Podcast 269: What tech is like in "Rest of World"

Lending apps that include public shaming and clerics who must certify your code before you can launch. This week we share stories of software from around the globe.

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This week we chat with Sophie Schmidt, founder of an online publication called Rest of World, an international nonprofit journalism organization that seeks to document what happens when technology, culture and the human experience collide, with a focus on regions that are typically overlooked and underestimated. Our conversation shows how rapidly the global landscape is shifting, and how software is redefining work and life for a new generation of coders and consumers.

Sophie founded Rest of World in 2019 after a decade of living and working across Asia, Africa & the Middle East, and with companies like Uber and Xiaomi. She graduated from Stanford Graduate School of Business, Harvard Kennedy School and Princeton University. Sophie is based in New York. Read why she started this publication in her founder’s note. You can subscribe to Rest of World's newsletter here.

In this week's episode we talk about Okash, a peer-to-peer lending app that show what happens when you gamify public social shaming.

We explore honjok, a South Korean sub-culture that emphasizes a movement away from ambitious professionalism and towards a more stoic loner lifestyle. In some ways, the apps, services, and online communities that formed around this tribe perfectly predicted what many people are experiencing in 2020. "The accidental pioneers of a lifestyle that has been forced on all of us," as Sophie explains.

And finally, we explore what it takes to break into the world of digital finance in Indonesia, where a board of clerics must certify that your code halal - consistent with Islamic religion and law - before you can break into a market of more than 220 million potential customers.


Sophie Schmidt So even getting out of the US and China dichotomy, I think is really, really imperative. Because it's not just a binary system. Right, of course, those are the biggest players. Of course, they have the most impact on a macro level. But all these other countries are also beginning to punch above their weight. They're beginning to really not look for direction or approval anymore. And they're going to chart a course for their own destiny. And that's going to be really, really interesting.


Ben Popper Couchbase is a SQL-friendly multi-cloud to edge noSQL database, architected on top of an open sourced foundation. Join them at Connect.Online, their two day virtual technical conference for developers that has over 60 deep dive sessions, where you can learn about Couchbase, hone your application development skills, and network with peers and tech experts. Ready to develop your path? Register for Connect today and learn more at couchbase.com/developyourpath.

BP Hey everybody, welcome to the Stack Overflow podcast. I'm Ben Popper here with my lovely co-hosts, Paul and Sara. How y'all doing this morning?

Sara Chipps Hey Ben! Hey Paul!

Paul Ford Doing fine!

BP Sara, we have a wonderful guest today. Do you want to introduce?

SC Yes. Today we have Sophie Schmidt here to talk about Rest of World, which is her site that talks about news in places that aren't the U.S., which is amazing.

PF Sophie, how would you--hi welcome [Sophie chuckles]--How would you define your site?

SS Thank you. I would describe us as a new publication. We're more of a digital magazine. And we cover the impact of technology outside of the Western bubble, essentially North America, Western Europe, UK, Australia, New Zealand. So we cover everybody else. That's where the name comes from. Right for people who don't recognize it. Rest of World is just a business term. It shows up all the time and earning reports and pie charts and it quite literally is used to mean everybody else so we decided to reclaim that and make it punch above its weight where it belongs.


BP Do you feel like part of what's happening is that the rest of the world is just being ignored or also that the rest of the world maybe uses technology or in a very different way than we do?

SS I would say both, you know, you could look at Facebook earnings report, and you could look at their user charts. And you'll see that the rest of world segments about 30% of their users, so a lot, right, and you're like, this is a lot of people. Why are they not named? You go to the next slide. And you see that the ARPU for that region is about 9% of their growth, right. So I would say that there's been a central, sometimes a fallacy, of tech that I grew up around. And I think it's still pretty present now where this scale mentality that users are fundamentally the same, right? That people everywhere kind of want the same things. And therefore you have these universal platforms that scale, right? I think that's a mistake. And that was always a mistake, right? Because as they scaled, they ran over all these little moments of cultural friction and all these little edge cases, even to use that term, right. It's only an edge case if you think you're the centre of the universe, when reality tech is playing out wildly differently in different places, and the question of why is the most interesting thing to me. And so that's what our publication covers.

PF Give us an example, throw us like one interesting curveball, because actually, when I hit the site, there's like 12. [Sophie chuckles] And also before you answer that question, it really is worth going and looking because especially if you're in the Western world, and even if you think you really know the world of tech, like it is a big world, and it's completely uncovered by most sources that cover tech. And so there's a lot of curveballs. There's a lot of surprises on the site. Like what stuck out for you since you launched?

SS I mean one of my all time favorite stories came to us from a Kenyan writer. And he came with a story about an app called OCash. Ocash is one of these predatory micro lending apps. There's lots of them in the world. Oh, cash is unique and it was I think it's operational in Kenya, Nigeria, and it's unique because it goes into your contacts if you are late on your loan, and it spams all your friends. It says ''Paul is late in his loan. Please help him pay us back.'' Right. It's like the ultimate nudge.


PF So it's like, ''Hey, Sara, Ben, you know, Paul owes us $5 this week.''

SS It's essentially gamifying social shame, right? And so that that looks like an isolated incident looks like ''Oh my god, what's happening over there?'' Right. And the writer that came to us with this thought it was an isolated incident to Africa. We looked around for a while. And we found out that the Filipino SCC had banned like 12 of them the month prior. And of course, those ones were based on something that came from China and the one in China was based on something that came before. You can trace that type of nudge that seems so extreme and so gonezo and bonkers and would never happen here, all the way back to the guy sitting in Palo Alto developing some tiny nudge to get his friend to buy one more burrito. Right. [Ben laughs] They're all, they're all connected. And so you build things in what you could consider safe or regulated environments. And then they end up in these extreme scenarios out in the world, because that's how technology moves. And we never talked about it like that. You think there were five companies in the entire world that actually mattered, if you read most technology headlines.

PF You'd think there was Mark Zuckerberg, frankly, like, I mean, that's like--

SS Maybe, maybe, Elon if he treats...

BP Elon. Elon matters.

PF No, no, you know, and it's, it's sort of--

BP Where's Jack? Jack doesn't make news anymore. Jack used to make so much news.

SS He's at a yoga retreat, I'm sure.

PF I mean, you used to work in PR, like really good PR kind of keeps them out of the news, right? Like a lot of people have picked up that lesson. So you've got these giant sort of sleeping, or not sleeping, very busy, but sort of increasingly quiet, nation state type of platforms. And then you have things like these micro lending services, are their new platform showing up that they kind of roll up to or are they independent operations? Like are there sort of sleeping giants out there that we need to be aware of that we don't know about?

SS I believe OCash is owned by OPay, which is owned by Opera and I think a Chinese firm bought Opera. So you see--

PF So it's happening.


SS Consolidation, right, across much like telecoms, they're all sort of vertically integrated at the end of the day. I have become really, really obsessed with social ecommerce lately, all those Chinese platforms that Americans generally aren't even aware of. They're huge. They're huge in China, you have Pinduoduo, you have, one I was reading yesterday, I will butcher the names, I'm not going to try it. But they basically try to do you know, the GroupOn on steroids, but they deputize a community leader, right, to actually do the organizing, and it solves for the trust barrier, right? It's a very sort of clever thing. And I think about what I'm watching in the US, I'm looking at people who are, you know, struggling financially, who are waiting for Congress to get off their ass and pass relief. And I'm thinking about all of these tools that exist out there, digital currencies, right, things that are being built in places that have had problems like this for a long time and technology is being used to actually solve them. We don't have access to these things. I would love a Pinduoduo here. I think a lot of people especially now as they're starting to look at their income would love the opportunity to use some of these techniques and some of these these breakthroughs but we don't even have access.

BP Yeah, I mean, China, which you just brought up, is really interesting. It's definitely always felt like its own universe of technology, in some ways, because, you know, they banned American companies and now in turn, we're trying to ban Chinese companies like TikTok, you know, the geopolitics that are involved in some way has separated out two different sort of tech spheres. I was reading some stories yesterday, just thinking about this podcast. And they're using, you know, some of our technology in really interesting ways like GitHub, which we think of as a platform for coders to collaborate, you know, and work on software is also a place where a lot of people go for free speech, they kind of hide comments and code or you know, they add a comment on a piece of code that's really about the truth, you know, of stats around COVID, and things like that. So people adapting platforms in that way, like you were pointing out before is completely unexpected, and based on sort of, you know, the circumstances on the ground well.


SS And the great thing is that for people who are fans of what we consider 'rest of world tech', all of the countries that are we cover, right? That stuff is everywhere. It is nothing but a parade of unexpected applications. I genuinely mean that. And sometimes they're horrifying, and they're scary. And sometimes they're spectacular because it proves to you over and over again how creative and unpredictable humans are. And you guys have an audience have largely developers, right? So you guys, everyone here knows very well, you can build the most perfect system with all the bells and whistles and everything thought out very, very carefully. And then you meet the messy reality of a human user. And they will always surprise you. Right? We did this amazing story. We had a Palestinian writer who grew up in Gaza and she found this man in Gaza who was running a delivery business. It's called Cheetah Express. And it brought you KFC from Ramallah, right, which is disconnected from Gaza. The way that Cheetah Express worked is through Instagram, right? People would DM this guy in his Instagram account, they would say ''I would like a four piece meal'' the food would be delivered the next day because this guy ran an operation where he would use Palestinian day laborers who already had passes, who went across Israel, you know, into Ramallah. They would pick up the food the next morning they would drive through up to six checkpoints, food would arrive the next day, between seven and nine maybe at a hookah store, be half eaten, it would be cold. And of course the you know Gaza power situation is so is so bad that sometimes it couldn't even microwave the food, but it was a thriving business, right? And it's such a simple example because it's KFC. Right? Who would go to such lengths for KFC? I love that they did that, right. This guy wouldn't even give us his name because he was worried about Hamas shutting him down. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, all these platforms are full of these tiny adaptations that, you know, again, are seen as these marginal sort of one offs. I think you could flip it, I think you'd look at them as signals and symbols of how users really are in the world. Right? Why would we limit ourselves to just our friends and our people? I mean, 75% of the world is on Android, right? I know, maybe two Android users here. We're not even beginning to look at what the world--

PF No, I'm a Pixel user. I did it. [Sophie laughs] I feel that it's important. I try to switch, I switch every time I buy a new phone.

BP I was gonna say, Sara, when you look at our community, which comes from all around the world, and I know when Prashanth, our CEO joined, one of the things we highlighted that was, was that Bangalore, the city where he's from, actually has the highest concentration of Stack Overflow users, you know, as a specific region. Do we see different behaviors, different ways of engaging with the Q&A or with you know, the knowledge base from different parts of the world? Is that something that community thinks about?


SC Yeah, definitely, I think one thing we see that's really fascinating that, really points it out is we have several instances of Stack Overflow, we have Stack Overflow in Russian, we have Stack Overflow in Portuguese and Stack Overflow in Japanese, and the behaviors of the users and how they use the platform. And how the platform gets together for community is really interesting. For example, events that we host on Stack Overflow in Japan that just wouldn't work here in the U.S., you know some of it is because of size, but also, it's because how the community comes together and what's different about it. For example, on the Stack Overflow Russian site, one thing we face on the U.S. centric site or the English centric site, is one of the biggest pieces of feedback we get from our users is that they wish the site would be more welcoming. They wish the site would be something that would be open for them, and sometimes they feel like it's not something that is built for them. And on the Russian site, we don't face that at all. It's something that gets policed fairly quickly. And it's something that Nick, who is our CM based in Russia, is very proud of, rightfully so, because it's something that we talk to him a lot about how, how did you get it that way? And what what about the culture helps you make it a more welcoming place. So it's really interesting how different parts of the world faces different challenges, and also doesn't face some of the same challenges that we do online.


PF One of the things that I remember, 'cause you know, I've now been an internet user for roughly 6 billion years and early days of the web, people were showing up from all over and different cultural mores and different patterns of behavior like that, you know, they'd really bump into each other and they'd kind of have to get hashed out in the message board. Because everybody wanted to talk about like bicycles, or watching how people from different cultures edited Wikipedia, like you know, people would put advertisements for the local cab service into their village where they lived. And, and then I think this moment happened where the giant platforms showed up and it kind of all got smooth, too, which goes back to some of Sophie's earlier point, which is like, we got into a zone where it's like, actually, no, there is an internet culture. And it looks like one of these very large platforms, and we're going to moderate it for you. Because all the attention went in that direction. A lot of those little like, bumping into each other things stopped happening, because everything was was slightly mediated. And then meanwhile, of course, the world kept going. And you know, China was like, ''We'll have our own internet. Thank you.'' And you're looking at Africa evolve its own patterns that are based on things that have been going on forever. What are they doing better than the U.S. outside of the U.S.? Because you know, American developers, we think we know everything, we run the world. We're in charge. The big platforms want to hire us. If you were to send us overseas and say, go figure this out. What would you do?

SS You I often think about the practical ways that people get online. Right? Many Americans don't even realize that data costs money, real money. When we developed our site, we made sure that it was extremely accessible for the reasons that Sara mentioned. Right? I don't want somebody to try to read a story about them, and pay, you know, a share of their daily income that's pretty high, choose between, you know, downloading the article about them or buying lunch. Right. That's, that's practical reality. I think that there's a big assumption because of the way we've been taught to think about ourselves as we're the standard bearer, and therefore everything that we believe is true, right. Everything that we think is universal platforms that we built are surely the default. Right. And I think over and over again, it's been shown to be not true, I think you can look at the rise of Chinese apps as such, right? With respect to how do we build better products, right, the first thing you get to listen to the users, right? Again, it's that building in a silo, it's building in a vacuum. It's saying, well, me and my friends like the same, we dogfood this for ourselves. And then we have one guy in the Nigeria office and we're going to basically ask him to be the ambassador to the entire market and to translate everything about these users into a concise bit of feedback, right? Which isn't, isn't really serving the end user. And because a lot of these markets, especially the ones that we cover had never been, you know, the bricks, they're not the, they're not the profit centers, it's actually very hard in a corporate structure to advocate for making those changes, because that's investment. Right. And these are countries, especially on the journalism side that are typically described as full of conflict, right, or full of poverty. And so you have to get out of that mentality, yourself and within your team and within your your leadership structure when you advocate for end users who are not going to be profitable anytime soon, right. So I hope that that's one of the things that our work can really advocate for, and really equip people who are pushing for those positive changes in global operations and in global markets. Because they're there. There are tons and tons of tech people who are brilliant and hardworking and they're advocating for all the things that we want. They're coming up against the realities of being in a big corporation where all those trade offs and those pressures exist at the highest level and you think about what the companies are facing here, I mean, forget it. You know, you have big hulking corporations, like all big corporations that are struggling to innovate. They're up against antitrust and regulators. They're seeing internal revolts and user critiques. This is a tough space for people to innovate. It's a tough space for entrepreneurs. Look at what's happening to TikTok. What foreign player is going to say, ''Oh, and I'd love to tackle the U.S. market right now.'' [Ben chuckles] Right? These all these all have a really interesting series of downstream effects, right?


BP Yeah, I think what you're saying really resonates with me, I was on the phone just yesterday talking with Juan Buriticá, about what the texting is like in Latin America. He just got a job working for Stripe trying to build teams in places like Chile. And he was saying something similar to what you were just saying, which is that one of the big problems is that big companies do invest down there, but they don't invest with the hope that these people will be creative and find solutions that are relevant to their market. They'll say ''Oh, software developers are cheaper to hire, they're so will hire them, give them tasks and just get it done.'' And also when it comes to entrepreneurs and startups, he was saying most of the time, what you know, people want to see as a pitch that says, ''Well, I'm going to build, you know, the Uber for Latin America, I'm going to build the X for this, you know, I'm just going to take something that I know works in the U.S. and regionalize it.'' And what he's hoping to see more of is, you know, people actually saying, maybe, you know, the folks down here have their own ideas that apply to their country. And that is something you know, we can consider building or, you know, that's a market worth investing.

SS Oh my gosh, here's, here's a really good example. So have you guys ever heard of the Korean phrase honjok?

SC No.

PF No.

SS It means alone tribe. And it's one of these phenomenons in East Asian country where young people who are fed up with the rat race that is much much much harder than what American counterparts face, opt out. They're done. And they basically seclude themselves in their apartments. And this started to sound pretty familiar in 2020. Right, so we commissioned this piece about the honjok in Korea. And what's fascinating about this group is that well before the pandemic arrived, enough of them had opted out that they develop their own consumer class, right. There were enough of them that this whole micro economy of have single serving apps and delivery systems and services emerged to meet their very unique needs. Meanwhile, they're at home crowdsourcing about seclusion tips with each other. Right? So it's this really fascinating thing that, again, someone's sitting in New York, it's sort of a year ago would have read that note, that's one of these wacky foreign things. That's, you know, how unusual this culture is. But now, right, with the benefit of hindsight, 2020 we look at this and go, ''Oh, my God, these are the accidental pioneers of a lifestyle that has all been forced upon us.'' Right? How would you not want to talk to them? How would you not want to ask them for insights and tips and lessons. And the most interesting thing to me about the pandemic, among all of the things that we've lost and things that are tough to abide by, and we're all grieving in our own ways, no matter how well anyone is coping, is that loss of spontaneity, right, the loss of discovery, and that is, so it's such a primal human instinct and particularly in tech, people who are drawn to tech are are looking for the next frontier and because we have lost the ability to kind of spontaneously be surprised by something because have been trapped in our apartments for a year. You know, at this point I could map the interiors of my cabinets, right? I'm so tired of the same four walls, why not train ourselves to look beyond the usual suspects and say, ''Oh, this thing that looked like a wacky one off, is actually central to my experience. It's relevant to me personally, right? It is directly impacting my life'' Technology is the ideal lens to view that. It's all in front of us. It's all connected to what we're using.


BP And the point you made earlier about how you know some of the things that develop in other places. I remember doing a story on M-pesa, which is like, you know, a digital wallet and a banking app that you can use them in many parts of Africa. And right now, you know, that would be incredibly useful for people here who have lost their jobs when cash is hard to find, when coins are hard to find. But because we, you know, didn't have that moment that they sort of did where nobody had access to computers and all sudden they had smartphones, then all of a sudden they wanted to do business and they kind of, you know jumped over some of the progress that we ourselves still haven't made here, even though we think of ourselves, as you know, a leader in tech, and always.

PF You become aware of your environment in different ways. And one of the things that keeps popping into my head, though, is because the United States, for its own very special reasons has become far more isolationist in the last four years. A lot of the talent that would naturally flow in our direction is not going to flow in our direction. And that's not like you can just divert it back when a new President comes in like that people have made decisions about their lives, and now they're going to go to places. One of the thing I always think of my co-founder is Lebanese and he made the cutoff coming over during the Carter administration and got settled in New York and Ronald Reagan's said no more Lebanese coming into America. And so they all went to Canada instead. And that's it. Like there's a huge Canadian population in Toronto and Montreal that would never, that isn't in the U.S. and whole lives and grandchildren are being born and things like that because of those decisions. And that's, that's where we're at now. So I'm wondering if the talent that we assume is kind of our birthright in America, like we're gonna we're gonna get all that talent, we have disincentivized it from coming here?


SC You know, one thing I keep thinking about while we talk about this is one of the most formative moments for me as a developer was once when I was speaking at a conference in Spain, and I was sitting at a dinner with a bunch of other developers. And the guy sitting across from me was from Russia. We were just talking about things. I don't know how the space race came up. But someone near us was talking about, you know, Russia and the U.S. in the space race. And both of us looked at each other at the same time, and said, ''but well, I mean, yeah, but we won.'' And both of us looked at each other with surprise, as we realized that our governor--like, we both completely had thought that our country had won the space race and like with confusion, and then a realization that oh, you know, like he looked at me said, ''It's the space race. It wasn't the moon race. I mean, you guys went to the moon. We went to space first.'' I realized that everything I had learned growing up was that this whole thing that America had, like come out on the top of and he had done the same. So it's really neat to have publications like yours where you can read a more nuanced view of news.

PF One of the things to think about because, look, I think like anybody I was raised in good American exceptional way, and I'm very fond of the country I was born in. But when you talk to people, you realize that the moment that we captured all the digital growth, like our Silicon Valley moment, the rest of the world was literally trying to rebuild its railways because they had been destroyed in World War II, like that the the sort of advanced Western world and Russia were utterly obliterated and there was this 20, 30 year gap where we had things like sugar that everybody else was still trying to get enough of, and we kind of tend to take credit for that time as like ''well of course look at the engine of innovation we have driven'' and, and in the meantime everybody is like trying to like put the church back together out of the bricks. You know, when we think about the space race and stuff like that there is that context. There's also some very good things that that America can do. But there, it's that's an advantage that is possible to lose, which is something we almost never talk about.


BP I mean, I would love to hear Sophie's thoughts on this. But yeah, I think I've had, you know, kind of personal experience with that, in terms of the advantage, you know, we might lose. I went to South by Southwest in 2013, to cover startups, I'd always covered, you know, software startups and venture capital. And that was the first time I saw a DJI drone. And when I started, like learning about DJI and thinking about it, it was really the first Chinese company that was a global leader and clearly the leader in North America in the world of consumer electronics, like no American company could touch them when it came to what they were producing, which similar sort of like what happened in Japan in the 80s and 90s. And now DGI continues to hold that spot, you have a company like TikTok come along, which is in the software space that the U.S. you know, has dominated for so long. And suddenly, you know, has the teens like has the you know, sort of pole position, so I feel like Sophie, you know, what your writing is only gonna become more relevant in the sense that the the pendulum is starting to swing a little bit.

SS It's a really interesting time to be covering this, because I feel like we're at the cusp of that understanding, right, no matter what happens with the election, I think it's pretty clear that the decline of American, maybe cultural and certainly diplomatic power is very real. And I think you only need to look at something like Korea to understand how short that timeline needs to be from someone to go from post-war reconstruction to, you know, punching way above its weight. Right, we've done stories on Kpop. And you think of the cultural product, you think of the dominance of Kpop. And the technology that was required that we helped build, right, like Twitter, and Facebook, and all these things that allowed that phenomenon to exist. There are platforms in countries outside of China that have hundreds of millions of users that no one's ever heard of. The tiny differences in those platforms actually will tell us a lot about what's coming in our future, right, because I genuinely believe that the products that can dominate, you know, our next 10 years are probably not going to be built here, because you just don't have enough slack in the system, right. We did this amazing story about India live streaming apps, right, many of which are now banned in China, because of the jingoism and the sort of nationalist stuff that you've seen there. These are Chinese products. But what's interesting about Chinese companies when they build for developing countries, and they specifically go into tier three, tier four cities, right, and this is a lot of what the social ecommerce companies done, we don't have a different technology parallel where they're building for low income users that are actually solving for their specific problems, right. And these live streaming apps are fascinating. A reporter found a guy who I think he was a food safety processor inspector, like by day, by night, he was recruiting you know, 15 year old girls from the Indian rural villages, and convincing them to become live streaming star so they would sing Bollywood songs and they would dance and some of them are newlyweds, there's all sorts of interesting tension with the families and the conservative norms. And, you know, he would he would basically convince them to, you know, not only live stream themselves and become the stars and on platforms like Vito live and Likey. He would also sort of mash them together, they would live stream with him. And then because of, again, cork that's available in their platforms and not ours, there was a payment mechanism that I think that women could be paid in like magic beans, by their fame, their fans, right. And so this guy essentially built like a channel for himself. He's essentially a pimp, right. And this entirely new ecosystem that even people in tier one India cities hadn't used and haven't heard of, because they were being built for a different class. That's, that's, that's a sophisticated type of product development that I think we just missed, because we've always thought that we're the vanguard.


PF And also that the division is by class, so that platforms exist to serve very specific kinds of cohorts that might be extremely large. And that there are these kind of wild barriers for people to even learn about them, right, like the only I guess the telecoms can find out about them if they're interested. But other than that, you're never going to hear about them.

SS And that's the crazy thing. There is almost no tech journalism outside of a couple of very advanced countries, cities, in the rest of world regions, right. You might find Original TechCrunch and God bless them. I'm glad they exist, right? But they don't tell you why, they don't tell you why it's happening in Thailand, but not Cambodia, but not Indonesia, when in fact, the differences in those cultures and the differences in those systems say everything about what's going to develop there and who gets to work there. And who gets to build there. We got this really amazing story about, so if you're a developer in FinTech in Indonesia, Indonesia, a huge market, right? It's a big prize. Indonesia is a Muslim country. And they have a cleric committee, who actually gets to decide whether the FinTech app that you build is Halal, right. And they actually they they sort of look at the code, they look at the product, they look at the user flow, and they decide whether or not it's okay under their interpretation of Islamic law. And so obviously, critics of the system say they're corrupt, they can be bribed, you know, God forbid, but it's one of those things where, whether or not you'd like it, whether or not you think this is a legitimate check in the system, that's a reality if you want to enter a market of 300 million people, right, and it's a it's a big opportunity. And so, one of the things I've been most interested in seeing is how big platforms that were in that position of dominance for so long, have had to learn how to contort themselves a little bit to play by other countries rules. And so even getting out of the US and China dichotomy, I think, is really, really imperative. Because it's not just a binary system. Right. Of course, those are the biggest players. Of course, they have the most impact on a macro level. But all these other countries are also beginning to punch above their weight. They're beginning to really not look for direction or approval anymore. And they're going to chart a course for their own destiny. And that's going to be really, really interesting.


BP Sophie, at the end of every episode, we shout out a lifeboater, that's a badge we give to somebody who took a question on Stack Overflow that was kind of languishing without an answer that had been down voted, they provide an answer and they get to a score of 20 or more. So I'm gonna read this out. And then Paul and Sara, if you have any thoughts, maybe fill in a little besides when I'm reading. ''Local DB is not supported on this platform'' asked three years ago. ''I'm trying to launch .net core 2.0 application on Ubuntu 17.04. I developed it on Windows 10 before and it works well. The problem is that when I run .net, I get a next exception. And then it's not it's not supported on this platform. Paul, what's going on here? How can we help this person? You wanna check out the answer and let me know?


PF Oh, well, you know, you're in the world of .net on Ubuntu, you're messing around with level dB, which is a part of SQL Server. I don't know, man. I don't know, that's not for me. That's not how I spend my day.

SC Yeah, sometimes can and should are very different.

PF Yeah, I mean, good luck. Use SQL Lite. What's wrong with you? That's all, that's all you got to do. Alright. What did they say? But somebody answered this. Somebody solved it. Local dB. Ah, look at that. ''Use Docker.'' That's what they said. That's the answer to everything these days. Yes, you children. You kids. You know what, a lifeboat. That's all we see here. We see people helping each other, doesn't matter what Stack you use, as long as you're doing good programming.

BP Alright, so shout out to Davis Brown-Microsoft for that answer, I guess he wants to self identify.

PF Dash Microsoft. That's all my, all my usernames are about to become dash Microsoft.

BP Alright, I'm Ben Popper, Director of content here at Stack Overflow. And if you want to find me, I'm on Twitter @BenPopper.

SC And I'm Sarah Chipps, Director of Community here at Stack Overflow. And you can find me on GitHub @SaraJo.

PF Sophie, if people want to get in touch with you or talk about Rest of World, what's the right way to do it?

SS Restofworld.org, we're structured is a nonprofit. So hopefully that's even more exciting for folks. We have a great newsletter every week, and we publish almost daily now.

PF Excellent. And I'm Paul Ford. I'm a friend of Stack Overflow, a good friend I think, and if you need me, you can find me on Twitter @ftrain or check out my company at Postlight.com.



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