IT Overkill – A threat to Myanmar?

One thing that we have seen happening over the past very often in many other countries was a kind of an IT overkill once all the big companies started to distribute their latest tech gadgets. While we usually learn from the past when we are at University while going through case studies etc. it seems like in this particular case, modernization – if that’s how you want to call it – learning from the past does not seem to work.

It always appears to be the same procedure. If you remember back then when TV started to become more common in our living rooms. Some families adapted to it and said ‘we need to go with the current technological developments’ while others said ‘TV is bad for our kids. No TV for them!’. What happened was that the kids with easy (easier) tv access at some point learned that the TV is there and accessible but they don’t need to use it all the time. The kids that didn’t have easy access to TV eventually very often ended up watching TV all the time – as often as possible. Why? Because finally they could.

A similar thing happened with the internet. I lived with my mom and stepdad and they regulated the internet access in a very strict way. So every time I had the chance, I went online – just for the sake of being online. And that is something that I see while lecturing at Thai Universities quite often as well. Students are online and play with their smartphones just because they can.

It’s not only at Universities though. It’s everywhere these days. For quite a while Thailand wasn’t that developed (don’t mistake that for a developing country though) but it took a while until the whole mobile internet thing went off here for obvious reasons. Now that it’s so easy to get a smartphone and internet access everybody does it. All the time. Even if it’s not appropriate or necessary or useful or even entertaining. Just for the sake of doing it.

This leads to kind of a ‘don’t think to much attitude’. People just ‘do’ but they don’t think. So if you have a messaging application, you use it. If you can buy stickers for a few bucks, you do it. If you have ‘flash sales’ on LINE you participate because you can…etc.

In order to prevent this kind of ‘just click don’t think’ attitude it is incredibly important to have a decent education in that area as well as thoughtful forces that drive the development. Having that said that shows the second danger we need to be aware of. Investors are very often to focused on what is possible rather than on what is good for a reasonable development. They see huge opportunities in an area and try to grab it as fast as possible instead of developing a strategic plan of how to use the potential on the long run and make it long lasting.

The question that now arises, of course, is how could one prevent those two mentioned problems. I can already hear people saying ‘regulations!’. However the next question then would be who would regulate things and keep track of the regulations? The government? Without being disrespectful but usually governmental involvement slows processes down a lot + how should the government know all the necessary information if the government officials have a similar background as their people?

That’s what you appoint specialists for, right? Agree. You have advisors to the parliament etc in an an ideal world this would work out fine. However this page is not to talk about politics or anything similar – just trying to show a few challenges that lie ahead of us while bringing the 21st ‘online’ century to Myanmar.

What are your thought on that? Do you see any dangers? Am I exaggerating? How would you tackle those issues? brings you interesting start-up related information from Myanmar, Interviews with up and coming start-ups and offers start-up consulting in order to move our wonderful country forward. Thankfully powered by &


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