Monday, October 22, 2007

Network Era--What's the Impact on the Bottom of the Pyramid?

Professor CK Prahalad has challenged corporations to focus on serving the bottom of the pyramid. His book is a very inspiring read.
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I have often wondered how to link his ideas to the broader shift to a network era that allows knowledge-workers to participate in the global development. What we need are applications that specifically focus on the value that can be delivered to those that can be characterized as being at the bottom of the pyramid. Here's a video of an experiment underway in rural parts of South India. This is impressive. We need to scale up such initiatives. We need to learn from these initiatives and adapt the applications so that they continue to deliver superior value. We cannot afford to have the network era worsen the digital divide. Network era has the opportunity to close the divide between the rich and the poor and this should be pursued.

1 comment:

Alex Milmeyster said...

Professor Venkat Venkatraman you are on to the right thing. One of the ways to solve a lot of the problems of the developing world and developing regions within increasingly wealthy nations is through the utilization of online networking applications. These allow people to come together to exchange and integrate ideas as well as potential capital to be used for precisely the projects that you mention and that Prahalad cites in his book. The examples used in Wikinomics could certainly be replicated for the purpose of social sector project optimization.