CTRL-SHIFT NEWS - APRIL 2012

Read about our views on marketplace changes as well as updates on our research and event programmes.

It’s an old economist’s saying that there is no such thing as a free lunch and in most cases this is true.

But there is one situation where it isn’t. If you can avoid or eliminate waste – i.e free up resources (time, money, materials) that were previously being eaten up doing something – then you may not be getting a free lunch but it’s pretty close to one: suddenly, miraculously, you have resources available when before you didn’t.

The good news is that our economy is riddled with waste. We therefore have a massive ‘free lunch’ resource liberation opportunity.…

It has been a busy month where we have attended and hosted several events. They highlight the way that public opinion, technology, regulatory and commercial pressures are all lining up to unleash a sea change in the personal data landscape. What’s also becoming clear is that the UK is leading the world in giving individuals control over their data. In this issue we’ll tell you about these events, our new research and a smattering of market news.

A £1bn opportunity?

Our latest research (to be published on Monday April 30) is a comprehensive review of all the players in the…

The control shift

Posted: 23rd April, 2012 | 1 comments

As a result of our discussions at our last Explorers’ Club event we have created a Infographic (see below) mapping the timeline of changes in the personal data landscape. To download simply right click on the image.

We’ve mapped out the events and predictions from now until 2017 looking through the lenses of: social and cultural changes; corporate commercial activity; entrepreneurial activity; technology; and legislation, regulation, policies, protocols and standards.

The timeline suggests that market savvy consumers will soon start taking control of their data (as Tim Berners Lee has recently urged); short-term winners will be entrepreneurs (see

The future of advertising

Posted: 20th April, 2012 | 0 comments

Interesting article on the BBC Technology web site (which, by the way, seems to be turning itself into an advertorial platform for big technology companies).

It’s called ‘Going Digital: The Future of Advertising’ and it’s by Andy Hart, general manager of Microsoft’s advertising and online division.

What’s fascinating, and puzzling, is what it doesn’t say as much as what it does. Here are the key sentences.
“The future of advertising isn't just about technology: people are also driving it (as they always have, of course, but in a far more profound and dynamic way than before).
“As…

There is now a healthy debate raging about the relative merits of Big Data versus Small Data, with some excellent stuff being written about the importance of small (i.e. personal) data.

Take these thoughts from Personal CEO Shane Green.

“Small data puts the power and tools of big data into the hands of people. It is based on the assumption that people have a significant long-term competitive advantage over companies and governments at aggregating and curating the best and most complete set of structured, machine-readable data about themselves and their lives – the “golden copy”. With proper tools,…

Google's slow-mo train crash

Posted: 10th April, 2012 | 0 comments

A fascinating letter to investors by Google CEO Larry Page. Here is a key passage:

“Understanding identity and relationships can also help us improve search. Today, most search results are generic, so two strangers sitting next to each other in a café will get very similar answers. Yet everyone’s life experiences are unique. We are all knowledgeable about different things; we have different interests and our preferences—for music, food, vacations, sports, movies, TV shows, and especially people—vary enormously.”

“Imagine how much better search would be if we added… you. Say you’ve been studying computer science for awhile like me,…