What would you think if in another five years, two billion more people gained access to the web?
That would be quite a phenomenon considering that it took 22 years to reach that same number. Is that milestone even possible? According to Gary Kovacs, CEO of Mozilla, the makers of Firefox, it is and it’s already happening.
For the first time in our history, the developing world now has access to the Internet through a mobile device that will give them a new way to connect with people—locally and globally. So new, that it would be the first time that they would have spoken, heard from, or read something from someone outside of their village. This is a big inflection point because it will change forever the way these individuals think and act.
“Life for the newly connected,” as Kovacs put it, will have three major impacts:
1. Massive reach into new markets: This profound change in people’s lives allows for companies to access two billion new customers—the ability to access new customer groups, new ways to market their business and new ways to cut down on risk.
2. Enhanced security in day-to-day transactions: Think for a second that you are a hard-working businessman that has to travel four to five hours one-way, each day, with all the money you made that day. As you travel from one destination to the next, you know in the back of your mind that you have a 50% chance of being robbed.
Now, to solve this problem, you are given a mobile device. To safely secure your money, wouldn’t you send the money you worked so hard for, to someone that you trust? Of course you would. That is just one example of how great an impact mobile technology has had on the developing world.
3. New ways for local entrepreneurs in these emerging markets to access global customers and to raise funds to build their businesses: as an emerging trend, crowd funding helps raise capital for entrepreneurs who do not have access to VC’s or angel investors.
In the developing world, access to investors or startup capital is a rare commodity. With access to the Internet, these entrepreneurs can now ask investors to invest in their companies from sites like Kickstarter and Crowdfunder.
A question I want to pose to you is this: as an entrepreneur, if you had access to the internet and social media for the first time, what would you do first?