This quote by Mark Andreesen, from October 2004 no less(!) sums up what MINT inititive wants to address:
You can’t get your reputation out of eBay, you can’t get your purchase history out of eBay, you can’t get your stores out of eBay. It’s a plantation owner/sharecropper kind of relationship
Getting hold of my purchase history in both human and machine format should be a big deal. After all, an informed customer is a better customer, or so many a marketing tagline would have us believe. Purchase history is not only about the money I spend, which is informative, scary and boring all at once. It is my buying behaviour, patterns and preferences that I would certainly find interesting. Ultimately, it’s the kind of data that only I can process meaningfully, add value to it and potentially share it with those who care about me as a customer.