As I understand it, it boils down to this: the current high tech focus is on using data to improve ad revenue via social media. Or as Jeff Hammerbacher (a former Facebook research scientist) says, “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads. That sucks.”
It sucks because the innovation process of massive social media companies focuses on ads, and so there has been only minimal transferable benefit for other industries that don’t make their money off of marketing. This is bad because transferable innovation makes for good economic growth and stability.
Here’s where Jeff Hammerbacher comes in. He’s developing software that will allow scientific researchers and other business sectors to apply the marco-level data management tools Google, Facebook and Amazon use to target ads. Read the rest of this entry »