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Rise up, Sheeple

14 August Subscribe
Dear *|FNAME|*,

So…we’ve been building apps and websites wrong for thirty-plus years.

Irene put out a blog post a couple of days ago launching a new brand “Dataswift.” I’ve been talking about it for a couple of months, in private conversations and pitches, trying to clarify the exact positioning and core innovations that make us who we are. I have been doing this because I believe in a future where this company is venture-backed and scaling, and believing in that future is mostly about proving all of the other hare-brained ideas that you have are just that, and settling on the few that remain solid even in the face of withering criticism.

We’re making progress. Some ways still to go.

In all of my meetings I mostly ignore what Irene is saying in her blog post, hoping that the people I’m speaking with already believe that personalisation features and rich data applications are the future - not just of the technology industry but of industry period. In hoping such, I am accepting the basic premise that other people believe what Irene and I and you and everyone here believe, which is that the world is changing, and quickly, and we can help.

Corporate-owned user data is pretty bad. It is generally non-dynamic, starting to rot every minute after it is acquired as it gradually gets more likely to be out-of-date. It is generally single-source, originating at a single, removable point of failure. And because it is single-source it is generally non-representative, telling a story, but almost never the story, of a user.

This is important-ish when it’s social data, and can cost lives and futures when it’s health or finance data.

We’ve been building apps and websites wrong.

Within the next few years (2? 6? No more than that.) the de facto standard source for good-quality user data will be storing it on the user side, because we’ve built that tech that makes it now possible, and our conversations about privacy, control, permission, and identity will all of them have evolved beyond today's paltry semblance of a thriving digital landscape.

And so, invest in Dataswift, with whatever you got. We take time, evangelism, belief, support, effort, and of course money.

It's a pleasure to be doing this with y'all.
 
Yours in HAT,

Jonathan
THIS MONTH'S MAIN STORY

The future is decentralised

On commercial tooling for companies, based on the HAT - how AWS-like web services are in the future of apps and websites everywhere.

2 June. In a blog post, Irene released a public insight into the future of Dataswift, a new venture-facing brand for championing the transition to user-owned personal data for apps and websites.

The whole world’s been building apps and websites wrong - we’ve been storing user data and corporate data on the same servers, when we should have been storing user data on the user side. Company-owned user data is expensive and it’s pretty bad: non-dynamic, non-representative, single-source information that costs 23% of your engineering budget. Dataswift's API platform lets companies put user information on the user side instead without changing anything else about their app or tech.

You can read more here on Irene's blog post, or explore the ways you can build technology on a user-owned backend at developers.hubofallthings.com.

£1.6m DUCKETS

The HATDeX / Dataswift Seed raise continues, with support from past investors, Angel investors, and Seed stage funds in London and Cambridge. The company will raise between £1-2m at a valuation somewhere below £10m, principally from smart-money investors who are looking to our future in Series A and B financings. Inquiries to me please.

10 ON 10 ON 10

Very proud to announce aggregate 10% month-over-month growth in end-user accounts February to March to April. Growth is spread across all 25 of the apps building on our stack in the developers and live environments, but are primarily due to progress by OneZero-Me and Mark and Maven, the first two live, external applications in the ecosystem. Big ups.

WILKOMMEN

A sampling of hellos to our friends at IDEO, Garantier, Eavetech, Agilit, Biib, and Higher.gg, all recent new faces in the developers environment, spinning up HATs ready for produ.

TAKES A VILLAGE

Big thank you to everyone who has been making introductions and supporting us in this raise! Very grateful especially to the teams at friendly companies like Good-Loop, Padoq, Datch, and Feral Horses, advisors in Cambridge and London, especially Stew, Carol, Jefferson, John, and Mark, and supportive investors across the UK.

CANADI-BRITS

Had a great opportunity to wax poetic about personal data innovation at the Canada-UK Tech Forum from the CUK Chamber of Commerce. Big thanks to our hosts at Linklaters and to Abigail Dubiniecki for the invitation. A huge pleasure to share a stage with Max van from Oxford too, who was at the...

SYMPOSIE

...HAT-Wolfson Digital Person Symposium, which took place last month in Cambridge and it was SO GOOD I’m mentioning it again even though it has just now occurred to me that actually we have already done this announcement in April so I’ll stop talking.

DA BOARD

The HAT Community Foundation and HATDeX Boards both met on the 29th of May, covering topics around the raise, articles of incorporation, and business progress for each organization. No dramatic firings or corporate espionage to report but HATDeX (soon to be DataSwift) have published “how we are governed” here.

JIRY VAN NIEUWBURG 

Truly the greatest van Nieuwburg to ever van Nieuwburg, we bid farewell to our stalwart intern Jiry, who has been helping the whole team to test, communicate, and troubleshoot our products. Thanks Jiry for everything and we’ll see you over the summer and into the fall when you’re in school probably and I suppose this isn’t really goodbye now that I come to think of it.

EVRY ONE

DataSwift was warmly welcomed to (beautiful!!!) Oslo this month for Evry Insight Conference 2019. Our talk was featured on the Data Innovation stage and Jonathan got to meet the Evry CEO and so now he thinks he’s better than all of us.

CADE

The Center for the Advanced Digital Economy held their annual conference in Venice, welcoming speakers from across the digital economic research sectors and featuring Irene Ng and the HAT as core leadership in the field. Much debate and valuable conversation was held, bolstered in no small part I’m sure by lunches and wines on yachts.

The Hub of All Things is a way to own your own personal data. It’s a microserver — a database, with a computer brain — that helps you store for yourself the information you give your calendars, social, media, and phone. Here, this video explains it better than we do.

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