This was originally posted on Tech in a Bottle blog 17 Feb 2011
There 220 million Internet users in the US so in my opinion, except for the old school types and outliers, its safe to say that exponential Internet growth in America is over. We now have to start to think globally about the next 2 Billion plus people coming online in the next decade. Here are some numbers that will both boggle the minds of those not following this stuff like I do or have up and coming technology entrepreneurs salivating. According to Internet World Stats there are 220 million Internet users in the US out of a total 2010 census calculated 308 million citizens. This represents over 70% of our population with access to the Internet in some way, shape or form. If China, which currently has a 32% Internet penetration rate , achieves US levels of Internet penetration that will bring their total number to 944,400,320 users online. If India, a country more amiable to an open web, where to move its Internet penetration rate from 7% to the 70% US rate that would bring their total number to 821,175,613 users online. We’re not even counting places like Africa and the Middle East with their huge youth demographics starving for access. Most of these users coming online in the next decade will be mobile. That is why it is important for things like HTML5 (mobile web optimized ) must be standardized soon and deployed. The new ethos that Western developers must adopt is “build globally”. These market needs the Internet entrepreneurs here and in Europe to aid them in building their own Silicon Valley-like ecosystems.
Western markets are saturated with clones and competitors funded by a Geocentric elite (I’m talking to you Silicon Valley). The US market doesn’t need another Foursquare, Lagos, Nigeria does. Europe doesn’t need another location-base service, Pune, India does. Japan doesn’t need yet another mapping service, Kinshasa, DRC could utilize such a service to map, categorize and identify locations in its growing, sprawling megalopolis. These are market that are not only open to location based services, but could use them in innovative ways. I personally wouldn’t build a development team just to launch a US product. There are too many clones here (US). If anything I would use the US market as a test market to deploy and iterate my App or service, not as the primary target market. In a previous blog post at Blogs@Relative Progress I made a New Years Eve proclamation to “Build Something Great Some Where Else”. Granted it was an Anti-Silicon Valley, Anti-Geeknarati hate-fest but in there were some gems of inspiration. Give it a read. Then when your done listen in on Monday nights to the “Proto Podcast” with my thoughts (and rants) out loud on tech.