Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
My name is Matthew D’Amour and I am the founder of Data Daddy Inc., also known as, DataDaddy.com.
We are building infrastructure for mobile users to manage their own personal data networks. We are enabling convenient personal data management and in the future transparent monetization for all 4 billion mobile internet users.
We live in a time when people use their phones for everything and yet we are still made to carry around physical forms of identification and licensing documents. In some cases, photos of physical identification are the preferred mechanisms for exchange.
We see this massive shift in identity management happening and have built out a new technology to help users manage and in the future get PAID through our data sharing network.
Our technology consists of the mobile data wallet and our proprietary authentication protocol. This enables users to store all of their personal information on their own mobile device for easy and automatic hand-off through a simple scannable QR, or even a referenceable data exchange ID.
The best part of this is that YOU OWN your data, and Data Daddy NEVER collects or resells it. We created a custom internet protocol to enable just this!
We can walk through a single use case that we are targeting to help explain the massive potential our technology will bring to our users.
Say you are in a car accident. Both parties involved are safe and uninjured. The next step typically involved fumbling with several documents to exchange information with the other driver. What if you don’t have light for photo exchange, the insurance is inaccessible at the time or you forgot your wallet? That's going to cause a problem with this data exchange.
However, through the Data Daddy app, you can build out the driving template in your profile, make this data exchange simple, and verify all the information being shared is accurate and pertinent. Through the app you select the driving template, include insurance, driver's license photos, and your contact details, and share a simple QR or URL for the other driver to reference and download your data.
The car accident example is only one of dozens of manual data exchange events that we are targeting for automation. Some of the other use cases we are targeting involve eVisa and travel documents, healthcare and vaccination records, and even esports biometrics collection.
Currently, our proprietary protocol is live and working and we are in the alpha tester phase with our application. We have generated $5K / mo through an early supporter program, through which customers can gain lifetime access to our data network for a one-time discounted cost.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
My educational background is in economics, cybersecurity, and information system management. I’ve worked with several major global financial institutions, primarily developing software systems to facilitate global money transfers and enhance the security of customers’ sensitive data.
While working these IT gigs, it became pretty obvious what low-priority cybersecurity was for even the biggest organizations. Compliance was the target, anything above that was a non-value-added effort.
This type of bottom-line mindset in business has resulted in numerous major data breach headlines over the years, and that's where my attention turned to next – data breaches and secure system design.
In 2013, I got into crypto and studied decentralized systems working with open-source projects. The crypto industry piqued my interest due to the significant overlap in theoretical knowledge across economics, mathematics, cybersecurity, and decentralized system design, allowing me to become deeply immersed for years.
Around 2015, while working my professional IT job and doing the crypto side gig, I had the initial inspiration for a data-sharing application to enable unused data sets from low-budget research organizations to be re-packaged and sold on a marketplace. This was the initial seed idea for the Data Daddy vision.
From 2017 to 2019, I lived in Rincon, Puerto Rico, networking with ex-pats and entrepreneurs, attending crypto conferences, and making amazing friends with unique life perspectives. My favorite activities during this time included making reading a daily habit, long hikes through the jungle, incredible beach bonfires, free-diving, and ample amounts of rum.
This period allowed me to define some goals and start making a plan for launching my own business, however, I didn't yet know what business that might be.
Last year I had a significant break-through with that original 2015 system concept and I decided that this was the business I wanted to be fully committed to. I wanted to disrupt the data economy by bringing it out of the shadows for all internet users to truly understand the value of what we are simply giving away.
Just this year, I was able to secure the DataDaddy.com domain and incorporated shortly after that. It didn't take long to find a talented CTO who understood the vision and agreed to take on the challenge together.
I’ve self-funded the business so far and we just brought on another full-stack developer and some marketing associates.
Develop a strong routine that keeps you grounded, motivated, and eager to learn new things.
Take us through the process of building the first version of your product.
The overall design of our network was already well-structured, thanks to the utilization of existing technologies. We opted for simplicity to avoid technical jargon and steep learning curves that might deter potential users.
I connected with a technical lead to act as the CTO recruiting through Well found and shortly after found another full stack developer to also do some design work for our v1 application and website redesign.
Our CTO is a seasoned app developer and was able to get a basic prototype up and running within the first two weeks of coming on board. And our talented lead front-end developer has worked with several successful startups in the past. You can check out his handy work on the DataDaddy.com website.
Now the real key to enabling communication on our data-sharing network is the authentication protocol. Early on, we filed a provisional patent to protect the IP related to this process, as this is the key communication protocol for the network to function.
Over the last two months, we dedicated ourselves to developing this protocol to overcome the technical barrier. We developed a proprietary authentication protocol, utilizing a custom implementation of OpenID. This is the industry standard for social authentication to web services, many people recognize it as the “sign in with Google, etc., feature when using websites.
The authentication protocol enables our entire network to function, this was critical for us to build before we could move forward with anything else. It's featured in our current demo app, which is live now.
The mobile app is built with a dynamically extensible DSL (Domain Specific Language) in Scala. This is an open-source framework our CTO created, which allows super scalable, custom app development. This means every user's experience with our app will be customized to their data profile.
As some users may choose to be power sharers and monetize all of their data while others may elect to simply use our network for self-authentication to better manage their data emissions, two users could have drastically different experiences through our application.
This technical aspect is unique to our application. It serves as a key differentiator between our solution and other market competitors.
Describe the process of launching the business.
Launching the business consisted of me finding a killer .com domain, DataDaddy.com, and then checking the business registry to see if the business name space was available. That was it, I immediately dove in and never looked back.
Our go-to-market strategy involves a grassroots campaign to raise awareness about data privacy rights and educate individuals on how our solution can help them better manage those rights. To bolster that effort, we are engaging with privacy rights groups such as Electronic Frontier Foundation, The Repair Organization, and Proton Privacy. This led to us lining up partnerships with major data industry organizations.
The data network we are building will enable all interested businesses or industries to source personal data directly from our app users. And I mean directly from the app users, as Data Daddy never personally collects their data. Configuring our data network with user custodied, data storage allows us to avoid cumbersome compliance requirements. This is a major competitive advantage for us.
We are also launching a pre-sale campaign in the coming weeks to allow early access to users and supporters aligned with our mission. The pre-sale purchase will include lifetime access to the Data Money Network and other exclusive benefits.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Engage, engage, engage. It doesn’t exactly scale well but I have been personally reaching out and talking with potential users that understand our product and vision.
This is key to learning the pain points around personal data management. Engaging with our users has been critical at this early stage to ensure we are addressing the core challenges of personal data management.
If users feel appreciated and know their feedback is being heard, they go above and beyond to help. We have met a lot of fans who simply want to see us succeed and have even engaged with some volunteers to help us along.
We are also starting to experiment with some paid ads and social media outreach. Twitter and LinkedIn are the two platforms we are currently focusing our ads on currently. Our best-performing ads include AI-generated imagery and some engaging copywriting trying to connect with prospects on a personal level to get them interested in the message. Below is an example.
At present, we are seeing a CPC of around 20-30 cents.
This is a re-education campaign as much as it is a business awareness campaign. Internet users need to see that their data is extremely valuable and currently we just give it away to all the big tech companies who want the status quo to change. “Data is the new oil” – big tech companies want our data to build their AI infrastructure.
News flash, These tech companies aren’t going to just change their business models when their AIs dominate the world. The users and their data are simply trampled upon and forgotten.
Every user we educate and convert is one more person who thinks twice before simply agreeing to new data agreements with these tech giants.
Achieving success is never easy, just keep pushing forward. Be gritty and avoid the negativity the world throws at you.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
We just launched our new and improved website with the self-authentication protocol, that's live now and ready for anyone to test out. Experimenting with social media ads to optimize our outreach strategy.
We have officially partnered with Proton.me, a fantastic internet service provider specializing in privacy tools. Creating products for internet users to better secure and control their online presence is crucial in this day and age when privacy seems like a myth and we are constantly being surveilled. We are grateful for the opportunity to promote personal online privacy with their all-star company by our side.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
I learned that the US Patent and Trademark Office is full of wonderfully helpful people who want to see you succeed. Since starting the business I have self-filed a patent and have also filed several trademarks for our business assets, with more in the pipeline.
I would recommend that if you are interested in filing patents and trademarks, do some homework first and see if you are up to the fairly simple task of self-filing. This could save a TON of money, which is better spent elsewhere in the early stages of a startup.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
The iOS and Google Play app stores handle delivery of the app for us. We use Mailchimp for outbound marketing and email collection. Github for code management and GitHub project for productivity tracking.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
I have been really into sci-fi end-of-the-world type books. This genre attracts me because it allows me to analyze futuristic tech at the system level, even if just theory crafting, which has been a key factor in my willingness to pursue super far-out ideas and businesses.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Develop a strong routine that keeps you grounded, and motivated and promotes exploration of thought. As mentioned earlier, my willingness to learn enabled me to save a substantial amount of money by filing patents and trademarks on my own.
Achieving success is never easy, and we are not a success story just yet. Be gritty and avoid the negativity the world throws at you. And find some good music to help you enter that productivity flow state as often as possible.
If it doesn't instantly land with the customer, iterate the message.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We aren’t hiring anyone full-time at present but when we do start hiring, we will source talent from our social networks, so if you are interested in getting involved, be sure to join our Discord server and stay up to date with our development.
We also have an affiliate marketing program where anyone who wishes to get involved can reach out to become a marketing partner and earn some rewards while promoting our mission. There will be some exclusive benefits to getting involved early, including some cool free swag along the way.
Sign up through datadaddy.com, the affiliate program will be live soon.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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