Radio Waves Don’t Build Castles — DeCypher DataLabs

Leith Akkawi
Oct 24, 2019 · 3 min read

In our modern days, paying customers subscribe to real-world services and virtual-world services.

Real world services include necessities such as your rent or mortgage, home utilities, car and/or student loans, food and water, and clothes and shoes.

In the past decade, a virtual world of services has been introduced by the advancements of smart phones and other technologies such as big data, cloud computing and algorithms.

The virtual world is a daydream of “likes” and “clicks” on social networking websites, dating applications, video and music streaming platforms, and e-commerce and delivery services.

The reason this virtual world is a topic of concern is because it is nothing but radio waves — bits and bytes of zeros and ones with unclear promised value.

The companies that created this virtual world, and continue to move it forward today, have been invented no more than 15 years ago. Humanity had survived for billions of years without the likes and clicks.

At some point not too long ago, these pre-revenue startups were selling the promise that digital screens will soon be a wonder-world for marketers and ad agencies — an opportunity to present custom tailored ads to every person.

Yes, these startups fulfilled their promises to marketers and ad agencies! Yet this uncovers something very important about the reality of doing business in the 21st century.

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, the first thing you will hear from your friends, family, teachers, advisors, and investors is the following: “Who is your paying customer?”

The answer to that question could be individual users, or entities in the non-profit, for-profit, and government sectors.

If your customer is going to be an individual user, then you need one million users subscribing for a dollar to make a million dollars.

That individual-user market has been saturated in the past 15 years with all kinds of platforms and digital applications. Even if you have a novel idea, you’re going to need a ton of funding to create a brand name and reach a million subscribers.

Therefore, you are going to need to choose one or more of the three sectors of non-profit, for-profit, and government sectors to provide services or products to.

Let’s assume for a moment here that you give it a try and actually develop a product or service for for-profit companies.

Hopefully, hopefully very quickly, you will realize that most of the available and immediate budgets to spend on your product and service are available within the “marketing” department of your future customer.

With this specific insight — that budgets are available within the “marketing” departments — we can for once understand, why tech startups are focusing on creating virtual worlds personalized for every individual for digital ads.

This is a broken promise to the entrepreneurial ecosystem!

Why try anything else if you know you will not have a paying customer…

What incentive is there for a tech startup to create platforms that serve the educational, healthcare, and smart governance industries that are much lagging due to budgetary concerns?

There is no investor that would invest a dollar in a tech startup, if that investor does not understand how their return on investment is guaranteed in the near and long-term future.

The investors must see growth in user statistics!

To develop quality educational platforms, breakthroughs in healthcare, and better smart governance, tech startups need solid investors invested over a few years.

The future of our generation and the next is dependent on better educational content, the advancements in healthcare, and job creation, as well as digital ads budgets!

This is a call to action for us to find alternative sources of funding other than digital ads budgets to solve for better educational content, advancements in health care, and job creation initiatives.

Originally published at on October 24, 2019.

Leith Akkawi

Written by

Founder & CEO at DeCypher DataLabs LLC

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