[New Video & Audio Podcast] The Evolution of Technology & The Internet: A Conversation with Ali Hussein On The Ali Talks Tech Podcast On My 25+ Year Career In All Things Digital In Kenya, East Africa & Beyond.
In a delightful reunion of sorts, I recently had the distinct pleasure of being a guest on the “Ali Talks Tech” podcast hosted by none other than Ali Hussein, a long-time friend and a significant figure in the East African tech scene. We traced back our roots to our days at 3mice Interactive Media, where we were once colleagues in business development at the turn of the century.
Our conversation was not just a trip down memory lane but also a deep exploration of my nearly 30-year journey in the dynamic world of technology, internet services, and digital evolution in Kenya, East Africa, and the rest of Africa. It’s a story that began at Form-Net Africa (later rebranded to Kenyaweb) where I ventured through the early days of dial-up internet services and expanded into digital marketing, blogging, and personal digital branding.
From Bedroom to Boardroom: The Dotsavvy Story.
In 2002, I embarked on what would be one of the most significant chapters of my career — the inception of Dotsavvy, East Africa’s pioneering digital business agency. Started in my bedroom, Dotsavvy has not only survived but thrived, growing into a formidable force in the industry, defying challenges and navigating through storms that saw many other entities falter.
However, the journey hasn’t been without its trials. Around 2009, the landscape changed dramatically, with traditional advertising agencies venturing into the digital realm, creating unprecedented competition. It was a period of reflection and recalibration, leading me to step back from the day-to-day operations at Dotsavvy and take on new challenges with Naspers and later, InMobi and the Perform Group.
Nurturing A Personal (Digital) Brand.
Parallel to my corporate journey, I embraced the world of blogging, sharing my insights and perspectives on the evolving tech landscape in East Africa through MosesKemibaro.com. This personal venture blossomed into a significant platform, contributing considerably to building my personal brand in the region.
The “Silicon Savannah” and The Future Ahead.
As Ali and I reminisced and delved into the current trends, we couldn’t help but marvel at the remarkable growth of the digital ecosystem in Kenya and East Africa. The “Silicon Savannah”, centered largely in Nairobi, is now a bustling hub of innovation, fuelled by the adoption of smartphones and high-speed internet services serving millions of users at work, home, and on the move.
We discussed the increasing avenues of funding available to startups today, a stark contrast to the early days when businesses like Dotsavvy had to rely heavily on sales to stay afloat. Moreover, the rise of social media in the past decade has paved the way for influencers and key opinion leaders to shape the narrative and build substantial personal digital brands.
Despite the advancements, I believe that the digital ecosystem in our region is still in its nascent stage, with an accelerating growth trajectory. The infusion of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in the modern workplace promises to redefine the future of work, fostering greater efficiency and productivity on a global scale. It’s a paradigm shift, akin to the transformative impact the internet has had over the past 25+ years.
My conversation with Ali was not just a reflection of past achievements but also an optimistic gaze into the future, where AI platforms like ChatGPT are emerging as a disruptive force, reshaping the status quo and forging a new pathway in the digital era. Watch or listen in on this enlightening conversation on “Ali Talks Tech”, as we reminisce, analyze, and envision the vibrant future of the digital ecosystem in Kenya, East Africa, and beyond!
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