Firstly, this doesn’t mean there aren’t other valuable use cases for Ocean Protocol or other ways to ‘go to market’ which indeed there are. Ultimately there’s many ways this could happen and they all benefit each other. As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.
Below I explain why I believe the data economy will start with data professionals and blockchain data as I wrap up my R8 proposal ‘Data funnel’.
We need both demand and supply for the data economy to function
There’s a number of factors which are required for Ocean’s data economy to become a reality but the long term success of this relies on people buying and selling data assets through Ocean’s open source ecosystem.
It starts with data supply but is closely followed by data demand.
A data economy relies on value being gained on both sides of the transaction otherwise it will fizzle out. A data buyer is unlikely to return if the cost of acquiring a data asset is higher than the value it generated.
What data buyers are actually buying
Buyers aren’t necessarily buying data sets and algorithms when purchasing data assets. What they really want is insights and better predictive models.
Raw data is the starting point, but raw data + work (e.g. cleaning etc) is far more valuable than raw data alone.
This is where the significance of data professionals come in.
In this post I broke down the flow of value in a data transaction and it became clear that the hardest part of this was the ‘work’ component. This means data professionals are a core component for a data economy to function. Figuring out how to onboard them into a Web3 data economy is a key piece of this puzzle.
How to find data that’s in demand
There’s a lot of valuable data out there but how do we look for valuable data within the context of a Web3 data market built on Ocean Protocol?
First you want to see what potential data buyers are likely to find valuable. From here you can begin to think about what data would appeal to this audience, then you need to figure out how to get it.
Earlier work suggests the most likely first buyers come from within the Web3 community so I wanted to see where that data might come from.
Blockchain data is key to starting a Web3 Data Economy
Blockchain data is a key data source for a number of reasons. It’s native to Web3, so people within the Web3 ecosystem will grasp the ideas and tools associated with a Web3 data economy much faster.
Blockchain data is also free to access, uniform and valuable.
Taking these learnings I created Ocean Missions, a community of data professionals extracting valuable insights about NFTs, DeFi and Cryptocurrency from public Blockchain data.
Leveraging the unique capability of Ocean Protocol to enable ‘co-ownership’ of data assets I hope this community will evolve into one of the most valuable sources of Blockchain analytics within the Web3 ecosystem.
As at the time of writing, Ocean Missions is less than a week old and so far the reception has been mostly very positive. I say mostly as my advertising launch campaigns have been blocked on both Linkedin and Twitter for violating their terms of service.
I have been working with both Linkedin & Twitter support to get these issues resolved. So far it’s looking like Twitter is going to be more accommodating so the remainder of my advertising budget ($3,000) is probably going there.
As far as I can tell the reasons for the restricting of my accounts was in regards to ‘staking language’. I have since updated and removed references of staking rewards from my website which I hope will fix the issue but either way we will go live with something soon!
With these hiccups I have still been able to generate 13 new leads for data suppliers off a handful of organic posts on Twitter, Linkedin and Discord and am continuing the organic approach in the meantime.
I’m eager to get the advertising campaign up asap though as I have been working on a new post which explains the concept in more detail and I believe will be a great lead generator. All going to plan this will be live later this week.
I have done a number of launches for various concepts over the years in many different industries and this is easily the most positive reception I have ever had from organic posts. For anyone who’s launched something publicly before it’s notoriously hard getting eyes on your project when you’re first starting out.
I will update this post with response/engagement data after these campaigns have run but for now, I’m cautiously optimistic and excited about the future.
Update 31 October
Throughout October our website attracted 482 visitors with 1 in 10 returning more than once.
The Twitter campaigns went live on October 13. They have generated 889 tweet engagements, grown our twitter following to 255 and most importantly received 67 user registrations for the upcoming launch of Ocean Missions!
I’m thrilled with the result and have had a number of really valuable and exciting conversations with data scientists and potential data buyers over the last few weeks too.
Through this work we have started validating some key assumptions. We know that we have identified an area which data professionals are interested in and some are so interested they have begun reaching out to me to learn more. We also know that we have identified a use case in which data buyers have expressed interest in purchasing data assets from Ocean Market!!
Now what we have to do is see whether or not we can actually build data assets from within this community and sell them to data buyers.
While some effort will continue to go towards community growth (we still have a $2,071 budget remaining to automate most of this), the focus of my time now is really shifting towards community engagement. In order to generate real value for the Ocean ecosystem, we need to build a thriving community of data asset creation and buyers purchasing those data assets.