Category Archives: Design

The Research – Practice Gap for a Kenyan Mobile Startup Business

There is very little literature on business operations management, and product development methodology  that actually helps African SMEs and startups to navigate their own operating environment with its local characteristics. Analysts struggle with frameworks and processes developed in highly industrialized contexts as a means to evaluate the strategies of businesses and solutions with local or […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Biashara Economics, Business, Business Models, Frameworks, Innovation Planning, Mobile platform, Perspective, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, User research | Leave a comment

Is Design Prepared to be Responsible?

Last week, I was invited to join a 60 strong group of pan African thinkers in law, human rights, gender, debt and related issues to convene in Nairobi to explore the concept of predatory lending now being delivered direct to your handheld device. As a human centered designer, I was rocked back on my heels […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business, Business Models, Ecosystem, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Rural Economy, Strategy, Systems, Technology, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

While you were out: 15 years later

The locus of Industrial Design and Manufactured Product Development has shifted halfway across the world to Asia – South Korea, China, India, the ASEAN. Wherever there is manufacturing and industries, there will be the necessary critical mass of skills, experience, and knowledge for industrial design to flourish. In December 2004, I wrote an article for […]

Also posted in Analysis, China, global, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Strategy, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The legacy of Uber’s business model and app will outlive the company in Africa

As news of Uber’s possible decline and fall filters in, it behooves me to take a moment to ponder the implications for sub Saharan Africa’s digital economic ecosystem, particularly the decentralized hybrid one emerging among the erstwhile informal sectors of the economy, such as motorcycle taxis and other on demand services. While Uber itself has […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Ecosystem, Frameworks, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Perfect Storm: A Continent, A Phone, A Business Model

In the mid 1990s, in a small city in northern Finland, engineers and designers began work on the product development of a mobile phone that would eventually become one of the best selling Nokia models ever – the 3310, released in Europe and the Far East in the year 2000. The continent of Africa was […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Afrique francophone, Airtime, Analysis, Articles on Design and Innovation, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Futures, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, global, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Mobile platform, perfect storm, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, South Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, User research | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

New Market Opportunity: The Digitalisation of African Agriculture

Just over two weeks ago, I analyzed a report on the Digitalization of African Agriculture on twitter. Bandwidth heavy PDFs aren’t user friendly for mobile first or mobile only browsing environments, such as prevalent across much of the African continent, and ‘granulating’ reports is something I’ve gotten into the habit of doing quite regularly for […]

Also posted in Africa, Airtime, Alternative currency, Analysis, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Cattle, Ecosystem, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Livestock, Mobile platform, Platforms, Report Review, Research, rural, Rural Economy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The role of the grey market in Africa’s mobile telephony boom years

The grey market refers to goods which have been manufactured by or with the consent of the brand owner, but are sold outside of the brand owner’s approved distribution channels – which can be perfectly legal. (1) In Africa’s teeming business districts and electronics mega markets, the concept of grey market products underwent an evolution […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Afrique francophone, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, perfect storm, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

I stand on the shoulders of giants

On the first day of 2019, instead of looking back over just the past 12 months, I am going to look back ten years. There’s an African proverb which says if you don’t know where you’re coming from, then you don’t know where you’re going. The photograph above was taken towards the end of 2009, […]

Also posted in Perspective | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Quiet Digital Revolution: Indigenous Innovation in Intelligent Information Systems

Big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are the buzzwords of the day, along with the obligatory blockchain and bitcoin. Much is being written on their potential to solve Africa’s problems, or India’s challenges. In turn, each has been promoted as the next big thing to address poverty and its discontents. Yet, we note, that […]

Also posted in Assumption filter, Cattle, Ecosystem, India, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Livestock, Perspective, Research, rural, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment