Age of Awareness
Published in

Age of Awareness

The One Fact That Convinced Me Big Tech Needed to Change.

The team and I have recently begun taking a peek behind the curtain of big tech. The wizardry with which they use our data to develop products, equip marketers, and “personalize” our digital experience is truly astonishing. However even as I draft this in Google Docs, I can’t help but dwell a moment on the juxtaposition within that statement: use “our data” to satisfy “fill-in-the-blank” business objective.

Once we began to think of it in these simple terms, product development or personalization no longer carried the magnanimity it did when Google Maps shaved off 10 minutes from my last trip by avoiding a traffic jam. It started to feel more like any other business: there are inputs and outputs, and the balance is entirely owned by stakeholders.

Until the 90s, this formula could become incredibly complex, with business units nested in corporations further nested within holding companies, but it was rarely if ever unclear. With some investigation, one could ultimately define all/most of a company’s inputs and outputs. At present, the world’s largest companies can’t be defined along these clear terms. That’s because there’s growing consensus that we actually are the inputs.

For me, this really hit home when I read the following in the NY Times in a March 6, 2018 article by Eduardo Porter: “In the largest technology companies, the share of income going to labor is only about 5 to 15 percent, Mr. Posner and Mr. Weyl write. That’s way below Walmart’s 80 percent.”

This immediately awoke the armchair economist in me. There are literally millions of people around the world struggling to put food on the table, that ironically eke out a meager existence with the daily help of Facebook and Google. If they are in fact a production input, how could their lives be changed if even a small portion of the imbalance highlighted in Porter’s article was aligned?

In 2018, Facebook generated $56B USD and took home $22B USD to its shareholders. In the same year, Alphabet (Google’s parent nesting doll) generated $136B USD in revenue and brought home $36B USD to its shareholders. On the other hand, General Motors generated $147B USD taking home only $8B USD for its shareholders.

If GM didn’t have to pay for the steel and aluminum it needs to build its product, would their income statement look more like Facebook’s? As a society, we’d never abide GM taking the steel it needs to operate and not paying for it.

As with anything, there’s a balance lying hidden in here somewhere: an albeit theoretical point of homeostasis where big tech can still develop big innovation, but provide a fair wage to all those that serve as inputs to that vital process, whether they have a matching big tech business card or not.

It’s this very point that our team is searching for. We’re using the innovations brought about by Distributed Ledger Technology to develop the world’s first online economy where the constituents own their data and decide who gets to use it and at what cost. We have strategies that will enable us to still deliver cutting edge features, like AI-assisted shopping and healthcare, without having to blur the lines of what, or who, is an input to production. The best part? We’re doing it for pets.

Pawtocol helps pet owners collect and manage data about their pets collected from several different sources including IOT devices, vets and more. Users on the platform will always maintain control over the data about their pets.

You may agree or disagree with the foregoing, but we’ve not even begun to consider the more challenging aspect of the problem: if we believe data creators are inputs that must be compensated, then the tougher nut to crack is how much should they be compensated?

We’re looking for smart people and big ideas that can help us answer that very question. What do you think?

Learn more about Pawtocol:

Website White Paper Facebook Twitter Reddit Telegram YouTube

Our App Will Change The Entire Pet Industry

--

--

--

Stories providing creative, innovative, and sustainable changes to the ways we learn | Tune in at aoapodcast.com | Connecting 500k+ monthly readers with 1,200+ authors

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Pawtocol

Pawtocol

More from Medium

How to Become a Better Communicator through email

5 Actually Useful Spring Cleaning Tips

Living Agile Scrum and Motivation

Earth Overshoot Day — what is it and how can we #movethedate?