By now you may very well have heard the phrase ‘data is the new oil’. Therefore, if this analogy is in fact true, which it most certainly is, then how can you begin ‘drilling’ for yours? In this blog post I will tell you exactly how.
As of the close of the market today, the world’s three most valuable companies are Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet (Google’s parent company). Each one of these three organizations hold a market capitalization (value) of over 1 Trillion dollars. Yup, over a trillion (not million, not billion… trillion). What is the obvious similarity you immediately see across all three of them? That’s right, they are ALL technology companies. Technology companies which in one shape or form each hold the identities of over 1 Billion people. Apple has the Apple ID which is signed into your iPhone/Mac at all times, Microsoft has the Microsoft Account which you use to sign in to your Windows operating system and Google has the Google Account which you use to sign in to Gmail. That my friends is where the true value lies. Not in complex software, or software that is perceived to be complex. The value is simply in your digital identity and how you use it.
Data Is the New Oil. Analytics is the Refinery and Intelligence is the Gasoline Which Drives Growth
The Fabulous Five
I’ll take it one step further and introduce you to who I like to refer to as the ‘Fabulous Five’:
Yes, the five fabulous technology companies of all time. As you can imagine, Facebook and Amazon are not too far off in relation to their overall value. Amazon currently stands at 925 billion dollars and Facebook currently at 635 billion dollars.
As of late, the majority of chatter you hear in the media related to data privacy is typically associated with Facebook. At 2.4 billion users, Facebook is not only the world’s largest social network, but more importantly it’s the world’s largest identity provider. Actually, let’s take the time to define an identity provider. Without getting too technical, an identity provider is a platform which allows you to authenticate (verify) your identity in the form of a username and password to login to third party apps. For example, whenever you’ve seen the ‘Login with Facebook’ button across the internet, you’ve seen the identity provider side of the house in action. When you use an identity provider, you typically authorize the third party application to receive your:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Email Address
That third party app can now begin to use that small amount of data you’ve authorized to them to serve as your identity in their ecosystem of applications. Overtime it also makes sense for them to keep track of your actions, views, purchases, etc. This becomes your digital footprint to them. This will allow them to personalize your experience and virtually serve you as best possible. In addition they will also eventually be able to use technologies such as Artificial Intelligence to make informed predictions on what you’re going to do next, before you yourself even think to do it.
How About You?
All of this is very important as it relates to our ‘drilling for oil’ discussion. As you may have already guessed, the Fabulous Five are not only the some of the world’s richest companies, but they are ALL also the world’s largest identity providers. Therefore if they hold all of the user data (the oil), third party apps can request that user data (aka the right to drill), then where does that leave you ‘the individual’? You got it, NOWHERE.
They leave you with the concepts of allowing people to Follow or Like your brand or business. Concepts which are driven by algorithms that are designed to minimize your brand’s visibility unless you’re using paid ads which is how THEY get paid. Are you getting the picture yet? THEY DON’T ALLOW YOU TO HAVE THE DATA BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE ALL THE VALUE IS MY PEOPLE!
Time to Start Your Drilling!
So how can you get a piece of the pie? How you can have your own oil drill? I too was presented with these two questions a few years back and decided to do something about it. I initially began by creating a solution where I could obtain the user data of people who were interested in a number of my own personal business endeavors. As I continued on, this solution grew into a platform that could be used by the masses. I created the platform Modern Appz and the first of many services, Subscriber. Subscriber is not just a tool that allows people to subscribe with your brand or business. Subscriber gives you the full user data that is being withheld from you (First Name, Last Name, Email Address, Picture and more). No more being cheated by Follows and Page Likes. It’s time to start drilling and filling up your oil well!