Israel Vasquez Jr. a.k.a Rasiel
What do you mean, you’ll ask when you read the title of this post; Isn’t the internet Global? and worldwide? Isn’t it enabling the free flow of information and commerce worldwide? Isn’t it revolutionizing the way we do business and how we interact with people who are sometimes in totally different countries and continents?
While that all is true, I’m still not convinced that it has fulfilled it’s potential of becoming the worldwide enabling network that its meant to be. You see, i say this as a netizen (internet citizen as they say online) … who has spent the majority of my professional working life connected to the www in one way or the other.
What the internet has done for me is truly remarkable. It has enabled me to become whom I am today as a professional. Its practically gifted me a career in a highly in demand and well paid profession as programming is. Ever since I picked up that html tutorial in 2001, I never looked back. It intrigued me, and pickled my curiosity so I was ever learning. I went from a novice web developer, who could hardly put together photoshop mockups in html, to a programmer who takes advantage of the numerous open source technologies available to create value adding solutions for clients and employers. I must say that without the internet, this wouldn’t have been possible at all.
Why the rant?
So why am I ranting about the very thing that has me where I am today? It’s because I feel there is still a void as to my place in it all. It’s because I feel there is far more potential to all than what has been tapped. You see for a while now, my goal has been to establish a company, but not just any company, and Internet Company. My goal with such a company is to have a wide reaching effect on not just my environment, my country but the internet as a whole.
Whats stopping me?
So why don’t I? there are plenty of success stories of companies being established with the sheer purpose of being Internet companies. You see, I live in Belize … a small country in the middle of Central America & the Caribbean. There’s really nothing stopping me… short of a great idea and the ability to execute.
While I’m still not convinced I have the right idea, I know I have the ability to execute. But the problem does not stop there for me. You see for me to potentially have any sort of income, I have to target a market that is wide enough to convert a small percentage of these potential users. That rules out Belize, we’re a small country of only about 300, 000 people, with only a small percentage of the citizens having access to the internet. 10% at the last count … if thats correct then thats only 3000 people… Very Limited.
What about other countries?
The internet is worldwide though, I surely could target the US & European markets. Of course, though while I need enough market research to determine the right idea to launch to these markets … the problem comes when its time to accept payments. I will need a payment gateway, a merchant account … oh and endless documentation and financial records to even start getting the process underway. But surely, a lot of people have done it? While yes it can be done in Belize, its an expensive and arduous process, to say the least.
In the US & by larger extent Canada & now Europe, Its no big deal setting up this type of account. There are a variety of established companies and now some ground breaking startups such as stripe, brain tree and even square that offer the ability to setup these types of accounts with very little to no red tape. The problem? they only work for the US, and some in Canada and the UK. They plan to expand worldwide … but when? and If they do, will they ever support a small country like Belize?
All this has got me thinking, why is it so start to start an Internet company? Isn’t the internet suppose to be an enabling platform? I’ve come to the conclusion, that borders still apply … even on the internet. Its not easy to enable payments online and have it work seamlessly on the internet. Of course people make do with the technologies at hand, payment gateways, merchant accounts and credit cards. The same goes for many other technologies … want to watch your favorite cat video on youtube? many times its already blocked. That goes for all sorts of other premium content as well such as Hulu videos, some apps on mobile phones, and so on.
But could it be easier, less anarchic and more globally accepted? attempts to create an internet based, cryptography based currency in Bitcoin has seen its ups and downs, but still with very large potential. Until then, we’re still stuck with the invisible borders on the internet. Whose fault? I’m not anyone to put blame, but in thinking about it all, it has to be the banks. There are so much red-tape in order to do banking online, for sure they could have embraced the internet and helped to make it easier? My take on it is that they are too busy making money hand over fist.
The truly enabling nature of the internet however gives us some hope, that somebody disruptive will come up with something better, something that truly enables a borderless internet. Be it Bitcoin or something else, we have hope.
My brother Amilcar recently got married. I was so glad for him, and best of all … I got to be his Best Man. Unfortunately, while the wedding was great, I didn’t get to say my wedding speech, I wrote it down, printed it and gave it to my Bro. I’m also going to post it here, as a way to see Congrats once again to Amilcar & Ingris.
today i’m his best man,
but for 28 years, 11 months & 23 days … to be exact
he’s been my best man.
even though I’m his oldest brother,
many times it seemed the other way around
and often I wished I had set a better example
for the many years
that we grew together,
and yes cried at times
he was always the more mature,
more disciplined and laid back of us both
In the most recent years,
he’s been nothing but an inspiration …
he showed me the power of change,
he became spiritual and used his talents
to reach out to many people through his music
so you see, for many years, he’s been the better man
so its only fitting that the one day that i’m the best
I should say,
you’ve been an inspiration to your big brother,
and I can only wish you and Ingris,
happiness, long life, spiritual well being
and many years of love.
An Artificial Intelligence bot, look at its answer when i ask whats 1+1 … very funny.