Indie Industries?

Photo on 2014-05-21 at 18.15 #2

It’s “writing hour” before the Homebrew Website Club aka Indie Web Camp Light at Mozilla in San Francisco.

I’ve been wondering a lot about “Indie” stuff lately. Obviously, there’s my Indie Box Project, and Indie Web Camp, but also Indie Phone and others. “Indie” seems to be everywhere all of a sudden.

Has the time come for a turn back from ever-bigger, aggregate-everybody’s-data-in-one-place, to something more decentralized again? The most puzzling question is this: let’s say it is time for “indie” computing and indie use of products, and even indie products. Some vendors will create those products and sell them. Some of them will be successful. Then, will they still be “indie”? Or are we all back to same-old, same-old, just with a different name that somehow turned into the opposite of what it started with?

I think the important thing will be to declare certain parts of business endeavors as off-limits to keep it “indie”. Such as monetization of user data directly with advertisers. The Personal Cloud principles may be a good guide:

  1. Users control their data. Users decide whether to store it, transfer it, modify it, or delete it.
  2. Users control sharing. Users decide who is permitted to access their data, and which apps to run on it.
  3. Users set the terms for use of their data and may change them at any time.