3 Valuable Lessons from the #TechTalk with @Nyimbi Odero

by Chandi Tome

Nyimbi Odero talks to members in the first ever #techtalk hosted by the LakeHub community.

Nyimbi Odero talks to members in the first ever #techtalk hosted by the LakeHub community.

Last week LakeHub announced that Nyimbi Odero was coming to grace the community’s first ever #TechTalk. So naturally, a few chaps (me included) were excited. We were thrilled because Nyimbi is not your average Kenyan techie. Googling his name may give you a rough idea of what I am talking about. As such, we knew we were going to learn one or two things about the murky but enthralling waters of the tech world.

Before I proceed, here are 3 reasons I personally feel Nyimbi is worth paying attention to:

  • He oversaw the digitization of Nigeria’s voter registration that saw about 90 million citizens registered (CNN).
  • He is a serial entrepreneur. He once ran a company that supplied educational laptops to over 200,000 students per year to schools in Nigeria.
  • He is an ex Google executive. You know, Google? (LinkdIn)

The above reasons are just but the icing on the cake. His CV is obviously longer than that.

So here are 3 things I learned from Sato’s talk.

1.

You are probably aware of some of the technical challenges Kenya electoral body, IEBC, faced in last 2013 elections. Nyimbi argued that in order to avert such crises, the software that is charged with manning the elections in any country should be open source. Why? Because with open source, any interested party can access the code and tell what’s wrong with it. Even better, anyone is welcome to contribute to the development of the software. Not convinced? Well, if any citizen has access to the election database code, they are more likely to establish, expose and more importantly propose a fix of any sinister line in there…

2.

Simply put. When you begin thinking that you must be perfect to begin building or working on something, then you may never be able to commence fulfilling that task in the first place. We gain valuable insights from the blunders we make each day. Nyimbi says that you have to make mistakes, fall down,  get up quickly, dust yourself, learn from the experience and move on. He also faults those who want to “expensively”. “Start cheap, so that you can make the cost of failing very low.” For example, he advises that we shouldn’t look for costly proprietary software if we cannot necessarily afford it. There are tens or even hundreds of equally effective free software to use on your computers, use them. Also…

 

3. Last but not least…

Strategy: Do it the other way round. This friendly warning only serves to strengthen #2 above.

These are just some of the things that I think are important from Nyimbi’s discussion.

But wait. What if you feel that you already have a good business idea but do not know how to put it forward? What if you are in the middle of conceptualizing a business plan but there’s that one or two stubborn component(s) that you do not really seem to get right? Well, Nyimbi is offering us some guidance. In the next talk (Update, click here), he has offered to help us break down all the basics of business proposals. After the talk, you should be able to establish whether your dreams are still (whether your business is workable and the numbers are making sense).

As you make those plans, be sure to click on the links below for 3 FREE insightful readings our guest left us with:

 

Please keep in touch with the community on emailTwitter, Facebook and Google+ for updates on this and other upcoming events.  Feel free to leave comments on the section below.

 

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