Should we Pay for Clicks?

by Achim Haug

At AirGradient we are on a mission to bring accurate and more affordable air quality monitoring to as many people as possible. For us, impact goes before profit and this is why our monitors are Open Hardware under CC-BY-SA. So everybody can build them and are not dependent on purchasing them from us.

I would love to have a much bigger impact with AirGradient and have many more monitors on the ground that help people protect themselves and contribute to air pollution and climate change research. Reaching a wider audience is really important to us, so I decided to contact a few experts to see what they thought. A marketing expert who supports NGOs in outreach recommended that we should do paid advertising on Google. However, I would much rather donate monitors to underprivileged people than pay for clicks. In another meeting, a very successful seller on Amazon recommended we should be on Amazon. But does a selling platform like Amazon really reflect the values that we as AirGradient want to stand for? Maybe, maybe not.

I feel that many people trust and support us because we try to do the right thing and stay authentic to the core. Would participation in large advertising and selling platforms endanger that trust from our community? Or do we need to do this in order to grow and spread our authentic message?

Is it still possible for a small open hardware manufacturer to be globally successful without being dependent on these large platforms?

I don’t have answers right now but this is why we are setting up a focus group with as many people as possible. If you are interested to participate please let us know.

Also, if you believe in our mission and want to help in getting the word out about what we are doing, you can support us in the following ways:

  • If you have your own website or blog, write about us or do a review of one of our monitors. I am happy to be available for questions/interviews/quotes or even send you a free review unit.
  • Tell your friends, colleagues about us and share our open monitor designs. Encourage them to know more about the air they breathe.
  • If you know journalists, youTubers or bloggers that share our ethos and would be interested in covering us, please let them know we exist :)
  • Actively participate in our focus group, forum or as an open-source contributor.

Many thanks for your support!

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