I recently attended and spoke at BlockCon, an event in Santa Monica, CA. The event was at the Flying Museum, an airport hanger filled with the history of flight and innovation. It had a great energy considering blockchain in many ways is also innovating and disrupting so many industries.
Brock Pierce delivered an epic keynote. "Introduce yourself to me by telling me what your superpower is and how you are going to apply it." He went on to say that the new definition of a billionaire is someone who positively impacts the lives of billions of people. From there the bar was set. This movement is about positively impacting the world and the people in it, not some kind of crypto cash grab.
I spoke about the marketing side of blockchain companies. The cave man days are over, I stated. Just because a few early companies got away with poor marketing, does not that we should all be lazy going forward. "If I jump off a bridge, are you going to?" I would hope not. The fact that some people got away with absolute sloppiness and poor marketing, does not mean we should use them as an example or we will all fail going forward. Blockchain companies, take note.
It's a time to do better and find ways to help this industry (revolution) succeed and keep disrupting the world as know it. We do that by doing the best we can within our respective fields and expertise. As Brock pointed out, use your superpower for good and apply it in a way that helps the world.
Another one of the many themes I kept hearing was about data storage, and decentralized data and hosting. Hosting and storage are multi-billion dollar+ industries that are prime for disruption on the blockchain. Sia, Storj, Filecoin and others are competing on the data storage and distributed data side, but there's also a market growing for monetizing data on the blockchain.
I have always thought that was an industry that needed disruption. I almost started a startup right before Influencive that was going to monetize and incentivize user data. Blockchain literally provides an outlet for that to happen more realistically.
Data monetization has been something that has not been accessible up until this point. It was a closed loop with companies like Facebook and Google owning and selling all the data. If you weren't at that level, you didn't have a shot.
One of the blockchain companies buzzing at the event, Datum, is working on creating a marketplace for that data, taking it out of the hands of the Facebook's of the world. But it goes beyond user data and into big industries such as health and niches such as smart car data. It was only a matter of time until someone made a "super database" backed by the blockchain that decentralizes and backs up user data in a way that makes it almost impossible to lose the data. And now everyone can profit from data.
The reason the conversation needs to change is that in this decentralized world that blockchain is creating, nobody wants a centralized company in complete control and power. Facebook and Google make all the money now off users data, that's not right considering those users are literally contributing all that data in the case of Facebook.
Big data and user data are just now being disrupted but this will trickle all the way down to affecting social networks and the world's largest companies in a major way. They will either adapt or die.
My next big prediction for blockchain technology is that it starts to disrupt these industries. If a company like Facebook doesn't pivot and create a more decentralized environment, then they will be disrupted just like the VC industry has been.