Lessons from the BoP 9: Uncertainty is the only certainty

How do you communicate the concept of "being comfortable with ambiguous, uncertain working conditions" across the vast cultural divide of the absolute North and the easily adaptable East?

I, myself, have just had my assumptions about the BoP, in context of consumer marketing, jolted from their very foundations. Reading this post by Maneno, where he points out the obvious now that he's shown it to us, which is:

It does indeed seem like it's a good idea, doesn't it? But how will
this really help people? Issues in Africa aren't due to a lack of
information for people living there, as that is spread quite readily,
but more due to a lack of outside communication. It's a one-sided,
one-way communication for some group from Norther America or Europe to
dump something like this on a people.

The issue is that it's short term, scatter shot
thinking to just send a device like this to Africa. Yes, it could give
knowledge to the next William Kamkwamba,
but it is much better if someone comes from the continent, sees the
device, thinks it is indeed a good idea and takes one back to share
with people. Others see it, agree and have more sent in. That is more
of what is needed, Africans making the decision as to which technology
they think is appropriate for them. I believe the term often used is,
"supply and demand". I know, it's revolutionary.

It struck me that there's a missing skillset of creative information technology hacking required to adapt the products to the local market or create indigenously designed innovative solutions. Or so we assumed, until Maneno pointed out the obvious. Nobody ever asked the poor African or Indian children whether they wanted a laptop at all?

This entry was posted in Bottom of the pyramid/Poverty, Business, Culture & research, Ethics, Minimal footprint, pay as you go economy, Strategy. Bookmark the permalink.