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Haven't quite figured out whether AndriusKulikauskas is genius or doomed dreamer. But this struck me :

There is a need for design, now rather than later, that treats the people with the worst access as the most valuable people, the ones that we should work hardest to include.

It's quite an idea to assume the worst connected are the most valuable. In what ways might this be true? Because they're the majority? Because they have the smallest MicroValue? Because they're in the slowest SlowNetworks?


Phil, thanks for your link and thoughts! I guess it could be true in a lot of ways. What I had in mind is that if we care about all people, then the ones we most want to help and respond to are the ones who face the greatest challenges. Perhaps the greatest challenge is a spiritual apathy, living in a shell. Another great challenge is a false society, a disingenuous society. And another is a small society under pressures from a large society. In each case we overcome this by having genuine contact with people. But how are we to know, what is false, and who is isolated? So we take things at face value, and make an effort to include everybody. The worst connected are the people who are at risk of isolation within their smaller world. So we connect them to a larger world where they have a chance of finding somebody they can be genuine with, and live with that energy. And such people are extremely valuable because with such energy they can go back and reach out to their own pocket of the world, who else can do that? The worse connected you are, the more valuable you are as a link in connecting to the even worse connected. It is the "last mile" problem. And also, the people rooted in a smaller world are better connected to a reality they can transform, so they are the people from whom we draw hope and experience to transform a larger society. So it works both ways. AndriusKulikauskas

And the discussion gets into a criticism OnPersonas

My comment :

This is a strange discussion.

We start with an attitude of "stupid phone companies, only NOW they start thinking how to extend the service to the next tier of the market. But why weren't they doing it BEFORE?"

And then the blame falls on bad design methodology which somehow "missed" the huge demand for the service from other parts of the market.

But surely it's typical to roll out a product to the people to whom you think you have the best chance of selling it profitably. And then you extend the service to new groups as and when you think of ways to profitably do so.

That depends on many other factors : Have you built up familiarity with the technology? Is the market from your suppliers mature enough that the components are available cheaply in large enough quantitites? Etc ...

I'd be interested to know how much of the blame for the speed of the roll-out can plausibly be pinned on the failure of "personas" vs. some deeper social or ethnomethodologically derived understanding. Can anyone give a hypothetical example of how such understanding might have led to an earlier engagement with these customers.

See also :