I have a piece in the Harvard Business Review this morning – it is titled “Can African Tech Startups Succeed in a World Dominated by Facebook and Google?”. Sure, I have nothing against these global ICT utilities but I want a conversation on how African startups can transmute to have promising futures. Yes, it is free enterprise but under the aggregation construct, we might have been circled.
These companies aggregate the data and scale massively with near-zero marginal cost, which is all made possible by the internet. Because they are ahead with an enormous number of users, they keep getting better, and the data they accumulate drives improvements in their algorithms. Changing this order is largely hopeless, and that creates a competitive stasis for local entrepreneurs.