Friday, January 22, 2010

WSJ article: When Combined Data Reveal the Flaw of Averages

An example of Simpson's paradox. [Read more]

This article was emailed to me from Jacob Weaver, an alumni of our department.

Investor sets eyes on "data-as-a-service" start-ups. Or should it be "Stat-as-a-service"?

Entrepreneurs in the social and real-time data sectors would do well to study up on Venrock’s Brian Ascher. At the spritely age of 43 with several big tech exits under his belt (Adify, DatAllegro, Unicru), the investor is bound to be a force in the global Silicon Valley for a while to come.

He’s interested in startups that follow what he calls the "data-as-a-service" model: gather tons of data by offering some service or tapping into a data pipeline, create an algorithm that you refine over time, and sell intelligence to clients on an ongoing basis. He sees big opportunities in social search and services that help consumers make fuzzy, subjective kinds of decisions--what movies to watch and where to go on vacation--areas where social graphs are particularly valuable.

Ascher’s driven to boost personal empowerment, wring out inefficiencies and help smaller independents entities take back Main Street from the Big Boys. Below is Part 2 of our interview with him. Click here for Part 1, in which he gives advice for entrepreneurs and investors navigating the tech markets in 2010.

[click to read more]

[This article is sent to me from a Columbia Alumni, David Park, Ph.D., founder of you can explore enhanced children's books and personalize them just the way you want it!]