You’re the product, but when you’re sold, it’s only a lucky few who get rich. The Data Factory – How Your Free Labor Lets Tech Giants Grow The Wealth Gap article tells that technology lets big companies distribute tools that turn us into volunteers who contribute our time and data while they profit. It wasn’t always like this. To earn a profit, companies used to have to do the dirty work themselves.
But technology changed all that, as former journalist and legendary investor Moritz explains. “Data factories” have spawned a golden age for entrepreneurs but make it tough for everyone else. Check out the full video of his Disrupt keynote presentation here:
The data factories get free labor. They distribute what seem like useful services to the world, things like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Etsy, or Kickstarter. Those services help people share, connect, find jobs, sell their own goods, or fund a project. But in actuality, they also collect troves of data and earn tons of money for the tech giants without forcing them to do much work.
During the presentation, Moritz named several building blocks of the data factories: huge expansion of bandwidth, increased storage capacity, growth of computational power, app expansion, massive reduction of cost of tools and a new generation of free tools.
Those same tools and platforms have also given way to a “personal revolution” that’s delivered unprecedented productivity and reach to small businesses and entrepreneurs. You don’t need nearly as much money to start a business anymore.