Personal is on a mission to empower individuals with control over their data. In the process, we challenge the status quo, build new tools that better align with our values, and meet amazing people. One of our company principles is full transparency, so we started this blog to chronicle how, together with you, we’re going to change how the world works, one data point at a time.
There are so many musings that we’re bursting to share, but, to create some order in the chaos, we’re focused on four specific areas:
- Power Shift. This is where we’ll share our vision for a future built around individuals controlling the power and value of their personal data, instead of companies. We’ll also write about the latest policy, technology, private sector, and nonprofit developments affecting this historic opportunity.
- Product. Making data fun and interesting isn’t easy. Join us in a wide-ranging discussion on Personal’s platform, data vault and gems. Share your feedback and ideas, and react to new product announcements.
- Practical Tips. We’re tapping into our team and outside experts to share tips and how-to’s that help protect your personal data and privacy wherever you go online.
- Inside Personal. Building any fast growing company has its challenges. Add to that a big, disruptive model built on transparency and trust, and we think this is just too interesting to keep to ourselves. We’ll show you the “sausage making,” with a special focus on the hard choices we constantly face to enable a truly people-centric world to emerge.
Contributors come from across Personal and bring their unique perspectives. We’ll also have guest posts from some of the interesting people we get to work with outside of our company. If you like what you read here and would like to guest blog, we’d love to hear from you. Post a comment below!
Speaking of comments… We moderate comments to prevent bots from spamming us and filter out profanity. Our goal is to approve comments from real, live people within 24 hours or less. We encourage you to be as opinionated as you want to be. Just please — don’t curse and don’t be a robot.
Like many startups, we’ve been so focused on building our product that we only recently poked our collective head up and looked around. And there are meetups and conferences filled with people whom we can’t wait to get to know. In May, several of us headed out to the Privacy Identity Innovation conference, aka pii2011, to meet with some of the most well-known thought leaders in online privacy.
We were invited to present the company to the 250 attendees as one of 12 startups highlighted in the pii2011 Innovation Spotlight, where we played the product’s “How it works” video and risked the hotel’s spotty Internet with a live demo.
It was the first time that people outside our company and limited beta testers had seen the service in action. Other attendees had a lot of thoughtful questions for us, and it was both humbling and exhilarating when they voted us and another startup, PassTouch, the top choices for the Innovator Spotlight Audience Choice Award. We couldn’t have asked for a better debut.
Check out Shane’s perspective on pii2011 on his blog, Getting Personal: My Data and the Digital Me.
“How do we bring personal data to life and show individuals that data is valuable and not something to be casually tossed around?”
That was the question we debated. We were probably in a room that we call the Fishbowl, and there was probably coffee involved. In the end, we developed the concept of a “data gem” – a grouping of reusable, modular data that addresses a specific activity, item, issue or need.
And naturally, you store precious gems in a vault. Or in our case, in the private, online data vault that Personal provides.
You can read more about data gems, how they work and why data is valuable in Shane’s blog.
We really liked this blog post by Dilbert creator Scott Adams. In it, Adams talks about the value of data, particularly future intent data. After all, although what you’ve done in the past could suggest what you plan to do in the future, it’s still a lot of guesswork. What if people were to volunteer what they plan to do or buy in the future? That future intent data would be would be much more accurate and valuable than how things work today.
The dawning of 2011 held special significance to us. We closed our Series A round of funding and announced our investors: Grotech Ventures, Steve Case’s Revolution, Allen & Company, Eric Semler of TCS Capital Management, Ted Leonsis, and Jon Miller.
These investors – many of whom helped build the current digital world – share our belief that a sea change is coming. That it’s time to put individuals in control of their data.
Our Series A funding gave us a stiff wind at our back, enabling us to bring Personal to life. Read what Shane, our CEO, wrote in his blog about what it’s like to fundraise for a big, disruptive idea.”