Well, after all the debate we had about Wikipedia throwing away $100M a year from advertising it seems that the foundation was able to raise over $1M in a couple of weeks with their latest fund raising. Congrats to the foundation on that amazing efforts, but I still think they should put up Google Adsense and bring in $100M a year to change the world (even more).
Firefox made ~$50M thanks to their advertising efforts in 2005, and as Mitchell points out they have reached sustainability–something wikipedia has not yet done. Wikipedia is safe, but it’s not sustainable like Mozzila/Firefox now is. Mozilla now has an endowment and can life off interest forever.
My guess is Firefox will have made $70M in 2006–at least. In 2007 you might see that number break $100M. Wikipedia’s advertising effort would be bigger and more effective than Firefox’s from what i can tell.
Wikipedia has left nine figures of revenue on the table in 2006, and will leave 100M+ on the table in 2007. That’s $250M that could create the largest Internet endowment in the history of the world. Imagine what the foundation could do with $250M. You could give away millions of OLPC laptops for example!!!
$1M vs. $100M this past year. For me, it’s sad… but I respect people’s right to vote against advertising–in fact, my proposal is to put on ads and let folks turn them off with one click forever. In other words, give people a choice. Some of the hardcore free-culture folks, of course, don’t want to let folks decide for themselves. Very closed minded/over bearing in my mind. Let people chose like Firefox does (i.e. you can change the default search engine feature).
Here is the life tracker from Wikipedia…