This article is written by Mohammad Eslim, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.
Christopher M. Schroeder is an American entrepreneur, advisor and investor in interactive technologies and social communications. He has written the first look at startups in the Arab World, the best-selling “Startup Rising — The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East” released in August 2013 with a new edition in 2015 and one in Arabic in 2016. It was published by MacMillan/Palgrave, with a foreword by Marc Andreessen.
When referring to the emerging of new markets in the Middle East, many of people in the United States simply didn’t think much of it but they couldn’t be more wrong. There is an under-appreciated opportunity that is being built here and it is often taken for granted by people there.
When there is a discussion about the wonderful things that can be arranged and built from this very new market in Turkey, it’s met surprisingly with back-looking views. They view it like this: we will for sure participate in the market if it is big enough, certainly not if it is as big as China then we will be handed our behinds, but it has to be more beneficial for us in….and so many self-benefit terms. Ramiz Mohammad, the founder of flat-six labs and the accelerator across the whole Middle East region, says that they often think of markets as ours as if it’s consumers only and not as innovators.
As a matter of fact we are expecting this market to be led by the entrepreneurs and innovators there to a new era, an era of unprecedented, problem-solving and innovation for your markets on your own terms. Such opportunities rise the middle class and demand for transparency and quality products and services are only going to expand exponentially increase, but well-executed products and services will become a regional and I believe global phenomena which will bring a competitive advantage for the markets here.
For the west and everywhere, this means we are entering a very new world and it’s a world where I think the competitive advantage is co-authorship. Every one brings expertise and experience to the table when shared and this will have multiplier outcomes when top down, when played to one advantage over the other and all of that is an old game because now there are too many opportunities and too many alternatives for us all.
There’s a caution also for you, the builders of the new future, and for us who are looking to invest in new markets in this co-authored way. There are remarkable reflections that companies such as Facebook, LinkedIn and twitter in India are in fact Facebook, LinkedIn and twitter but that’s not the case all the time.
However, it’s still not clear if the west juggernauts will ever take over the massive opportunities like e-commerce, localized content and the like by simply showing up. The lesson is not whether there will be global innovation coming of many places because there will be, neither the lesson is whether China and other countries will rise because they already has.