user actions. For example, imagine you are playing the popular Facebook, iPhone, and Android game FarmVille, where you can buy virtual goods as part of the regular gameplay. As a typical player, you would probably balk at the idea of paying real money for a virtual item.
To ease the exchange AdOffer gives you opportunity to trade a real-world action (defined by the advertiser) for your coveted in-game item. These actions might include things like reading a product page, registering for a newsletter, or even ordering a pizza for delivery. These micro-exchanges prove valuable not only for the advertiser, but for the gamer who gets an item, and whose experience isn’t impinged upon. Advertisers get leads, brand engagement, or even sales purchased on an auction basis. Application developers get an easy platform to monetize their product. And gamers are rewarded with their in-game item at no cost to them.
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