The never ending story

21 04 2012

It’s been months now that the story has broken and the all so beautiful idea of a tablet gone bad in India is still in the daily news. So today another report in the Mintmint about Datawind failing to deliver and everyone around it involved pointing fingers. Speaking for myself, I am not sure why after many months of this we still focus on the failure rather than the success and the positive. India is a country, and historically has been a country of surpassing crisis through great innovation. India has created a fertile territory for innovation with great opportunity to succeed – why don’t we all recognize the infusion the introduction of a project like Aakash and the following award even to an underperforming company like Datawind has been into the creation of a education spark. In my book, focusing on failure and focusing on the mistakes, creates often more failure and the real benchmark certainly should no longer be the tablet, that was delivered only 334 times to truly proof it was a flop. We have moved beyond that and we have seen many others come to the table with bookshelves and “empty” devices with no promise. The focus now needs to be to provide a consumer in an emerging and highly cost value critical consumer like in India, an offering that provides not only a device but more importantly a contextual piece, that let’s each user benefit in ways that drive a nation and a country forward. The often quoted “bridge to the digital divide” is not the device or the technology alone, the true bridge is the resources, the knowledge and the information we can access thru it. Think and imagine, people would have to be concerned about and tell you every single time they access Google, that they do it on an android, iOS or windows operating system, on a tablet, laptop or desktop machine – ridiculous, right? Access to educational and meaningful resources for the learner, whoever she or he is, must be the same and that will be the ultimate crossing of the bridge of the digital divide! For now we are just starring at the water running under the bridge and we have not even entered the gates to the bridge which crosses that river!