Three years ago, did you believe Nicholas Negroponte's crazy idea? That he could produce a "$100 laptop" designed specifically for education in the developing world? He claimed price would be low and yet quality high, through innovative design mixed with low-cost components, and sales would be focused exclusively on governments.
This heretical bombast upset the longstanding computer manufacturing tradition to keep adding functions to maintain high prices in the developed world, while ignoring the developing world. From One Laptop Per Child emerged the XO laptop - a revolution in computing, and the technology industry has never been the same.
We now have a whole plethora of revolutionaries - from the upstart Asus to the goliath Intel - who are developing "4P Computers" in response to OLPC's iconic XO laptop. 4P Computing is a new class of appropriate technology - computing power, performance, portability, and price specificity designed for the realities and markets of the developing world.
These 4PC's (or "netbooks") are now a significant portion of global laptop sales - 14 million units in 2008 alone. And that's up from less than 1 million last year, and zero before Negroponte came up with the idea.
Now join me in an overview of this XO-led revolution, the resulting 4PC's, and their impact on the whole information and communication technology industry:
A special thanks to Alexius International for creating this video and Nicholas Negroponte for making OLPC a reality.