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Digital Colonies

I always wondered how stupid our government was to throw out multinational companies like IBM and Coca Cola from the country in 1970s. If they had not, the liberalization process and growth which started only after 1992, could have started much earlier. Similarly, I also believed Chinese government is wrong in providing unfair advantages to Chinese companies over global Internet giants. Perhaps I did not have an open mind to understand other perspectives.

To be clear, I am against government’s control of information and thereby minds, however much like how colonial powers fought to control over weaker countries and the new world, I also see that our attention and time as the new resources which these new age digital companies fight to acquire. And they have been successful so far.

Today’s world is driven by growth; investors and shareholders want their investments to keep growing and therefore, it is important, even for existing successful companies, to keep investing in building new platforms to sustain growth. Did you ever wonder why Facebook bought Oculus, why Google built Android and Chrome, or why both Apple and Google are interested in cars as a platform?

As a person with entrepreneurial bent, I worry about this — ten years ago, when I first tried starting up, world was very different, and it was still possible for a young startup to compete and grow. However, today it scares me to see some of the well-funded Indian companies struggle against global counterparts. I think it is exponentially difficult to build a successful company from scratch now.

Believe it or not, we are digital colonies of these new age technology companies.

Digital Colonies was published on October 22, 2016.

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