Data David vs. Data Goliath

Data is considered the new petroleum by many. And the data rush falls nothing short of the California Gold Rush of the 19th century or the various oil booms in the industrial age. It only takes a quick glance and the numbers, to understand: Big things are happening.
 
 In 1995 the accumulated market value of the 15 most significant data companies amounted to 16.75 billion US Dollars. Twenty years later the same figure has roughly 140 times that size: the market value has grown to a staggering 2.4 trillion US Dollars. The share of digital products is currently representing a sixth of all products and services offered worldwide — a market of an estimated 100 trillion Euros. That’s a “1” followed by no less than 14 zeros. And the market keeps growing fast.

At the top are known players like Amazon, Alibaba, Apple, Google and facebook. And names that are somewhat unknown by the general public. Like the Chinese data giants Tencent, Baidu, and JD.com. Powerful challengers emerge — widely loved ones like Netflix and controversial players like Uber.

They all got something in common. Their biggest value lies in the raw data they collect from far more than one billion connected devices and their sensors.

“In 2015, humanity produced, in a single minute, 200 million e-mails, 15 million SMS messages, 350,000 tweets, 250 gigabytes of data on Facebook and more than 1,740,000 gigabytes of digital information worldwide. Google processes daily more than 24 petabytes (i.e., 24 trillion bytes).“1

The strategies and the success of these data Goliaths all depend on how well they process the daily data flood. Most of them rely on one business model. And one business model only.

The user pays with his personal data trail for free services. The Goliaths collect unspeakable amounts of raw data. They then distill the “new petroleum” into social graphs that allow them to improve their services. And to help advertisers with targeting the “right people.” The advertisers, in turn, pay the Goliaths — and sell paid services and products to the users. Voíla! That’s all we got. The business cycle of the data economy.

Now, one could argue that the services are payment enough for the users. The argument that paying users for the raw material their devices produce has its apparent shortcomings. After all: if for example, facebook shared all its profits among all users you would end up with something between $3 and $5 a year per user. Enough for a Happy Meal at McDonald’s, we guess. And a fair price for service millions and millions of users enjoy daily.

If only if, there wouldn’t be the questions of power and transparency and social justice. Big data has apparently become a stake in the worldwide power game. The vast amounts of data collected by the data giants have created an oligopoly where all data power rests in very few hands. The users are left almost powerless. The oligopoly controls prices, systems, profits and the data stream.

Given the situation, it seems almost impossible for a data David like wysker to challenge the status quo. But the Davids got a few strength to offer. Many of them got their education by the giants. They know them inside out, they see the giant’s strength and weaknesses. The Davids act fast and agile. They don’t shy away from disruptive innovations and technologies. There is no big corporation with complicated processes that slow them down.

At wysker we try every day to use these strength to our advantage.

While wysker’s proposal is indeed disruptive — to say the least, wysker offers nothing less than a radical update of the data market. An e-commerce ecosystem that rewards users for data and product views, that requires consumer consent before advertisers can make an offer. A system that guarantees user privacy via smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. At the same time, wysker is offering a consenting target group with the highest levels of purchase intent to marketers. Skyrocketing every individual’s data value in the process.

In short: wysker creates a data market where everybody profits in a fair and equal manner. The “How we do it.” has been written about extensively in other articles in this channel. For now, we can safely conclude that wysker tackles a massive market with an extremely disruptive approach.

wysker’s success depends on users accepting our offer of rewards for data, privacy, and a unique shopping experience. And advertisers, retailers, and marketers recognizing the value of target groups that combine purchase intent and consent. We believe this offer is too good to be skipped — for everyone involved. We believe this idea has the power to change how data is dealt with on a global scale. We believe that the Goliaths have reason to listen up about the tiny stone in our data slingshot. 
 
 After all, wysker is ready to fire. The wysker App is finished and will launch in January 2018. The ICO is running. wysker is surpassing record numbers of future consumers joining the ICO. The wysker team got a chance. And everyone on the team is hell-bent to make it a success.

Sources:

1 Berthier, Therry; Kempf Olivier. “Towards a geopolitics of data.” Realities Indistrielles, 7. August. 2016, http://www.annales.org/ri/2016/Versions-anglaises/RI16dBerthierKempf.pdf