Like it or not, we live in the data age.
Each of us, in nearly every sphere of our lives, generates data exhausts that are increasingly used to weigh, measure and categorize us.
This is not only true for individuals, but at every level at which human effort can be aggregated — companies, cities, regions, states and countries.
As you zoom out, the power of individual human narratives is drowned out by data and the patterns that lie therein.
This topic kept popping up in my newsfeed this week as…
- Leena Rao of TechCrunch published a great piece on the rise of “big data” pattern sifting among venture investors;
- Danielle Morill pivoted her referral commerce startup Referly to become Mattermark, a data anlytics platform for (you guessed it) VCs; and
- The Atlantic published a Richard Florida piece titled “The New Global Startup Cities” using data sourced from CrunchBase and analyzed by SeedTable to rank the top global cities for tech innovation.
- As individuals, we must each find ways that are authentic to us — depending on who you are, that may be Twitter or Facebook, GitHub or Dribble, LinkedIn or WordPress — to generate a steady stream of public signals about who we are, what we believe and how we create, so our identities can be weighed by these non-human judges.
- As businesses, we must carry out all those same individual actions, but also generate readable signal in the form of media coverage, regulatory filings, financing events, key hires landed, partnerships won and patents awarded, site visitors, app downloads and customer reviews, to establish relevance and momentum in the eyes of the machines.
- As city-states competing in the global marketplace for talent, money and media attention, we must aggregate and promote the actions of our individuals and companies, but also share data about job growth and budget surpluses, infrastructure investments and educational achievement, property values and crime rates, to feed the same machines.