Meebo's Sternberg: The "Widget Economy" Was a Big, Fat Lie (TCTV)

“Meebo did widgets super early. Guess what we learned? Don’t build stuff that sits in a box.”

Better than a box? A bar. No, not one with hotties and booze– a toolbar.

In part two of our interview with Meebo’s co-founder and CEO Seth Sternberg, we talk about the value of reach online– given the gargantuan reach companies can get on platforms like Facebook in no time. Like a diamond, if everyone can get it, it’s no longer as valuable. Sternberg pokes a big hole into one of the hottest storylines of the early Web 2.0 days– that you could build a big business off of widgets.

Reach only matters if you can make money off of it. To that end, Sternberg gives some sexy revenue details: Meebo ads boast 1% click-rates (compared to .1% for the industry) and on average people watch the ad for sixty seconds.

Wait. Really? That sounds a lot like that hackneyed claim that people love advertising as long as it’s well done. I asked Sternberg who on earth is sitting around watching these ads while the rest of us ignore banners and groan at floating ads. (CC: AOL)

The key, he says, is advertising to people not at the moment when they want something else, but when they have a moment of boredom. Yep. Pre-rolls suck as badly as widgets.

Video below.