Despite pessimism over the global economic slump, serial entrepreneur Peter Diamandis says the world is getting better at an accelerating rate. The cause? Technology. Clean water, sanitation, electrical power, refrigeration, television, cell phones, cars, and air conditioning are typically available to many without large incomes. Diamandis is particularly excited by cell phones: “As lower-cost phones begin to penetrate, they’ll become the educator and physician everywhere on the planet,” he says.
What’s the Big Idea?
The cheapening of technology broadens its reach, creating new opportunities for business. Companies that can find ways to serve ever growing numbers of highly empowered, nominally poverty-stricken people will stand make large gains. “Eight billion people will have Internet access by 2020,” Diamandis points out. “These people will be one click away from your business. If they spend 30 cents a day, that’s huge. If you’re not thinking about them, you’re missing a $1 trillion market.”