Category Archives: Innovation Planning

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 […]

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Kenya’s informal economy clambering on to the information highway through their smartphones

Sometimes cliches are the only way to communicate the sheer breadth and depth of the transformation now undergoing in the informal sectors, such as trade and light manufacturing, thanks to affordable smartphones and data bundles. I began calling it digital and not online yesterday when we discovered many people didn’t recognize the word “online” in […]

Also posted in Africa, Airtime, Biashara Economics, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Emerging Futures, Informal & Flexible, jua kali, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, User research | 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 […]

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Why the Potential of the African Consumer Market Cannot be Considered in Isolation from the Informal Economy

Top flight management consulting firms like McKinsey, BCG, Deloitte, PwC et al have been taking a good long look at the emergent African Consumer Market for a number of years now. McKinsey, in fact, has just released a book on the theme, authored by their leading Africa experts. All of them acknowledge the existence of […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Assumption filter, Biashara Economics, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Distribution, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Report Review, Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa | 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, Design, Ecosystem, India, Kenya, Livestock, Perspective, Research, rural, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Africa’s Delivery On Demand Apps are Transforming the Informal Economy

When women in rural Rwanda can buy sanitary napkins and contraceptives, on demand, simply by pushing a few buttons on their phones, you know the digital informal economy is here to stay. And, its not just imported apps and social enterprises pushing this digital commercial activity. The “uberization” of the African informal economy is well […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Distribution, Ecosystem, Emerging Futures, Flexibility, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, Value | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lessons from the Informal Economy: Managing on Irregular Payments in the Gig Economy

Last week, an unusual report was released in Great Britain. Lloyds Banking Group (LBG), together with the Resolution Foundation, addressed the question of earnings volatility in the UK, a first for a developed country with a formal economy. Their research and analysis made use of anonymised transaction data from over seven million LBG accounts. That […]

Also posted in Assumption filter, Banking, Biashara Economics, Business, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Futures, Frameworks, global, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Strategy, Systems | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will the global trade war lead to more sustainable (and local) consumer products?

In a study titled “Competing In the Age of Multi-Localism”, ATKearney said mounting trade tariffs and other pressures have upended the global strategy – think mass-market production and achieving economies of scale – that has been a business hallmark since the early 1990s. “It’s no longer a viable strategy for many companies,” the study said. […]

Also posted in Business Models, China, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Distribution, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, global, India, Marketing, Perspective, Platforms, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Strategy | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Mobile as a Post Industrial Platform for Social and Economic Development: Top 3 Trends in Africa

Just over a decade ago, in San Jose, California, I was invited to speak as the Closing Plenary for the CHI 2007 25th Anniversary Conference. The theme was “Reach Beyond”, as this was the 25th Anniversary conference of the Computer Human Interaction society, and as the closing plenary, I was tasked with articulating the vision […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Business Models, Design, Ecosystem, Emerging Futures, Emerging Markets, Marchés africains, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can the structure for innovation planning be used to disrupt itself?

This diagram is from Vijay Kumar’s 101 Design Methods. It is the basis for his structured approach for innovation planning, and the essence of what is taught at the methods driven human centered design program at the Institute of Design, IIT Chicago. Today I want to question some of the fundamental assumptions that underlie it […]

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