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The Evolution of Data

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The Evolution of Data

The Evolution of Data

“Big Data” is a technology buzzword that comes up quite often. Most investors understand that it describes the current ecosystem in which there is exponentially more data, and that the wealth of information can be processed to create insights for companies. However, the evolution of how we got here is a little more fuzzy.

As the above infographic notes, it all started with ZIP codes. Born in 1963, ZIP codes allowed companies and marketers to gather more information on customers in a way that was not possible before. Then by combining computers with transactional data, businesses were able to learn more about the nature of each transaction. Who and where was something bought? What did they buy?

Then it was all about profiling the customer, so that it was possible to find more customers and grow a company. It started with demographics and then moved to psychographics (or “lifestyle data”). This allowed marketers to come up with a profile for their ideal customers, and how they think.

The most recent development in this type of data is in attitudes and behaviours – and this is where Big Data comes in. By analyzing everyone’s Google searches, Facebook posts, emails, tweets, and more, we now have more complex profiles on every consumer. This has led to massive databases, which need complex and fast analysis to provide any sort of useful insight.

The evolution of data is not ending anytime soon. The next data tsunami will come from information stemming from the internet of things (IoT) that will provide even more data points and need for sophisticated analysis.

Original graphic from: ALC

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The Impressive Stats Behind Amazon’s Dominance of the Cloud

Do you watch Netflix or use Facebook? If so, then you are indirectly leveraging Amazon’s incredible scale and dominance of the cloud.

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To the average person, cloud computing must seem quite magical.

All at once, the cloud provides instant access to all of your data, photos, music, and applications, without you having to store any of that data locally. In fact, users can access the cloud from practically anywhere in the world, and across multiple devices and platforms.

Yet, this all happens without you actually seeing any visible infrastructure. With data now being created at record speeds, where the heck is all this information being physically stored?

The Rise of AWS

Even though you can’t see the vast infrastructure that runs the cloud, it does exist somewhere.

As today’s infographic from RapidValue shows, much of this infrastructure is owned and operated by Amazon, through its extremely profitable subsidiary of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Here are the key stats on this dominant service that powers much of the internet today:

The Impressive Stats Behind Amazon's Dominance of the Cloud

Amazon Web Services (AWS) quietly launched in 2002, and in a short time has been able to scale into the largest single player in cloud computing (IaaS, PaaS).

While it is a well-known name to software developers, AWS emerged on a more mainstream basis once its financials were separated from those of parent Amazon.com.

Even in 2018, AWS delivered most of Amazon’s operating income.

AWS By the Numbers

To understand the true scale of AWS, you need to look at the numbers.

  • AWS has over 1 million active users in 190 countries
  • AWS has 5x more deployed cloud infrastructure as their next 14 competitors combined
  • Each day, AWS adds as much infrastructure as they used to run in total 7 years back
  • Amazon S3 is designed to deliver 99.999999999% durability and scale past trillions of objects worldwide
  • AWS partner, Netflix, accounts for up to one-third of Internet traffic during peak usage times
  • AWS accounts for 41.5% of the public cloud market, bigger than Microsoft, Google, Rackspace, and IBM combined

Through incredible economies of scale, AWS has decreased its prices at least as many as 60 times since its launch – and despite this, AWS generated a whopping $26 billion in revenue for parent Amazon in 2018.

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Chart of the Week

Tech Founders Predict the Next Wave of Startup Growth

Which U.S. startups are best poised for growth and spin-off success? This chart shares insights from over 500 tech founders about the state of startups.

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Tech Founders Predict the Next Wave of Startup Growth

Today’s tech founders have unique insights into the evolving arena of innovation and are keenly aware of why some companies succeed more than others. Many have worked with multiple startups and have gone on to invest in successful tech unicorns.

This week’s chart comes from First Round’s State of Startups 2018 survey, in which 529 founders shared their predictions on the tech startups best poised for growth and spin-off success.

Tech Startup Valuations

Stripe, the payments startup darling, has already grown from $1.8 billion in valuation in 2013 to over $22 billion today. According to the tech founders surveyed, 19% see Stripe continuing on this path in the years to come.

Q: Which U.S.-based tech startup’s value will increase the most in the next 10 years?

RankStartup% of respondents
#1Stripe19.0%
#2SpaceX12.7%
#3Coinbase12.1%
#4Slack11.3%
#5Airbnb9.8%
#6Palantir6.8%
#7WeWork6.3%
#8Uber5.3%
#9Lyft4.7%
#10Pinterest1.6%
Other10.3%

It’s worth noting that this list includes some startups that have already IPO’d since the survey was released in December 2018.

In fact, in the first half of 2019, we’ve already seen Pinterest, Lyft, Uber, and Slack hit the market. Slack’s public offering was the most notable, as they chose to go the direct listing route. The share price still jumped 48.5% less than 24 hours after they went public.

The Next PayPal Mafia?

The PayPal Mafia is a legendary group of billionaire investor-entrepreneurs that have had far-reaching influence in the tech world since they parted ways with PayPal.

Not only did members of this group go on to start many major unicorns, including YouTube, SpaceX, LinkedIn, and Palantir, but some members have invested in over 100 startups each. This “giving back” has had a monumental impact on the Silicon Valley ecosystem, planting the seeds that would emerge as many of today’s star companies.

Q: Which U.S.-based company is most likely to spin out the next generation of notable founders over the next five years?

RankStartup% of respondents
#1Uber22.5%
#2Slack15.7%
#3Stripe15.2%
#4Airbnb13.9%
#5Coinbase10.6%
#6Palantir9.1%
#7SpaceX4.2%
#8Lyft1.8%
#9WeWork1.8%
#10Amazon1.1%
Other4.2%

Current tech founders predict that the companies listed in this survey will be perfect launching points for many of the world’s future tech founders.

Of all U.S.-based tech startups, Uber is predicted to be a top contender for producing the next generation of startup talent by 2023.

Other Survey Findings

Interestingly, over 60% of founders believe that the world is in a technology bubble, with evenly split reviews on whether it’s either nowhere close or very close to popping.

While 57% of founders believe the U.S. will continue to dominate the tech world, 39% predict China’s growth will become the world’s hub for tech innovation by 2028.

Only time will tell, as tensions between the U.S. and China continue to heat up, and the global recruitment of tech talent becomes increasingly competitive.

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