[Video & Audio Podcast] A Conversation On The IO Kenya Podcast About My Life & An Almost 30-Year Career In Kenya’s & Africa’s Internet Industry.
It’s strange to think that for most of my life and my work that everything I have done seems to be underpinned by technology and for the most part the Internet. I had the unusual early start at a very young age being exposed to computers via the Sinclair ZX Spectrum in the early eighties and thereafter my father’s Amstrad PC. I also learned how to code in BASIC and later in DBASE3 and DBASE4 which built my understanding of how to make a computer do what I wanted.
I attended computer classes as a pre-teen as I recall and thereafter used them during my time in high school and university. I tried to start what could have been Mombasa’s first locally based Internet Service Provider (ISP) in the mid-nineties but funding and business partner disagreements meant I had no choice but to seek employment at an ISP.
I was quite fortunate to work at Form-Net Africa and later Africa Online as two of Kenya’s first ISPs connecting selling to and connecting customers to their services via analogue modems on copper-based KPTC phone lines. I then got an early seat in the Internet content space by learning how to create websites and later selling website services to a myriad of Kenyan, Pan-African, and global organizations.
At some point, I joined 3mice which was arguably Kenya’s first digital marketing agency in the late nineties, and after working there I founded Dotsavvy which is a digital agency I have run for 20+ years to date. I also worked at formidable Internet-aligned businesses like Naspers, setting up Dealfish to become East Africa’s leading online classifieds platform in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
I worked at other Internet-first businesses like InMobi, a leading global mobile ad network, the Perform Group (the business behind Goal.com), and Opera, the business that developed and markets one of the most popular mobile web browsers in Africa, Opera Mini.
In a nutshell, this conversation has it all! There are early lessons like how successfully selling seafood produce shaped my views on entrepreneurship and how personal digital branding via blogging, podcasts, etc has been a professional game-changer for me. Have a watch or a listen and I hope you find it useful in some way.
Watch The Video Podcast Here:
Listen To The Audio Podcast Here: