We’ve seen it time and time again: An innovative new platform bursts on to the ad-tech scene, and the industry scrambles to react and adapt. And each time, we’re forced to ask ourselves the age-old question: Do we build our own; buy it from one of the few vendors that have made it available; or partner with one of those vendors?
Each option has its pros and cons. Building it means ownership, and as they say, ownership has its advantages. First and foremost, your data and algorithms – and the optimization “secret sauce” you can create with them – remain proprietary. There’s also the potential for improving on the other available products. But it also requires a significant investment of money and time, both of which are at a premium in this business. Buying it will certainly advance the clock, but it can also be expensive. Partnering will get you there the fastest, but it will also require sharing your secret sauce as well as the proceeds, which some players are loathe to do and others can ill afford.
Few verticals exemplify this discussion better than programmatic advertising – and more specifically, real-time bidding (RTB). It took the advertising world by storm a few years back and caught many industry leaders by surprise. Furthermore, while RTB began as an efficient way to trade in the kind of bargain-basement inventory that few salespeople would spend any significant time on, it just as quickly became the desired method of buying and selling premium ad space.
By the time the RTB revolution took hold, most companies on both the demand and supply side needed to get into the game yesterday. The only efficient ways to do that were to either buy an existing platform or partner with a provider. Building was out of the question.
Now, imagine if the option to build was suddenly worth considering – that the logistical and financial drawbacks of creating your own platform could be dramatically reduced, to the degree where buying and partnering were no longer the most viable options?
This is the kind of scenario that spurred The Rubicon Project to launch its own innovation lab, The Garage. Our mission is to anticipate the next big developments in our industry, and then craft solutions to overcome the obstacles that might prevent them from being utilized to their greatest potential.
Within the past year, developers at The Garage were charged with the mission of devising a simpler and more efficient way for entrepreneurs, brands and fellow developers to quickly build their own RTB platforms. We reasoned that such an innovation would spur an increase in the establishment of new DSPs and bidding applications, thereby accelerating the growth of the number of participants in the industry and, in turn, total ad spend.
The result is DSP Builder, which provides both advertising veterans and newcomers with the necessary infrastructure to create their own bidder in a matter of minutes. We believe this innovation will help unlock the full potential of RTB.
But past a certain point, talk is just talk. We invite you to see for yourself by joining our private beta. User experience and feedback are critical to creating and perfecting any revolutionary product, and your participation will help ensure that DSP Builder enters the market in its best possible iteration.
To learn more about DSP Builder and other innovative products coming out of The Garage, visit garage.rubiconproject.com.