Saturday, August 10, 2019

Monetizing Like Minds - Section 05

Trust Makes a Lower Case

With the simple addition of a small “e” (eBusiness, eCommerce, eHealth, eInsurance...), behemoth consultancy groups like Arthur Anderson (rebranded as Accenture after being convicted in the Enron scandal), Price Waterhouse, Deloitte, Bain, and far too many others became eVisionaries peddling non-threatening homespun advice like, “don’t boil the ocean” and look for the “low hanging fruit”. They were the PR Army of the New Corporate Net. And this was their winning strategy.

Typical mid-00 New Millennium organizations of all types were drowning in paper. Computers bred databases that bred spreadsheets and directories on a never ending basis. Lotus Notes and Microsoft Office institutionalized verbose versioning as a standard CYA (Cover Your Ass) paper trail practice. The early Information Age was printed, copied, and distributed on dead trees. So, online electronic access to all this information had an immediate, measurable ROI with the added benefit of saving forests. In the cubicles of Corporate America, “pulp” was a fruit, hanging so low, it was already fermenting.

By 2005, the brave new world of eBusiness efficiency was firmly entrenched. Ads for free productivity tools popped up (literally) on computer screens everywhere while mobile phones, once ridiculed as “electronic leashes”, morphed into “smart” status symbols Surfing the Web from anywhere. Driven from both a consumer and patriotic national security standpoint, 24/7 “always on” website availability became an industry standard. The Net was open for business.
The fact that digital information, unlike oil, is also “non-rivalrous”, meaning that it can be copied and used by more than one person (or algorithm) at a time....means that data can easily be used for other purposes than those agreed. And it adds to the confusion about who owns data (in the case of an autonomous car, it could be the carmaker, the supplier of the sensors, the passenger and, in time, if self-driving cars become self-owning ones, the vehicle itself)...

... “A regulated national information market could allow personal information to be bought and sold, conferring on the seller the right to determine how much information is divulged,” Kenneth Laudon of New York University wrote in an influential article entitled “Markets and Privacy” in 1996. More recently, the WEF (World Economic Forum) proposed the concept of a data bank account. A person’s data, it suggested, should “reside in an account where it would be controlled, managed, exchanged and accounted for”.


The idea seems elegant, but neither a market nor data accounts have materialised yet...people give personal data away too readily in return for “free” services....After the dotcom bubble burst in the early 2000s, firms badly needed a way to make money. Gathering data for targeted advertising was the quickest fix.

Data is Giving Rise to a New Economy
The Economist - May 2017


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Section 04<<<>>>Section 06