Like many, I first heard of Eric Eric L Berlow on YouTube when I watched his TED Talk How Complexity Leads to Simplicity. I got to meet him a few months ago at Cafe 780 in San Francisco’s Mission District. That’s where I got to see through Berlow’s eyes how to tackle the unstructured, chaotic mass of public data — from shared content to sensor and tracked data we all create walking around with Internet connected devices.
“We’re either on the brink of a new age of enlightenment, or we might become data drones,” Berlow laughs but serious about his wake up call.
Eric introduced me to Vibrant Data teammate Juliette Powell, who told me that even though big data might become a $54 billion industry by 2017, building a vibrant data system is about investing in people. “Ninety-two percent of children in the U.S. under the age of two have an online profile already,” she said. “Data represents who we are, so this is really about people not data.” She says system might be akin to Wordpress blog platform for big data, a tool that everyone could use to enrich their lives.