All Hail, The Disrupt Syndrome.

Everywhere around the world, Kenya included. A new religion is forming. The religion of technological disrupt seminars.

Disrupt all things possible.
Disrupt all things possible.

It’s getting out of control such that seminars are happening year round on startups and angel investors in the sense that these people end up living for the start up phases only to forget that they have a business to run. That they need to do some actual work the old fashioned way.

You hear seminars from time to time, claiming ‘Kenya will be disrupt!’ another ‘Rwanda will be disrupt!’ another ‘Asia will be disrupt!’ Just shut up already before you get yourself disrupt.

Don’t get me wrong people, the fundamentals of these seminars are very crucial and important as they provide new ideas with platforms to show to the world. But in the meantime, they do not realise that the seminar organisers are raking in big bucks for hosting these events.

I’m pretty sure they are always crossing their fingers, hoping and praying that these startups remain just startups forever.

Google did not need seminars. Facebook did not need seminars. Apple did not need seminars. It was through teamwork and hard work and dedication that these companies became billionaire behemoths.

So if you have an idea, don’t waste too much valuable time attending disrupt seminars. Stay in your office, work hard at it until it is ready for the market, show it to potential investors, receive funding, go back to a bigger office and start making money. Its fundamentally that simple.

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The Kenyan Import Complex.

We seriously have a very deep rooted import problem in our country. And if you don’t agree just sit back and let me explain it to you. Get ready for some harsh truth right about now.

Trash Imports
Trash Imports

Why are we, as the proud country that we are, still accepting to be used as a dumpsite for cheap, old and fake products?

Don’t we have any sense of worth as a nation.

From fake watches to seven year old cars to second hand underwear. SECOND HAND UNDERWEAR!

Its even nasty just typing those three words. And yet mostly our women crowd the mitumba kibandas searching for that once worn bra or underpant with no shame.

I know you’ll probably blame the importers or import authority on how they’ll allow cheap imports into the country. But in essence, it’s┬ánot their fault, they have no moral compass. They are just filling a demand that we supply as a nation.

If you want them to stop importing trash, then stop buying trash! No demand equals no supply. Its simple economics my fellow citizens.

I especially detest the 7 year old cars they choke down our throats. I’m actually glad the Treasury is trying to make importing of old cars as expensive as possible. We don’t want their reject cars that they have used up and have gotten bored of and are trying to push them off to ‘those Africans over there.’

They are utterly shameless.

Of course they are cheaper. But what do you expect of a 7 year old car or even undergarment? Cheap is not worth it people. And as long as we don’t get that concept we will continually be used as dumping sites for thrown out bras and second hand underwear. Nasty, its just too nasty to even imagine.

Lets develop a sense of pride and worthiness for ourselves. I am begging you, please.

Family money.

Family money is who’s money? The father, the mother, the children? Who controls the assets? image

In Kenya, it’s common that the one who brings in the bread is the head. Be it the man,woman or child. But then there is a problem. When the one who brings in the money suddenly becomes unavailable, everything turns to a stand still.

And therein lies the problem. There is no empowerment of family members to bring in their own money. The best community in Kenya that has developed firm empowerment of mainly the children is the Hindu community.

A good example is Chandaria Industries whereby the father made his son the Director of Chandaria who is only in his early 30’s. Granted it was to give way for his father’s work in charity but it is still empowerment that ensures prosperity of the family and the empire that was primarily built by the parents.

This type of family empowerment is fairly absent in the African community. We always hear cases of a prominent businessman who has passed on and suddenly people show up from every nook and cranny claiming relationship with the deceased mogul and wanting a piece of his or her empire.

This causes lack of continuity. The empire withers and dies due to lack of empowerment. This state is mainly propagated by the empire creator who always sees himself or herself as one of kind and no one can fill his shoes.

So he or she makes no effort to create a clear lineage for which to follow once he’s gone. Its like they think they are immortal and will forever live to control their estates. But father time always catches up with them. And when they are no more, their legacy goes with them.

We need to ensure empowerment in our families and create proper lineage. Otherwise all that we create will only live as we live. Only last our age of death. And go to the dirt as we go to the dirt.

Its a sad state of our current Kenyan economy, one that we need to change, for the good of tomorrow and hundreds of years from now.

Cowardly Business.

Innovation.
Innovation.

New day, new articles. I’ll do my very best to write two articles daily for the blog. They are more like personal rumblings than they are articles, but you get the point.

Potential investors in Kenya always ask, ‘do you have a reference?’ has your product or service produced any revenue?’ and so on and so on.

Almost none of them have the guts to look beyond the numbers and focus on the vision that brought the new product to life. Was there need for the product in the market? Or will there be need in the future for the product or the service? These are the questions they should focus on.

To be fair though, Return On Investment (ROI) is regarded highly as a motivator to invest in a start up.

But it is not the only factor that matters. In Kenya though, they focus almost entirely on the ROI.

Our investors need to be revolutionary. Think outside the box. New products or services barely have any revenue. But are they viable in the current or near future market?

A good example of revolutionary investment was the creation of mobile money transfer by Safaricom. Mpesa was a first of its kind in the world. The Safaricom board took on the risk and look at their revenues now. Granted they have over the past year or 2 made their charges quite expensive, but it all started with an investor who looked beyond the current status of the idea (it had no revenue, no reference, no example of it in the market), and saw the vision and potential of it and decided to invest.

So these cowardly investors need to step up and look beyond the current status of an idea or a product. They should begin to accept more revolutionary and new and bold ideas that have abundant potential. They should not just accept real estate or car dealers or supermarket chains just because they have been proved to be worthwhile.

They should be brave and bold and be ready to invest in new ideas, new products, new services and thus create revolutionary businesses that will broaden our economy and increase our revenue streams as a country.

Let us not be afraid of the unknown, for it may be a beautiful thing.

The ‘Kikuyu’ Mindset

Kikuyu Mindset
Kikuyu Mindset

The ‘Kikuyu’ mindset is not essentially a trait that the Kikuyu have. It is more of a stereotype that has over the years even been embedded in the Kikuyu people themselves. People in Kenya constantly lament that the Kikuyu love money. Everyone loves money. The difference here is that the Kikuyu people have embraced this stereotype and are even using it to their advantage.

The stereotype is actually doing them good. It makes them seem more business savvy which creates faster and more expensive business deals. Even if the one involved doesn’t know anything to do with business, at the mention of his or her name that is used to identify the tribe, the investors, or business associates bow in the glory of the stereotype and give what is required of them.

It is for this reason that rather than us shunning this stereotype, we should probably embrace their mindset, and use it to our advantage. Instead of complaining all the time that they have all the land, all the jobs, all the businesses. We should embrace their way of thinking in relation to money.

Think of it this way, if a certain ethnic group has a stereotype of being known to eat a lot and then you invite them over for lunch or supper, you will most likely serve a lot of food in response to that stereotype.

Its like the law of attraction. Whatever is attracted either by a stereotype or an affirmation of your own choosing, will by tooth and nail be available to you.

So love money, get money. Love food, get food. Love women, get women and the law goes on and on and on..

*Disclaimer: This is not an ethnic stereotype or shunning of the Kikuyu people. This is an observation regarding money and culture and one that can be used by all ethnic groups for financial gain.

Greed is good.

Hamjambo wanafunzi? lol.. ok I’ve stopped.

Yesterday, I was ‘busy’ at the office positively browsing business news, scrolling up and down on twitter and just wandering the internet trying to educate myself on ways of getting rich in Kenya. And it occurred to me that I possibly could write a blog about money. Try to share my experience on searching for this elusive but still abundant life necessity.

Think about it. Abundant in the sense that there is definitely a lot of money in circulation in Kenya. But it is still elusive as not many of us have access to this cash circulation. Some of us have a big chunk, most small and some just swim in the middle of the bracket.

So today i just want to break the myth that greed in regard to money is bad.

Greed is good.
Greed is good.

With all due respect to the religious who have quite a negative attitude towards greed in regard to their teachings: this is life. And life has to be conquered in concurrence to what is availed to us. Times change. From the Roman times to the new ages, fundamental teachings and values of the old have withered and died due to no relevance to present day scenarios. Even the Unites States of America have just recently given the LGBT their right to marry. Which should not have been denied to them to begin with.

In this generation; practicality, logic and comfort-ability to emotional and psychological response are our new religion.

Thus greed is part of our new culture. A little desire to give your family the best of the best. From food, to housing, to transport. From that fancy car you always admire as it rides along Mombasa Road, or that mansion you spot in Runda on your way to the Village Market. How are you going to achieve these things without a little greed?

Embrace the greed and treat it like motivator. Do not let the greed control you. Control the beast inside you, mold it, shape it to make you focus on what you desire. And this greed will push you to take risks, do things that you never thought possible. Don’t get me wrong though, I am not advocating for crime or corruption. This is a not a license for you to commit a felony. This is a wake up call for those who hate greed and fear it.

Do not be naive. You need a little greed in your life. For God’s sake, we all do.

That was intense.