The Emerging "Cloud Data" business model

Entrepreneur-turned-Venture Capitalist Mark Suster recently wrote a great article on his blog entitled "Data is the Next Major Layer of the Cloud & A Major Victory for Startups".

If you are at all interested in the advances and transformation to cloud computing services, you should give it a read. In the article, Mark talks about how cloud storage and cloud processing solutions from Amazon and the like have grown up and allowed technology startups to inexpensively launch.  With the maturation of these cloud solutions, entrepreneurs can now build out consumer and business applications at a fraction of the cost that they could just years ago.

However, even with the advances of Amazon S3 for cloud storage and Amazon EC2 for cloud processing, in order to launch a data-driven application, developers are still forced to either license an expensive and proprietary data set or curate their own data set in a time intensive manner. Fortunately, this trend is beginning to change and an emerging world of “data as a service” is evolving.  In this new cloud data model, businesses will now be able to consume data feeds in the same way that they now consume Amazon’s storage services or processing.

Today, Dataclip crawls tens of millions of websites to determine the technologies each company is using. In so doing, we develop and maintain a large data set. (Coincidentally, we use Amazon's storage and processing solutions as critical parts of our infrastructure.) Currently, we use our data to create and sell a competitive intelligence product for a variety of audiences including B2B software companies and Wall Street/hedge fund types.

However, our vision for Dataclip's future is aligned with the one outlined by Mark in his article. At some point in the future, we will develop tools and API's that will allow other companies and 3rd party developers to rapidly consume the data that we have collected. For example, we think/hope that companies like Salesforce.com, Jigsaw.com, Netprospex, Alexa, Bloomberg and other competitive intelligence software companies will want to plug Dataclip's data into their application.

We think 2011 and 2012 will prove to be exciting times to be in the data business! Stay tuned.

Friday, December 10th, 2010 at 12:00pm


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