I left Syria in 2003, I was 15 at the time. At that time, the best internet connection you could get was ADSL and it was about 1.5-2mbps in the best of times. For a techie like me, it was a living hell. I remember the first time I came to the US and saw broadband. I would look away for a moment, then look back and wait not realizing that the page has already loaded. Anyway, I came back in 2005 and people everywhere suddenly had 3G dongles attached to their laptops and they were surfing the web at speeds that match the LTE speeds that we get on our iPhone 5s today.
This was the first time I saw the Chasm perform a proverbial reach-around. In this case, the laggers – Syria – had eclipsed the innovators – The US – in mobile internet connectivity. Nobody needed to ruin all the sidewalks in our ancient country to wire up cables, we got to skip that whole stage of internet development and jump straight to 3G. Add on top of it government support and a lot of foreign investment, and you got yourself a top-of-the-line cell network with cell towers throughout the cities. I'm seeing a "Chasmic reach-around" again these days, only this time, I'm the innovator who's getting blind-sided by, wait for it, my parents.Read More