Sunday, November 13, 2022

You can't buy Time - Marc already did

If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. 

I am sure you have heard the expression: "Data is the New Oil"

In a famous roundtable with Microsoft mogul Bill Gates, billionaire investor Warren Buffett said of time: "It's the only thing you can't buy. I mean, I can buy anything I want basically, but I can't buy time."

Well, I guess this is not true, since Time, the pre-eminent weekly newsmagazine of the 20th century, was bought by Marc Benioff, the billionaire co-founder of the software company Salesforce, and his wife, Lynne. [ Full Disclosure: I know Marc and he is one of the good billionaires. We are big fans of Marc and Lynne - top givers to great causes. ]

Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, bought The Washington Post in 2013. 

Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of the Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, acquired a majority stake in The Atlantic magazine through her organization, Emerson Collective. 

WHY... do billionaires buy magazines?  We'll come back to this.

In 2006, British mathematician and marketing mastermind Clive Humby said "Data is the new oil." For years, big tech like Facebook, Amazon, Salesforce, Google and even Netflix scooped up incalculable data on all of us. Their business models quickly turned toward becoming the largest attention merchants in the world. They dig and poke and prod us and gather our information, and they do it not to make our lives better, but to keep us on their platforms long enough to sell us things. In response, we have become obsessed and we have addicted ourselves to absorbing it all.

The rich get richer. Their companies get billions in record earnings. And we get billions of wasted hours. Who do I see to get my wasted time back? Time = Life. 

Data is no longer the "new oil" but our TIME is the new oil. More free time in our days is what I (and I guess Warren Buffett) would pay top dollar for.

We need more authoritative and filtered data in our lives leading us to trustworthy sources so we can make fast, accurate decisions. In the business world, we need companies to focus on implementing solutions that don't just focus on operational efficiency but also on our happiness. 

We need our tech leaders to focus on the end result for humans, not just their bottom line. Imagine if social media platforms used similar interests and personality traits to suggest new friends, then helped them to plan shared experiences. Would they lose revenue, or would it generate productivity by saving us time - and helping us to build deeper and more valuable personal relationships? 

We need better data to give us (humans) more time to - live. Trustworthy, highly filtered data will lead us to quicker, smarter decisions for living our lives - and less FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). In turn, this will allow employees to spend more time keeping customers happy, brainstorming better and coming up with more innovative ways to work and spending more time with people closest to them - like family and friends.

Data may once have been the new oil, but being oversaturated by largely biased, unfiltered data has stolen our time and left us less healthy, and even less content. Now, we personally need to prospect for that time, and we need tech companies to reevaluate our time as our most precious commodity. 

WHY... do billionaires buy magazines?  They want your eyeballs at all times because that is where the data comes from. Eyeballs on the dead tree (paper) version of Time magazine, or - either one works for the data harvesting of our attention. 

I am now the proud owner of - as in Chief Data Officer. Think Home Depot for your lifelong data journey. Marc Benioff bought Time, and I bought to help you and (any) business to give back / get back your time. After all, we (me, you, Warren Buffett) have better things to do with our time, right? 

"OK, Google: where is the nearest dog park?"

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