This week I am attending SIME 07 a conference hosted by my friend Ola Ahlvarsson. I just saw the IPTV Clips that SIME is putting together before the conference at SIME TV. In it there´s a clip from an Indian guy,  Mahesh who asks a simple question. How are 9 million million lazy Swedes going to compete with over a billion Indians and their 100% English trained college graduates?

The whole clip is meant to be funny but the question is reasonable. I will try to give my answer.

Some countries developed ahead of others. The first country to develop and become a global power in recent times was the UK, followed by the US. The US and the UK will probably be followed by China in the next 25 years and India in the next 50. But having said this most people around the world do not care as much as to who has the most power as a country but care more how they live themselves as individuals in that country. And the world is very unevenly divided more along classes than along nations. Think about this: 2% of the people of the planet own half of all planetary wealth.  This uneven distribution of wealth is true in Sweden as well as in India. Sweden, as socialist as it seems also has some insanely rich people like Ikea´s owner Ingvar Kamprad the richest person in Europe and fourth richest in the world. Considering the fact that I am in that lucky or oportunistic 2% I probably sound absurdly Marxist in saying that class matters more than nationality when it gets to competitiveness but this is true. Except that class membership is still somewhat of a merito but in some way or another all countries that develops successfully seem to develop in the same way. They globalize, compete and grow very fast until they reach a glass ceiling on the average GDP per person, after that the race is a class race and not a national race. So my answer to Mahesh would be, worry less about your nationality and more about whether you, personally, will be able to become an entrepreneur and join the 2%, wherever you are.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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Juergen on November 13, 2007  · 

Martin on November 13, 2007  · 

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