Have Fruit Trees made us Biased?

by | Dec 4, 2019 | Change, ICT4D |

Where should we start? Do we start with the easy part or the hard task? Do we ‘eat that frog’ or have the chocolate? It is better to start with the ‘low hanging fruit’ or elsewhere?

The cliches and jargon can go on. But where do we start is often asked. And conventional wisdom advises to start with the easy and build momentum. This is how you build a business. This is how you scale. But is it?

Does starting with the easy, with the low-hanging fruit introduce or perpetuate bias and privilege?

When we have our idea, innovation and are thinking about our target audience. We make choices. Often the low-hanging fruit is a some part of the majority group or the privileged. We built our identity solution to work on smartphones because it’s easier the ‘feature phone’ use case. We promise ourselves and others we will get to the harder use cases eventually. The promise is genuine, but often reality means that we never end with doing more with the lucrative market.

The other challenge is that when we start with the privileged market or the majority market, when we get to the minority we ask different questions. We ask ‘how do we connect the minority to the world of the majority or privileged?” Our starting point is not their context, but rather our starting point how to make them more like us. It becomes a retro-fit task, not a creation task.

The challenge for us to be aware of is that the infrastructure that has been created works for the privileged and powerful. It is biased towards them.

Therefore, where we start matters. Where we start shapes the future. So when we start with the hard use cases our structure looks different than when we start with the easy ones.

Photo by Max


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