Think BigToday the world has about 1 billion people using PCs and connected to the Internet. We've made great progress, but we have almost 6 billion people left who have yet to be connected. As our world becomes more connected, the price of being left behind will only grow. Approximately two of every three people in the United States have direct access to a computer. Some countries, like South Korea, are well ahead of the United States in connecting their citizens and in the use of fiber-optic connections that are dramatically faster. Rapidly emerging countries like China, India, and Brazil are also adding Internet users at incredible rates.
The lesson for entrepreneurs here is that the opportunities for people in all of these countries - driven by improved access to technology - are already transforming their economies. While technology is helping to build a wealthier world (and also a better world in which more people can get more of their needs met), we must be mindful of the other 6 billion people whom we have yet to connect. Consider this the digital opportunity of a lifetime: connecting the next billion users and beyond. Businesses and individuals have an essential role to play in expanding digital access. It isn't a burden or a social obligation that must be met, but rather a two-dimensional opportunity: first, to improve lives by making technology more accessible to more people; and, second, to expand our markets by increasing digital access throughout the world. Everybody can play a part.