Monthly Archives: April 2012


techie (adjective) : a person who is very knowledgeable or enthusiastic about technology and especially high technology.

I am not a techie person. This is a techie related post. Yes, even me I am surprised. However, the world has shifted. I am just not sure if its in a good way or not.

Yesterday, Instagram was bought by Facebook for one billion dollars. Instagram has only been in existence for 551 days. That is amazing any way you choose to dice it.

I admit that I had not heard of Instagram before the news of its acquisition exploded. I am not used to been clueless but this was one time that I was. Uncle Google came to my rescue and I got to read what Instagram is.  Further to my education, one of my friends who lives in America explained to me that it is basically “a twitter without words only photos”. She went on to explain that Instagram had been an application for iPhones only until last week when it was opened up to the Android market.

This got me thinking. What will be the impact of iPhones and Android in Africa? I am currently reading Mocky Makura’s Africa’s Greatest Entrepreneurs and it is clear to me that the entry of mobile telephony into Africa in the early 90s brought with it several billionaires and changed the lives of millions in Africa.

Projecting forward I reckon that use of mobile phones to access social media and applications (apps) will be the game changer in this decade. iPhones are still pretty pricey in this part of the world but Android phones are pretty affordable. Methinks, folk who will be able to make apps for Android that make a difference to the lives of many will be the next super rich.

However I am still unsure of the impact of apps in the lives of the common man in Kenya but then again I am not a techie. I watched the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communication Dr. Ndemo on The Bench last week and his enthusiasm was infectious. He talked of iLab, mLab, NaiLab, iHub and of an army of young people who are behind the digital revolution in Kenya and who are behind the mega creation of apps.

Thoughts that run through my mind as I watched him were, how are they helping, who are they helping and what is the tangible impact? Still have no answers to these questions. Kenyan techies, feel free to school me!

Back to the Instagram deal, it got me thinking on the impact of apps and on a broader scope the impact of digital mobile on my career. Just recently Kodak went bankrupt, I certainly have no desire to be caught out. How to ensure that technology does not make me redundant is what I am racking my brains on. I suggest you also do the same as it is certainly a brand new world!



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