If there was only one net-based application that I thought truly created value, it would be Google Notes.
As the name suggests, it lets you just select any interesting piece of any website and snip it off as a ‘note’ that Google stores within IE for you. You just have to try it out to realize why it is such a useful tool for online research.
The most important fact about Google Notes is how it benefits Google. With everyone storing interesting snippets they find online, it gives Google more insight in online traffic patterns than anyone else. More than just finding out what websites people go to, it tells Google what actually interests people — the holy grail of online market intelligence if you will.
Why is this relevant to Pakistan? I have pointed this out to people here before : Nothing is stopping Pakistanis from becoming the next Google. Nothing.
Most Pakistanis start thinking web apps built for Pakistan, but the Flat World means they can just as easily target a global audience, solve global problems. E.g. do you know which country created wikipedia? Does it even matter?
Google Notes doesn’t even require the wit of creating innovative search algorithms — it is a delightfully simple solution resulting from great analysis of customer problems.
So stop complaining about how its impossible to become Microsoft unless you’re Bill Gates or otherwise somehow living in the USA. Stop living in single-minded .NET and Java technology stacks with the hope of making a ‘good enough’ living working as laborers in software factories.
Pick up the shovel, start digging, get your hands dirty, and make a difference.
Tip: Instead of looking at the next breakthrough idea based on the current money-making trend (“hey, lets make a local EBay so Ebay can buy us like they did in India”) think about current pressing needs and solve that (“hey, why dont we make PCs easier to use?”)