Someone asked me what crowd sourcing is, this is what I said…. Take a product and give it to the public or consumer and let the show you they can do with it.


Now the race is on to win the hearts minds and talking habits of Kenyans. Some people will tell you that with 13 million people using mobile phones in Kenya then this base is quite big and saturation is imminent. Well this number could be true but pundits will tell you that saturation will occur in seven years. And Michael, Rene, Dominique and Foley understand this, thus the price wars which will be more than what is appearing on the press today.


Indeed many of us tech-savvy guys have at least mobile lines thus bringing down the number of subscribers down. As per the government we are just over 38 million now making the subscriber base just shy over a quarter. The players must be smiling with glee.


Let me now digress

We produce about half a million young Kenyans into the job market each year. Many of them set out to acquire devices. Because today many young Kenyans are going into small business and not relying on employment; this makes communications quite important and they young guys know this. The phone is the link to any contract or job offer. When you are without network then you become inaccessible and the job goes to the next person on the address book.


If this illustration is not ringing home, then take a look at the classifieds, or just take a walk in the city estates. From salons, to tutors, to the famous herbalists who seem to treat any disease ever heard or about to be discovered, to that bakery that can make that special cake for you occasion; the list is endless. Now all you need is a sign at the bus stop and expect a call for your services.


In fact because of these kinds of business the M-pesa product has actual blossomed to a colossus where now established institutions are using it to offer an array of products.

What this means that the Kenyan consumer is not just looking for a device and a network that allows him or her to talk to the relative but to conduct business and get a lively hood.

The club 20 from Zain is a fast and a pal who runs a video shop uses it to text to his clients of the new arrivals in his movie shop. Now that is tech/savvy/ingenious. Majority of his clients fall in the target audience that Zain is looking for with the Vuka Tariff. Check the ad and see the age bracket.


It’s no longer a question of where you are and what are you doing but rather ‘are you John the electrician? I have….’

For the players value addition and products will spar the sector to growth levels that are yet to be attained. We still need to reach 20 million people to ask what next.

I particularly impressed by my video shop guy. He has seen a product that makes him work smarter and not harder. That is the power of crowd sourcing.