Firstly apologies for being MIA. I was back in India for break and believe it or not it has been a life changing experience for me, more life changing than the past 18 months in New York City.
I was suddenly very aware of all these things that I took so much for granted in my everyday life here. Let’s start with the Internet. Although I come from a big city, I was subject to excruciatingly painful slow speeds. The amount of time I would take to get work done here, was now doubled. And while I complained to my mother on how I was feeling so unproductive, she casually taunted me saying, “You have such first world problems.”
True as it is, most people in India still don’t have access to basics to actually enroll for the Free Basics initiative by Zuckerberg. This is what made me think, we all keep talking about how technology has changed the face of everything we do. We now live not in an online world, but a mobile world. But how global is it really?
With most of world comprising underdeveloped and developing countries, what is the reach of this digital world? If in fact, digital is taking over the world, is wanting access to good internet really a first world problem? Should it be pinned to the top of the list by governments all over? Why should some countries progress with the benefits of digital technology while others fight for free basics?
And almost as though answering my questions as to this almost seemingly unfair “distribution” of digital, Netflix launched in India. I had been away just for 20 days, before which trust me I watched Netflix daily, I binge watched Suits that day. My friends were asking me all these questions, which I would never even think of, like what is Netflix, and what does it have? Right then I wondered, how good is the Indian market for Netflix? In a country where downloading is legal, cable is a huge employment, and the internet speed is SLOW, how will Netflix change the game?
A small confession, I almost didn’t want Netflix to launch in India, made me question its exclusivity. But it’s all about glocal and I saw that in how Netflix catered content to the market. It’s been over month since that happened and boy am I curious to know how many customers who enrolled in the free trial really converted as Netflix users?
Towards the end of my trip I was getting really anxious to come back to my real life, my digital world, something I have grown so dependent on. Not just the internet, but everyday tools that have their roots in digital technology. The start-up culture is booming like never before, and there are so many great businesses in India. And yet they all come to the Silicon Valley to close. And I’m guessing it being the tech hub has a lot to do with it.
Which brings me to my closing. I said that break in India was life changing for me, and I mean in a way that has made me realize that now when I know I am living at the forefront of the digital world, I want to make efforts to maximize this. As my hero Gary Vaynerchuck says, “Run a marathon in a world that runs a sprint.” This is where I start, by putting out content, content that is real, honest, and authentically me.