Today's New York Times featured an excellent article that illuminates some points made in my previous post last Friday. The piece, entitled "Inside Nairobi, the Next Palo Alto" details tactics for technology development and maximization at work in Kenya and other low-tech areas of Africa. The second portion of the article focuses on the influence of Google in Kenya, Google's increasing physical presence there, and the citizens' hopes for what Google can enable them to achieve. The article is linked above and pasted below. Hopefully, it adds to my supposition that perceived lackluster earnings reports from Google matter little when it comes to the company's influence on identity, ethos, and aspirations of global individuals and groups.
It is easy to assume that everyone in the world has the same access to the internet and other digital resources as we do, but that is simply not the case. Although people certainly have a much easier time connecting to each other then ever before, there are still many obstacles for some countries to overcome. As the NY Times Article discusses Mr. Mworia from Naibobi, Kenya desired to write a program for the new iPhone, however he neither owned an iPhone or had the appropriate internet access to use one. The article says that in many of these cities the internet is very slow and expensive and power failures are very common. These challenges however have not stopped Google from making the effort to ease these troubles and level the playing field across cultures and countries. Google's growing presence in Africa gives the people a strong hope for the future of their technological world and will allow broader and stronger connections acorss the world.
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