September 05, 2013

I Just Want The Data

A while back, I'm meeting with the CEO of a startup. We're talking about his product. And he said something so opposite of what I expected that it literally took me a year to digest the comment.
  • "I don't care about the product, Kevin. I only care about what I can do with the data that the product creates."
At the time, I thought to myself, "well, wouldn't a great product create more/better data?"

But ever since the Great Recession, we elected to prioritize data over merchandise/product. A generation of experts believe strongly in the power of data. This is what the whole omnichannel movement is about - use data to provide the same homogenized experience across the board. Go a step further, and you have BIG DATA, which was really popular until ordinary folks realized that you can link phone numbers and social media data together to paint an accurate picture of individual activities ... then it wasn't so popular!

Here's the thing, folks. Maybe you just want the data. But you can't have the data unless you have something that creates data.

You need merchandise. Or product. Or software. Or something.

Maybe it's time to focus on the vehicle that creates the data, and give that priority?