Capturing Imagination & Aspiration: How African Entrepreneurs Can Succeed in Tech Startups
I am not the first to write about the seeming shortcomings that the African Internet tech scene is currently undergoing. A state in which many competent and talented coders, programmers and creatives with working products just aren’t making viable and sustainable profit.
There are of course many reasons as to why this happens, however, the biggest issue in my opinion is not a ‘bad’ product or poor usability for the good ones. It is the lack of products, solutions and innovations that capture the population’s imagination and aspiration.
To quote Jonathan Bhalla on a past Afrinnovator article:
“Technology – no matter how well designed – is only a magnifier of human intent and capacity. It is not a substitute. If you have a foundation of competent, well intentioned people, then appropriate technology can amplify their capacity and lead to amazing achievements. Successful application of technology for development is seldom about the technology per se, but the way in which it is utilised by people and organisations to address specific development priorities.”
- Make money by aping a business model and product/service that succeeded elsewhere
- Offer no other differentiation other than ‘this is the local version of …’
Updated: Then you have not really in true sense looked at the aspiration of your target market to create something that will not only capture their imagination, but also ‘amplify their capacity and lead them to amazing achievements’. As a result, your technology no matter how well designed, is a magnifier of your intent and capacity and you thereby reap the results you sowed.
Muthoni Maingi is a brand strategist with past experience in TV and an active blogger on vast topics. Her pet loves are internet tech, business and innovation.