July 20–24, 2015
Portland, OR

Nobody should know more about you than you do

Alistair Croll (Solve For Interesting)
2:30pm–3:10pm Thursday, 07/23/2015
Craft E146
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 9 ratings)
Slides:   1-PDF 

Prerequisite Knowledge

A general understanding of data privacy, the economic models of the web, and the adoption of consumer applications.


In the next decade, data-driven feeds will become the primary tool with which we manage our lives. We’re already instrumenting every aspect of our lives with wearables, personal finance tools, calendaring, and more. But other organizations have been collecting data on us—phone towers, credit reports, vaccination history, income tax.

We now have the tools to make this data available to the general public, which has been trained by modern web and app interfaces to parse vast amounts of information quickly. And such tools could be transformative, optimizing every aspect of our lives. But much of that data lives inside walled gardens, or is held by organizations that profit from selling access.

Something’s got to give. In this talk, we’ll look at trends in consumer technology and internet business models, and consider what a “life feed” application might look like, as well as what limitations need to be overcome to make it useful. We’ll also consider what an instrumented, optimized life might mean for humans, and the moral and ethical dilemmas it raises.

Photo of Alistair Croll

Alistair Croll

Solve For Interesting

Alistair Croll has been an entrepreneur, author, and public speaker for nearly 20 years. He’s worked on a variety of topics, from web performance, to big data, to cloud computing, to startups, in that time. In 2001, he co-founded web performance startup Coradiant (acquired by BMC in 2011), and since that time has also launched Rednod, CloudOps, Bitcurrent, Year One Labs, and several other early-stage companies.

Alistair is a chair for Strata + Hadoop World conferences and the International Startup Festival, and the founder of the Bitnorth conference. He’s written four books on analytics, technology, and entrepreneurship, including the best-selling Lean Analytics which has being translated into eight languages. He lives in Montreal, Canada and tries to mitigate chronic ADD by writing about far too many things at Solve For Interesting.