Full transcript of Matt Dalio & Jimmy Calí on What Happens When A Billion People Get Computers? at TEDxUFM conference.
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.
So, a computer can be an answer to that. I’m supposed to get on stage and tell you stories about the seamstress that can now have access to shopping from microfinance loans and the farmer who can figure out what to plant, when to irrigate, and where to sell.
But in the audience tonight, I actually found a new hero of mine. He is a little 12 year old boy, who eight months ago couldn’t speak English and decided to teach himself English through his computer and I’d like to have you meet him.
Jimmy, please welcome you on stage.
Jimmy Calí: Hello!
Matt Dalio: Tell me about yourself Jimmy.
Jimmy Calí: Hi everybody, my name is Jimmy, I’m 12 years old, and I really like to play videogames and read books.
Matt Dalio: So, how did you learn English?
Jimmy Calí: I learned English by practicing, reading and listening. I already ended the program Duolingo, I practiced in videos, Skype, and writing on Whatsapp.
Matt Dalio: So he was having a fluent conversation, I speak Spanish, and the conversation was easier to had in English than it was in Spanish because his conversational English is so good. And tell me, how much English did you know eight months ago?
Jimmy Calí: Oh, I learned eight months ago, in March last year.
Matt Dalio: How much did you know eight months ago?
Jimmy Calí: Nothing.
Matt Dalio: You were saying something about programming?
Jimmy Calí: Yes I am learning programming in Khan Academy.
Matt Dalio: Programming? Tell me, what sort of programming?
Jimmy Calí: Animation. I really like it, it’s very hard, but I like it, and I always practice it.
Matt Dalio: My new hero.
There are a billion Jimmies about to get technology. It’s incredible what we are about to see as human kind. And the reason I’m on this stage is to make a call to the entrepreneurs of the world. The this of that, the Uber of X has been done before. Meanwhile, emerging markets have so many needs and so many opportunities.
WhatsApp sold for 19 billion dollars, the largest startup acquisition in history. Why? Because it gave the power of communication to 450 million emerging market users. M-Pesa is a mobile payments platform that currently runs 31% of Kenya’s GDP through it. The opportunities of our era exist here, in Guatemala, and emerging market countries just like it, and this child right here is testament to what that means.
Thank you all. Jimmy, you are a hero.
Jimmy Calí: Thank you very much.