Data overtakes oil as the world’s most valuable resource

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Data is the new black – an interesting thought for the week.

For the 20th century, oil was the most lucrative industry in the world spawning billionaires, creating wealthy nations from sand, and keeping antitrust regulators on their game. After fleetingly handing the mantle over to telecommunications, a handful of tech giants are now controlling the world’s data, and the eyebrows of regulators.

According to this article in the Economist: “Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft—look unstoppable. They are the five most valuable listed firms in the world. Their profits are surging: they collectively racked up over $25bn in net profit in the first quarter of 2017. Amazon captures half of all dollars spent online in America. Google and Facebook accounted for almost all the revenue growth in digital advertising in America last year.”

As the article goes on to point out, whilst in the old economy this dominance alone was enough for regulators to act, size is not cause for concern on its own. Most customers of these brands are loyal fans happy to share their data as part of their relationship, and far from being a case of price gouging, many of the services offered are both highly valued and free.

The world of business has changed, and the role and relationships with consumers along with it. The old rules and regulations are a construct of a paradigm that no longer exists. Should there be cause for concern from consumers? – for sure, but should we start breaking apart the architects of our this new ‘data economy’ without fully understanding the impact of the monopoly? For me this is a watch (with interest) and hold.

Dave Ansett
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more here
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This blog was inspired by a great article in The Economist titled; ‘The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data’ Click here to read the article.

Pic by David Parkins

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