Exponential Tech might not solve Exponential Problems
The so-called exponential technologies like AI, IoT, Robotics, Blockchain, BioTech, and material sciences, can become ubiquitous towards zero cost to users and emerging markets. Additionally, network effects catalyze exponential tech in ways we have never imagined.
But for these technologies and solutions to solve the most pressing pain points that emerging markets face I have found 3 major roadblocks.
In many ecosystems, the data shows a wide mismatch between the knowledge that is required to advance, implement and scale up these exponential technologies to solutions that solve various types of use cases in different emerging countries. There is a huge lack of tech and product talent — what is required is not available. Remote tech workers can solve this problem, but costs are much higher.
Scale is fundamental for tech solutions and solving exponential problems — finding the right users is hard. Tech teams and startups have a hard time marketing their solutions and scaling them up to thousands if not millions of users. Creating a catch22 problem by having a great product, but lacking the skills for scaling up these solutions in multiple markets.
Bootstrapping is an obvious solution for teams who can’t get funding from investors, but in order and make money from users, you require a good distribution model and product market fit — which at the same time requires some sources of funding for teams to be able and run experiments — buying time and find paying users. Furthermore, companies that have scaled up and raised funds face a big challenge for series A, B, and C funding as investors are looking for a liquidity event. And most countries in the world don’t have very liquid markets for mergers, listings, or acquisitions.
We will keep posting potential solutions, resources, and individuals looking to solve these very problems.