The Next Billion Users

This bonus episode is sponsored by Google’s Next Billion User Initiative.

Every week millions of people come online for the very first time. And everyone – no matter where they live, what language they speak or their level of digital literacy – deserves an internet that was made for them. Google’s Next Billion Users initiative conducts research and builds products for everyone, everywhere.

In this episode, Roman talked with Asif Baki from Google and Payal Arora, digital anthropologist and author of the book The Next Billion Users.

  1. Ria

    Thank you soooooo much for introducing Ford as a deplorable antisemite!!! I am so sick of how the design and Buisness world paint him to be some kind of saviour and completely ignore some of the horrible things he did to and said about the jewish community. I don’t want him ‘canceled’ i just want everyone to be honest about who he was!!

  2. Steve

    I had to laugh. I don’t think it was the intent, but did anyone else get the conclusion from that one segment to be: “We couldn’t use some of the world’s greatest transformative technology to make any real, meaningful change or improvement in their lives, so we just concentrated on using it to entertain them.” Take their minds off it. You know, bread and circuses, Silicon Valley edition.

  3. Bruce (anti-cancel-culture, listens to podcast, ...)

    I thought introducing Ford as a deplorable anti-Semite in the middle of this podcast was a poor choice. In fact when I heard it my mind went directly to asking why would Roman do that? So much so that within a couple of minutes I stopped listening. It’s not that I disagree with Ford’s anti-Semitism being deplorable. Instead I found myself dwelling on what so compelled Roman to call-out Ford on this at this time. And if Ford is so deplorable why tarnish the podcast with his quote? Maybe media personalities get points for cancel labeling people.

    Perhaps I just need to get used to this new call-out labeling that’s been introduced into our culture. Maybe Google can make their glasses display a person’s labels when you look at them or make Google Assistant pause podcasts and announce all the horrible things aforementioned person has done.

  4. Luke Longnecker

    I also wanted to comment on the Henry Ford reference, but my position differs from Ria.

    Adding in those unnecessary descriptors harmed whatever you said next – I mentally tripped over your commentary and got lost in my own thoughts for 30 seconds. It would be like starting a sentence: “The untruthful, unfaithful president, Bill Clinton, once addressed the United Nations…”

    Dredging up past sins that are unrelated to the issue at hand makes you look petty and it interferes with the message you’re actually trying to convey.

  5. Danny

    Excellent point re the creation of incomplete solutions which don’t mean much and the eg of the farm prices.. I have recently seen many apps being developed for various services (pikkol, urbanclap) which have good UI designed apps, but the funny thing is the backend services required to run these (porters, workers, customer service) is pathetic.. an app can’t always solve a problem.

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