Information Industries and the Rise of the Meta

Published by Lex on

Writing this on May 4th, I feel compelled to say that Rise of the Meta is not the title of an episode the Star Wars series as far as I know.

There are many industries that are purely information based. In some ways these are meta industries. Industries that are based on information about information.

While publishing seems like an obvious industry in this realm, it is really the firms that curate information about information that are the true metas of this world.

As alluded to in a previous post, almost all of the finance industry is information based. The is financial data, there is data about financial data followed by interpretations of the financial data, followed by interpretations of the interpretations, and so on. The beautiful thing about it is that it is self replicating and infinite.

But the financial industry is not an outlier in this infinite cycle. The legal industry is almost all information based. Making laws, interpreting laws, complying with laws and while few will admit it, looking for loopholes. The legal industry is closely related to other fields that operate on the same model including government, politics as well as non-governmental organizations that package and repackage information.

Healthcare is a bit of hybrid — it is mostly about information bits moving around. Patient to healthcare service. Healthcare service to patient. Healthcare service to payers. Information used in treating patients and information about billing said patients… But there are a lot of other dimensions of healthcare that are information intensive such as drug and medical device development that also produce tangible physical goods.

The IT information is a hybrid, but ironically its products are mostly tangible in one way or another. The information about information technology products may be the ultimate meta, but it may be less important than the hardware and software products themselves.

Information about information is essentially endless cycle of self perpetuation and exponential expansion that it is like infinite resource.


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