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Home » What Happens When A Billion People Get Computers? By Matt Dalio & Jimmy Calí (Transcript)

What Happens When A Billion People Get Computers? By Matt Dalio & Jimmy Calí (Transcript)

Full transcript of Matt Dalio & Jimmy Calí on What Happens When A Billion People Get Computers? at TEDxUFM conference.

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Matt Dalio – CEO and Chief of Product at Endless

So in a world where everyone buzz about smartphones and tablets, I’m here to tell you about how we are building desktop computers.

“Why desktop computers?” everyone always asks. And the answer is because you cannot enter the knowledge economy without being able to write a CV, to do a school research report, to do a budget. To enter the modern economy, you must have computing literacy. Four and a half billion people do not have access to that. Four and a half billion people!

What’s so incredible is that it’s actually not that hard to solve it. What does that mean? How do four and a half billion people not have it, and it’s not that hard to solve it? The answer comes in the form of technology that people already have, everyone already has a television, that’s a monitor. And attached to those televisions are set-top boxes, cable boxes, satellite TV boxes, and that little box is where the magic takes place.

If you take an iBook from the year 2000, your average set-top box today has four times the storage and 60 times the RAM as an iBook in the year 2000. It is a computer.

So, why is it that all of these computers, monitors, set-top boxes as CPUs are not actually computers? And the answer is actually really simple: software.

We spent about a year trying to take existing solutions and put it on set-top boxes and make that happen. After a year, we threw it all away, gave up and spent the subsequent three years building that from scratch ourselves. A desktop operating system that is simple enough that it doesn’t require training, it doesn’t get viruses, that runs on these cheap processors making a computer cheaper than a tablet and most importantly, that is built for users in emerging markets, because people in emerging markets not only can’t afford computers they can’t afford access to fundamentals like education, health, and livelihood.

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