Introducing MyCDBag [Interview]

Dear readers, today’s interviewee is Paul Abwonji. He is a nairobi-based developer and the man behind MyCDBag, Water Framework, and I-sentIt.

Q. You’re quite an achiever, tell us about you.
My names are Paul Kevin, developer by heart. I enjoy non-cliche media and gamming. I taught myself most of what I know and I develop web applications(Java and php), video games(Mobile and PC) and mobile apps for smart phones.

Q. How did you start?
Well, ever since I was very young I always loved developing products and items that are cool and procatical. I never had a liking for theory in innovation, so I always took a practical approach. My first ever project was, a website that would have all of Kenya’s entertainment in one site in a social network scene. This was back in 2006, I had a team of reporters, developers, marketers and a programmer. It was fun, I must admit, but we lacked direction and discipline.

Q. Tell us a little about MyCDBag
MyCDBag is basically cloud music. This idea came to me 2 years ago, I have love for music and I know afew mucisians. So, its a platform that will allow users and artists to directly interact with each other on their terms. A platform that will change our music industry and show people that music is not just a business, its fun. The name MyCDBag was coined up while working on a project with no name. I had first wanted to call it ‘M’ but domain names cannot be that short 🙁 . Alot can be put in it, and we want to start with music and grow.

Q. What do you hope to achieve with MyCDBag?
I hope to bring out more recognition to the music industry. We have great artists and upcomming artists, most whom lack motivation due to piracy and expenses incurred when producing music. Music is a career, and all careers have their own edge to them. I want the site to help artists become artists. MyCDBag has an anti-piracy tool that allows artists to be alerted when one of their songs or albums is in use by someone other than themeselves. The technology will enable fans to follow artists from any device and from anywhere.

Q. What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
First of all, I was not so good in design. This is actually the second version of the website, with a better design. I partnered with a friend who I think is the best out there when it comes to design, Paul Bombo. The second challenge was mamnagement, so I partnered with another friend, Michael Otieno.

Q. What are the challenges of being an entrepreneur in Kenya?
The biggest challeng I got was laziness. I personally would prefer sleeping over working. I currently have a job and balancing that with code is a real challenge also.

Q. What was critical to your success?
Great friends and a project that I love. Hard work and plenty of research

Q. What about the competition and marketing, how do handle that?
Competition is crucial, otherwise you are not in business. There is alot of competition and big names with alot of funding to do things we cannot do. To handle this, we get personal with the users of this service. Target the artists who are comming up and offer them something we are happy about. Its all about delivery and product belief.

Q. Do you think that in order to “make it big” online you have to live in a Western country? Or does Kenya offer more or less the same opportunities?
You can “Make it big” from anywhere in the world as long as you believe in your product and in yourself. Kenya, currently has alot of untapped opportunities. Sometimes you will want to get sponsorship from a company that you know is good for your product/service and they shut you down. It happens, but as an entrepreneur you should know that everything in life is not easy and you should not let others determine your business mood for you.

Q. Where do you see yourself and your business (es) in the next 5 years?
I see myself helping others build their business, I know the struggle and I would like to see more online businesses come up. As for MyCDBag, there are alot of plans in play for the next 10 years, a step by step process that is really fun. I hope to chenge the music industry as it is.

Q. If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Launch sooner 🙂 Version 1 had a simple layout, but I had to srap it off tio make room for new technology.

Q. What advice do you have for internet business entrepreneurs in Kenya?
Dont limit yourself on technology, follow your dreams and if its done, do it better.

That’s all for today readers. If you’d like to hear more from Paul Abwonji, please visit his website .

  • Water Framework is a php API framework developed to server as an API base for I-sentit – in development
  • I-sentIt – A communications API for all platforms using Email and SMS. It will have a mobile and desktop client.
  • Email : paul.kevin[at]
  • Twitter : @paul_kevin, @mycdbag
  • Additional Resources

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