It is a long, tedious and demanding procedure to create a product. An App. A problem solver. Your idea finally converted to bug-less code. It compiles and runs like a hawker from Kanjo. It connects to the server 99.5% of the times of asking and always purrs. People are talking about it. 2, 000 downloads per day. Etc, yadda, yadda.
But then, slowly but surely, comes the sad reality. A Business.
You have an App. But do you have a business? How much has your app made so far? What is the daily/weekly/monthly ARPU? In the last 4 weeks. Ok, Last 4 months. Further? Ok, the last 12 months. 10, 000 USD?.. wait… 5, 000?.. no?…. ZERO? STOP CODING IMMEDIATELY! Get a job.
Unless you have rich parents and alot of pesa-ya-daddy-na-mammi, then you need to CLEARLY define your revenue points before developing an App. It is good to dream. That is what hope is made of. After hope comes faith. Then reality. Sad reality, sometimes. Happy realities, some other times.
But no one will invest in a dream. Unless it is your mother, no one will give you money unless they can see that it will have a RoI.
Before developing an App, decide. Are you doing this for fun? Can you afford to have NO SALES? Can it interest an investor, or better still, do you have Angel Funding?
That is why some no-brainer kindergarten products like DealFish will come and go. They don’t have a Kenyan-Applicable revenue model. Just alot of money to run for 3-5 years with the hope that their foreign idea will forge a niche.
That is why MXit failed in Kenya [As I said last year on my birthday] [My sentiments on some of the players mentioned might have changed since them]. As soon as the money to ‘test the waters’ runs out, the product dies. It is not sustainable. Same is the risk with some products like Mocality.
Don’t forget. The difference between the coder people see and say : “Heh! Manze huyo msee ni mnoma sana code. Hakuna kitu hawezi develop”, but takes a matt home, and the coder people see and say : “Msee fake sana. Hata system yake si kali but kina doo kaa shiiiet”, and jumps into his Kompressor after work, then calls your girlfriend, is the business mind.
And this is my challenge to iHub, NaiLab, mLab and IddLab. We need to incubate monetizable ideas, make them work and turn them into businesses. Then we can create success stories. Hopefully we can stop Ndemo from seeing Google as the Saviour. We need to demonstrate local competencies. We don’t need Google to host and digitize Government data. We need Google to Work with us to do that. The skillsets are there, but let us have some real businesses out there. Running and profitable.
Back to code…