Amazing Low Cost Computer (Kshs 2,500)

Remember when we wrote about Raspberry Pi a couple of months back? For those who do not know, the Raspberry Pi is an amazing little device that is actually a fully functioning computer. It is not much larger than a persons finger credit cart and consists of not much more than a processor (CPU), a USB port to connect a keyboard, and a way to connect it to a TV.

The development of this device is at an advanced stage and it should be available for sale in about 2 months. The device itself looks to be very well made and perfect for use in places like Kenya. Because:

  • It is extremely affordable at Kshs 2,500 for a FULL modern computer. Not one of those refurbished things in town.
  • Just for emphasis, this is a full computer system which you can use for Word processing, watching movies, or even playing games.
  • It can be connected to your regular TV. You don’t need to buy a separate screen.
  • It is very mobile – it fits in your pocket and consumes very little power (you can run it using regular AA batteries.

The video below is of these device being used to watch a movie:

I think this device can revolutionise computing in Kenya. Now, personal computers have a chance at being as widely used as mobile phones.

I am going to get myself one, or three of these. Are you going to get one?

New. Get Paid To Click! Easy Money!!

Come on, admit it. You’ve been tempted at leas once to sign up for one of these programs. Sindio? Easy money; just sit at home and click on some ads and BAM! You get paid. It cannot possibly get easier than that. Can it? Really, can it?

How much can one expect to earn? Let’s do the math, shall we?

Let us assume that you get paid $0.001 (which happens to be the usual amount) for every click you make. That is approximately Kshs 0.095 per click. Assuming you can click on one link every 30 seconds (as it happens, you are usually limited to one link every 30 seconds), this translates to about Kshs 11.4 every hour. Assuming that you work for 24 hours every day, for 30 days, that makes it approximately Kshs 8,200 per month.

So, that is Kshs 8,200 per month assuming you work for 24 hours every day for 30 days. Now subtract the cost of electricity, Internet and any other expenses you might have.

Sounds like a waste of time to me. You?

This post was inspired by a thread on SkunkWorks.

A systems approach to earning more

The following is an excerpt from an email I got from Ramit Sethi. Check our his program for more information.

After taking a much-needed vacation to Hawaii, I’m in San Francisco for a few days. So I open up my computer this morning and see this:

“What business could I help create for my mom?”

I love this guy’s question. His mom works for a travel agency and the future looks murky, so he’s trying to figure out a business she could do on her own.

But then the commenters have at it.

  • “Set up a ‘Deal of the Day’ site for travel”
  • “Go ask Mary of MaryXYZ.com how she did it”
  • “Consider foreigners who come to the USA…”
  • “Gift baskets”
  • “How about blogging?”

Some of these are actually good ideas. But if there were one word to describe them…it would be RANDOM.

Do this! No, that. What about this?

If you’ve ever tried to think of an idea to start earning money, this is a familiar pattern. You simply jump from one idea to another, never sure if they’ll work, and you let others throw their 2 cents in, too.

Here’s the surprising insight about finding an idea: Your SYSTEM is more important than any individual idea.

In other words, the process you use to find ideas is more important than any one idea itself.

Let me give you an example:

When you write a paper, essay, or book, people often obsess over words (well, at least nerdy writers like me). But what’s more important: A random word on page 9, or your structure (i.e., the table of contents)?

The structure, of course. If your organization is strong, you can have mediocre language and still have a good paper.

That’s why I spent 8 MONTHS outlining, refining, tearing apart, and revising the table of contents for my book. The process — my system — was more important than any individual word in the book.

No more random ideas
When I look at those bullet-pointed ideas above, I see some good ideas. But I also see bad ones.

And that’s just what they are — untested, unproven ideas. You see how easy it is for anyone to throw “ideas” at you…but how do you know they’ll actually work?

I could give you 50 ideas today and they would be worthless. Want me to prove it? Go search for “how to earn money” and see for yourself.

There’s a better way. Follow these 3 steps.

Step 1. Generate ideas:
First, you’ll come up with a big list of business ideas, many of them from sources you might not have explored before. There are specific techniques to generate ideas, but in general, no idea is too far-fetched at this stage.

NOTE: MOST PEOPLE STOP HERE, JUST LIKE THE ABOVE “RANDOM” IDEAS.

Step 2. Validate your ideas:
Once you get all your business ideas in one place, you need some sort of filter. Almost nobody does this, which is why they waste 9 months of their lives on futile ideas that will never pay.

In this step, you’ll weed out the bad ideas from the good until you’re left with the very best.

When you explain validating your idea before you invest significant time, you can hear the same reaction from people: “Yeah… that is interesting. Maybe I should do that.”

It’s like telling someone they should get in shape. They “know” they should… but they won’t.

4 Reasons People DON’T build a system
So…why would people SKIP this step and jump right to random ideas?

This is what we found through research:

  • They’re afraid of discovering their one idea will be proven to be unprofitable… and then what? (In reality, the idea is not your secret sauce, the validation process is.)
  • Not sure how to actually do customer research (so they avoid it entirely)
  • Worried about having to talk to people they don’t know (“What will I say?”)
  • Not sure if they’re serious enough about the project to do things like customer research

This is really important stuff. Re-read those bullet points again.

The biggest difference between those who succeed and those who pursue random idea after random idea? The ones who use a system can identify which ideas are good and which ones aren’t…BEFORE they pursue them.

Step 3. Get your first sale:
Once you have a solid, market-confirmed idea, it’s time to find real work. You’ll take your best idea and test it against the market by trying to find 3 paying clients.

A system…not random “ideas”
If your goal is to find a way to earn money on the side, you’ll want a method for finding, testing, and refining ideas — a SYSTEM.

Dummies Guide to Getting an Online Job – Free Content

Earlier this week, we launched our new eBook:

Have you ever thought about getting an online job? Imagine a job which you can do from your own bedroom, in your pyjamas. Imagine a job which you can do at your own time (you can wake up late everyday and spend the afternoons on Thursday playing tennis). Could this lifestyle be for you?
Scenario 2: Have you looked long and hard and struggled to find legitimate online jobs? We wrote this book for you. Many people go out looking for online jobs without doing the basic preparations. They end up as an online scam statistic. Do not let this be your story. Our book guides you through the things that a beginners should know and we suggest several places where you can find well paying legitimate online jobs. We even go as far as guiding you through the use of one very popular online jobs website/service.

Buy this. Now.

This e-book is meant ONLY for beginners and it teaches you how to start the process of getting your first on-line job. If you get JUST ONE ONLINE JOB, this course will have paid for itself!!

More information on the ebook is available here: Dummies Guide to Getting an Online Job

Some good news

  1. We now have some free excerpts from the ebook that you can read before you buy. This lets you asses the book for yourself.
  2. We’ve running a special offer where you can get the book for Kshs 500 instead of Kshs 750 because we think you’re awesome.

Cheers!

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 www.plus254.com, 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 www.riswolde.com .

  • 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]riswolde.com
  • Twitter : @paul_kevin, @mycdbag
  • On Online Jobs…

    So recently we’ve been getting a whole lot of emails from people wanting us to “hook them up” with online jobs. The emails usually sound like they were written by very sincere very qualified people who just want to make money online.

    It seems the question on every one of these people’s mind is “How exactly do you get an online job?”

    The sad truth is that this is an area that is very much a target of scammers i.e. it is very easy to get cheated while trying to ‘find an online job’. Why is it so? Because most of the time the people looking for online jobs have little knowledge on how to go about it and most of them are too desperate to get an online job therefore they believe anything and quickly jump at the thought of joining up yet another juicy online program that promises easy riches.

    What no one tells you is that working online is hard. Extremely hard. It is just as hard, if not harder, than working offline, or anywhere else. Look, no one is going to give you free money – sawa? So if you see someone promising easy overnight riches then you should be wary of two things:

    • That person is probably going to steal from you in some way
    • The ‘job’ is going to be nothing like he described it (if it exists) and certainly in no way easy

    Now, this is not meant to scare you. Legitimate online jobs do exist. In fact, most of the people who write for Like Chapaa earn a significant portion of their money online.

    The important thing is to be prepared to work incredibly hard. When you start working online, you will quickly realise that your competition is Indians, Pakistanis, people from Eastern Europe and people from many other countries in the hundreds. The people with jobs are far fewer than the people who want jobs so you will have to work that much harder to be seen and considered from amongst the crowd.

    The fruits of your labour, however, are very sweet. I would argue that money made online ni tamu kushinda zote zingine!

    We’re preapring some more articles on this topic due to public demand so stay tuned to Like Chapaa. In the meantime, have a look at these classics:

    See you soon.

    Is it Hard to Make Kshs 100,000/- A Month Online?

    Here’s a very interestiing answer to that question (from Quora.com):

    How difficult this will be is all relative, of course, but it is definitely possible. Being a developer already should remove the biggest barrier. I would break this up into a few different stages.

    Ideate a Profitable Product
    It’s easy to come up with an idea that seems good to you. Finding an idea that can be profitable is a lot harder. While sometimes people simply stumble upon them, there is a process to finding good ideas. I recommend you read this article by Paul Graham on the topic: http://www.paulgraham.com/ideas

    The easiest way to come up with something is to find something in your daily or weekly routine that could be improved. “I always wish this product did X” or “If only I had a product that could do Y for me.”

    Identify a problem and come up with a solution. Sometimes this is a product that is entirely new, but usually it’s an improvement of an existing product. This is key: you don’t have to revolutionize a market, you simply have to do one thing better than everyone else.

    Apple’s products aren’t inherently better than others on the market, but they sell because of their image. Zappos is so successful because of their customer service. Find a problem, come up with a good solution, then figure out how you can set yourself apart.

    Building the Product
    This part should be fairly cut and dry for you, but don’t think it’s easy. If you have always worked as a developer in a team, especially a corporation, you’re in for a shock when you have to build everything yourself. In regards to a web app, this likely means creating the database structure and interactions, server side logic, front end programming and design.

    Keep in mind that you will be the one maintaining the code. You can’t simply pawn it off to someone else, or expect others to track down bugs. So take the time to write good, quality code. This is the best tip I have for saving time later (once you get users bugs mean support requests, upset customers, and maybe refunds).

    If you are a developer but not a designer, you might want to spend a little money to either hire a designer or pay for a theme for the front end. Presenting your product in a professional, attractive manner is of huge importance for gaining paying customers. No one wants to break out a credit card for a site with a poor design.

    Marketing the Product (Getting your first customers)
    This is another area that people often think will be easy. The “if you build it, they will come” mentality only works if you’re Kevin Costner. Getting your site listed on Hacker News and the dozens of “startup” listing sites that have popped up is valuable – it gets you some good backlinks and maybe a little buzz. Don’t expect to get any paying customers from that exposure unless they are your target audience.

    Finding where your target audience is and meeting them is really the key. If your customers are going to be single mothers, hanging out on Hacker News might connect you with a handful of them, but you need to find out where your customer spends their time online. Do whatever it takes to ingratiate yourself to them. Don’t dive in head first advertising your product, but spend a little time getting to know those social circles each day while you are still building the product. This will pay off ten fold.

    Write. Write a lot. Not only about your product, but about your market, what they’re interested in, what they hate, what they find useful, etc. Have about 10 blog posts ready to go when you launch your product, and publish no fewer than 1 a week afterward. If you’re building a web app, chances are there isn’t much for search engines to index. So you need a blog.

    Supporting the Product
    The biggest area for supporting a product is customer complaints or questions or support. Have a good system setup using UserVoice or GetSatisfaction.

    Ask them for valuable feedback. Don’t ever stop asking, and when they tell you respond to them. It doesn’t always have to be a “I’ll add that next week,” but even a “that feedback doesn’t mesh well with the goal of my product” will win over customers.

    I recommend reading through this short article series by Tom Buck:
    Building a web business that makes $500 a month – It’s one of the most ‘down to earth’ accounts of a single person building a profitable side project.