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Showing posts from 2016

How Jambojet's Pricing Works

Just how much does a Jambojet flight cost?

For many, the launch of Jambojet came with great expectations, that it would now cost the price of a bus ticket to fly.

Jambojet’s introductory prices were not far off,  at about KSh. 3,000 - KSh. 4,000,  which comes to about double to thrice what you would pay for a bus.

Many people, however, feel that Jambojet has not made flying any more affordable, with some stating that even Kenya Airways is cheaper at times.

What’s the truth? Both cases are true. This is how.

A guide to Holidaying in Watamu's Paradise

Taking your first walk on a Watamu Beach in a November afternoon can be a bit misleading. The beaches may look as white as they did on the photos you Googled, but you immediately notice the collection of dead, brown seaweeds that line the water edge.
At times, the weeds can be so numerous so as to require a swept-up-path to the water’s edge. Still, these are not enough to spoil the scenic view of the ocean as you prop yourself to a sunbed under a coconut tree. The sea breeze will waft through with the real ocean smell, not that manufactured "ocean fragrance" that you find in air fresheners, toilet cleaners and laundry softeners.
There are three bays in Watamu, including Watamu Beach, which is the middle bay. In case you need a primer on your Geography lessons, a bay is a bit of the ocean that indents into the land. In fact, the Watamu ones may be referred to as coves, seeing that they may be much smaller than bays.
The names of the various hotels and resorts by the beach are…

Corruption in Kenya and the Scarcity Mentality

A number of resources on the pre-colonial state of the factors of production in Kenya all conclude with similar findings.
There was a lot of “idle” land, probably by design or because of nature. The population was low, and there was a lot of forest coverage in the main population areas.
What is certain though was that there was a lot of disease and pests which affected animals, crops and people alike. This especially decimated animals stocks,  made farming a challenge and in effect, checked the growth of animal, farmland and people.
It was a challenge to farm in forests, and it was even more challenging to rear livestock due to issues like mosquitoes, tsetse flies and the once infamous rinderpest.
Nature probably had her plan for how the state of things would continue playing out. Whatever this plan was, we will never know,  for the colonisation of Kenya rudely disrupted this arrangement.

Why will people buy you alcohol but not lend you the money?

Many people have often wondered why some certain person is always eager to buy them alcohol the whole night, but if you ask the same individual to lend or give this money to you instead, they approach this suggestion with more hostility than Trump’s supporters have against Hillary.
It doesn’t make sense, does it? It’s the same money,  coming to the same person (you) and you are even offering to return it, unlike alcohol which once consumed is non-consumable.
This aspect is well covered in the works of Dan Ariely, especially in his book, “Predictably Irrational”.
Suppose, you wanted to move a large piece of furniture and approached your neighbour for help to move the same. Most of the time, they will go ahead and assist you with little expectation.

Why we loved Mixcrate and Where to next?

There are two types of music listeners: those who listen by artist or by album, and those who listen by top hits. The second lot of us do not care much about what other music made it to an album besides the top 2 hits.

Mixcrate served the second lot of us very well. You could search for a song title or an artist, and you would have dozens of DJ mixes to choose from which contained more than the one hit you searched for.

Listening to music on Mixcrate also meant that once you settled into a mix, you had uninterrupted music for the next one hour.

Why do Android smartphones suck?

It overheats.

It runs out of charge fast.

The camera sucks.

It hangs.

Why do Android smartphones suck?

Many iPhone users say they won’t return to Android, and wonder why Android users are stuck with what they consider a subpar experience.

Alternatively, many Android users have many a time found themselves having to settle with a shortcoming on their phone.

The same predicament comes up when you are shopping for an Android device. Finding the perfect,  or near perfect phone seems impossible. You have to pick a shortcoming.

So why is this the case? Why can’t the thousands of Android smartphone manufacturers make the perfect device?

4G: Speed is good

Disclosure: I work for Safaricom, Kenya's only 4G mobile provider.
A few months ago,  I lost my phone gave my phone to Nairobi’s best con man. It was a Nexus 4, a phone I had owned since November 2013, and one that I had come to love.
One Stephen Mwakesi quipped that losing that phone was a good thing - I had stayed with an aging phone for far too much long. That’s the lovely thing about Nexus phones, the experience is above your typical android phone (other than for battery life) you never want to switch.
Luckily, I got a new phone from my employer the following week, my first 4G phone, an LG G3.

Obituary: My Nexus 4

I had planned to do a write up of how my Nexus 4, a 2012 device bought in 2013, was functioning in 2016. Amidst lots of procrastination, someone conned me off the phone. So we will now have to do with a “eulogy”.

***

My beloved phone, a Nexus 4, was lost to a con man on the 26th of February. It is a phone I had owned for 2 years and 4 months.

Technically, it was known as the LG E60, or the code name LG Mako. It did not have a pet name.

It was a phone that was purchased in the United States in October 2013. It had to be purchased by my pal’s brother, because Google, the company that sells the device, does not accept purchase of the same with debit or credit cards issued in Kenya.

While it originally cost about KSh. 33,000, I was lucky enough to purchase the phone at a time Google was having a clearance sale, meaning I got it for KSh. 25,000. The model was later to be replaced by the Nexus 5 in November 2013, hence the clearance.

The phone was brought to Kenya aboard a KLM flight, by my …

How I lost my phone to Nairobi's best con man

A good con requires the highest level of cooperation from the victim.

*** I lost my phone on Friday evening, some time between 6:40 p.m. and 7:10 p.m. I know the time because my receipt indicates I was served at Ukwala Supermaket, Tom Mboya at 6:32 p.m., on the 26th of February, 2016.

Given I'm a brisk walker who avoids crowds, it should not have taken me more than five minutes to get to the area around the Tom Mboya statue on Moi Avenue,  just opposite the Hilton.

My habit of avoiding crowds is what led to what became a tragic decision, to walk along the road and emerge at the bus stop next to Ambassadeur Hotel, rather than walk along the pavement. It is here that I bumped into the villain, Nairobi’s best con man. He was running, kicking a plastic bottle along the road.

He said something to me that I didn't catch, to which I responded with a “huh”? It was only the two of us and lots of buses, for everyone else was using the zebra crossing next to Pizza Inn, then walking past t…

Globalisation and technology : Make sure your business does not miss the taxi

Every pundit in Kenya is writing on Uber, and I have joined the fray. Tom Makua keeps poking fun at how columnists use world events to draw business lessons. It is a foolproof way of looking like you know what you are saying - after all, you are drawing lessons from other people's failures, rather than been the one stuck with a failing strategy.

A good thing with drawing lessons from failure is that people tend to have a better idea of what you are saying. If you write the same article before an issue arises, people will tend to ignore it. There's the possibility too that things might not end up the way you promise they will.

In the past few weeks, Uber has irked other taxi players in Kenya. It is not clear what the reason is - Is it that Uber is charging far lower than they do, or that Uber is drawing their clients, or that Uber has a majority share of the consumer side of taxi business?

What is clear is that the "traditional" players who have been operating in Nai…