Big Personal

We live in the age of buzzwords. Cloud, Social, Big Data, Smart___(fill-in the blank) are buzzwords du jour.


For the sake of buzz, words are appropriated and meanings altered: friend, text, tweet, community, even 2012. Buzzwords enable everyone to be on the cutting-edge before it becomes passe. Today no one uses the term “e-business” but in the latter half of the 90s e-business was a buzzword that meant Web-enabling your business. Within a few years so many businesses were using the Web that e-business fell into disuse a victim of its own success. It became passe.

“Personal” is an emerging buzzword for complex categories like privacy and security. The issue of privacy has been hanging over our heads since the dawn of the World Wide Web but until now there wasn’t an economic reason to implement it. In the 90s even really smart people threw up their hands and said, “there’s no privacy on the internet, get over it!” Truth is they couldn’t figure out how to make money on it. Fast forward to now. There will soon be so much privacy on the internet it’ll be worth trillions of dollars in new business.

It’s always been an article of faith that more information about customers is good—especially personal information. Since there was no privacy on the Web it became the ultimate test bed. But there were vexing problems: how to get information about actual behavior as opposed to what people wrote in emails, blogs, and social networks. The technology is here now but by its nature alerts customers to the hidden economics of accurate personal information: actual usage, actual purchases, current location, imminent intentions. For personal information to become a market an arrangement is required that compensates people for giving businesses access to it.

Entrepreneurs are bringing Personal solutions to the cloud and billions of individuals will soon be empowered to capitalize on things known only to them. Personal technologies reinforce the belief that every one of us has unique value. Businesses that get personal can be more relevant, timely, and profitable. Personal is becoming Big.

But we can’t help wondering—are we all entrepreneurs now or are we just selling ourselves to the highest bidder?

For a tour de force through useless business jargon read this article in Forbes
“The Most Annoying, Pretentious, And Useless Business Jargon”

This piece in Technology Review lets you peek into the near future of Personal…
“A Dollar For Your Data”


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