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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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.