When Apple released its mapping application for iOS it confirmed what many big data evangalists had been preaching, Data Trumps Everything.(eventually)
Best design, worthless without data.
Sophisticated Software, worthless without data.
While Apple won the first round in the mobile platform wars using world class design and excellent user experience, they have shown the gap in their strategy, their Achilles heal. The rapidly approaching next generations of personal computing will be built on a foundation Hardware and software differentiated with DATA.
This reality was made even more visible at the Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit, during a Keynote interview of Michael Abbott, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Mr. Abbott expressed concern about the walled gardens of data (read Google, twitter, Facebook) becoming significant barriers to competition and innovation.
Michael Abbot is exactly right. The next innovations, as we move to a cognitive economy, will require access to data, massive amounts of data. Scale and access will become huge advantages and barriers. Start-up organizations will be hard pressed to innovate without having access to these sources of data. While some innovative companies will be able to create ways to collect and build their own reservoirs of data, others will have to partner to gain access. But the bottom line is excellent hardware and software are table stakes in the cognitive economy, but data will be the coin of the realm.
In the case of Apple Maps, it is hard to believe Apple would ever catch Google. Google has long held an advantage with search and it’s velocity of innovation and improvement are difficult to match. Apple would have to exceed the rate at which Google is innovating and collecting data. With the ever increasing population of google powered devices it doesn’t look good for Apple.
Steve Yegge over in his Google+ feed has a post I just found about his experience presenting to Jeff Bezos. His description of the experience and his approach was great. The entire post is interesting but my favorite part is the second to last paragraph.
You have to understand: most people were scared around Bezos because they were waaaay too worried about trying to keep their jobs. People in high-level positions sometimes have a little too much personal self-esteem invested in their success. Can you imagine how annoying it must be for him to be around timid people all day long? But me — well, I thought I was going to get fired every single day. So fuck timid. Might as well aim high and go out in a ball of flame.
We all have seen the timid presentation, that’s why I like the last lines so very much (my emphasis added). Read the whole post you will enjoy it.
Kevin Rose interviews Chris Sacca of lower case capital and Chris gives a great interview. I recommend you watch the whole thing. But, to hear the best explanation of how advertising has evolved and why services like Twitter, Foursquare and Square are so valuable. The explanation starts at 34 Min.
If you like this interview you might also like Chris Sacca on This Week in Start-ups
I have long explained to people the value of the data corporations collect. I have seen first hand the value of large pools of correlated, linked, behavior generated data and as Tim O’Reilly points out in his post so does Google.
My favorite definition of Cognitive** is:
Having a basis in or reducible to empirical factual knowledge.
The key part of the definition as it relates to Tim’s post and Google is “Having a Basis in or reducible to” . I also like “empirical”. Cognition requires data and lots of it. Algorithms are secondary to the data for without the data there is nothing.
Google is just a stalking horse for the coming cognitive economy, there are many other players less public and less chic that are working to exploit the coming opportunities.
**”cognitive.” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. Answers.com 18 Dec. 2007. http://www.answers.com/topic/cognitive
Google releases Google Maps for Symbian Devices. Just more Fuel for my earlier post about the ideal combination of Nokia and Google. It is probably my wishful thinking but it has a great deal of potential.
Here are two Twitter bots I would love to see:
- Google search history bot posts at random my search queries every hour or so.
- FedEx tracking bot send it the tracking number and it twitters the location of your package.
This in my experience is a very accurate description of Silicon Valley via The New York Times:
Mr. Hettig, the estate planning lawyer, sums it up for many: “We’re in such a rarefied environment,” he said, “people here lose perspective on what the rest of the world looks like.”