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Daily Digest | Fake it til you make it?

Written by The Uptake Published on   1 min read

How many super apps do we need in Southeast Asia?

Hey. It’s Brady here.

There are tech companies in Southeast Asia that have been telling you that their products aren’t just apps, but super apps. One placed “Superapp” in its name not too long ago. Another uses the term in their Twitter handle. Press releases don’t get the greenlight unless the term is deployed, even if the claim doesn’t quite stick.

Simultaneously, there is plenty of media coverage that plays along with the label, common sense trumped by the eagerness to be heralds of a maturing tech sector.

This doesn’t feel right. While these apps offer a degree of convenience that was absent a few years ago, there’s little that’s “super” about them. The services are hardly unique—they’re versions of each other, nowhere near expansive—and there doesn’t seem to be a plan to build truly evolutionary functionality.

What I mean to say is: there is a distinct lack of first principles thinking in the creation of these products, and we wonder whether these companies truly believe their consumers buy into their rhetoric. If there is advancement, it is in business strategy and marketing rather than innovative inventions.

Khamila ruminated over the implications of these developments, and spoke to experts to get their takes. You can read her article here.

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