Friday, 23 May 2014

The President Takes a Surprise Walk

President Obama stepped out from his White House bubble on Wednesday to greet a bunch of normals who happened to be in Washington, D.C., that day.
A video released by the White House, called "The President Takes a Surprise Walk," provides ample record of this historical moment, and shows us all how we'd react if we randomly encountered Obama on a stroll across Washington.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

To succeed properly, allow yourself to fail

My son was fired from his job the other day. And his father was delighted.
He’s only ten years old. And the ‘job’ was as manager of a leading football team. In a popular video game.
I spent time earlier this week with successful entrepreneurs, listening to their life stories. And here’s the thing about the ones who succeed truly: they’re also full of failures.
Yes, failures. That unmentionable word, the one that’s suppressed and repressed, never referred to. The things we try so hard to pretend never happened. Failures.
The thing is this. If you are successful in some field of activity today, consider carefully what it is that has made you good at what you do. Trace back your own history carefully, and you will see that the the biggest contributor to success is failure.
sunwords - to-succeed-properly-allow-yourself-to-fail

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Please don’t start a business. Unless…

I want to be my own boss. I want to work for myself, not for others. I should be enriching myself, not a bunch of strangers.
A common echo, seductive in its simplicity. Who wouldn’t want to be self-directing, not answerable to others, keeping all the fruits of one’s labour?
The answer is this: YOU shouldn’t want it. That’s right, you.
Wanting to be your own boss is not a good enough reason to start your own business. That reason is about YOU, and the boundaries of your comfort zone. It is not a good enough reason to take the plunge. If it’s your only reason, please think again.
Wanting to be rich is also not a good enough reason. Sure, everyone wants to be rich. But the sad fact is very few of us are going to get rich through the method of starting a new business. We may think we will, by observing seemingly wealthy business owners all around us. But we are misled, because we are observing the survivors, not the casualties. We are studying the small awards ceremony, not the huge cemetery behind the festivity hall.
Globally, it is believed as much as fifty per cent of all new businesses fold within the first year of operation. That’s bad enough, but in African markets we may have an even bigger problem. South Africa’s trade minister recently revealed that the statistic for his country may be as high as five in seven businesses failing in year one. Even of those that survive, a minority actually make a genuine profit. Most just get by, or lose money continuously.
There you go. That’s why I was telling you not to do it.
Why the high failure rate? The reality is, a whole bunch of folks plunge into business for all the wrong reasons: the reasons contained in the first paragraph above. They rush headlong without a proper business idea, much less a set of capabilities or a business plan.
They join a me-too crowd, and mimic everyone around them. They offer nothing of distinction, and add no special value to their customers’ lives. They make basic errors in pricing and in managing cash flow. They confuse cash for profit. They take customers for granted. They run out of working capital. They start spending on themselves too soon. Then they lose heart, and the business dies.
So don’t do it, folks. Keep the salaried job. Let the money come into your account every month. Find other ways to generate additional wealth. Starting a business only looks simple. And the ones that seem simplest, like opening a small shop or eatery, are often the most likely to fail, because of the huge crowd of people opening those very businesses every day.
Are you still reading? Do you still want to do risk it all? A-ha, perhaps you are made of sterner stuff than most. Perhaps you have understood that working for yourself means working sixteen hours a day, not eight. Perhaps you have understood that you will have to lose your sleep and the balance in your life, but you still want to do it.
If that’s the case, then please meet a second condition: have a decent business idea. Please have spotted a genuine gap in the market, an unfilled customer need. Please do something distinctive and unusual. Please be prudent and dogged. Please focus on your customer and not yourself.
Then, maybe, just maybe, you have a fighting chance. The world has no need for a crazy crowd of mediocre wannabe tycoons; it has a screaming need for a smaller group of thoughtful entrepreneurs who devise fresh new products or do things in innovative new ways, and add real value to others. If that’s you, get started. May you enrich yourself as you bring riches to the world.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

New Nokia smartphone has monster camera

lumia 1020
Finland’s Nokia unveiled its latest smartphone Thursday with a powerful 41-megapixel camera touted as offering “more detail than the eye can see.”
In unveiling the new device in New York, Nokia said its Lumia 1020 smartphone “is able to produce some of the sharpest images possible by any digital camera.”
The Windows-powered phone has six physical lenses and optical image stabilization, and can handle sound pressure levels six times louder than conventional smartphone microphones, the company said.
“We want to take people on a journey from capturing pictures to recording and sharing their lives,” said Stephen Elop, president and chief executive.
“The Nokia Lumia 1020 will bring new meaning to pictures and continues to strengthen Nokia’s leadership in imaging.”
The phone, which will be sold in the US market this month and in Europe and China in the coming weeks, features a new photo application designed for professional quality images.
Using a feature called dual capture, the phone 1020 simultaneously takes a high resolution 38 megapixel image for editing opportunities, and a five-megapixel picture that is easy to share on social networks, Nokia said.
Nokia has seen its past glory fade under pressure of competition from Apple and Asian mobile phone makers.
Microsoft and Nokia joined forces about two years ago in an alliance aimed at making inroads with handsets powered by Windows Phone software.
Windows, boosted by the Windows Phone 8 introduced last year, boosted its US market share to 5.6 percent from 3.8 percent, according to a recent Kantar Worldpanel ComTech survey.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

AFRICA REVOLUTION SERIES part 1: What Bricks, Mortar, Yams And Cellphones Have To Do With It

A view of part of Naalya: This was bush a few years ago -the bricks have swallowed up revolutionary zeal (Charles Obbo photo)

THIS is a FOUR-part story about the Arab Spring that toppled dictators Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt in early 2011, and if/when/how it will arrive in the rest of Africa.
I found I could not begin to get my head around that question until I understood the role bricks, mortar, yams and cellphones are playing in shaping revolution and the advance – and often regression – of democracy in this fast-changing Africa.
So let’s begin with now Nairobi, which I used to visit as a young man many years ago. It was a hip city. But when I finally came from Kampala to live here in 2003 and started travelling around, I was shocked by how  errr… backward, the place had become. I was used to seeing cities go to seed because of war. Nairobi was the first one that went to rot through incompetent rule—by an “elected” government of former president Daniel arap Moi.
Click here to read more....

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Kenya’s Most Beautiful University Campuses

University of Nairobi
The oldest and biggest university in Kenya has kept its clean and grandeur look. You may not notice the beauty of UoN Main Campus from outside but once you are in, you forget you are in the CBD. The university is surrounded by a very well maintained green environment that one wonders how it is one of the most ancient universities in the country. Chiromo campus is also notably beautiful with a lot of trees and areas where students can chill outside and study. The iconic Fountain of Knowledge stands out though the JKM Library needs an upgrade.
Read more..

Saturday, 15 June 2013

I hate you oh.

Yes. I hate you oh. I hate having to come see you, and work like a Hebrew slave for eight hours, sixteen hours, even twenty hours at a time only to be broke. I tell you for real, every time I wake up, I'm sure there is a plethora of better places or things I could be doing.....but then, how can I hate you so much when I have a roof over my head? How do I still hate you so much when somehow you manage to get me a plate on cue, a coat on my back, and the occasional glass of wine that helps me forget you ever so dearly on the weekends I do not have to see you? Maybe I'm just selfish. I know I will still hate you tomorrow, when fate and opportunity birth a better version of you. I don't mind, call me whatever you like. Darling, chief, C.E.O, even president. I will not be swayed, and so here is your final memo. I will cheat on you. I dream and wish her every chance I get......oooh Lotto! If only you would let in. What? Got mail? Job! If I could, I would get a restraining order on you....yet I cant. I need you right now. I need you to continue paying for my bills. I need you because the poor man dreams you. I need you because they measure my freedom by you, because as much as this disgusts me, even the smart man will measure my intelligence by you. Yeah, I guess I am selfish. I want the best for me. I refuse to live cheaply, I refuse handouts, I refuse abuse, I refuse to have someone else support my habits. I am selfish, because I must have a roof over my head, and yes, I'd rather not freeze, and so I shall dress. Gucci, Fendi, CK, PF, Yujin, Gold are of my acquaintance. I shall NOT apologize for the love of self, because what you put me through in a week demands that of whatever job,...."BRING IT!"