Tech bubbles and the war of user bases

Disclaimer:

I don’t own a million dollar startup, I am no analyst, I didn’t write my Phd in… well I haven’t written one at all so far. I work as a developer, I blog and I take photographs.

Tech startups currently get evaluated at seemingly insane sums of money, usually based on the amount of users and how much engagement they show with each other through their product.

If you’re wondering why that is, because that means a great number of people slice a piece out of the 24 hours we all have in a day and put it inside an app. We all have 24 hours in a day, no matter what we make per hour and no matter where we are in the world.

This by the way, is the same reason I feel honored and humbled by every single one of the 10.000+ people who stop by this blog every month. They spend time here.

The users are attracted by value, websites that make them laugh at pictures, enable them to stalk their former partners or lovers or hook them up with a sexual encounter for the night in exchange for personal data and maybe a fraction of their time looking at advertisements.

Now in my opinion most of these companies don’t take very good care of the data gathered or simply demand absurdly much from their users, without informing them about the significance of their choices. Although I try out most new things and apps, I have a grasp of what’s happeningn with every tap and click I make and I don’t like it.

I wish there were less walled gardens, more possibilities to limit which data are used. I would like to freely import and export them between services and decided when I revoke my agreement for the usage all together.

A recent case of a walled garden that miserably fails under not to unlikely conditions: Apple Stole My Music. No, Seriously. | vellumatlanta

Unfortunately (for me) these models are not very profitable.

A (for me) positive example is the Wikimedia foundation, that provides crowd curated and created knowledge to everyone and does not have the ambition to get a huge chunk out of the worlds economy. The same for Mozilla, that provides mail client, browser and a more competitive browser market. Also some of my everyday apps like K9-mail and Beyondpod enable im- and export of data easily, not to speak of atom as an editor and a bunch of other cool tools I cover on this blog.

Maybe, just maybe, we will see successful companies in the future that try to provide value a little closer to that of these foundations, because they want to build long term trust with their clients and consumers.

Even if that hope is not the most plausible or predicable outcome, I’ll put my efforts towards it. If I had accepted the fate of an Orwellian future, ruled by fortunate tech companies, I might as well never have picked up my pen and browsed facebook for another hour or two.

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