Monday, 16 May 2011

Interesting story of how the Internet creates different opportunities for people inside and outside of Africa

Before you read the story think that Lagos, like much of Africa, is a buzz in Twitter and Facebook activity. The web is very much a Global web and the real growth is in places like Lagos.

The Chilling Story of Genius in a Land of Chronic Unemployment:
"But there’s a big difference between the two. Levchin immigrated to the US at 16, went to University of Illinois and was inspired by the example of Marc Andreessen. He moved to Silicon Valley at the best possible time for an aggressive, insanely-competitive coder to move to Silicon Valley. A company as complex and lasting as PayPal was hardly all luck and timing, but Levchin took advantage of being in the right place at the right time and meeting the right people, most notably PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.

"By contrast, Boakye grew up in a poor section of Lagos. In a way, his timing was also serendipitous: The Internet’s emergence in Nigeria breathed new life into an old national scam: The 419 letter. And a new generation was making hay out of the naiveté of millions of new Internet users. For Nigeria’s massive unemployed population– some fifty million people today– this was every bit the gold rush that Silicon Valley was in the 1990s. And the “entrepreneurs” concocting these schemes late night after the doors were locked in Nigeria’s Internet cafes needed a brilliant coder who was more motivated the bigger the challenge. Boakye was one of the best in the country."

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