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Today in The Platform: What Tim Armstrong learned from Patch

The Platform, the belief that there will be transformative local digital plays in the coming decades. Tim Armstrong’s one of the most successful advocates, having taken Patch to Aol when he was named CEO in July 2009 (dear reader, I was there, an intern verging on the drinking age). Here’s what Armstrong told Peter Kafka:

There’s a bunch of math behind it all; we studied it for two years before we launched Patch. How much an average person moves — we studied the individual towns, we studied the economy in an individual town — there’s some amazing statistics. There will be a super significant business in local in the future.

Armstrong acknowledged that a very small number of Patch properties thrived, and that the effort scaled too quickly (or not consistently enough, depending on how you interpret his comments).

Now Armstrong’s at Verizon/Oath, which recently began asking users to give them personal data for programmatic use in exchange for rebates.

Armstrong started in newspapers (started newspaper, in fact) and talks about getting into Mosaic and later search/keyword business model in the early days. Interesting interview for sure, makes me wish I was there in the early .com days ????.

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