RE: Someone please tell me why is worth $40 million in funding?

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From: Nicolas Popp (
Date: Thu May 04 2000 - 22:29:52 PDT


All I know is that if you have a large network of users and if you know
enough about them, some people are willing to pay you a lot of money in
order to be able to market to them.

The best example I know is NetZero, the free ISP. Look at the type of deals
they have been able to strike with GM


"Providing NetZero fulfills certain performance criteria, the base agreement
could represent $68 million in revenue to NetZero over the next four years,
with up to $8 million occurring in the first year of the contract."

Just 18 months ago, nobody was giving a chance to the free ISP concept...


-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Masnick
To: Nicolas Popp; 'FoRK@XeNT.CoM'
Cc: ' '
Sent: 5/4/00 7:16 PM
Subject: RE: Someone please tell me why is worth $40 million in

I'm familiar with PRIZM and other psychographic and geographic profiling
systems, and I don't consider that valuable data for "highly targetted"
promotions... In general they give you some idea of the people your
shooting at, but it's still a pretty weak crap shoot. Most of those
systems, on their own, are close to useless (though, this does depend on
what you're trying to sell or promote). When combined with other
of info they can help somewhat, but you're still taking a lot of
and you're going to be wrong many more times than you're right.

Valuable data has to be much much much more specific to the individual
you're targeting. The single data point (where you live) doesn't give
nearly enough info to do really targetted promotions. I've spoken with
people who do profiling and they'll admit how weak a lot of data is if
not specific to that person (i.e. exact buying patterns of *that*

Besides, if knowing our address was such a valuable piece of data,
Amazon be profitable by now? Hell, they know my address *and* what I
and yet their "highly targeted" promotions don't hit home very often.


At 05:10 PM 5/4/00 -0700, Nicolas Popp wrote:
>First, I am reasonably guessing here. I don't know the real specifics
>this company.
>I don't even know what kind of profiling info they require from you (I
>expect them to ask for specific demographic info as well). It is just a
>typical business model when you give things away.
>As far as "tell me where you live and I will tell you who you are", try
>and see for yourself...
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Mike Masnick []
>Sent: Thursday, May 04, 2000 4:56 PM
>To: Nicolas Popp; 'B.K. DeLong '; 'Adam Rifkin -4K '; 'FoRK@XeNT.CoM'
>Cc: ' '
>Subject: RE: Someone please tell me why is worth $40
>million in funding?
>At 12:38 AM 5/4/00 -0700, Nicolas Popp wrote:
>>They are getting your true personal identity in exchange for free
>>development (cannot lie to have your pictures sent to the right
>>That's very valuable info.
>Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see how that's particularly
>valuable. They find out your address. So what?
>>Once they have nailed your exact consumer profile, they can monetize
>>through highly targeted advertising...
>Okay, I can't tell if you're serious or joking with that sentence. We
>a rule at my company which is that we're not allowed to use "monetize".
>think it's one (of many) of the more overhyped terms that's used today
>doesn't really have a meaning. Any time anyone suggests that word, we
>down to see what they really mean, and use that explanation.
>doesn't mean anything - in fact, it often means "we'll figure it out
>which is just as good as saying "we won't do a damn thing with our
>As for the "highly targeted advertising" see my comments above... Do
>have any more info than your address (and possibly what you like to
>snapshots of)? That's not highly targetted.
> -Mike

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