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How Mobile Networks Empower Low-Income Entrepreneurs

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

I’ve been intrigued by the amazing ways that people are using mobile phones in the developing world. From agriculture to banking to education, mobile connectivity is providing all sorts of services that would otherwise be out of reach, and helping to lift thousands of people out of poverty.

But one of the most interesting things about these mobile efforts is how many of them are aiming not just to provide direct services, but to help entrepreneurs help themselves – and thereby build stronger economies.

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Bring Your Own SaaS to Work (BYOS)

The popular trend to “bring your own device” (BYOD) to work is not surprising to those who are informed about the recent past. This phenomenon was preceded by savvy employees that would introduce useful consumer-grade software applications to the enterprise – without the approval of gatekeepers within the corporate IT organization.

The early adoption of online instant messaging, wiki and blog platforms are noteworthy examples of where many corporate IT departments have been slow to embrace online collaboration applications. Moreover, when the approved enterprise-grade vendor has been chosen and the “solution” is deployed, sometimes it’s inferior to the consumer-grade offering.

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Broadband ROI: Calculating the Payback in Sweden

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

When most of us were in school, our teachers instructed us to “show our work.” It wasn’t enough that we came to a conclusion; we had to demonstrate how we had arrived at that conclusion.

That’s why this October 2011 report on the socioeconomic effect of fiber to the home (FTTH), sponsored by the Swedish government’s broadband council, Bredbandsforum, is so interesting: the authors, Marco Forzati and Crister Mattsson, show exactly how they arrived at their numbers — achieving a positive payback of 1.5:1 in five years.

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Digital Britain: How Big Tech Can Help Start-Up Clusters

March 27, 2012 at 6:15 pm PST

Recently I was chatting with a couple of people at an event in Shoreditch about what makes a creative industry cluster — such as Silicon Alley and the East London Tech City — flourish and grow.  We concluded that there are some key ingredients required to fully develop the community; the presence of Big Tech, legal, accountants, VC’s, and of course start-ups operated by savvy entrepreneurs.

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Broadband Down Under: Isolation Breeds Innovation

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

One of the plum assignments of my journalism career was co-authoring a report for CIO about IT in Australia. Ten days in Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne (with a weekend jaunt to Tasmania) brought out one key aspect of the Australian attitude toward technology: being isolated from most of the world, they have to be twice as creative.

At that time, in the late 90s, Australia had already deregulated its telecommunications industry (just a year after the U.S.) and developed a state-of-the-art $3 billion national fiber-optic network.

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