Greg Skibiski

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Greg Skibiski
Skibiski greg 004.jpg
Born 1973/1974 (age 40–41)[1]
Nationality American
Known for founder of Sense Networks

Gregory Roman Skibiski (born 1973), is an American entrepreneur. Skibiski is the founder[2][3] and former Chairman & CEO of Sense Networks, a New York City based company focused on analyzing big data from mobile phones and carrier networks.[1][4][5][6][7] Skibiski is named lead[8] inventor on three patent applications for analyzing emerging sensor data streams from mobile phones, culminating in the Macrosense, Citysense [1], and Cabsense [2] products.[9]

Citysense was named by ReadWriteWeb (in The New York Times) as "Top 10 Internet of Things Products of 2009".[10] Sense Networks was called "The Next Google" on the cover of Newsweek.[11]

Life and career[edit]

The idea for Citysense started in 2006 when Skibiski approached Alex "Sandy" Pentland (Head of Human Dynamics Research at the MIT Media Lab) with the idea that large amounts of location data being collected by mobile phones and GPS devices could be useful to economists.[12][13][14][15] Technology to do that analysis did not exist at the time.[16]

Skibiski's original theory was that analyzing large amounts of location data from mobile phones and vehicles would provide value to the financial services and retail industries, enabling "an entirely new business model for location-based services" based on monetizing macro trends in spending and sentiment.[17][18] For retailers, information ranging from where else its customers shop to how far people travel to get to its stores. Like Web analysis tools, determining where customers were immediately prior to entering the business—a real-world "referring site" kind of concept.[16]

It became apparent that trends in how far shoppers are willing to travel to get to a store like Macy's, Saks or Nordstrom could indicate monthly trends in that store's sales.[19] People who worked in the financial district would to go to work early when the market was booming, but later when it was down. Plotting San Francisco nightlife patterns on the same graph as the Dow showed that, just before the market peak in July 2008, urban partygoers hit the town at later-than-ever times.[20][21] Beginning mid-2006 Skibiski's firm used location data to operate a trading portfolio.[22]

Skibiski was pushed out by lead investor Intel Capital[23] in November 2009 shortly after closing the company's B round of financing, in the same week the company was named one of "The 25 Most Intriguing Startups in the World" by Bloomberg Businessweek [24] and won the Emerging Communications Conference "Company to Watch" Award.[25]

Originally from Northampton, Massachusetts, Skibiski attended the Williston Northampton School from 1985 through 1991.[26] He received his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University in 1996 and his MBA from HEC Paris in 2006.[27] Skibiski was also one of the first employees at BackWeb Technologies, a Tel Aviv based internet infrastructure software company that had a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999.[28]

Privacy and data ownership[edit]

Although there have been doubts as to its practicality, Skibiski has been an advocate for the New Deal on Data, as created and evangelized by Alex "Sandy" Pentland from The MIT Media Lab.[4][15][29][30] “The idea behind the New Deal on Data is based on Old English Common Law saying you have the right to possess something, use it and dispose of it. "So if you’re a company and you're keeping their location data, the end user should own it and have a say over whether it should be destroyed.”[18]

The New Deal on Data also provides for the aggregate, anonymous use of location data for the public good, such as predicting Tuberculosis outbreaks in Africa. “If you can find and identify an outbreak just one week earlier, you’re saving thousands of lives.”[31]


  1. ^ a b Fitzgerald, Michael. "Predicting Where You’ll Go and What You’ll Like", The New York Times, New York, 22 June 2008. Retrieved on 2010-05-12.
  2. ^ "Sense Networks Secures Series B Funding for Location Analytics, Led by Intel Capital", Sense Networks corporate website, Media Center, New York, 30 June 2009. Retrieved on 2010-05-14.
  3. ^ "Press Release: Sense Networks Secures Series B Funding for Location Analytics, Led by Intel Capital", Intel Capital, New York, 30 June 2009. Retrieved on 2010-05-13.
  4. ^ a b Sheridan, Barrett. "A Trillion Points of Data", Newsweek, New York, 28 Feb 2009. Retrieved on 2010-05-12.
  5. ^ Baker, Stephen. "Mapping a New, Mobile Internet", Bloomberg Businessweek, New York, 26 February 2009. Retrieved on 2010-05-12.
  6. ^ Markoff, John. "You're Leaving a Digital Trail. What About Privacy?", The New York Times, New York, 29 November 2008. Retrieved on 2010-05-12.
  7. ^ Sense Networks, Inc. corporate website. Retrieved on 2010-05-12.
  8. ^ US Patent & Trademark Office. Retrieved on 2010-05-12.
  9. ^ Silver, James. "The Hidden Persuaders", Wired Magazine, London, 22 June 2009. Retrieved on 2010-05-12.
  10. ^ Macmanus, Richard. "Top 10 Internet of Things Products of 2009", The New York Times, New York, 8 December 2009. Retrieved on 2010-05-13.
  11. ^ [3]
  12. ^ Junietz, Erika. "A Sense of Place", MIT Technology Insider, Boston, August 2008. Retrieved on 2010-05-14.
  13. ^ Davey, Justin. "Five Location-Based Services to Watch in 2009", VentureBeat, San Francisco, 28 November 2008. Retrieved on 2010-05-14.
  14. ^ Stern, Allen. "Sense Networks Answers the Question, 'Where's the Party At?'", CenterNetworks, San Francisco, 9 June 2008. Retrieved on 2010-05-14.
  15. ^ a b Forrest, Brady. "Citysense: Lets You Know What Everyone's Doing", O'Reilly, San Francisco, 9 June 2008. Retrieved on 2010-05-14.
  16. ^ a b Raphael, JR. "GPS Mapping Shows Where the Action Is", TechNewsWorld, San Francisco, 9 June 2008.
  17. ^ Levine, Barry. "Citysense Monitors Real-Time Human Traffic", CIO Today, 9 June 2009.
  18. ^ a b Stepanek, Marcia. "New Deal on Data", Pop!Tech, San Francisco, 29 May 2009. Retrieved on 2010-05-14.
  19. ^ Gupta, Ritesh. "Using location analytics to mine mobile location data for user segmentation", The Where Business, San Francisco, 1 July 2010.
  20. ^ Markoff, John. "You're Leaving a Digital Trail. What About Privacy?", The New York Times, New York, 29 November 2008.
  21. ^ Where 2.0 Conference, San Francisco, "Greg Skibiski's Keynote: Decoding the Urban DNA and Harnessing the Power of Social Intelligence". 20 May 2009. Video.
  22. ^ Sheridan, Barrett. "A Trillion Points of Data", Newsweek, New York, 28 Feb 2009.
  23. ^ Baker, Stephen. "Data correlation: Used-car customers drop cell-phone service?", The Numerati, New York, 8 January 2010. Retrieved on 2010-05-14.
  24. ^ Ante, Spencer. "The World's Most Intriguing Startups", Bloomberg BusinessWeek, New York, 12 November 2009. Retrieved on 2010-05-12.
  25. ^ "Sense Networks Wins the Emerging Communications Conference & Awards Inaugural "Company to Watch" Award", Press Release, New York, 2 November 2009. Retrieved on 2010-05-16.
  26. ^ Greg Skibiski,, Retrieved 2011-01-06.
  27. ^ "HEC Graduate, Greg Skibiski, Indexes the Real World", HEC Paris, Paris, 25 June 2008. Retrieved on 2010-05-13.
  28. ^ "The Mobile Web", Milken Institute, Los Angeles, 27 April 2009. Retrieved on 2010-05-13.
  29. ^ Diaz, Carly. "Interview with Greg Skibiski". Amsterdam, NL. 29 September 2009. Video.
  30. ^ Bollier, David. The Promise and Peril of Big Data (book) Eighteenth Annual Aspen Institute Roundtable on Information Technology, Aspen, Colorado, 2010. ISBN 0-89843-516-1
  31. ^ Tsai, Jessica. "Here, There and Everywhere", DestinationCRM, San Francisco, January 2010. Retrieved on 2010-05-15.

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