Jen van der Meer – Startupfest 2014 (Keynote)

When N = All:
Open Data and the Future for Startups

The rise of open data sets released onto the public commons has accelerated the birth of new industries, and new companies. Emerging as a government activity, now private sector companies are joining the movement to publicly source data, and contribute previously hidden data sets to open science activities. While huge stores of data remain locked away for reasons of inertia, cost, or competitive advantage, every day we are confronted with new data sets that can change the shape of how we see industry, culture, and our future.

What opportunities for startups exist when the data available to learn about everything that we do approaches a sample size of N = all? When we no longer have to sample a small set of data, because we are able to access the firehose of everything, and everybody? What is possible? What is terrifying? What will matter. When data is abundant, accessible, and free, served to us a public utility, will we still have a winner-take-all technology culture?

After all nobody but a few of us data nerds actually want data. What we all crave are answers, and wisdom. How will your startup contribute? Come join Jen van der Meer, Chief Strategy Officer at Luminary Labs, to find out what happens when N approaches all.