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Would you consider a job at a start-up?

Startup-ideas

As a graduate business student, there are broadly speaking three options when looking for a job. You can start working at (1) a multinational company, (2) at a SME or (3) become an entrepreneur / start working at a start-up company. According to the RSM faculty, RSM graduates are more or less evenly distributed among these three options. However, when I speak to fellow students and look at the career events organized at the university, I sometimes wonder how many of us are really considering a job at a start-up, or would be interested in starting their own start-up from the beginning. The companies that participate in the events organized at the university are mainly the big multinational companies, which is kind of logical considering their big recruitment budgets. Starting your career at such a company can have many advantages, as it can be good for your future career, working conditions are good  and such a job brings little uncertainty. You might wonder, why start working at a start-up company then?

The Netherlands has everything a start-up needs

To begin with, you are in the right spot. The Netherlands might not be Silicon Valley, but it does have a lot of ingredients to become a mature technology start-up ecosystem.

The Netherlands has got a good combination of technical and business schools with RSM and TU Delft, but also with TU Eindhoven and Tilburg University. With Neelie Kroes as a supporter of start-ups, the government can be seen as supportive. There is space to physically expand growth companies. Furthermore there is a good mix of accelerators, angels and VC’s that are willing to invest. Dutch start-up Adyen recently received a huge investment and is now being valued around $2.3 billion. The only ingredient that might be missing is you: a critical mass of people that want (and are able) to start their own company.

The personal benefits

With the right environment, the opportunity is here. Still the question remains; why work for – or start a start-up company? Working at a start-up brings multiple personal benefits. First, start-ups are the new sexy. Explaining at a drink that you started your own company in the tech business is simply more interesting than you talking about being the master of the universe because you are a king in making Excel-calculations. Just as IT loses its dusty image, start-ups are becoming more broadly accepted and recognized as good learning schools. Second, start-ups will give you a lot of responsibility – which you will certainly not be getting at a multinational start job. You will be able to call the shots and meet with interesting people. Finally, if you make it, you can make it big. Leading companies such as Google, Facebook and Airbnb didn’t exist 20 years ago and all started small. There are plenty of Dutch start-ups that are making or have made a name for them self as well such as Adyen, Booking.com, WeTransfer and 22tracks.

There are probably more benefits to come up with, and on the other side there are of course downsides as well. Yes, working at a start-up brings more risk. If the start-up fails you are unemployed. You probably won’t get a car from your employer; the salary and secondary working conditions are way worse. But the potential upside and the personal benefits on the other side can cover for this. Besides; the disadvantages aren’t that bad at this moment in your life. As a student you are used to not having too much money around, not having a car and you probably don’t have kids yet to take care of.

In the end I think there should be a personal fit. If you are a creative, risk-seeking person, starting your career at a start-up might be the best option. If you like routine and want to work in a structured professional environment, starting your career at a multinational might be your best option. As a BIM student, would you consider working at a start-up?

Sources:

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Are you using an ad blocker?

Of course you are, and so am I. Online ads are on the rise and can be very annoying. Thankfully, ad blockers easily allow you to block advertisements and increase the speed of browsing. But did you ever wonder what the consequences of using ad blockers are? And what about the latest developments in this industry? This 3-minute read will get you up-to-date.

The online advertising industry

Online advertising is one of the few industries that can bend on growth rates between 15-20% each year. In the past 10 years, internet advertising has seen a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 17%. Mobile internet advertising even shows a CAGR of 110% over the past 5 years.

press-release-6-11-152Graph 1: Revenues of online advertising for Q1 from 1996-2015.

The rise of ad blockers

With the rise of online advertisements, there has been a rise in the adaptation of ad blockers as well, especially in the last few years. A recent report from Adobe shows that globally around 200 million people are currently making use of ad blockers, a growth of 41% in comparison to 2014.

adblock graph

Graph 2: Global monthly active users that have an ad blocker

As we speak, ad blockers are mostly used on non-mobile devices. However, Apple’s newest iOS 9, which runs on iPad and iPhone, might change this trend. The new software update of Apple makes it possible to use ad blockers on both iPhones and iPads. Mobile ads seemed to be the future of advertising, but might stagnate due to this development.

Companies are missing money – a LOT of money

There are a lot of companies and content creators who are dependant of online ad revenues. Ad blockers are bad news for them. Some websites, among which Wired.com, kindly request you to whitelist their page, in order to keep their websites running. But how big is this ad-blocking problem for these companies? According to the report of Abobe and PageFair, $22 billion(!) of ad revenue is lost due to ad blockers this year. If the increasing adaptation rate of ad blockers continues as it did in the past few years, the results for content creators and companies can be devastating – and might affect the average internet user as well.

What will the future bring us?

A decrease in ad revenues might result in less content on the web, as ad revenues won’t always enable people and companies to cover their expenses. The entry barrier to create and share quality content might rise, as revenues derived from this content will get more uncertain. A second consequence might be that there will be more places where you will need to pay to access content. Personally I can see the upside of this second consequence, as it makes us, as internet users, more picky in what and how much content we consume.

Seen from a business perspective, the increase in the usage of ad blockers might lead to a change of business model for a lot of companies; they cannot just simply rely on ad revenues anymore. In the future we might see websites with a Spotify-type of business model: view content for free if you are willing to accept ads (whitelist a website if you are using an ad blocker), or pay a subscription fee if you want ad free content.

Studies and examples such as Spotify Premium have shown that users are willing to pay for an ad-free web-environment. Would you be willing to pay, or would you rather see ads in return for free content?

Sources:

http://www.iab.net/media/file/IAB_Internet_Advertising_Revenue_FY_2014.pdf

http://blog.pagefair.com/2015/ad-blocking-report/

http://blogs.wsj.com/cmo/2015/09/16/apple-software-update-brings-ad-blockers-along-with-apple-news-sponsors/

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/07/20/424630545/with-ad-blocking-use-on-the-rise-what-happens-to-online-publishers

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/10/study-of-ad-blocking-software-suggests-wide-use/