Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-29 Thread Peter Burgess
Dear Colleagues, I will not make this a long post. From what I learned as an engineer and economics student, and then as an accountant and involved with business management and consultancy, and then relief and development ... it is absolutely clear that profitability is needed for sustainability.

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-29 Thread Jeff Buderer
Dear Colleagues, I am not sure if the time on this focused discussion is up, but it would be too bad if it was, because I feel there is much to discuss and the discussion here has been continual and robust. [***Moderator's Note: Although today is the last day of the focused discussion, the GKD

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-29 Thread Peter Baldwin
Dear GKD Members, I too will keep this short. But first, per instructions, a brief introduction: I am currently in Mali working on sustainable (from a profit-seeking standpoint) business models for Internet access in some of the poorest regions of the world. Not only is the profit motive an

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-26 Thread Shahid Uddin Akbar
Dear Colleagues, Sustainabiliy is a very critical issue for any ICT for Development project with the focus on rural areas. Still we didn't find any single project which can claim itself as Sustainable in terms of being financially viable and serving the local rural communities anywhere in the

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-24 Thread John Lawrence
Something I may have missed from this conversation is upfront rigorous RD traditionally required before launching innovations out into the business mainstream... (legal) drugs are a good metaphor...maybe profit is down the road, but to get to the stage where that is possible, big (business) risks

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-22 Thread John . Rogers
Dear Colleagues, Vickram Crishna's comment But only if I wasn't prepared to think that maybe there are other paybacks taking place, just that my monetary or even my measurement system hasn't learned to be flexible or inclusive enough is my cue to introduce myself. My name is John Rogers. I am

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-22 Thread Jeff Cochrane
Answer: Of course not. But it might be the best answer in many more cases than we think. *** Take any given activity deemed socially worthy -- an educational radio boradcast, for example. If it is socially worthy, then by definition it **should** happen. How, then, shall the costs of

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-16 Thread Pamela McLean
On Tuesday, November 9, 2004, Adriana Labardini wrote: If someone is still skeptical about the potential impact of ICT...just take a look at this very discussion forum... ..snip... 4. Working on the demand side training people on the use of IT and developing useful LOCAL applications that

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-15 Thread Atanu Garai
While believing that info-kiosks can reduce poverty, especially in rural areas, we espouse the socio-economic role of an info-kiosk in a rural community. Given the decreasing costs of wireless access equipment in general, access to rural wireless networks seems to be profitably feasible in some

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-12 Thread Kris Dev
I would like to react as follows to Lee Thorn's comments on sustainability and profitability: For any project or venture to be successful, there has to be a return on investment, tangible or intangible. Without this, the initiative is deemed unproductive and hence a waste. Preferably, for

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-11 Thread Lee Thorn
Thank you, Professor Lanfranco for your message on 11/4/04. I find your position very clear and helpful. I have some questions for you: Are NGO project subsidies assessed in terms of their ability to align wider benefits with costs? Do you know of any proven ways to do this or even just ways

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-11 Thread Ed Deak
The main problem here are the vague philosophical concepts and ideas, like the so called social justice that can not be defined, but can be infinitely distorted to suit the theories and demands of incredibly powerful would be rulers and pressure groups, who invented a new language and new meaning

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-10 Thread Nevine Gulamhusein
On 11/9/04, Jean-Patrick Lucien wrote: How about an NGO running a franchise where they license those cyber-cafes to small entrepreneurs. Jean Patrick Lucien, to add to your comments, perhaps, better still would be to allow these individuals to run the cyber cafe on a day basis for a small fee

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-10 Thread Kevin Jones
John, my quick response is that regulation follows public sentiment and values, thus, for me an appeal to branding is a consistent touch stone in that persuasion of the public, involving people in a values shift. We don't pay the gas taxes they do in Europe because our higher value is the open

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-09 Thread Jean-Patrick Lucien
My comments: How about an NGO running a franchise where they license those cyber-cafes to small entrepreneurs. 1) The NGO provides the training and investment seed to individuals who want to start their cyber-cafe. 2) The individuals purchase a franchise license to run the cyber-cafe. 3) The

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-09 Thread Adriana Labardini
Dear GKD List Members, If someone is still skeptical about the potential impact of ICT in productivity, knowledge opportunities, finding resources and expertise and social capital, just take a look at this very discussion forum that without the Internet would take hundreds of people having to pay

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-08 Thread Bettina G. Hammerich
Dear Colleagues, Once again I have mixed views. I think that Jim Forster's point about the public sector role in investing in part of the infrastructure for ICT is very important and indeed important from a country's e-readiness perspective as well, and that there is a clear similarity here with

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-08 Thread Klaus Jaffe
Dear Colleagues, I would place the question into a broader context: For example, if we call 'S' the benefit to society (or the community) and 'I' the benefit to the individual (profit), any type of human action can be grouped as follows: S 0 and I 0 : social investment S 0 and I 0 :

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-05 Thread Meddie Mayanja
On 11/3/04, Andy Lieberman [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote: While I feel comfortable with the above-stated model at the local level, I am struggling a bit with the ethics and reality of whether a mid-sized local NGO should build its sustainability off end users. For example, some people have

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-05 Thread John Broomfield
Dear Colleagues, This really is a fascinating discussion. So fascinating that I feel compelled to make my first post - so please be gentle.:) One observation to the comment on Branding. I'm not sure I agree with Kevin Jones (or maybe I just missed the context?) that ...the pricing changes

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-05 Thread Jeff Buderer
Dear GKD Members, It is great to hear all the thoughtful ideas and I am encouraged by them particularly as a nice counterpoint to the recent political setbacks in US. I am working with a start up social enterprise called the oneVillage Foundation http://www.onevillagefoundation.org. We are

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-04 Thread Kevin Jones
Jim Forster makes some good points below. One thing I'd like to add is that the pricing changes coupled to getting externalities to be included in the cost of goods sold is a branding issue that extends all the way from state fiscal and monetary policy down to the level of consumer purchases

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-04 Thread Sam Lanfranco
This question is really two questions. The first part is Must a venture/project earn an adequate return to be sustainable? The answer is an obvious yes, but leaves open what is meant by an adequate return. An adequate return must generate a revenue flow to sustain operating expenses. It should

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-04 Thread Jim Forster
Dear Colleagues, I realize I left out one other point about ICT development and profitability: I was making the case for profit as an important metric, and indeed I think that private, for-profit companies can and should take the lead in much of ICT, but profit is not the only metric and there

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-04 Thread Tom Abeles
Al Hammond's posts on GKD are wonderfully articulated. And I think they are on target. They validate the models developed by Harvard's Clayton Christensen (Seeing What's Next) for example. The focus on this list seem to me to be formed around social justice and similar issues, where the ICT's are

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-03 Thread Al Hammond
Bettina Hammerich and Jim Forster both make useful points. Of course, markets don't attend well to everything. But the core of providing useful services at prices people will pay--and the market discipline of listening to customers that Forster underscores--is a strength of the business approach,

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-03 Thread Andy Lieberman
Dear GKD Members, I would like to add to Meddie's comments with a couple of things that have worked well for us in Guatemala. I would also like to describe a dilemma I am going through on the issue of profitability in a NGO. With the help of USAID/AED/EDC and World Learning, we have set up 28

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-02 Thread Meddie Mayanja
Dear Colleagues, Whether profit is essential on not for successful ICT for Development activities depends on the nature and over all mission of the activity under question. Profits are certainly necessary for financial sustainability. As far as I know, however, the profit is not the

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-02 Thread Jim Forster
Dear GKD Members, I'm Jim Forster. I am a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco Systems and have worked here since close to the beginning. Bettina Hammerich made some very good points in her recent posting that also pertain to the current question of the role of profitability, including: *

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-02 Thread Cornelio Hopmann
Initial remarks: the Moderator's question does not contain a definition of profit; it might be a monetary return on invested capital, it might be an excess over pure operation-costs, it might be equal to the operation costs but those who use the offered ICT-services do better by using those