The profit paradox

At Metro, it’s been suggested that we “monetize everything”.

The dev team happens to be very commercially minded. Most of the developers have started their own commercial venture. Plus, i have a degree in economics.

Clearly we need to monetize our product, but we shouldn’t monetize everything. Here’s why.

1. The most valuable company in the world is Apple. Their biggest commercial successes came from Steve Jobs, who put great products before profit…

My passion has been to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products. Everything else was secondary. Sure, it was great to make a profit, because that was what allowed you to make great products. But the products, not the profits, were the motivation

2. The Obliquity paradox is explained by top economist John Kay in his book of the same name – “the most profitable companies are not the most profit-oriented”

“At one time Boeing’s leaders would ‘eat, breathe, and sleep the world of aeronautics’.  The company created the 747 and its fortunes soared.  When in 1998 it shifted focus to shareholder return and return on investment the company, well, took a dive.”

3. Metro exists to publish great content, and this requires revenue.

If Metro exists to make profit… why did we choose news? Why didn’t we choose to be an IT recruiter or a property developer?

4. It’s about finding the right balance

Conclusion: the question is “what should we monetize”, not “how do we monetize everything”.

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