African Mobile Business

I am convinced that very soon we will see whole businesses will be managed purely on mobile devices.

Everything from Inventory management, time logging, content updates, CRM, customer service and payment processing.

This is likely to be most interesting in Africa where traditional infrastructure (cabled internet and phones) is non existent but 3G networks are extremely advanced.I was in Kenya on safari with not a building in sight and had FULL signal and 3G. I cant even flipping get that in Surrey!

There are some interesting players already in the space doing good work Toughstuffonline.org and frogtek.org to name a couple that are providing solutions to allow rural Africa to interface with the wider community in a low cost sustainable manner.

I suggest Android will be the platform due to its more open app framework (Java Based) and easy submission process.  Also within a couple of years we will see some very low cost smart phones due to age and cheaper spec models but still very powerful compared to what we are used to at the low end of the current market.

This will change everything for the rural business person, they will be able to directly communicate with anyone, anywhere, anytime in a meaningful and efficient way.

Very exciting.

The power of Social Association.

I was walking to a meeting in Pimlico the other day and I saw this.

No selling points of “We are the best / cheapest / fastest plumbers in London just a Social Association with the Prince’s trust.

We are a lot more concerned than ever before about how nice a company is. These guys are harnessing the power of Social Association and it is something that will only increase, trying to make businesses look less greedy!

Askmustard.com is a business I am involved in creating at the moment to give young people involved in tough backgrounds a chance to set up their own community based businesses.

With this business we have attached the Mustard Partner element where we team up with established businesses in the area to deliver projects that require more specialized skill.

The key is it is a mutually beneficial relationship between Mustard and the partners.

Mustard provides sales leads and “social association” to the partner and the partner helps mustard provide a service they would otherwise have to turn down sales leads for.

Win Win – Its the best way.

Free Lunch anyone?

FreeLunchThere are so many free lunches offered!

Often by well meaning people trying to give someone a hand up but accidentally through their over keen desire to help giving them a hand out instead.

I am sure you have seen it, a youngster gets a dream opportunity handed to him on a plate and doesn’t bother turning up on his first day and it drives you potty trying to understand how that could happen!

In my experience the best relationships exist when both parties bring something to the table, both parties hurt and both parties benefit from the success of the relationship.

Anything else is charity and charity is definitely an overused and often ineffective vessel for change

Every Lunch you go to you pay a high price for even if it is free financially it still has a high “Opportunity cost.” Who else could you have been at lunch with? Where else could you have been.

Don’t make it too easy for people, they need to buy in, if they don’t then you have no idea what they will be like when it matters!

Perception is Reality

The messages we push out about ourselves often become our realities.

This happens through what we say, do, dress like and what time we turn up.

In some weird self fulfilling prophecy we attract the attention that ask for through our actions.

My friends have always banged on about me getting a decent car for perception but the main perception I care about is my web footprint.

It’s where everyone makes their decisions about me, about whether I am a cowboy or an established and more importantly trustworthy business person.

Below is how my blog looked before I got someone to improve it……

I wonder if I would be perceived as any less of a person if my blog still looked this way?

What do I look like to you? Let me know.