Seems Bitstrips raised a lot of money recently and I must admit at first was very sceptical. Let’s say it’s a funny tale and another social story, gamed with cartoons and a “do-it-yourself” use of drawings through several opportunities. Fair enough. If the “cartoonisation” gives clever scenes and enhances our “gamability”, I’m still wondering what kind of value is behind these large valuation and viral expanding. Guess what? The value is in you. As digital networks invade the world, the real value is built, day after day, with the increasing datas and profiles, users. You. Me. Friends. Fans. No one missed the last Facebook starving price with this astronomic deal with Whatsapp.
What’s incredible in the “digital network” is that few people now concentrate value, revenue and growth. Where millions of employees had to participate in industrial era, smart teams (eg 13 for Instagram, and 55 for Whatsapp for example) do the job for billions of stocks valuation. If indeed they created and built something relevant, the most part of the value comes now from the network and the potential of its members/profiles. What they do, post, discuss, members who do anything for free, anytime, anywhere, filling timelines with pictures, text messages and conversations. And the contents blooming in these platforms bring value to the whole project. Ask yourself how these companies’ stocks are valued: from the users they drew to the network (eg value of a user between 20 to 100$, according to returning and activity rates x number of members). Why do we value these networks with members figures without sharing any revenue with these members?!
But this value is not distributed (eg for example in jobs raising, revenue sharing or anything else) to third part anymore. We’re facing the worst side of digital revolution, destructing value: no more jobs needed – lean companies -, value created for free by users…who are the next unemployed. I must admit, being an early adopter of digital wave, this theory that we can find in Janier’s book “who owns the future” made my day and the real danger zone is already there: the more you’re opt-in, the more you’ll have free information. Your “Opt-Inness” make you more valuable but the question is: for who? Finally, more free information makes the world poorer because in the long term, there’s a massive destruction of employment, directly from the fact that industry now needs far less people to work. We all, using and consuming free and low cost services, participate to this slow and steady destruction of middle class. The one that holds the global edifice and raises children. The bulky one that create the motion for mass markets. It’s time for revenue sharing between, friendly users and startup aces, and rebuild another model for digital economy. Sustainable, fair and collaborative centric. Kind of we could be proud, without fear of being smashed up from the system.
Think of it before your next content feed. It may worth much money, but not for you…