Easy, Cheap, Good, Working, Free And Now!
4 years ago

It seems to me that the wave of free usage platforms with an advert based profit model, has done far more harm than good. Look at the nearly endless array of awesome and powerful, free tools that we have at our disposal as developers today from github to analytics tools, netlify to cloudflare.

Even if you look at the free stuff available if you're not a developer. Facebook, Google (most products), Coursera, Wix, 1 month free subscriptions for a plethora of services.

All these free tools have done is devalue programming in general and raise barriers to entry into the online marketplace.

Devaluation has occurred because we have been given so many programmatically very complex tools for free, therefore complex functionality has become automatically expected by customers, furthermore for free. Even though it may have taken teams of developers many hours to build said functionality. This naturally raises barriers to entry, because smaller tech companies can not afford to hire enough programmers to compete effectively.

Essentially, the advert based business models have won hands down. But at what price? Well put it like this advertising is very lucrative, but so are data sets, maybe more so.

Currently users data is the digital currency of the day, the value of data changes based on its type and its verifiability. (*Forbes - How Much Is Your Data Worth?) For example knowing a customer's address and having that information verified by a government issued document would make that user's data far more valuable, than just knowing an email address that isn’t verified at all, I think for obvious reasons.

To me the next gold mine is opinion mining, seeing as most economies are built on confidence of the consumer and investors, then knowing customers opinions of your products would be extremely valuable, apply these option data sets to AI pattern recognition algorithms and boom you might have percentage of predictability in public reception or even consumption of a new product. This is just the tip of the iceberg and it’s happening now.

The future is one of big data and pattern finding AI, all in an attempt to predict consumer behaviour and reduce company risk. It’ll be good, high quality, cheap or free. Until the accuracy of AI prediction becomes guaranteeable and new data is no longer needed. Then what?

-Forbes - How Much Is Your Data Worth