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They have a vast country-wide network of field staff that are often working one-on-one with farmers or villages, helping them implement the products they’ve developed, all the while sending a constant stream of feedback to the home office in Yangon. The election looms and he loves the political updates. Everyone is data sensitive he says and reiterates: Facebook. Your someone special could be right around the corner.Christian Singles in New York Christian Singles in Los Angeles Christian Singles in Chicago Christian Singles in Boston Unlike traditional Christian dating sites, e Harmony matches singles based on compatibility.Myanmar is especially fertile ground for this kind of work. His 6-year-old daughter beams at us from the corner, her grandmother stands behind with a stern, suspicious look on her face. Farmer Number Ten points to a car battery hanging in the corner onto which familiar USB wires are spliced. Everything else is icing on the cake.* * *Myanmar is a country of farmers. Because of the military junta, mobile SIM cards in Myanmar have historically been prohibitively expensive.
Until recently the military junta had imposed artificial caps on access to smartphones and SIM cards. They hand us bottles of water and I feel a relief that maybe our interview request isn’t quite as burdensome as imagined. One Samsung, one from a mysterious company called “Honor,” two Huawei. Fifty three million citizens, approximately thirty million of whom are farmers. In 2014, the cost of a SIM card dropped from about $2,000 USD to $200 USD and then once again, to $1.50 USD. A Subscriber Identity Module, or SIM card, is a bit of silicon inscribed with a unique and encrypted serial number.
A common mistake in building products is to base them on around how a technology might be adopted. While Proximity has mastered hardware and rural relationships, the company doesn’t have much experience with software. Owns his house—a hut, really—with a dark dirt floor and beautifully textured bamboo thatch walls that let in soft shafts of afternoon light. He has kind eyes, and an open face, not like Farmer Number Two who felt lost, tormented, didn’t want to be a farmer but was pushed into being a farmer. The village still lacks electricity although they’ve pooled funds and a dozen newly planted metal-power poles dot the fields, waiting to be wired up. Farmer Number Ten tells us he used to use radio for news but no more. Other news apps—like one called TZ—use too much data. He uses Facebook mostly at night when the internet is fastest, and cheapest. The screen is scratched and small but everything works. Five minutes later my colleague finishes translating and the mobile shop owner laughs and says, “No.” Nobody gets paid to install apps. Nine out of ten people who come into the shop want Facebook.