Povertry and web 2.0

By | 2007-10-09

Thinking further about the subject of the previous post, I can claim that almost all tech companies produce things for the top richest population of the world (I mean, including the 3rd world). Look at Microsoft and their Vista O.S, that can only run in a really expensive machine (expensive even for the Western standards). Google and Yahoo develop new products (mail systems, news collectors, etc) that use a lot of the power of the user computer [basically there is a lot of javascript around to “improve” the user experience… this reminds me of a wise requirement from a Last.fm opening, which was “Javascript, and when not to use it”]. Well, Google Search (their top product) is fast, but for the rest of their products (and Yahoo’s and other companies’ ones) you need a good machine… obviously they don’t focus on the people with poor resources.

Another idea to keep in mind: the success of the web 2.0, in economical terms, is the equation “low instalment plus a lot of people equals a lot of money”. See examples like Flickr or Last.fm, that ask you for a small amount of money, to get a benefit based in the incredible amount of subscribers.

So, with these two ideas, I wonder why tech companies don’t look at the 3rd world as a possible market. Maybe they can’t pay 300 euros for a product, but maybe they can spend a small amount of money to increase their well-being… and there are millions of people in this situation. Maybe the reason is that this adventure is too risky… but “no risk, no return”.