Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Start-Up from Batman

I am reading a new book by Thomas L. Friedman called “Thank You for Being Late”, an Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations.

Friedman calls the Cloud the “Supernova”, for it is an extraordinary release of energy that is reshaping everything. It is creating vast new opportunities for individuals and small groups to save the world, or destroy it.

I call it a Black Hole, because losing your wi-fi connection to this Supernova is like losing your data to that dark place.

Now we come to the chapter, The Start-Up from Batman.

Friedman writes about meeting Sadik Yildiz in March 2016, in Iraqi Kurdistan. His family runs a number of information technology companies. Among them is Yeni Medya (New Media Inc.), started in 2007, which exemplifies just how fast a small maker can get just how big from just how remote a place by leveraging the Supernova.

New Media Inc. does big data analytics and media monitoring for the Turkish and other Governments and the private sector, among other things. They track all the media, including social media, in real time and can report to their customers what stories appear about them in media anywhere. They can also inform the customer in real time of the top twenty subjects people are talking about and in what proportions. It is all displayed on a dashboard in colored boxes with the headline and percentage in each box.

The Turkish President is a customer, and through their system he can receive a real-time poll service, every minute New Media can poll the public. Big data is making things easy for everyone now. The software that they developed in-house aggregates all the news sources in Turkey and the U.S. every five minutes, even Google News does not track every source at this pace all the time. They track all the existing stories on Twitter, and they archive all the stories, one million a day; no one is archiving like that even in the U.S., so if a news source deletes the story they publish about you after it is circulated, you can still use their system to retrieve it and use it for judiciary purposes. And then any Government or company can use that to track what is said about them.

The business makes money on a subscription basis depending on how many keywords you want tracked and how many users you will have. Packages range from one thousand to twenty thousand. The system can give you content analysis like: what is being said about you; break it down by geography; where it is coming from; how many people in which City are reading it; who started the story about you, or the trend first (who is the influencers), and how many followers used the same wording or how the original wording evolved and changed.

All the members of the Turkish Parliament are using it to track about themselves. So are some new agencies, who can judge their reporters by whose stories are getting picked up most.

So with all this amazing technology and reach, Friedman asked, where did the company start? Sadik said Batman. Batman is in the Kurdish speaking region of Eastern Turkey, is the family’s hometown. The City’s Mayor had sued the Batman movie for using the name without permission. The family has other business: construction, and water treatment. But the real success came through leveraging the Supernova from Batman, when the Global flow hit the town.

Sadik’s nephew, Ekrem Teymur, is the Founder and Chief Engineer, born in Batman, and is the number-one Data engineer in Turkey. His six sisters, most of whom had only basic education, are now working as the Chief Editor, Sales Managers, and App Production Managers. This is remarkable in a City where most woman are not allowed by their families to work.

New Media Inc. has one hundred employees, with key positions held by family members. The main business is now in Istanbul with offices in Beirut, Dubai, Dublin, and Palo Alto California.

Sadik says: “There is nothing called ‘Underprivileged’ anymore. All you need is a working brain, some short training, and then put your idea into a fantastic business from any part of the world.”

“More and more people are being empowered at lower and lower levels of income than ever before, so they think and act as if they were in the middle class, demanding human security, dignity, and citizens’ right,” explained Khalid Malik, former Director of the UN’s Human Development Report Office. “This is a tectonic shift. The Industrial Revolution was a ten-million person story. This is a couple-of-billion-person story.”

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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