Last Wednesday, the Power Forum was a significant success. It was officiated by one of the success stories behind the software development industry in Kenya. He is none other than Mr. Conrad Akunga, the co-founder of Mzalendo, one of the most successful civic education websites in the country. He is also the proud owner of Innovo, another one among the leaders in the software development industry.
With more than 10 years of experience in the software development industry, it was difficult to imagine who among those in attendance would doubt Conrad’s delivery on the “mechanics of the software industry “.
Among other things he said in his introductory speech, what stood out for everybody in the forum was a brute fact: it is that, as things stand now, there is no formal employment for everyone in the country or even the world over. And even if a good number succeeds to get so-called white-collar jobs, still many many more will have to look for alternative ways of making ends meet. Perhaps even better than those who work in government offices, enjoying that almost obsolete ‘permanent and pensionable’ status.
Members give audience to Mr. Conrad Akunga, an accomplished software developer and entrepreneur.
The value of self-employment
The point of it all was that many more people in our current world ought to be thinking along self-employment lines—this is if they have to avoid begging bread or just be average income earners. Indeed, Conrad’s self-awakening thoughts appear to be validating one very common but elusive principle: that in our world today, those who dare to follow their passions will inevitably be successful as well as happy. Conrad himself followed his passion of becoming, not only a much sought- after software technology guru but also a very successful investor.
This leads us to that part many would ideally be interested in: how he did it. For the most part, it was initiative that catapulted Conrad to where he is. He decided to venture into the software industry at a time when success in the same was uncertain. This was in the early 2000s.
An attentive audience participates at the forum.
The reliable path to success
But the innovator -cum- entrepreneur had to figure out his path to success before trying out anything. According to him, the secret was and still is a Problem-Solution-Technology approach. And while doing this, one has to remain focused, lest they get distracted by useless hype or trivialities. Focus, according to him, shields the ‘fundamentals’ or principles on which any idea is based. Should those principles by any chance ‘go with the wind’, the idea will have been rendered worthless.
Successively, an aspiring entrepreneur must do diligent and fruitful research about the acceptability of the idea or product in the target market. This, in other words is what ‘data mining’ is all about. Then, converting the data (no matter how complicated or huge it might be) into useful information is what sets a successful entrepreneur apart from the rest.
When all is said and done and the idea is developed into a product or service, it is its quality that will sustain it in the market, or it risks being ignored. If it remains competitive, that’s all there is for one to make big money.
The need for Self-advancement
An entrepreneur values the path to self-advancement and re-invention to avoid redundancy. This can be done by continuous research and study. Re-branding and re-launching are the other key ingredients.
Indeed, one should also not forget that an ideal entrepreneur is positively opportunistic. This, the forum was made to understand, is to see the problems in the world as opportunities to bring novel solutions.
Members pose for a group photo after the session.
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About the writer
Moses Omusolo is the Social Media Manager, C4DLab.