Can you be too transparent?
I don’t think so, but I never went to Harvard or had $1 billion to manage around an algorithm. Google $goog can’t be transparent with their algorithms and had to pull out of China because of it (maybe).
I have been thinking about one of my rants on the financial industry that ‘Transparency is the NEW Alpha’.
You could say the same thing about many industries. Advertising comes to mind. I will come back to that.
Alpha has been the buzzword in the hedge fund industry for a long time. Felix Salmon, always grumpy, had a good post way back in 2006 on the subject of ‘Alpha’ and ‘Beta’. If Al Pacino were making good movies today he would star in ‘AND ‘ALPHA’ for All’:
I am in the camp that Transparency can be your ‘Alpha’. The market will do what the market will do so my ‘Alpha’ (secret sauce) is just being available and not too confusing.
Back to advertising…
As an entrepreneur in the web space, advertising sickens me. It is beyond confusing. While the technology was supposed to simplify things, this idiot would argue otherwise. Of course there are good people, businesses and technologies, but beyond adsense and keyword bidding, little makes common sense. It feels like everyone in media, content and advertising is scared of the real numbers. Furthermore, I don’t think people know what to truly measure. Other than the financial space, there seems to be no bigger industry with a ‘moat’ around the truth, than advertising.
I am hoping that will change. I think transparency is an edge in 2010 and beyond to bring that change.
We need a transparency bubble in advertising and finance and we will get it.