Are You Guilty of Not Solving World’s Problems?


I am. Having read this article intensified my guilt. Aren’t there enough web mashups already? Do you really need to create yet another social network? Web entrepreneurs today are so hallucinated by their own culture that they have forgotten that there is a whole range of important problems to be solved for which the internet is not necessarily the panacea.

I am not suggesting that what they are doing is wrong. In fact, they are making best use of what they know. They are making cool virtual pets simulations, social networks for cats, amazing google maps mashups and a ton of amazing applications which really have potential to revolutionize the world. Imagine, how the world would be transformed if all the cats in the world could actually communicate over the internet. But – here comes the reality – apart from a (very) few cases (read Facebook, Youtube, etc.) the potential for these web apps never seems to be realized. Millions of such useless apps hopelessly float around the web, waiting for someone to discover and use them.

All these web programmers, on the other hand, could devote their time to what world really wants. The world does not want their trivial apps. The world wants its problems of hunger, poverty, thirst, freedom and happiness to be solved. The world wants to prevent millions of children who die everyday due to preventable causes. The world wants to break the vicious cycle of poor nations. The world wants to get better.

Having realized that I have wasted so much making futile web apps that nobody really cares about, I really want to change the world. It might sound naive but that’s where the fun lies. Only the true naive can innovate and invent new business models that solves world’s pressing problems.

So, world, here I come!

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15 Responses to “Are You Guilty of Not Solving World’s Problems?”

  1. Abhishek Tiwari
    25. June 2008 at 20:25

    Who knows why people do what they do? Solution of a problem should not be complex than problem itself. I have been fallowing your different startups and innovative ideas for a long time and I am really appreciate the Kroomsa (actually it has the Karisma) for its cause and reason. When recently u introduced MyJugaad.in I realized you are going to be part of the web meshup. But after reading your latest post I am happy you have realized some thing. Problem is if you really want to make a difference or say really want to change the world then you have to come in field for which you are still very young. But still there are many things to be done through web applications and u can make big deals. Let say the problem of e-waste is going to be huge issue in India. May be u can come up with some application for e-waste management.

  2. Paras Chopra
    25. June 2008 at 20:34

    Yep, how true. I wish there were an wikipedia for world’s problems so that people may collaborate to come up with solutions to the problems.

  3. Abhishek Tiwari
    25. June 2008 at 20:39

    Sound interesting Wikiprobia

  4. Tom
    26. June 2008 at 09:06

    Have you considered that the world’s problems cannot be solved with software, but social networks and virtual pet simulations can be created with it? Show me a problem with hunger, thirst or poverty that can be solved with some nifty AJAX, and you may very well have good hearted web programmers beating down your door. Until then, the answers will come from organizations, hardware, and plain old people power.

  5. Cheenu
    26. June 2008 at 10:27

    Liked your post. I have similiar sentiments. In fact I had an idea floating about in my head – an document sharing website where people upload (scanned/files) the responses they get from RTI applications for scrutiny. The idea behind this is data – like financial records for example can easily manipulated to conceal information, a common man, even an engineer like me will not be able to spot it because we lack basic training in the matters of finance. But if a qualified person goes through it in his leisure time he can spot the discrepancies.

    Similarly the same can be done for other information like answers sheet obtained under RTI Act. The idea is to create a culture of regular scrutiny – getting the information to the right people (the experts), and this special form of social networking could work as a great deterrant to corruption.

    If you remove corruption, you remove one of the main causes of hunger, thrist and poverty. :)

  6. Paras Chopra’s Blog » Are you Web Sick?
    27. June 2008 at 18:10

    [...] I am. And, so is the world. At least Financial Chronicle editorial thinks so (which apparently mentioned my post: Are You Guilty of Solving World’s Problems?). [...]

  7. manuscrypts
    29. June 2008 at 13:24

    hey, thought this would interest you
    http://www.chrisbrogan.com/using-social-media-for-social-good/

  8. manuscrypts
    29. June 2008 at 13:37

    @tom hmmm, maybe, but there is a chance, albeit a slim one, try this http://www.thepoint.com/

  9. Social Evolution «
    3. July 2008 at 22:14

    [...] was a very interesting topic tossed up last week here, on the role of social media, not in general, but in addressing the world’s problems. Whether [...]

  10. Paras Chopra’s Blog » How I built a web app in six days for Rs. 350 ($8.75) only
    4. July 2008 at 15:46

    [...] PS: By the way, I think you shouldn’t be making web apps at all. [...]

  11. Vinay Gupta
    9. July 2008 at 19:14

    http://www.globalswadeshi.net/forum/topic/show?id=2097821%3ATopic%3A1941

    a good talk on solving the world’s problems using computers

  12. manu prasad » Social Evolution
    19. January 2009 at 14:30

    [...] was a very interesting topic tossed up last week here, on the role of social media, not in general, but in addressing the world’s problems. Whether [...]

  13. edward murphy
    4. September 2009 at 00:08

    Guilty here what a guy has to say abt solving world hunger

    http://www.ceveni.com/2009/09/weird-and-strange-comments-should.html

    between do you agree with him?

  14. Grosse
    6. December 2010 at 01:35

    This is most likely one #of the# best article that ever cross my reference. I do not see why anybody ought to disagree. It might be too easy #for them# to comprehend…anyway nice work i am coming again right here for Extra Great Stuff!!

  15. John
    2. September 2011 at 01:01

    Maybe the governments like everybody to be occupied most of the time with wasting time using apps that are not making a positive difference, and because people suck them up theres incentive for the developers to keep creating more of them, even though the end result is a massive mess of useless web and mobile apps.

    A change in the type of apps created and people using their time sensibly and more positively would make a real difference.

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