#184 - By thinking differently about three ways in which we approach data, we enable the future of the world

An interview with Julian Ranger, Executive Chairman and Founder of Digi.me

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to move us to where we are at the centre of our own digital life, and back in control over our own data. My guest is Julian Ranger, Executive Chairman and Founder of Digi.me.

Julian is an aeronautical engineer specialising in interoperability and the military internet. He founded STASYS Ltd in 1987, and grew it to a staff of 230, with subsidiaries in the USA, Germany, Malaysia and Australia prior to sale to Lockheed Martin in 2005. 

He’s an angel investor in more than 20 start-up businesses, including firms such as Hailo, DataSift, and Astrobotic.

His passion for the power of personal data led him to build new businesses.  

Today he’s the Exec Chairman and founder of digi.me, a company that’s on a mission to enable the Internet of Me, enabling us to do amazing things with our personal data without compromising our privacy or security.

And that inspired me, and hence I invited you Julian to my podcast. We explore how the internet has become a place where no one is in control anymore over their own data, but no one is in control over all data. And exactly the latter is the problem that stops us from having the level of personalization we really want, and the big breakthroughs we all need, like precision medicine. 

Fixing privacy, security and consent is not the way forward. That’s about stopping the bad stuff from happening. What we need is a way to share more and better data – to make the good stuff happening (without the bad stuff)

Here are some of his quotes:

Rich data, now ask yourself, is there a company in the world that can do that? And people say, ‘well, Google, and Facebook and Axiom’, but if you take a circle of my data, they have a wedge. But they don’t have my health, my purchases, or my media, my wearables, and stuff. 

In fact, because of all the stovepipes or silos, whichever analogy you like, it is impossible for any company to bring all that data together to get a rich data library view. So we are effectively stopped from our future at this point. 

And the laws are shrinking those wedges that people have, but nobody said, Well, how do I open up the whole circle to do it? Now when you look at it, no company can. But there is one entity in the whole system that knows all about you and me. Yourself.

You know where your data is. You have a right for that data. And you’re the only entity with unlimited usage rights.

When you understand those three things, you can only aggregate rich data at the individual. And that’s the key insight for what my business does.

That’s our big idea. And it’s no less than enables the future of the world. 

During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. Why too often we approach the problem from the wrong end – by not looking far enough ahead: the simple desired outcome for the user
  2. What it requires to succeed when your big idea hits the road and you discover that the road is not quite as smooth as you’d like
  3. That everybody is lucky – but that many are just not seeing the luck around them.
  4. Why as entrepreneurs we often spend too much time on the idea and the instantiation of it, and not enough time on the internal and external messaging 

For more information about the guest from this week:


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About the author

Sales Pitch

Ton Dobbe is a former B2B software product marketer who's on a mission to save mission-driven SaaS CEOs from the stress of 'not enough' traction. He's the author of The Remarkable Effect, the host of the Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on the secrets to mastering predictable traction.