#TBT – Car Commerical for FunTown Auto

If only every car dealership would try to sell cars like this…..


Selling Your Data Could Be the Next Source of Income

Between the NSA, Google, and advertisers in general, the amount of your data that you give away for free is astounding. Everyone seems to be mining your data nowadays, but why aren’t you getting paid for it. (Technically you sign away your “rights” to some of your data by signing any “Terms of Service” agreement”)

I’ve always envisioned a better way to locally store all information from your interaction on a computer, instead of making that data really only accessible to services (sometimes malicious). These services take your data to try to better understand you, or people in your demographic. But if they really want to know what sites I visit, what I click on, where I look on my screen, etc., you’d ultimately have to store that information locally. Then, you could go to an “exchange”, where advertisers, etc. “bid” on your data. For example, say they’re trying to better understand 25-year-old males. My information would come up, and they could pay me $XX to know everything I’ve clicked, visited, etc. in a certain time frame.

Well, that wait might be over to start selling that data of yours. Thanks to Datacoup ( With Datacoup, you essentially select which data you want to share (ranging from all types of social media to your checking account).  As I mentioned before, this data is worth millions, if not billions, of dollars to brands, advertisers, and data brokers. They’ll pay for access to the information that you care to share. Of course, what Datacoup is doing initially is strictly creating a better “marketplace” or “exchange” for this information. I think their next step should be some type of in-browser app that stores much of this data. Because today, if you think about it, these brands, advertisers, etc., can continue go through their traditional means of collecting your data (cookies, plug-ins, etc.). But until then, I think Datacoup has set a standard going forward for corporations to get to know more about a particular audience, instead of creating “back-doors” to access your data.

You could always “opt-out” of services that are usually inherent to programs, specifically your  web browser, by going here

Barring I don’t pick a perfect bracket and win  a $1 billion, this could be a nice second little income.

PS – This video of a guy who sold his data on Kickstarter, and makes some great points about selling your data and some metrics for context.

New Technologies Are Met With Fear and Wild Rumors

I continue to be amazed at the fear and sheer denial around new technologies. Crypto-currencies (like Bitcoin) seem to intentionally get bad press that only fosters a unified misunderstanding and hope for failure of said technology.

(Side note: Narrative Science does, from time to time, get bad press as well. People think our mission is to replace white-collar jobs, which isn’t the case. If anything, we’re taking the tedious and monotonous parts of their jobs out of the equation. That fear and bad press are things that I have to address on sales calls sometimes. Instead of attempting to understand how the technology can change their business, workflow, or operations, they let these preconceived notions blind their ability to make optimal decisions.)

Sorry, I digress. Back to why fear and rumors only inhibit progress/innovation.

Granted Bitcoin has seen a few rough patches of late, instilling fear in the masses, but I’m 99% sure it will work out in the long term. Over the next few years, some standard or regulation needs to be put in place. Just like standard protocols were eventually established for basic things like e-mails, HTML pages, and RSS feeds, there will be a protocol for every facet of Bitcoin. These standards will prevent Bitcoin exchanges to fail, lower mining costs, etc, etc. The biggest failure of the internet was it wasn’t invented with economics built into it. That’s another reason why payment companies have thrived (Paypal, Square), somehow inventing slightly more convenient ways to make payments anywhere, at anytime via the internet/e-mail. Then they charge ~2-3% of your transaction. Bitcoin is an apparent solution to make frictionless transactions, but the fear, rumors, and general misinformation push the masses away from embracing it. The longer the masses refuse to embrace it, the longer it will take to work out the kinks, and remove the initial bad taste in people’s mouths.

As the old startup saying goes,”It’s better to ask for forgiveness, than ask for permission.” In other words, regulation doesn’t keep up with advances in technology, unless technology forces regulation’s hand….

Wearable Technology – Google Glass and Beyond

Wearable technology is the new frontier for startups (3D printers was so last year). What was once in our pocket will now be in the clothes and accessories we wear. So what are some of the cutting edge wearable technologies out there? We’ll skip Google Glass, assuming you haven’t been under a rock for the last year, and explore the emerging world of wearable tech.

Do Jedi Mind Tricks

Thalmic Labs has introduce MYO, a wearable armband that you can program with just about anything with an API or standard control system (PS3 for example), and connect via a Bluetooth-like connection. I’m a huge nerd and already pre-ordered one. The ability control your the world around you with simple arm/finger movements is truly something out of Star Wars/Trek. It will also force me to learn how to program 🙂 . I recommend watching the video to see some of the endless possibilities.

Clothing Technology

The fashion world could be in for one of its biggest overhauls since the thong, or whatever. Fabrican is looking to be the leader in sprayable clothing. The crazy thing about this technology is it’s made out of all natural ingredients, and is washable.  It’s essentially going to be a carrier technology for carbon nanofibres and conductive materials. What does that mean? Well think of the UnderArmour commercial where the girl presses a button on her watch, and her full-body running suit changes colors. That’s the type of technology that we’re headed towards in the next five years.

A feel good wearable technology is the “hands-free” navigation system, so one can “feel their way around”. Right now its in beta, but you put in your destination in its GPS, and pulses will be sent to your body informing you when to turn, how hard to turn, etc. I think this could be a huge game changer for the blind population in America. Being able to “feel” their way around would give them a freedom they’ve probably never had before. We’d just need to update our maps systems to account for poles and more (not to be an asshole).

A few others worth mentioning here are: pockets that recharge your phone and smart socks (which have textile sensors, easily incorporable into Fabrican’s sprayable clothing)

The theme of wearable tech is connecting our movements to the digital world. This could mean two things, either we connect to devices like the MYO, or the device connects us to the outer world. The second viewpoint is an interesting one. Currently we’re collecting all this data to try and understand human actions: purchases, locations, etc. All of this data is being compiled to better understand the human. But what if we’re constantly connected to the cloud which is feeding us unlimited information but is also storing our movements? I believe this wearable tech will begin the creation of the “human cloud”. Essentially databasing all of our movements and getting one step closer truly understanding the human decision making process. All of which piggy-backs nicely off of Obama’s initiative to start funding research to truly understand the human brain and its thought processes.