What's it like to build for non-customers?

Amazon gemalto
Jun 30, 2018 8 Comments

Companies like Google or Facebook that build services free to use but supported by ads:

What's the culture like in these environments? As a regular person, I realize great value in products like Gmail, Keep, Facebook events, LinkedIn, etc etc. But I haven't clicked on an ad in decades. They're just never relevant. I've never downloaded adblocker because I don't even see ads. Growing up with the internet, my brain is trained in selective vision and automatically filters them out.

I know there's that saying that says if you're not paying for the service, then you are the product. I get that for something like LinkedIn which is just a recruiting database that costs money to access. But for others, they can't be making money off me unless they're selling my personal information. G/FB doesn't do that right? (Serious question)

I ask because for other companies (like Amazon) we build things for people who give us money directly. So the whole customer obsession thing makes a lot of sense. But if I get grumpy about the latest Gmail update, do I have a leg to stand on? I pay nothing for it. I'm a user, not a customer.

It's probably the same attitude regardless, but there have to be nuances. Right?

Thoughts?

comments

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TOP 8 Comments
  • Apple / Eng cho Chang
    G and fb certainly do sell ur personal data and info.
    Jun 30, 2018 3
    • Facebook / Creative
      Source?
      Jun 30, 2018
    • Square / Eng nom🍔
      G/FB would never sell personal data, much of their value is in having a monopoly on this data (though most value is actually in eyeballs)
      Jul 1, 2018
    • Google / Eng 🍑☁️
      Advertising companies sell use of the data, but not the data itself - if they sold the data, it would become worthless
      Jul 1, 2018
  • Microsoft / Product @zzz
    What's your question?
    Jun 30, 2018 1
    • Google techant
      It started out as a culture-fit probe, turned into introspection, and ended with a rant about consumers not having the right to complain about a free meal. 🙄
      Jul 1, 2018
  • Expedia Blinkey
    You still need customer traffic and they wouldn't visit your site unless it's satiates their requirements. So as always customer experience takes priority
    Jun 30, 2018 1
    • Google Mickey
      Yep. If your product isn't useful people won't be around to click on the ads.
      Jul 1, 2018