Featured on Jan 07, 2013
"There's no such thing as a free lunch. - Milton Friedman"
Boston College graduate, Wall Street graduate, Startup student
- Title: Founder/CEO, DataCoup
- Age: 31
- Location: SoHo
- Contact: @matthewphogan
What's the elevator pitch for DataCoup and what's driving you to build it?
DataCoup empowers consumers with their own personal data. The data we create, both socially and financially, is very valuable, and we, as consumers, should be in control of and benefit from its value and distribution.
The drive to build this stemmed from the belief that our data is ours. I realized the amount of data I was giving away to all of my apps, financial institutions and others, and it was very clear to me that I can negotiate far better on my own data's behalf, then a third party service can (or a data broker for that matter). Secondarily, I'm a staunch believer in efficient markets. The market for personal data has entirely too many middlemen. The exchange should be consumers controlling access to their personal data, facing merchants who want access to their data. Mutual self interest breeds the most efficient markets, and if we give control of personal data back to consumers, we are drawing mighty close to realizing an efficient market.
Who is your favorite writer and why?
Jon Krakauer. Krakauer has an uncanny ability to dive so deep into a subject that the reader is forced to jump off the cliff with him.
You mention on your website that you like poker, golf, and sharks. Favorite golf course? Favorite shark?!
My favorite golf course is Waterville golf links, in County Kerry, Ireland.
My favorite shark is the Bull Shark. I was snorkeling in Florida at age 13, and I picked my head up to see a 6 foot Bull cruising past me. Left an indelible mark.
We recently asked this question to another former Wall Street to startup founder… What lead to your decision to leave finance to start your own company?
I left Wall Street because I realized that I did not want to be doing what I was doing for the rest of my career. I had a great time working on Wall Street. I loved it, and I worked with great people and learned invaluable skills, but I woke up one morning and new 100% that after 7.5 years I did not want to do it anymore.