The World is Getting Better

Hans Rosling uses data from 200 countries over 200 years to show how the world we live in is radically different (and better) from the world most of us imagine.

By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been. People are living longer, healthier lives. Many nations that were aid recipients are now self-sufficient. You might think that such striking progress would be widely celebrated, but in fact, Melinda and I are struck by how many people think the world is getting worse. The belief that the world can’t solve extreme poverty and disease isn’t just mistaken. It is harmful.
— Bill Gates

Competition is Evolving

Companies like AppleGoogle, & Facebook know that the future opportunity for market growth is in the developing world. 

Apple was penalized by the stock market recently because their new iPhone 5C was not affordable enough for the growing global population of smart phone consumers. Apple is inherently motivated to sell its products to new consumers in countries like India, Brazil & China.

Google constantly experiments with innovative ways to give internet access to the poorest of the poor in the developing world. Its new line of internet-based Chromebook laptops starting at $199 are advertised heavily as being "Designed for Everyone".

Facebook championed a partnership with Nokia, Opera, Samsung, Qualcomm and numerous others organizations to create - "a global partnership working together to bring the internet to the two thirds of the world’s population that doesn’t have it".


GE Is Forced to Disrupt Itself

A traditional non-portable ultrasound machine (left) next to the new portable $7,900 GE Vscan device (right) 

A traditional non-portable ultrasound machine (left) next to the new portable $7,900 GE Vscan device (right) 

Traditional ultrasound devices cost over $100,000 and need an entire hospital room. Traditional devices work great for large hospitals in the US. But in China, hospitals are small and scattered making a large expensive device impossible. When GE glocalized their USA-developed device in China it sold poorly. However, in 2002, a GE team in China developed a new device specifically for China – this device proved not only to do well in China but also in the United States finding new previously unforeseen applications.

GE succeeded in preventing disruption from emerging giants by attempting its own reverse innovation – the outcome is thus a new portable, handheld, and highly effective $7,900 ultrasound machine.

GE has tremendous respect for traditional rivals like Siemens, Philips, and Rolls- Royce. But it knows how to compete with them; they will never destroy GE. By introducing products that create a new price-performance paradigm, however, the emerging giants very well could. Reverse innovation isn’t optional; it’s oxygen
— Jeff Immelt, GE