Is The Value Of Your Data Just A Social Construct?

Alright, I’m going to get a bit deep but it has a purpose.

Stay with me people.

As I say about a thousand times it started with a conversation. Of course, it was with Vishu the CEO of Buildout. He and I get deep on a few things, of which the most compelling topic is 16-inch softball (or Pillow Ball ) and the art of pitching. Maybe that’s for another day.

For some reason, we got onto the topic of money and values of currency. It wandered into a value of certain items and how we see a value and or how we place value on certain objects.

And with that, we went into the fact that some if not most concepts of the value of things is a social construct. As in the Anthropological theories of value.  I said it was deep, hang in there.

He referenced a weird yet brilliant piece from NPR titled. The Island Of Stone Money.

Oh and all of this was before we went to the bar for “food.”

To surmise our general thesis we came to an earth-shattering conclusion that money is indeed just a social and societal construct that places a value on an object.

Hanging in there?

The people of YAP Island decided that a huge rock was their version of money. They would move it around to owner after owner. Someone finally decided to just leave it there and assign a value to whomever the island agreed owned the rock. They even placed a value and ownership on a rock they lost at the bottom of the ocean. Even though no one could see or find it. They just agreed.

So, a rock, a humongous rock was the definition of money that a particular group of people assigned a value and used to trade. Sounds ridiculous and primitive does it not?

What do we use today in 2017 as a currency or assign a value to trade with for the most part? Paper. A single piece of paper.

What happens when you use a debit or credit card? No paper exchanged there right? It’s what then? Digits? Code?

How about just DATA?

Does that sound right?

Hell, I don’t know, I’m asking.

We already assign a value to a plastic card that does what? Allows us access to……….?

Paper? Digits? Code? Data?

To buy what? Anything we as a society have placed a value on.

Let’s step a bit further in.

A personal disclosure here. I just moved into a new apartment on the Upper East Side.

Guess how I furnished the entire apartment? Beds, couch, tables, Tv, chairs?

I bought everything online. EVERYTHING.

I did it with the numbers from my plastic card.

What actually transferred?

Data? Data. Data!

That data had no real value? It was just code, or digits, or whatever.

It was what the data represented that the other parties defined as value.

See where this is going?

Do I need to continue?

The data that I allowed access to had a value recognized by another party. They then transferred a product to me for that recognized and assigned value.

I’m simplifying here people. Don’t get all macro on me. No one gives a shit if you got an A in Econ.

( Also if anyone relates this to “the markets” then I already got you!)

Here it comes.

How do you assign the value to your #CRE data?

I’m asking.

Your data creates a marketplace velocity, right?

Your data creates a defined monetary value to a physical structure. (Hey, name the industries that can do that.)

Your data can create transparency. I said can.

Your data can do what else?

Are you missing it?

Create an entirely new marketplace.


Find someone willing to assign a value to your data and recognize it as such.

Sounds simple.

It is.

How can that be done?

Is it just agreeing that there is a value?

I thought we were already way past that.

You pay dollars, digits, code, or trade data to get it now right.

What if you have undervalued the use of that data all along?

What if there is so much more real value it can provide?

What if that real value stays with you?

What if you control it, wait what if that control is actually assigned and the value still held?

I’m asking.

Is The Value Of Your Data Just A Social Construct?


+1 I’m never going to stop.




If you get this reference…WOW!










Add comment