Digital Natives Population In Asia: South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore Top Country Rankings

According to the latest Measuring the Information Society report by ITU, there are 363 million digital natives across the globe, or 5.2 per cent of world population, in 2012. And of the world’s young population, some 30 per cent of them are digital natives.

ITU defines digital natives as “as the population of networked youth – aged 15-24 years – with five or more years of online experience.” This is the first time ITU attempts to quantify the number of digital natives in 180 economies across the globe.

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South Korea Tops ICT Developments Global Ranking For 3 Straight Years: ITU

For three years in a row, South Korea tops the ICT development ranking by ITU. Sweden ranked second, followed by Iceland, Denmark and Finland.

ITU has developed ICT Development Index (IDI) to measure development progress across countries, in terms of level of access, usage among citizens and skills among 157 economies worldwide.

ITU ICT Development Index 2012

There are five Asian economies represented in the top 20, namely South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Macao and Singapore. Most countries in the Asia region have declined in the IDI 2012 ranking compared to 2011 (see below). However, Mongolia (up 5 places) and Bangladesh (up 4 places) are two of the most dynamic countries in world, in terms of IDI improvements.

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Mobile Broadband To Reach 30% Global Penetration By End 2013: ITU

By the end of 2013, there will be a total of 2.7 billion Internet users and 6.8 billion mobile-cellular subscriptions in the world, according to the latest Measuring the Information Society report by United Nations’ ITU.

The mobile-broadband has been growing impressively at 40 per cent CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) since 2007. Mobile-broadband subscriptions in developing countries have already outnumbered subscriptions in the developed world. Mobile-broadband penetration rate in the developed countries is reaching 75 per cent against 20 per cent in developing world. Global penetration rate is expected to reach almost 30 per cent, or 2 billion subscriptions, by end of 2013 (although roughly half of the world’s population lives within the reach of 3G networks).

Mobile-broadband Subscriptions, 2007 – 2013 (Source: ITU)
Mobile Broadband Penetration

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DEMO Asia 2012: Coundown to the Launchpad

14 days to the DEMO Asia. The inaugural Asian edition of the hugely popular DEMO will happen on February 14 2012 at Matrix @Biopolis in Singapore. DEMO is one of the most popular technology showcasing events in the world. Over 70 Asian startups have been chosen to demonstrate their innovative inventions to the world. No PowerPoint, no flashy stage show, just entrepreneurs demoing their technology products. Additionally, there will be 120 companies showcasing their products at the DEMO Asia Pavilion.

In the past five years, DEMO companies have raised over $4.5 billion after their debut at DEMO. More than 50 companies have been acquired by tech giants like Google, Microsoft, Adobe, and Cisco, just to name a few.

The conference agenda is here. Reserve your seats today for DEMO Asia 2012. Use this Promotional Code to get 5% off your ticket: GRE67M

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User Experience as a Disruptive Force in Today’s Telecom Industry: Huawei

Over the past twenty years, the information age has developed at a rapid pace, and various technological transformations and applications have grown in both scope and variety. Today, the exponential growth of digitized information, combined with the skyrocketing popularity of mobile networks, has led to a surge in the sheer volume of digital content. Concurrently, as the digital divide has become smaller, people around the world are now able to freely share information and communicate with each other with fewer barriers.

This new digital era is marked by an important new factor: user experience. Users have the ultimate say in steering the development of the industry so it is vitally important that they are equipped with the means with which to quickly and easily access mobile networks. This in turn drives current and future industry development, which will result in a flourishing information age.

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KL Eateries to be Wi-Fi Ready

The Kuala Lumpur City Hall will soon mandate that all new restaurants provide WiFi to their customers, according to a report by The New Straits Times today. This requirement will be a mandatory prerequisite for food operators when they apply for their license to open a new restaurant or when existing operators renew their license. However, the report states that the requirement would only apply to restaurants owners operating on premises bigger than 120 sq m in floor size.

Those expecting the service to be free should not hold their collective breaths, though… the outlet operators are given the choice to provide Wi-Fi to their customers for free or for a reasonable fee.

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Sergey Brin, Jack Dorsey, Chad Hurley, Jimmy Wales, et al. to U.S. Government: DO NOT Emulate These Oppressive Nations – Malaysia, China, Iran

Malaysia is one of the three countries (the others are China and Iran) cited by the leading US Internet entrepreneurs in an Open Letter to lawmakers in Washington. The Open Letter opposes the proposed Protect IP Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which US lawmakers are currently discussing.

According to the letter, both Acts threaten to “give the US Government the power to censor the web using techniques similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran.”

The signatories of the Open Letter include Sergey Brin (co-founder of Google), Jack Dorsey / Evan Williams / Biz Stone (co-founders of Twitter), Elon Musk (co-founder of PayPal), Chad Hurley (co-founder of YouTube), Reid Hoffman (co-founder of LinkedIn), Jerry Yang (co-founder of Yahoo!), and Pierre Omidyar (founder of e-Bay).

Sergey Brin posted on his Google+ page on why he supports the Open Letter:

In just two decades, the world wide web has transformed and democratized access to information all around the world. I am proud of the role Google has played alongside many others such as Yahoo, Wikipedia, and Twitter. Whether you are a student in an internet cafe in the developing world or a head of state of a wealthy nation, the knowledge of the world is at your fingertips.

Of course, offering these services has come with its challenges. Multiple countries have sought to suppress the flow of information to serve their own political goals. At various times notable Google websites have been blocked in China, Iran, Libya (prior to their revolution), Tunisia (also prior to revolution), and others. For our own websites and for the internet as a whole we have worked tirelessly to combat internet censorship around the world alongside governments and NGO promoting free speech.

Thus, imagine my astonishment when the newest threat to free speech has come from none other but the United States. Two bills currently making their way through congress — SOPA and PIPA — give the US government and copyright holders extraordinary powers including the ability to hijack DNS and censor search results (and this is even without so much as a proper court trial). While I support their goal of reducing copyright infringement (which I don’t believe these acts would accomplish), I am shocked that our lawmakers would contemplate such measures that would put us on a par with the most oppressive nations in the world.

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How to Create Barriers of Entry in the Age of Innovation

Bright ideas in abundance. An idea (or a concept) is conceived by entrepreneurs; products / services are the embodiments of the idea. Some ideas are intrinsically harder to emulate compared to others, due to its intrinsic characteristics and/or its business model.

For example, Google discovered a better way to search information and its PageRank idea is codified in algorithms (Google’s secret sauce and hard to copy). For PageRank, it’s intrinsic characteristics are functionally superb; it’s commercialization strategy (AdWords, AdSense) is creative. The combination is creating a formidable barrier of entry for Google. Today, the company captured over 60% of web searches worldwide and about 45% of US Internet advertising revenues.

Of course, not many ideas are like PageRank. Many product ideas are relatively easier to copy. Within a market segment, there are multiple variations. For example, in the microblogging marketspace, there are Twitter, Plurk, Rejaw,, Brightkite and Jaiku. Each with different features and interface structure but fundamentally similar to the others.

If a product idea is relatively easy to emulate, then how to create competitive advantage? How to build (temporary) barriers of entry? The followings are some tactics to create and sustain competitiveness:

Strike First Probably, the most well-known strategy among web enterprises. Speed is king. Here, it’s not about bringing the best and unique idea to the marketplace but it’s about execution and implementation. If there are 10 people working on the same idea like yours and you bring to the market first, you are likely to win the ‘game’. Being first in the market enables a company to lock-in users and create network effects. eBay still managed to lead the market segment it pioneered. However, as we have witnessed in several cases, first mover is not an advantage all the time. ExciteExamples: (a) Although once commanding 90% of the market with its Navigator browser, Netscape lost the browser war to Microsoft. (b) MySpace and Friendster losing ground to late-comer Facebook in the social networking market. (c) One of the earliest search engine, Excite, lost its shine and was overtaken by Altavista, Hotbot, Google, etc.

Timing is probably the first social networking site on the Internet. It lasted from 1997 to 2001. Unfortunately, in Sixdegrees1997, social networking is not in vogue. Its demise is partly due to timing. If it were launched a few years later, it may join some of the thriving social networks around today such as Friendster, Bebo and MySpace. So, if your idea failed to take-off, it doesn’t mean the idea sucks. Maybe, it’s simply way ahead of its time. This is probably an anti-thesis of first-mover. Sometimes, the market forces and dynamics are just not ready for the products and ideas introduced by the first-movers. The lesson here is to have speed in the right direction. The right direction is dependent on entrepreneurial creativity and ingenuity.

Big Bang Once in a while, a company introduced big bang, disruptive technologies in the marketplace. The company changes the rules of the games, introduces a new order and alters the competitive landscape. Over the past years, we have witnessed a few disruptive forces. HotmailFacebook opened its Platform to third-party developers in 2007 and changed the way social network operates. Since then, its competitors adopted similar strategy. Google Gmail entered the web-based email with then unheard of 1Gb free storage. Prior to the launch of Gmail, leading services like Microsoft Hotmail and Yahoo! offered 2Mb and 4Mb, respectively. Another example is iPhone, which introduced discontinuity in mobile phone market. Since its introduction, leading players like Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Research In Motion (BlackBerry) and Palm are playing catch-up. Big bang tactic is highly suitable for a new player to compete with established players and define new competitive rules in the marketplace. It’s about creating a ‘blue ocean’ marketspace, proclaimed W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne.

Scale and Scope started as an online bookstore and became a virtual mega-store selling toys, clothes, Amazongrocery, tools etc. Then, it started to rent its e-commerce infrastructure to merchants and also offers its cloud computing and storage services to thousands of websites (eg. Twitter, SmugMug, and AdaptiveBlue). is constantly extending and expanding its offerings by leveraging on its core assets and knowledge-base to tap market opportunities. The strategy is to organically grow into a distinct organizational form that is hard to emulate. Similar to traditional industries, economies of scale and scope are the barriers of entry.


Enterprises are created to design, develop and deliver value objects to the market and always strive to gain leadership position in the marketplace. Building barrier(s) of entry is imperative for businesses to sustain profit generation and ultimately, enhance organizational survival in the competitive marketplace. First-mover advantage, right timing, unique value proposition and distinct organizational form can be used to make life a lot harder for your competitors.

Sources of Images: Excite, Sixdegreesre, Hotmail,

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