As the exchange of personal data becomes a lynchpin of the modern business model, mobile operators are confronted with new challenges and opportunities. At frog, we’re working with mobile operators on the challenges and opportunities in a world where a richer personal data stream is opening unprecedented possibilities for creating value. This article explores the why behind the market’s development and how operators can use Leverage, Risk, Scale, and Tangibility to evaluate opportunities to create value from personal data.
Personal data is the root of the next-gen business model
Twenty years ago, nobody imagined creating revenue from personal data. But a number of factors—the rise of the Internet, globalization of workforces, heightened access to capital, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit—changed all that by opening the way to rapid social and technological growth. Enter Google, Facebook, Twitter, and a whole new era in the sharing and consumption of information (read: data). All of these business models were predicated on the notion that if you can create a service cheaply and then offer it for free to establish a large user base, value would follow. And it has, mostly in the form of personal data monetization.
Now, by the time you read this, a huge trail of data will have been generated. Nearly everything we do in our daily routes—from checking email to buying coffee or driving to work—leaves distinct trails of data exhaust that describe who we are, what we do, and how we spend our resources. Today, your morning coffee not only gives you a buzz but also generates a rich personal data stream that can be logged, tracked, shared, and monetized.
Earlier this year we were fortunate to have entrepreneur, blogger and product strategist Mike Mace drop by and host a brown-bag strategy discussion with some frogs. One of the topics we discussed was whether smart phones have changed the way we think about buying phones.
Most frogs and Mike were in agreement that we bought our first iPhones for its shiny look and joy of the beautiful touchscreen. However, there was good debate as to whether that still holds true -- or whether application ecosystems and services lock in second and third generation buyers, making them less likely to switch. Put another way, when you pick Apple/iOS or Google/Android, are you likely to remain a happy prisoner to your ecosystem or are you just as likely to switch when the new shiny device comes along?