/ Hacking

Can you hear me now?

Get on a plane. Arrive in Mumbai or Bangalore or New Delhi or Cochin. Exit the contrived conveniences of the aircraft.

Look around you.

Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people living lives as rich, textured, and important as yours.

Look again. No. This time, listen more than look.

Hundreds of languages, dozens of dialects, innumerable accents and linguistic quirks. This country is a Tower of Babel.

Look again.

Everyone is on their cellphone. Young women and men unselfconsciously taking selfies by the score blissfully unaware that selfies are passe. They do it everywhere.

Look again. Closely, this time.

Ear phones. Everyone is listening to something. Lovers sharing one audio jack - their single cellphone a joint uterus from which arises the story they are currently sharing. Father and daughter watching TV shows together. Friends telling each other on how to woo or crack a test or a juicy bit of gossip.

India is the Ground Zero for audio interfaces. If Google, Amazon. Facebook, or the neighborhood AI startup can crack the verbal code, they will instantly unlock a billion strong market without breaking a sweat.

The opportunities are right there for the taking.

Indians spend a LOT of time commuting. Every bus, local train, and rickshaw is packed during rush hour. Quality, topical, India centric podcasts are few and far between. The ones that are there quickly rise in visibility.

Reading skills are at premium but comprehension skills are not. India centric audio narrations and books are few. Help the less literate navigate webpages through audio.

By design and/or chicanery, the entire Indian telephone market is owned by a handful of companies. The system is creaking under the weight of its own success. It's nigh impossible to get connected on the first try with anyone anymore. It seems everyone is always talking to everyone else - an NxN matrix where N=One Billion. And connecting to someone does not guarantee a conversation. Calls unceremoniously drop. Airtel, maybe others too, force you to redial after exactly one hour of talk. Fix this problem for us, O Entrepreneur!

Opportunities abound for the audacious, the audio-cious even.

Can you hear me now?
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