Everyone knows or can conceptually think through how Google and Facebook built massive businesses around making a previously inaccessible set of information accessible through software.
Google indexed the internet, and Facebook indexed your interests, likes, and friends etc.Salesforce indexed sales and customer relationship data.Dropbox indexed your files and GitHub indexed code.They’re all fundamentally systems of record, contributory databases to a certain degree.
The actual data around your own interests and friends was never really indexed in an insightful way before Facebook, but it existed and was theoretically measurable. Similar to your CRM data, where relationships with customers were documented, but never indexed and aggregated in a meaningful way.
How do you collect that information? Google built page rank, FB had you add your friends. Salesforce you manually enter it, Dropbox and Github are syncing. Creatively acquiring and maintaining the newly accessible information is equally challenging.
It will be interesting to see what other data sets are out there existing but uncatalogued yet — as the bigger they are, the more valuable it becomes to build a product around it. The searchable internet is a trillion dollar set of newly accessible information. As is the social network of the world. What others exist in reality but are not yet accessible?