It’s 2025. Imagine that the Internet has underpinned
a new wave of global prosperity. It is now
as central to the lives and opportunities of people
in the outskirts of Mexico City and rural Sri
Lanka as it is to people in Tokyo, New York, and
London. Myriad new applications cater to most
of the world’s population and to businesses of all
sizes and shapes.
Or maybe not.
Maybe the Internet has become a victim of its
own success, with the explosion of Internet
products and services now a source of frustration
as much as satisfaction and networks overburdened
and unreliable in many parts of the
world. Or maybe the Internet has hit a wall, so
plagued by hackers and cyber attacks that it’s
given rise to a new digital divide between those
with access to expensive security measures in
gated Internet enclaves and those who tread
warily across the free but dangerous Internet.
Or maybe prolonged economic stagnation and
protectionist policies have drastically dampened
demand for new devices and eroded people’s
willingness to pay for applications and services.
All of these worlds are plausible. All of them
could happen. Are you prepared?