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How much would you pay to go “off the grid?” The Hustle Wed, Dec 13 Brought to you by Soothe… holiday music giving you a headache? Get yourself an on-demand massage. Note: AMA with Brian Scudamore Thursday @ 1 PM...
Brought to you by Soothe… holiday music giving you a headache? Get yourself an on-demand massage.
Note: AMA with Brian Scudamore
Thursday @ 1 PM PST we will be doing an AMA with Brian Scudamore CEO of 1-800-Got-Junk and popular feature in our SIF series. RSVP to the FB livestream here and submit a question for Brian here.
Would you pay $1k to go “off the digital grid?”
How about $9.99 a month?
The Harvard Business Reviewrecently asked readers what they would pay to “buy back” their entire digital footprint from internet companies.
But even if you could erase your online identity, there are actually some pretty great upsides to being “public” online — even if it comes at the expense of creepily accurate ad targeting.
The perks of being an ad target
Free stuff: Facebook is “free, and it always will be” — but that’s because they made nearly $28B last year on selling personal data from its users. Take away their golden goose, and you better believe that money’s coming out of its 2B users’ pockets.
Stuff that feels like yours: “Freeing yourself” of tracking cookies also means no more “Welcome back, Bethany” greeting on your favorite site, saved search history on Google, or autofilled billing addresses when you buy something online.
Not reading the T&Cs: Do we complain about signing our data rights over to Big iPod (Apple) when we go to download an app? Sure. Would we actually read through a 30-page user agreement and redline everything we take issue with everytime we update our software? Probably not: it took this guy 9 hours to read Amazon’s T&Cs out loud.
Your data isn’t as priceless as you think it is
It’s pretty tough to estimate how much your personal data would cost, because companies typically sell data on an aggregate level. As VICE Money puts it, the value of personal data is that companies collect a lot of it.
On the “dark web,” a person’s info can run from just $0.0005 for basic demographic data to about $15 for actual credit card numbers. Not exactly a king’s ransom…
So, allow us to play devil’s advocate:
We all talk a big game about protecting our personal identities from hackers, and we throw fits about companies selling our data. But when push comes to shove, most of us wouldn’t put our money where our autofill is.
Blame Amazon Prime, AIM, or whatever first got you hooked on instant gratification, but at the end of the day, we’re creatures of convenience — and internet is poised to take full advantage.
Just the cost of doing internet
Accused of stealing technology, Sprinklr is facing a $50m lawsuit
Marketing software company Opal has filed a $50m lawsuit against its one-time partner, social media marketing startup Sprinklr, for stealing their technology.
Ok, so what are the deets?
According to the suit, the two companies had a “mutually beneficial” partnership that soured in 2016 after Opal client Paul Herman supposedly gave “administrative credentials” to a Sprinklr employee. Sprinklr then used the creds to view private info regarding Opal’s marketing software.
Opal claims that this systems breach enabled Sprinklr to begin developing a marketing product very close to their own — one that Sprinklr simply couldn’t have created had they not had access to Opal’s system.
Here’s where it gets really wonky: Paul Herman was at Nike when he allegedly gave away Opal’s info, but, in 2017, he joined Sprinklr full time — hmmm, interesting.
Sprinklr’s side of the story
The social media marketing company denies these allegations, as they reportedly signed a software integration deal with Opal in 2016, governing the use of the software so the companies could work together.
Call us crazy but, “use our tech so we can work together” is different than “use our tech to build your own”… no?
Though Sprinklr raised $105m last year at a valuation of $1.8B, start-ups operate on pretty tight margins, and a $50m dinger could potentially be a death sentence.
It all depends on how much of their funds are actually liquid, AKA that hard cashola.
Old coal mines are being turned into solar farms around the world
As much as certain politicians and industry czars would beg to differ, coal is dying — and in a classic changing of the guard, a new, much more eco-friendly energy source is taking over: solar.
And we mean “taking over” in the literal sense: this past weekend, a massive, floating solar project built on top of an old coal mine started operation in Huainan, China.
It’s one of a number of similar projects worldwide
Built atop a collapsed mine that once produced ~20% of the country’s coal, China’s new 150-megawatt, $150m solar plant will generate enough energy to power 94k homes.
It is the second such solar plant in that city, and one of a smattering of projects in the works globally: engineers are currently building or planning solar plants — all built on non-active coal mines — in Germany, the UK, and America’s Appalachian Mountains.
Why coal mines?
Coal has seen its day: 2016 was the first year on record that the black nuggets weren’t the #1 energy source in the US, and a number of the world’s biggest operators have closed up shop in recent years.
Saudi Arabia lifts a 35-year ban on movie theaters
Saudi Arabia has decided to fling open the once-locked doors to the movie biz — lifting a ban on movie theatres they’ve had since the ‘80s.
This Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s latest effort to liberalize the uber-conservative nation (in September, he lifted the ban on women drivers as well).
The shift is not without debate: while SA’s social liberals are dead-set on finding ways to have a good time, religious conservatives argue that movies go against Islamic rules.
But Salman’s already seeing dollar signs:
Last year Saudi Arabia announced their plans to diversify their economy and break free from their over-dependence on oil revenues, and the silver screen could be a goldmine.
By bringing back movie theatres, they hope to entice more foreign investments — a plan that’s already in the works: AMC’s chief executive Adam Aron says he expects to have an AMC theatre in SA by the end of next year.
On top of that, it’s gonna create more jerrrbs
The government plans to lift the curtain as early as March, and by 2030 they hope to have 300 cinemas with over 2k screens.
And if all goes according to plan, they claim the new theatres will create 30k jobs and bring over $24B (USD) in box office revenue.
A series in which The Hustle explains things in the tech and business world that don’t seem to make a whole lot of sense.
What the hell is an initial coin offering (ICO)?
This past weekend, my 85 year-old Minnesotan grandmother asked me to explain initial coin offerings — the hottest fundraising trend currently plaguing the tech world.
“Seems like a scam,” she said, with a dismissive shrug.
In a way, she’s right: instead of raising capital through traditional means, dozens of companies — some good, some bad — are inventing their own crypto coins and selling them to “supporters” in exchange for… well, not much.
Still not clear on the concept? Here’s a little GIF-splainer (share it with your grandma on Facebook here).
— Zack, Resident Donut Analogizer
This edition of The Hustle was brought to you by
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