The challenge of value realization for indigenous technology firms

Every technology centered company, whether creating products and services from scratch, playing an integrator or a value addition role, faces the challenge of value positioning, which has a direct correlation on the final pricing and ultimately the sustainability of the business.

I have come to realize, based on a quick sampling of entrepreneurs in my network, that the biggest hurdle lies in the market perception of the value and many a tech entrepreneur will attest to the sheer frustration that follows a business development process where the client, makes a mockery of the actual work that it takes from ideation through to production and eventual support of platforms and technologies that deliver business value; with value here measured differently by businesses even if in the same industry.       Continue reading The challenge of value realization for indigenous technology firms

Cryptocurrencies stealth approach in Africa

The  announcement earlier this month by BitPesa of a successful funding round to the tune of $ 1.1 million led by Pantera Capital that closed in November, brings into sharp focus the growth of alternative forms of what I call “value transports” that continue to ride on the greenfield opportunity that mobile and mobile money have opened up. While the global remittance business remains the low hanging fruit, with Africans in the diaspora sending home billions every year, the really big opportunities are yet to be unearthed and how the pioneer providers play the game will determine just how far and how fast the technology will be entrenched into current and emerging services. Continue reading Cryptocurrencies stealth approach in Africa

Things technology cannot fix

It is easy to give technology as a panacea for all that is wrong with society or issues that continue to plague our day to day living. Truth is technology cannot fix everything and some things will take generational application of processes that are hard to scale or make go viral to alter or change.

Continue reading Things technology cannot fix

Lobbying: a necessity not a choice + it is not institutionalized corruption.

It is a hard task running an organization representative of industry, especially when those represented are reluctant to support the same and would much rather lament on social media, become armchair critics or worse still suffer in silence. The downside to this state of things is that it feeds the corruption and broker culture that builds an impermeable wall between the larger industry, making access to legislation, or other positive industry action impossible. Such is our condition in the silicon savannah. Continue reading Lobbying: a necessity not a choice + it is not institutionalized corruption.

Silicon Savannah’s human resource challenge: 2 issues to address

At the close of last year, I readily admitted that staffing had been my greatest and most enduring challenge running a technology based business. A recent conversation with an associate who is now the chief technology officer at a celebrated and fast growing not-so-startup enterprise had me realize that the problem is more pervasive than I thought. The question often comes, “Do you know any devs?” Dev is short for developer, a writer of code or orchestrator of infrastructure; an important cog in the wheels that make for a technology business. The curious answer to the question posed is, “Not at the moment, I am also looking”. Underpinned by the fact that one would not want to see talent flight whether on contract or payroll, it points out to a festering issue that we need to address quickly lest we face the fate of the local advertising industry – musical chairs, that have resorted to a numbing of creativity and replication galore, especially in light of weak IP protection or respect for the same. Continue reading Silicon Savannah’s human resource challenge: 2 issues to address