Summer at Google Inc.
So, I moved to San Francisco a few weeks ago to start a summer internship at Google Inc. I’m working for Andrew McLaughlin, Google’s Head of Global Public Policy and Government Affairs, researching the best ways that Google can help make internet access cheaper and more widely available throughout Africa.
Needless to say, I’m madly excited about this gig. The crux of my excitement is what Andrew calls the ‘chicken and egg’ paradox of technology in Africa. In other words, while technology has been shown to be a driver of economic development in the poorest countries, there is no incentive for market entry without an established surfeit of users. Thus, many large technology companies are at a point where they get to explore demand and supply opportunities at every level, ranging from major investments in submarine infrastructure to innovative rural-end solutions, as well as perfecting the art of interacting with both host and donor countries on issues of access.
The ‘chicken and egg’ paradox ensures that I won’t get bored this summer. That and the fact that San Francisco was just named one of the top five cycling cities in the US.