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The biggest hidden market no one has tapped into (yet)

The tech industry has long been focused on first-world problems when tapping into a market. But what about the other side of the coin?


Beyond solving first-world problems

The tech industry has long been focused on the first-world problem. Don’t want to put on pants? Get literally anything delivered to your door! Can’t wait 5-7 business days for your precious package to arrive? Amazon Prime, baby. This famous tweet by Aziz Shamim sums it up nicely:

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Clearly there is money to be made by focusing on the upper middle class and luxury shoppers. They have the money and they want solutions to their (sometimes ridiculous) problems.

But what about the other side of the coin? The people who can actually benefit, in more than a superficial way, from the tech industry boom? The people whose lives can be changed by having access to information, education and the resources needed to live the “American dream”?


Introducing the “Bottom Billions”

In Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s “Transforming World Atlas” (a graphic roundup of the strongest long-term investment themes) they state that, “In a world starved for growth, we believe that the answer lies in uplifting the 4.5 billion people at the base of the economic pyramid.”

They refer to this group as the “Bottom Billions.” Not the prettiest nickname, as it brings to mind the historically lower class – serfs and servants and caste systems. But like the bottom of the food pyramid, they are the backbone of the economy and as suggested, their buying power is big.

According to BAML, “These ‘Bottom Billions’ earn only $1-10/day, but have $5 trillion in purchasing power and $7.4 trillion in wealth.”

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What do they want?

That’s a lot of money. We’ve seen brands going for the diversity angle, marketing to demographics usually left out. And we’ve seen them win. These Bottom Billions will be seeking income growth, and BAML forecasts that we will be seeing a boom in the middle class by 2030.

As it stands, 50% of people making $30,000 per year or less own smart phones. So let’s give them a reason to use one. Providing access to education – not just basic education – but real, useful, ladder-climbing, career-establishing, life-improving, cheap education is paramount.

Beyond that, it’s about giving people a chance to live their best lives.

So, what’s your idea?


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Written By

Jenna keeps the machine well-oiled as the Operations Coordinator at The American Genius and The Real Daily. She earned her degree in Spanish at the University of North Texas and when she isn't crossing things off her to-do list, she is finding her center in the clean and spacious aisles of Target or rereading Harry Potter for the billionth time.

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