Dirk Knemeyer

The future of the quantification industry and The Quantified Self movement

The future of the quantification industry and The Quantified Self movement, August 30, 2012

A short comment contextualizing the prediction could go right here

I think the trick for the quantification industry is to figure out what data is meaningful and present it in ways that encourage behavior. Right now, and again I’m interested in it, but I’m kind of a geek and out there and interested in it, and so I can say this because when you are one you know one. So much of what’s happening in quantification today is just total geekdom. It’s just total geek stuff. It has very, very little practical application to a normal, every day life, and it’s just geeking out on unnecessary reams of data at the end of the day. Like, what could be a bite where somebody could just be on a service for a week and get all they need. These companies are trying to have business models to have people on them perpetually and for years, and that’s crazy. Like they might get this teeny, teeny fraction of the market, but they’re never going to get and expand into the general market. The trick to making quantification a successful business and making it something with real, meaningful, broad cultural impact is about getting less data, shrinking the data, and flipping it to behavior. There’s little indication that they’re anywhere near that yet. So, as a geek, I’m happy that they’re doing it and I’m enjoying some part of it, but I’m really skeptical about how close they are to real, long-term, meaningful business models.