Jacob Andra

About Me

Jacob Andra is chief marketing officer at SOMA, a blockchain-based marketplace that integrates social media functionality, ownership validation, and provenance authentication for an ecommerce experience.

Five Ways Companies Are Leveraging Big Data

Companies are sitting on some of the world’s largest reservoirs of valuable data, but many of them aren’t doing anything with it. It’s pretty hard to “do anything with it” if the data storage method doesn’t allow one dataset to talk to another. Or if tools like Hadoop and Spark process large amounts of data in a distributed fashion using commodity hardware”—can’t readily access said data to work their magic on it. Legacy institutions suffer from infrastructures predating the so-called information age. Yet these siloed institutions are the ones with the most to gain from the efficiencies and insights that data can bring.

How will AI shape the workforce of the future?

Will artificial intelligence bring a utopia of plenty? Or a dystopic hellscape? Will we, jobless and destitute, scavenge for scraps outside the walls of a few techno-trillionaires? Or will we work alongside machines, achieving new levels of productivity and fulfillment? The tech world has no lack of prognosticators. Over the next 5–10 years and beyond, we’ll see in exactly which ways AI revolutionizes industry and business. One thing, however, is clear: It’s happening, and it’s going to be big. 

Dangerously Connected: The complexities of personal devices in the workplace

The BYOD (bring your own device) issue gives IT managers and internet security contractors plenty to fret over. Ninety-five percent of the data breaches we see involve BYOD. And most of them are totally well-meaning employees who don’t know they’re doing anything wrong. What is the core of the BYOD dilemma? People are so plugged in that they go almost catatonic if you take their smartphones and other devices away. In a competitive labor market, you’d better have some pretty sweet perks to compensate for the deprivation.

How blockchain can create self-sovereign identities

It’s time to take our identity into our own hands. As social creatures, we are the sum total of our interactions with others. Blockchain brings new opportunities to the field of identity management. It does so via the qualities of immutability and distributed access (anyone, anywhere in the world, can verify that information exists). Together, these enable a new paradigm of trustlessness: I don’t need to trust you, a stranger, because I trust the immutability of the blockchain. Blockchain-based peer-to-peer marketplaces are the future.

The Harvard Innovation Lab

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The Harvard Innovation Lab


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