25 Jun 2013

Smart Phones Dumb People by Parthajeet Sarma

About the Book:

Parts of India and the world live in the 21st century whereas parts live in the 19th century. Whilst many of us live in times ruled by smart phones and the internet, millions go without easy access to basics like water and electricity.

We live in an opportune moment today. We have, available to us, the technological tools of the 21st century to address 19th century issues. In a fast changing world, will mankind be ruled by smart phones soon or will mankind use technology in life-changing innovations to make our societies far more equitable? Can technology be used to address the most crying needs in our societies today?

The big picture is built by stories about the modern fruits of technology and how these are being used by leadership groups to combine business with social causes. This is an easy read for anyone interested in innovation, entrepreneurship, social issues and the current challenges like excessive corruption that face us today.

My Review:

Gone are the days when “Mobile Phone” was a luxury. No one knows when luxury became a necessity, that too a basic one. We now live in an era of smart phones and social networking, so much that without each other life seems deficient. There have been days (twice in a year) when I left my phone at home, reached office and realized the emptiness. It was so huge that I traveled all the way back 15kms to make sure the phone was within my hand stretch reach. While we debate how technology is a boon if it is used in a right manner, the debate happens and never ends with a solution.

Amidst all the fiction books this one was a new and easy read non-fiction pick. Bright aspect of the book is the division of the book in strategic manner with topics, Innovation, Technology, Entrepreneurship, Priorities and Corruption. The book often makes you wonder whether technology taking our lives for wrong reason is something one needs to be concerned about.

Higher percentages of people rely on phones for things we could easily manage ourselves. For example al though people sport wrist watches of different brands, when it boils down to noting what time it is, its always the phone that’s to the rescue. 10yrs back I had a minimum of 5 landline numbers at the tip of my tongue; these days apart from my mobile number I know none. Author tells us how need has undoubtedly become an addiction.

What is strange about the title is it clears talks about the “phones” but as the chapters pass the topic gets entirely deviated from the phones to various other aspects of technology. Few chapters are unnecessarily stretched and the book rarely offers “how” this could be avoided if not completely stopped. Book also provides few case studies and statistics to establish the points by the author which I rarely have come across in any book. I particularly was amazed about with few governmental policies and how they could be bettered for the start ups.

If you are an entrepreneur or planning to be one, this one is for you. Pick it up.