I know. It happens to the best of us. Developers and inventors are always vulnerable.
A good Kenyan Idea MINUS funding is just a Good Kenyan Idea, In the /codelab/completed_systems/ folder. On the flip-side, a good Kenyan Idea + Funding = A Great Kenyan idea.
A great invention replicatable-to-any-market idea.
Kenyans are the MOST peculiar people on earth. The best testbed on earth. Once a System succeeds in Kenya, it will success ANYWHERE. This means Money in the bank. In Any Country.
We don’t develop systems without a revenue model. We develop and end-to-end cash-cow with VALUE and REVENUES. Sell-able and buy-able.
Therefore, in MOST cases, all developers need is just a little push. And this is where the risk falls for Kenyan Software. We always have an answer to ‘where is the money?’ as far as the system is concerned. Couple that with mass-market appeal, and you have a winner.
Kenya is the Cradle of Human Life. Of Ideas. Of Innovations. Mpesa was invented in Kenyan, but as a marketing gimmick, the Kenyan involvement in development was widely and heavily denied. We can’t give these bloody Kenyans the credit they deserve, can we? That would be so bad.
Personally, over the last 16 months, I have noticed a trend. I have witnessed the sickening habit 1st hand. An ‘investor’ comes to Kenya with the promise of the missing part of the jigsaw. The funding for the marketing and operations. They know who to contact to get the contacts and access to the best brains this country has to offer. The ICT Board, iHub, SkunkWorks etc.
Unlike code-crunching programmers, as coders and advanced developers, we understand the system from a code-level and a market level. We know how it will scale and how much revenue it can make, at least on the bare-bones. Then the sales, marketing and operations come on and actually VALUE the system based on the VALUE it brings, not the cost of developing and commissioning it. And the system is documentable now, on a ARPU basis. And projections are made.
So, in full trust (something I am now VERY much against), we meet them, discuss ‘how our systems work’, ‘how they can be adapted in various markets’, ‘how they scale’ etc. Free consultancy. Free 1st-hand information. Ohh, the naivety!
You get lured to assume you are friends and possible partners, but then, from nowhere, they disappear. Go silent. Emails go un-answered. The next thing you know. Your un-heard-of product now has a name and all the documentation you provided (mostly verbally) is used as a blue-print. These people have all the money and resources and the FOCUS to duplicate you.
Meanwhile, as a Kenyan coder, you hustle with ‘other stuff as you wait for the investors to respond’. Then you see a billboard. The rest is history. You are fucked! You start a new project. Do while… Endless loop.
This is a dilemma of the hot girl who agrees to to go for a rave with you, gives you all the right signs that you have full admin access to her drive C, then after ‘amekura dhambutha ya firifiri’, she gets an head-ache. I will let you suggest solutions to this brain-sucking.
Back to code!