The first revolution hit when people who made stuff started to discover that information was often as valuable as the stuff itself. Knowing where something was or how it performed or how it interacted with you can be worth more than the item itself.
Frito Lay dominates the snack business because of the information infrastructure they built on top of their delivery model. 7 Eleven in Japan dominated for a decade or more because they used information to change their inventory. Zara in Europe is an information business that happens to sell clothes.
You’ve probably already guessed what’s now: information about information. That’s what Facebook and Google and Bloomberg do for a living. They create a meta-layer, a world of information about the information itself.
And why is this so valuable? Because it compounds. A tiny head start in access to this information gives you a huge advantage in the stock market. Or in marketing. Or in fundraising.
Many people and organizations are contributing to this mass of data, but few are taking advantage of the opportunity to collate it and present it to people who desperately need it. Think about how much needs to be sorted, compared, updated and presented to people who want to choose or learn or trade on it.
The race to deliver this essential scalable asset isn’t over, it’s just beginning.