Distinguished Lecture

Digital Exhibitionism: The Future of Relationships?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
Andreas Weigend

The production, distribution, aggregation, and consumption of data is changing dramatically. This trend has in turn opened up the door to what we call the consumer data revolution, which carries with it significant personal, business and societal implications. Traditionally, paid specialists actively collected data for a specific purpose. Now, individuals stream their attention, intention, location, etc, and explicitly share highly sensitive data, including their DNA and financial information.

This lecture discusses these emerging data sources, while seeking to understand how to design the incentives that fuel the creation of data, how to interpret the collected data, and most importantly, how to arrive at concrete decisions and actions based on them. Furthermore, we present a framework for decision making that considers both expectations and extreme outcomes.

As individuals begin to get a glimpse of the potential benefits and risks of the traces they leave, what are the implications on relationships, both between individuals and between individuals and companies?  What can we learn from the limitations of Facebook, and how to overcome them? For companies whose business models were built around leveraging their information asymmetry against their customers, their advantage is rapidly being disintegrated by the emergence of social media. How can companies create sound information and data strategies, as well as cultivate ecosystems in order to tap on the unrealized potential of the consumer data revolution?

Andreas Weigend

Dr. Andreas Weigend was the chief scientist of Amazon.com where he helped create a customer-centric, measurement-focused culture. He now works with exciting startups and visionary multinationals, leveraging the principles of the new consumer data revolution for product innovation and new business models. Examples include MySpace (leveraging the social graph for marketing and advertising), Alibaba (coaching the company towards a data-focused organization), Lufthansa (designing key innovative features for their new frequent flier program), and Nokia (both product innovation and education, helping the company navigate this new world of unprecedented amounts of data).

Being highly passionate about innovation in the digital networked economy, Andreas works with innovative startups. Recent successful exits include Agoda (acquired by Priceline) and the technology company Cleverset (acquired by ATG). Andreas is a limited partner in San Francisco-based Founders Fund, helping the venture capital firm with deal flow and investment decisions. Andreas started as a physicist (Stanford Ph.D.) analyzing and explaining the traces of elementary particles. He then turned to the traces of traders on Wall Street (as Associate Professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business), and subsequently to the traces of users on the web.

Andreas lives in San Francisco, Shanghai, and on weigend.com.


Andreas Weigend will be teaching the seminar course "The Consumer Data Revolution" (INFO 296A) at the I School during the second half of this Fall semester.

Last updated:

March 26, 2015