Friday, March 6, 2009

Leveraging Technology in Tough Times

If you want a poster-child for a country in deep trouble - Nigeria would be close to the top of the list. There is a raging 4GW conflict in the Niger Delta, intense ethnic divisions and poverty of a depth and breadth most Westerners could not comprehend.

In the face of that mess, technology is allowing Nigerians to create value in an "industry" long dominated by hierarchical entities and very expensive cost structures:

Africa must learn from Nigeria's "microwave" movies
By Katrina Manson
OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) - In the time it takes for a lovingly crafted art house movie to emerge as winner of the top prize at Burkina Faso's pan-African FESPACO cinema festival, Nigeria's prolific producers will already have churned out
another 50 films.

They might be tales of cannibalism, sorcery and jealous girlfriends who shrink their errant boyfriends into bottles, but Nigeria's $450 million home video industry is the third biggest in the world, after America's Hollywood and India's Bollywood.

By contrast, FESPACO's filmmakers -- considered the best on the continent -- rely on dwindling donations, and scrabble for private financing and poor distribution deals amid a spate of cinema closures...

People want access to stories, narratives and entertainment that helps discuss and explain their world. As the West descends into a cycle of negative social mood and a wiping out of the current financial system, that demand for stories will not abate.

Technology will allow us to challenge and eventually topple the massive hierarchies that lord over entire industries - be it movies, publishing, education.

Keep that in mind as we navigate these tough times. You can not just survive, but you can thrive, you can do meaningful work and you can be part of a series of revolutions that will overtake education, entertainment, agriculture and manufacturing in the coming years.

Times will be getting tougher for most of the rest of the world this year. In the face of this mass mood swing to pessimism, be sure you keep your head - and perspective. Don't let the negativity paralyze you. DO be aware of the dangers, DO be aware that credit will be tight, that money won't flow like wine in the coming years and DON'T make business decisions based on self-delusion and unfounded hope. DO be on the lookout to create value that can be afforded by your neighbors - and be open to novel ways of receiving payment.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have lost your job, look for services or goods currently being provided at high expense and for poor performance. Then look for a technology that can mitigate it. Then execute.

All the "experts" will say you are crazy. They'll be the same people who, five years down the road, will saying how it was "inevitable" that you would succeed.

All the "purists" will say this new way of making a product or providing a service is of lesser quality or cheap. They'll be left behind in the dust.

Keep your head while all about you are losing theirs and the world will be yours, my friends.

3 comments:

rachel said...

Interesting blog.

Wonderwood said...

I just found your blog from a link in the Socionomics Institute newsletter. Marked it a favorite.

I just became aware of the Elliott Wave Theory and socionomics a few months ago. Fascinating, and scary. But, I'd rather have the information and be able to take action, than be ignorant until it's too late.

Thanks for your insight, I look forward to reading more.

Flagg707 said...

Thanks for the kinds comments. We do live in interesting times, don't we?