Monday Moments Ep 6 – Girls Rule!!

As unnatural as that title might sound coming from a male, it has never felt more appropriate to scream from the top of my voice; Girls Rule!! From my encounters with the Nokia ladies at one end of the city, to watching the iHub ladies on the other end trouncing 17 other male dominated teams in the quest for Kshs 1 Million venture funding, I was humbled by how well our tech sisters are doing in this field.

The Tech field is so dominated by three legged creatures that for a long time it has been almost terrifying for any lady trying to venture into it. The hostile stares, the ridicule, the hate speech; I have seen (and sometimes even took part in) it. I will tell you this my friends; the Tech ladies who I had the pleasure of meeting last week were not just intelligent; they were BEAUTIFUL!!

Allow me to give a special recognition to Dorothy Ooko (the delightful communications genius for Nokia Africa & Middle East), and the AkiraChix (winners of IPO48). I salute you.

It has been one action packed week but as always I had my best Moments:

  1. You have 48 Hours, Go!!
    It’s not always that a man shows up in your neighborhood and tells you to convince him why he should put 1 Million bob in your business. Not to mention giving you 48 Hours to put it all together. The adrenalin, the excitement…it’s almost like acting in the movies, except it’s not. My blogging curiosity took me to IPO48. Little did I know that the 48 Hour bug would catch on to me as well. It was an experience worth a whole blog article!(hint)
  2. My Nokia Friends
    Again, it’s not always that you go into a hangout joint to watch your favorite band in action, and the guy at the next table turns out to be the Nokia Developer Relations Manager for Africa and Middle East!! It gets even better when the guy next to him is a senior developer from Finland who has pretty much coded half the features on my Nokia phone! And if the beautiful Asian lady sitting with them is a Nokia Support Manager who easily catches on to any Swahili word you teach her, then the evening can be considered worth while! A big thank you to @antoneosoul, my new Twitter Hero!
  3. Hey, hebu Sakanya that ID for me!
    I’m not a venture capitalist (yet) so it’s not always that I see a business idea which almost instantly catches my attention. Lost your National ID or Passport? How about sending an SMS with your ID number to #### and see if it could be in the system? Not to worry, it’s only 10 bob above normal rates. And if you find it, how about we send you the details of where to collect it for a small fee of around 50 bob? If you are tech savvy, then pay a visit to www.sakanya.co.ke to do the search from there for free! With the right team behind it (and I believe it has), this is bound to be the next Tech success story in Kenya.
  4. A tight budget is the mother of Innovation
    I’m currently reading a book on Advertising, and the above is a quote from David Ogilvy, one of the greatest advertising gurus of our time. The context was in Advertising, but I think it applies to start-ups too. If you have an entrepreneurial idea, and the only thing holding you back is funding to get it going, how about you try using your entrepreneurial genius to figure out how to execute it with the limited funding you have? Somewhere in that brain is the source of the next Ushahidi-like story. Just go for it!!
  5. A long long time ago…
    Think about it. All the marketing campaigns or products that have stuck in your memory came in the form of a great story. From East African Breweries to Coca-Cola, companies which have mastered the art of telling such compelling stories to their audiences that they simply get them hypnotized. Every business and every product has a story behind it. The market is tired of hearing ‘New and Improved’ tag lines. They want your story! Find it, and tell it to them!
  6. How drunk are your customers?
    Another great marketer is quoted as having said that it is the idea, not the channel, that creates a buzz. There is a theory that was fronted by one @kahenya during an interview on Social Media, where he said that local businesses are falling victim to the ‘Facebook Fallacy’. Facebook, twitter etc are not Social Networks. They are Social Networking platforms. The same way that these platforms are riding on the presence of Social networks to thrive, is the same way that you or your business should be using them; by giving your audience a reason to converse with or about you, NOT by simply joining the platforms. A great example is what Nokia is doing in Africa and Middle East. I call it the ‘Get-em-Drunk’ strategy.
  7. Amina’s Challenge – the Start-up’s guide
    Being an episode dedicated to Ladies, it would be wrong to for me to sign out without telling you more about Amina. Amina is looking to re-open her mum’s restaurant, which is on the verge of total failure after her mother’s death. Armed with nothing but an empty shell of age old furniture, a desire to turn a run down restaurant into a successful chain of restaurants and some money to get her going, she needs help on the marketing and technology front. The team is at work on her strategy.

Off to make some money for my boss (who also happens to be a Lady by the way). Girls Rule!!

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