Jon Gosier, someone who has had the pleasure of working with some of the most ambitious African companies such as Ushahidi and Appfrica talk about the newest up and coming disruptive technologies in Africa.
Many of us have worked for companies we didn’t like and did jobs we didn’t enjoy. But have we done anything to turn this around? Gareth Knight and Vinny Lingham shares their journey of starting their own business so they can work on things they were truly passionate about. But this has not been an easy journey for either of them and this talk covers the challenges they faced and sacrifices they had to make to turn their ideas into valuable products. But what is most important is that the speech covers how to go about coping with those challenges learn from their mistakes they made so that younger entrepreneurs can avoid them.
Access to information shouldn’t just be restricted to insiders, experts and politicians. And the challenge is not how to conceal information but how to make information readily available for everyone. For African technology to prosper we need a political and economical environment that is conducive to business. But none of this is possible without a free and independent media. Core issue being Transparency within the internet age; transparency is critical to promoting democracy and citizen’s right empowering them in particular. iMaverick, the founders of Africa’s first daily tablet talks about how the current political and economical situation relates to the prosperity and freedom of media & technology within Africa. Is securing the functionality of the net and protecting the integrity of its user alone enough to achieve this?
Constrain breeds innovation – Gustav Praekelt and Sebastien Lacour talks about how mobile tools can give business opportunities and give Africans the access to every day services. With over 600 million active mobile connections in Africa, there is no doubt that there is enough reach. Gustav talks about how to measure mobile phone usage and behaviour within Africa so businesses can create models which will help them manufacture specific services that are actually relevant to the customer. Gustav then talks about Ummeli, the mobile portal which helps Africans find social networks and job finders to help them meet new people, learn new things and better themselves so they can find jobs as, the no.1 problem the African youth is facing now is not illness and poverty, but lack of employment.
Vincent Maher talks about Motribe, a passionate idea converted into one of the most fastest growing mobile plays in Africa. This is special considering it’s built for some of the most basic mobile platforms. Vincent talks about how his idea got converted in to a scalable business and how the business structure was set up and it is also interesting to listen to some of the problems he faced. The talk is equally great for entrepreneurs who want a good insight in to a start-up and notice common challenges start-ups face such as “do you take whatever money that’s comes your way or do you stick to you plan?”.
This topic covers how mobile usage has changed over the past decade or so and the changes that have taken place in the market as well as how marketing has been defined previously by brand advertising. Where previous brands sat in the middle and the consumer around it, this has changed now where this has been democratised and almost been switched around to the point where the brand is owned by the consumer rather than the company; the consumer is the centre. This is very similar to marketing from a mobile perspective. Therefore, it is important to understand that marketing from a mobile point of view is very different to the traditional method as a lot of the techniques used mobile marketing such as banner adverts can be irrelevant and sometimes can be intrusive to the consumer. In this speech Nic Haralambous talks about mobile usage from a platform perspective. However, mobile marketing can be a very powerful marketing tool if you look at it from a user’s point of view.
Adam Duvander talks about how his company, ProgrammableWeb are going about mapping Africa for users so they have a functional and relevant open street map api. The talk also covers the challenges of acquiring the data and the importance of having the best interface. Finally, Adam explores the challenges competitors face when creating their maps and the correct maps which those in Africa can currently use. Finally, what are the limitations for Africa?