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Data Is (NOT!) the New Oil

Comparing data with oil is done, but it can lock up our thinking, imagination, and power to act.
Data powers the new economy in the way that oil powers the traditional economy. But the analogy between data and oil breaks down right after that.

Oil and data as raw materials have very different economic characteristics.

First of all, oil is gone after consumption. Data is not. (1)
We have the opportunity to reuse and repurpose data repeatedly to create supply chains for a positive impact.

Another characteristic is that data creators can exclude others from using data. Companies can do it for one single reason: building economic power. Possible negative externalities are known; Big Tech is entering their end game (1).

But what is next?

Data life cycles will start and end with the individual.
Every data subject (2) will get its digital twin with personal data on Threefold Grid. The digital twin on the Threefold Grid is open-source software (3).

The latter means that the tools of production and consumption to create value from data are also very different from that of oil. The machines for making value from oil are in the hands of capital incentive companies. The tools for value creation out of data are in hands of the people.

The customer will become so integrated into the production process that we will find it more difficult to tell who is the consumer and producer.

As a follower of these posts, you know that Co-Inpetto Farm contributes to the roll-out of internet 4.0. It positions itself as a finance and learning mechanism for communities (4). Community leaders can ensure that no one needs to be excluded from digital services to consume and produce.


  1. Last week, European MP’s asked corporate leaders to stop using the BigTech advertising machine, read their letter here.
  2. Thanks to the GDPR, we can call each individual a ‘data subject’ for the data economy.
  3. Economists do qualify oil as a rival good, data is a non-rival, and open-source software is anti-rival one. Learn more about Rivalry from Wikipedia here.
  4. Reply to this mail for getting access to the business model of Co-Inpetto Farm.