Huh! The year counts down

Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2010, under


imagesMerry Christmas guys! The year is soon coming to an end with a host of festivities lined up. So many words will go unwritten but yet no few chapters have gone unwritten. Kenya witnessed the signing of a new constitution into law while it may be the first time you read my blog. Ha ha! You might have realized already how sluggish I am which due to the order of the day I humbly decry as a challenge for the New Year.

A few words will go to my fans, family and friends. The characteristic of silence is saying nothing. True, so many feelings will go unexpressed; some of love, admiration and others of change, reform but the true spirit says that we are one as individuals each with a silver lining. I thank you all for staying strong in your own special ways and for loving someone in the world.

This year will go down as the year of perspective, perspective in networking, business and relationships. However, my only focus right now is that the peak of this year be defined by the few remaining days when we join each other to reflect, celebrate and acknowledge. Bottoms up y’all!

“God speaks in the silence of the heart: Listening is the beginning of Prayer”


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Chic power no doubt for Kes 1, 000, 000

Posted on Monday, November 01, 2010, under


It looks good so far as the last of the 17 teams that were selected for the final contest present their 48hr startup. I am currently looking at myshilling a daily bargains platform for the Kenyan Market. Ask us.. we answer you…Ask us again…and now lets clear the stage for the Judges verdict.

M-Farm

M-Farm (Facebook, Twitter)

Easily translatable to mean the Mobile farm, M-farm will be an SMS-based resource for serving market data, weather predictions and networking information for Kenyan farmers. From this day on and with the aid of the generous funding of Kes 1, 000, 000 by the HumanIPO team, the Akirachix will have the ability to transform their product into a benefit that will eventually be shared by the entire Kenyan Community.

Big ups to all the teams that participated and since I wouldn't want you to keep imagining which other startups were presented, here is a link for you

18 teams formed for the final contest at IPO48

Lets say Cheers all.

 

Blogger Labels: Chic,teams,platform,Kenyan,Market,Judges,verdict,Farm,Facebook,Twitter,Mobile,

resource,data,predictions,information,farmers,From,HumanIPO,team,Akirachix,product


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IPO 48 Bootcamp: Come with Ideas

Posted on Saturday, October 30, 2010, under


Human IPO logo We will get you the Money. That is the cue that has been taken by the organizers of the expected 48 hour mobile and web services development competition to be held at the Strathmore University.

As quoted from the event’s website, “Our goal is to promote entrepreneurship and startup culture in Kenya and Africa”.

Some of the organizers include HumanIPO , Google and Safaricom Business

The 48 hr Rush

Registered participants will be expected to build a web or mobile service within 48hrs. From idea to business in 48hrs.

Quick Facts

 IPOlogo

Date: 29-31 October 2010

Venue: Strathmore University (view map)

Winning Prize: Kshs. 1,000,000

Registration: Online Registration (here)

Registration fees: Kshs 1,500

Participants: Visionary entrepreneurs & project Managers, Designers, Web Developers, Programmers, Mobile Developers, Marketers and Business developers

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Google’s Free SMS Service For Kenyan Subscribers

Posted on Friday, October 01, 2010, under


Like a rocket, the free Google SMS service landed into my Gmail account this morning. I was quick to click on the Send SMS tab, that now appears at the left side bar just below the arranged group of email boxes, with a clear imagination that someone would later prompt me for my credit card information but nay, the critic was  proven wrong. The service is as free as the Google search box comes to your browser.

free-gmail-sms-service

How it works

The send SMS tab only has a single input box with the title phone number. Key in a preferred recipient's number and press the enter key on your keyboard. You will be prompted to save the contact details by clicking on the save button. A docked SMS box will appear to at the bottom right of your screen where you can write, submit and view your SMS/chat history with your contacts.

Gmail on your Cell

To my surprise, the message that I received on my mobile phone was from a Safaricom line (+254700999415) which only means that the service has been customized for Kenya but the unfortunate thing being that so far support is only for Safaricom. I received  two texts after submitting the message to my own number.

“Sent: 10/1/2010 10:55

+254700999415

Hi. Check out the google SMS service (This is what I initially sent via the service)

-myname@gmail.com (Email address from the sender)

-You may reply (An extra instructional message)”

 

“Sent: 10/1/2010 10:55

+254700999415

(Gmail) myname@gmail.com initiated a chat with you. You may reply to this message like a regular SMS or Send Help for more info

-myname@gmail.com (Email address from the sender)

-You may reply (An extra instruction message)”

How they Got here

A couple of years ago, Google made a significant investment with Mobile Planet a value added service provider in Kenya. Value added services include the SMS promotions you regularly see or hear on the telly today using short code numbers such as 6040, bulk SMS and online mobile payments.

Where Else

In partnership with Safaricom, the service has been successfully launched in Senegal and Ghana. This is according to Google’s Business Development Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Topping Up SMS credits

While this would have been their main revenue stream, the service only requires that you use one SMS (normal Charges apply) from your phone to earn five more for your Gmail account. However, each time a recipient replies to your message you receive 5 more quotas.

A quota is an allocation of SMS (text messages) that you're able to send to a mobile phone:

  • Initially, you're granted a quota of fifty messages.
  • Every time you send a message, your quota decreases by one.
  • Every time you receive an SMS message in Chat (for example when a phone user replies to one of your messages) your quota increases by five, up to a maximum of 50.

That’s all for now. Keep peeping at the  feeds for live updates.

 Read Full Text

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Digital Media: Arfick.com is our own Online Media Hub

Posted on Saturday, May 08, 2010, under


 

satellite-l450-top-view As Microsoft plan usher in a news and social media aggregate platform, it remains to be heard of the impact that the existing websites and applications have so far had to the majority of online users in Kenya and around the world. Google for one has excelled with their news collectors around the world but I still doubt if the same has had any impact with web users in Africa.

Recently launched, arfick.com has stocked the meaning of a one stop shop to include news in entertainment, blogs, politics and a number of customized categories. The Kenyan website has made it easier for web users to get information about their favorite products, celebrities and even video blogs on the internet. For instance, if I want to get latest news or dated for that matter about Justin Bieber the latest Pop teen sensation, all I would do is search the celebrity by name and wallah Justin and his latest media antics would be revealed. Do the same for a product or album launch, political news, world news or any other of your interests and the results will be impressive.

Instead of visiting nation.co.ke to read their online paper or even the standard, arfick.com makes it easy for you to navigate through such channels and more so through its concrete search engine plus the greatly enhanced side bars you find along as you navigate the arfick.com world of aggregated news.

Video blogging is the new catch in the 21st century's digital age. Its amazing what youths as compared to their older ones in the TV can do with their voices and expressions. Through platforms such as YouTube and obviously video integrated websites, such youths have been able to engage their peers into discussing issues such as sex, business, technology and violence among others. You'll surely agree that at my age I once in a while need to learn some dating tips and see how they work you know. These bloggers have been nothing less than doctors. Mine may be that but your problem could be adjusting to your new Smartphone. You know what,  just holla at the video bloggers. And, it doesn't go without saying that a lot needs to be done to protect privacy and cover the right content but if this is not the kind of growth that technologists talk about in their still rooms and especially those in Kenya, then my brothers some of us need your jobs.

To wrap up this day and age of technology and media use, I would probably challenge Tom to be tech-savvy Tom and Jane to be the finger behind the talking . Its the way to go by the way.

Screenshot

Arfick


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Kenya: Mobile Technology 2012

Posted on Friday, May 07, 2010, under


Samsung Think of it, having your MP text you back instantly after you have declared support for his campaign via email or even SMS. You’ll agree with me that it  would certainly be the beginning of a close thing between you and the stranger on the camera, right? Such is the dedication that candidates in other developed and developing countries are laying on their campaigns. Most people will come out boldly to say that Kenya as a political avenue is not cut out for such vibrant use of technology.

Others will certainly have the time to whisper that  “It’s a waste of time and money…” but,  here is a funny mention of yesterdays and by default today’s reality: Kenya is just the right place.

The normal reasons for taking up mobile technology would be to spread the use of technology in every Kenyan household and yet to catapult the older generation to the same tech-level as the young generation but there is more to this craze. Politicians would get a chance to communicate their policies in detail with their constituents while at the same time, the electorate would have a chance to credit their preferred candidates in the general elections.

Policies in governance should matter a lot and especially to the governed. Poorly thought out and implemented strategies have led many countries deep into the pit of failure. Imagine being able to get first hand information about your leaders policies, being in a position to store them for review at a later date as well as being able to digitally compare them to other policies. The revolution for technologists would be then ripe but so would that of the Kenyan citizens.

Do you own a smart phone or even an internet enabled phone? If not then it time to start shopping for one. Visit the various Kenyan online stores and your favorite dealers in town but make sure you own a phone that has good  features. Honestly, I foresee a great time in 2012, new ways of campaigning, improved responsibility and accountability and obviously more distracted Kenyans (..just take care not to be dumped for it but its still worth).


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Best Young Entrepreneurs 2009

Posted on Wednesday, May 05, 2010, under


This year’s ten finalists for the best young entrepreneurs in the USA have just been announced. The preceding years have had a fair share of dorm room beginners toping the world ranks as the best managers and innovators in business and it yet to be seen if more will make it to the final list or yet if the 2009 finalists will make it back to the list.

Meet the Ten finalists for America’s best young entrepreneurs 2010 according to the business weekly.

_JamailLarkins_Headshot_300dp

Ascension Aircraft
What It Does: Aircraft sales and leasing
Founder: Jamail Larkins, 25
Web Site: www.ascensionaircraft.com
Based: Augusta, Ga.

Education:Bachelors Degree in Aviation and Business Admin

Revenue: 2008 saw a little over $ 7million

Employees: Four(4)

 

003_box_dot_net

Box.net
What It Does: Online collaboration tool
Founders: Aaron Levie, 24, and Dylan Smith, 24
Web Site: www.box.net
Based: Palo Alto, Calif.

Employees: Fifty(50)

 

shama Kabani

Click To Client
What It Does: Online marketing agency
Founder: Shama Kabani, 24
Web Site: www.clicktoclient.com
Based: Dallas

Revenue: $120,000

Books: The Zen of Social Media (Buy Amazon)

 

 

008_emergent_jesse_jayso_8f

Emergent
What It Does: Renewable energy consulting
Founders: Jesse Gossett, 23 (left); Jayson Uppal, 23 (center); and Chris Jacobs, 21 (right)
Web Site: www.emergentgroup.com
Based: Boston

Revenue: 2008, $108,000

 

Ibeccreative

I Bec Creative
What It Does: Web development and graphic design
Founder: Becky Stockbridge, 25
Web Site: www.ibeccreative.com

Based: Portland, Me.

Revenue: $225,000 in 2008

Employees: Five(5)

 

intern queen

Intern Queen
What It Does: Internship placement consultancy
Founder: Lauren Berger, 25
Web Site: www.internqueen.com

Based: Los Angeles

Revenue: 2008, $100,000

 

2_Susan-ModCloth-BKT

ModCloth
What It Does: Online marketplace for indie designer fashion and decor
Founders: Eric Koger, 25, and Susan Koger, 24
Web Site: www.modcloth.com
Based: Pittsburgh

Employees: 0ne hundred and four(104)

 

 

notehall

NoteHall
What It Does: Online marketplace for class notes
Founders: Sean Conway, 25 (right); Justin Miller, 21(far right); B.J. Stephan, 24 (left); Fadi
Chalfoon, 23 (second from left)
Web Site: www.notehall.com
Based: Tucson, Ariz.

 

trunkclub_126

Trunk Club
10.
What It Does: Online clothes shopping service for men
Founder: Joanna Van Vleck, 26
Web Site: www.trunkclub.com

 

 

 

 

 

07

Tumblr
What It Does: Microblogging platform
Founder: David Karp, 23
Web Site: www.tumblr.com
Based: New York

 

Venture Capital: $5.5 million

Employees: Ten (10)

Related Articles:

Business week, Yahoo finance


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The good man South Africa need

Posted on Friday, April 09, 2010, under


0405-OTENSE-ZIMBABWE-MALEMA_full_380

There are those moments in life, even in our youth, that we feel content with our achievements. It is at this moment that our spirit is sync with that of a higher power. The time that a sigh of relief will mean that you are ready for anything and that dying is easy with moving on being all the easier. It is at this time that the good man reveals himself to our being and holding onto him means leading a life limited by belief and philosophy.

Most societies are defined by boundaries of class, religion and race. Children are born to a default of circumstances they must endure. South Africa is no different but is unique in that sovereignty for the black man is still a strong desire and the “white man'” still continues to be the threshold to the economy. The recent racial tensions are testimony to the fact that wounds are unhealed. Nelson Mandela and other patriots led the struggle for independence of the nation so that the common man could break of the chains of oppression and breath towards the path of economic development and democracy. The acceptance of that freedom came wet to the eyes of Men and Women, a sweet break for the young citizens as well.

When it was due, Africans received it with joy but it seems that’s where the progress ended. Freedom is a term that does not mean too much to a society with crippling economic and social challenges. The South African brigade of leaders received their freedom and forgot to keep their hand tightly on the golden baton. They went home with joy, confidence and euphoria of independence leaving the oppressors as spectator white supremacists who found a loop hole or is it loop home. The country is no doubt one of the richest in Africa in terms of resources, infrastructure and cultural diversity yet most of this goodies are far from reaching the over populated folks at the sea bed. Now, the palace is shaking from the ground waiting to erupt.

Fore fathers of some of the African countries did a good job of whistling the colonialists away from the African states. They also did a good job in handing over the power and wit to the younger in a fashion that allowed the new generation to make use of strategies that would bring back the heart of economic prosperity to their people however, not all did so. The scenes being witnessed are in no way healthy for a society that has its hopes in a young generation of ingenious and resourceful persons and it is not enough to say that the issue is being dealt with as it arises. 

Truth be told, South Africa and every other country in such a situation will only benefit if the good man mentality is instilled in the mind of the young as well as the old just as Nelson Mandela continues to advocate with his life. We must allow hard work, unity, the law and the today factor to reign in our raging conflicts.


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Kenya Parliament:Debate on draft constitution

Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010, under


 Bunge

The big debate  that will witness Kenyan Members of Parliament vote in or shoot down amendments to major clauses in the draft constitution will be on this evening in parliament. The process will hopefully be followed by a national referendum that will allow Kenyans of all walks of life to  make a decision of whether to have a new constitution based on the document that was compiled by the constitution experts- CoE- months ago. The referendum might just be an easy sail through  for either supporters or opponents but this will primarily be determined by the show down that will loom in the house today. They are expected to vote for over 120 changes to the draft.

News Byte:

- No amendment has been successful so far with 6 being shot down and another 31 being withdrawn

-Most of  the proposed changes have so far failed. Casualties (David Musyimi, James Orengo, Amos Kimunya)

- Mutava Musyimi fails to marshal enough support for his proposed changes i.e those seeking to separate power between the state and the church, an amend to the draft to provide for a unitary state

- Amos Kimunya withdraws 30 of his proposed amendments

- House members walk out to avoid voting.

- Some want the draft with amendment others prefer it stay the way it is.

- Kenya has been governed under one constitution since independence. Some of the changes will help pave way for the much needed reforms at the institution level and beyond


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Kenya: No shortcuts towards a Revolution

Posted on Saturday, March 13, 2010, under




The Islamic republic of Iran can offer Kenya a mountain of life lessons on the pros and cons of revolutionary change. Unknowingly or unfazed by its potential, our political class is slowly instigating a revolt amongst its peoples, mostly among its disgruntled youth. Plagued with poverty, extra judicial executions, corruption and menial job opportunities, the revolution is not an innuendo or a fluke, rather is a simmering volcano waiting for an opportune jolt. It usually takes events like what we witnessed at the beginning of 2008 to spark a revolution, but since that did not throw us over the edge, then maybe we should brace ourselves for far worse times before we get our very own revolution.

 Iran struck oil and became rich virtually over night. The wealth was immense and the monarch that was in charge failed to dissipate this wealth to its populace. Instead the members of the Pahlavi dynasty then under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi decided to plunder it amongst themselves. This did not go down well with the locals who began protests in the streets and they became more and more violent. Eventually these protests paralyzed the country until the monarch gave into exile and it took an unfortunate tragedy to spark a revolution and a new theocracy was established in Iran. Read More >>

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