Betting against the creation of Google, and open data

This last line from Tom Steinberg, on how to not cock up open data, is two years old, but full of absolute gems. on why Open Data is a really, really exciting field:

The first way we can avoiding cocking up Open Data is to ensure that we always advocate for it in the same way that scientists advocate for Blue Sky science research – we must argue for it as a numbers game – a calculated risk that is worth taking. So, we say loud and clear : we do not expect the majority of government datasets will contain massive wells of untapped value, just as we don't expect that most university research will yield a new penicillin, or an atom bomb. But we do believe that it would be a terrible, criminally stupid bet to assume that all the value that lurked in the hidden mines of government data is valueless, especially when so much remains locked up or hidden. It would be like sitting looking at the internet in 1996, and betting against the creation of Google – a mega enterprise founded on data that nobody thought had any value.

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