Wednesday, 15 June 2016

What is the Value of Your Time?

Do you know what the value of your time is? Well, in reality, it's the value that you put on it. So what value have you put on your time? What will you sell it for? Do you need to rethink how you use your time, how you spend it?

The reality is that nothing in life is free, and there are three ways that you receive products and services. The first way is the traditional way, by exchanging money for products and services. Before the advent of the personal computer, that was typical. You received physical goods or visible services for real money. However, with the rise of the personal computer, and particularly the Internet age, an alternate business model has become prevalent. That is the growth of ad-supported services. They existed before the Internet, of course, and some companies were very profitable.

There are two ways that ads are delivered, however. One is delivered in such a way that it is ambient, like billboards. The banner ads, sponsored service labels, and so on are one way that services are paid for. For instance, Google puts paid results on their search site. A company might sponsor a Stampede breakfast. You see a billboard, or products shown in videos. These are relatively unobtrusive, and promote good will for the company, while also making you aware of the services and products they provide.

However, there is also a way in which you spend your time on the advertisements. These are roadblock advertisements. You cannot use the service without watching the ad, or dealing with it in some way. These are times when you are spending your time to receive some service. This is the way TV has operated for years, and it is also the way YouTube operates. Sure, it is obnoxious, but you don't have to pay for it, do you?

I would say that this mentality is wrong. You are paying for it, but you are paying for it in time rather than real money. Is that what your time is worth? The developer only gets a very small amount of money for a thirty second video clip, probably less than a penny in most cases. If you are doing things supported by thirty second videos, by the time you watch 30, a quarter of an hour has gone by, and the advertisers have probably paid out a few cents. Is that what your time is worth?

That is the difference between paid and free content. If you watch videos on Netflix, you will save a significant amount of time, but you will pay a few dollars per month. Is it worth it to you? Will you use the saved time to be productive? Will you use it to do more in life? Or would you end up doing nothing anyway? Whatever you choose, it's your life, and you can spend your time and money how you want, but you must choose to spend one or the other. Which will you choose?

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