Guy Kawasaki is a big name when it comes to technology, so when he recently mentioned interest in moving to Turkey, of all places, that got some attention. So what prompted Kawasaki's remarks at the third Turkcell (News - Alert) Technology Summit? Was it the culture? The food? The nightlife? No, as it turned out, it was the Internet service, which blew away much of what he could currently get at his California home.
Kawasaki, delivering the keynote address at the Turkcell Technology Summit with a speech entitled "Art of Innovation", made mention of the Turkcell Superonline (News - Alert) system that offered speeds of 1,000 Mb/s, which was about 40 times faster than those commonly available around his California home. He further commented that products, in order to be successful, needed to positively match both "value" and "uniqueness" in order to be truly successful. Businesses could measure overall value and uniqueness via five key points: elegance, power, intelligence, depth and integrity. Kawasaki elaborated that, indeed, Internet speeds around 1,000 Mb/s qualified on all five of those fronts, and it would be, reportedly, worth moving to Turkey for the sake of those speeds.
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The Turkcell Technology Summit wasn't limited to Kawasaki's remarks, of course, and brought in around 100 different business leaders to talk about technology, including the CEO of Turkcell, Sureyya Ciliv. Ciliv advanced an unusual point, though no less valid for its comparative uniqueness, that essentially said that it wasn't technology that really made the difference, but rather the intelligent use that allowed people to advance.
This is a very good point, especially when balanced against Kawasaki's remarks. After all, Kawasaki needn't move to Turkey to take advantage of super-fast Internet speeds. If the 25 Mb/s he's currently facing down is too limiting for him--there are people throughout the United States, not to mention the world that can only dream of having that kind of Internet access speed--perhaps he would find Kansas City more inviting, where Google (News - Alert) Fiber is currently in play and is a match for Turkcell. Turkcell's, however, may be cheaper when exchange rates are factored in, though leaving the country over Internet access speeds sounds a bit on the dramatic side.
However, Kawasaki's made a point here, even if his moving plans are more tongue-in-cheek. Internet access speeds in the United States are not doing the best job when it comes to keeping up with those available elsewhere. While Google Fiber is certainly offering a powerful package when it comes to Internet access, it's available in a comparatively tiny portion of the United States. With rural dwellers struggling to get access above one meg that doesn't come with a bandwidth cap so tiny it's better suited to text than anything else, it's easy to look at Turkcell's significant advancement and wonder why that kind of capability isn't available in more places. Geography certainly plays a part in things--the entire country of Turkey is a little smaller than the West Coast--and the resulting investment required is much larger.
Still, though, it's the kind of thing worth noticing, and the kind of thing worth keeping an eye on. Improvements in technology commonly result in improvements to society as a whole, so finding better technology in other societies isn't exactly welcoming.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman