One of the worst things about all the free stuff on the web is the Hotel California mentality: “First one’s free” and “You can checkout but you can never leave.” Well, your data can never leave.

In the corporate world, we would never dream of implementing a CRM platform that locks our critical business data in and prevents us from taking our content to a competitor. In the personal web world, lock-in happens all the time. All those posts on Pinterst? Not going with you to Twitter! Create a bunch of Google docs? Can’t flip a switch and move everything to Office365!

The reality is that on today’s web, you are the product, not the customer. It’s in the provider’s and their investor’s interests to keep their product tied down, not free.

My vision is to create an ecosystem of open, portable data standards, web applications and cloud providers that free individuals from vendor lock-in. I envision an App Store-like environment where you can host your own data & services or easily move between providers as you see fit.

If enabling freedom through data portability and open web tools sounds interesting to you, let’s talk!

- benWoz