SNS: Special Letter: Democratizing Computing

SNS: Special Letter: Democratizing Computing


Volume 13, Issue 31
Week of August 30, 2010

In This Issue

Feature: Democratizing Computing

  • Smartphone: Personal, Affordable, and Accessible
  • The Next Innovation Wave
  • The Cellphone As a Platform in Healthcare
  • Plug-and-Play Accessories
  • Industry Landscape
  • The Democratization of Computing
  • About Sailesh Chutani

Publisher’s Note: Our members have watched the industry strategic energies move over time from fewer users of more powerful machines, to a global base of users of many types of less-expensive computing and communications devices. It is almost fair to wonder about the cart and the horse: do cellphones improve the economics of emerging poor, or do those moving from poverty to basic, consumer-level incomes buy more technology? The answer to both is a clear “Yes.‚”

Just as the wildfire-like adaptation of spreadsheets changed corporate power structures forever (and reduced a couple of management layers), so today do we see technology flattening the power structures, politically and economically, worldwide. As most nations move from a Push societal structure to a Pull structure (unless you live in a communist or Islamist country), this bottoms-up, on-demand participation profile will create lasting change. These changes are already evident in income, in culture, in politics, in attitude, and in healthcare. Central to all of these, in developed and emerging nations, is the cellphone. And, although “smartphones” (with full-on computing power) remain currently stuck in the wealthier demographics, I have never considered unit or retail price a barrier in the technology world. Rather, it’s just a small pause.

Sailesh Chutani is a brilliant entrepreneur who is in the middle of these changes, and I can’t think of anyone better-suited to describe them. Luckily, he agreed to share his views with our members. — mra.

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