Thinking over the questions I was asking myself at the end of the previous post, why exactly was I going to live in such a dramatically different environment out of personal choice, I find myself coming back to something I’ve either said or written about earlier.
My observations over the past year or more on innovation, jugaad, the bottom of the pyramid, creativity and the ‘make it happen’ mentality – whether by surfing online, following blogs such as Jan Chipchase’s or news articles – all point to a sense that the liminal space where high technology overlaps with poverty and scarcity of resources is one of the most creative and innovative when it comes to solutions to everyday life’s problems.
Be it the guy charging mobile phone batteries on the street corner in Uganda with a rubber band and a couple of wires attached to a car battery or the farmer in remote India welding a backpack style pesticide sprayer onto a motorcycle – this often overlooked ingenuity has traditionally paled in comparison to the oohs and aahs of the latest products and advances unveiled in tech conferences ranging from Las Vegas to San Jose.
So I’m finally stepping away from the comfort zone of my desktop and airconditioning to go find out what I can and see what I can see.
This journey of discovery will be fun and enlightening – plus my added bonus for analytical pleasure, how do these inventions, innovations or adaptions fit into my posited thesis of the user centered process and design thinking, integrating marketing communication and business development with product design and development? Particularly at the so called bottom of the pyramid.
Who knows, I might even discover that its not the bottom of any pyramid at all. After all, its all a matter of perspective.