Tuesday, July 24, 2012

YouTube vs. Revver

When rewards become the main driver of behavior, intrinsic motivation diminishes and  people game the system

Both Revver and YouTube paid for views. Why did YouTube win? The difference is that pay became the main motive for uploading videos to Revver.

“Revver was founded in 2004. Revver briefly was home to the videos of the pioneering web series lonelygirl15, and was one of the first sites to share ad revenue with its uploaders. However, the site’s approach to paying any uploader with enough views quickly led to lots of uploaders gaming the site, causing the overall quality of the videos to deteriorate. Revver changed hands for $5 million in 2008. A number of content creators left the site after the acquisition because it allegedly failed to make due on payments. Revver’s website finally went offline some time in 2011.”

On the other hand, YouTube only recently began paying for views. The company only pays those that have thousands of subscribers and apply to be a YouTube partner. In other words, pay is only used to financially support those that want to make a profession out of posting videos. YouTube does not pay "hobbyist" video posters because intrinsic motivation to post videos is more motivating in the long term, cheaper than a pay-for-post model, and superior at maintaining higher video-quality standards.

(quote from: http://gigaom.com/video/whatever-happened-to-the-youtube-killers/)

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How Will You Measure Your Life?

I recently read this article by Clayton Christiansen out of Harvard entitled, “How will you measure your life?” It is what he tells his students on the final day of his class.

One of the items that he mentions sticks out to me. It reads as follows:

“One of the theories, . . . . . how to be sure we find happiness in our careers—is from Frederick Herzberg, who asserts that the powerful motivator in our lives isn’t money; it’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for achievements. I tell the students about a vision of sorts I had while I was running the company I founded before becoming an academic. In my mind’s eye I saw one of my managers leave for work one morning with a relatively strong level of self-esteem. Then I pictured her driving home to her family 10 hours later, feeling unappreciated, frustrated, underutilized, and demeaned. I imagined how profoundly her lowered self-esteem affected the way she interacted with her children. The vision in my mind then fast-forwarded to another day, when she drove home with greater self-esteem—feeling that she had learned a lot, been recognized for achieving valuable things, and played a significant role in the success of some important initiatives. I then imagined how positively that affected her as a spouse and a parent. My conclusion: Management is the most noble of professions if it’s practiced well. No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement, and contribute to the success of a team. More and more [people think] that a career in business means buying, selling, and investing in companies. That’s unfortunate. Doing deals doesn’t yield the deep rewards that come from building up people."

I’m sure you can see why it sticks out.