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All posts by Mich Atagana

  • Africa isn’t in need of saving: it will likely save itself, it just needs better execution

    There is a very popular notion that Africa hasn't been able to shirk for some time now, namely that it's a dark continent in need of saving. If we liken Africa's story to that of a Disney fairytale, the continent is always the damsel in distress waiting for her prince to come in with his sword and slay the dragon guarding her. Truth be told, I doubt the many innovators and billionaires in the West getting ready to save Africa think of her as a beautiful princess. Instead they pity Africa, hence the belief that they are swooping in...

  • Facebook research: international brands are big in Brazil

    Judging return on investment on social media is quite difficult. What is a like actually worth? What does a like mean? Who likes what brands and what are the parameters that decides this? A recent study from HaveYouHeard using Socialbakers identified 100 of the most liked brands on Facebook in 17 different countries on five continents. HaveYouHeard touts itself as "South Africa’s foremost word-of-mouth marketing agencies". The company manages a number of brand pages on Facebook as well. The research took the top 100 Facebook pages in each country and analysed its true reach based on likes, activity and total...

  • 22 breathtaking images of Africa’s streets from Google Plus

    Most people say Google Plus is the place to go when you want to be alone. Others say it is the platform where Google employees hangout. Google's play into the social scene has not been received with great jubilation. Some find it hard-pressed to navigate and actually figure out what to do with it. We have been playing on Google Plus quite a bit lately and discovered some amazing photography on platform. The platform lends itself to showcasing imagery and photographers seem to have flocked to it. Our favourite images on Google Plus are from the street photographers who...

  • Google is pumping some serious moolah into getting girls to code

    You know things are getting legit when Google invests, right? Well Google is throwing some of its money behind a new initiative called Made With Code. The project aims to encourage young girls to get involved in coding by showing them that practically everything they love is made with code -- geddit? From movies to dances, music and the apps they play with on their mobile devices as well as sites they love: everything is made with code. The site launched last week, which will be the hub of the project, housing resources for parents who want to get their kids...

  • HBO’s Silicon Valley: women are strippers and devs are idiots

    "Have you seen Silicon Valley? Isn't it just awesome and such an apt representation of our space?" These are the conversation starters that have ruled many startup events over the past month. It's possibly the new "have you read the Steve Jobs biography?" in the tech startup space. Much has been written about this show, how HBO threw out what has been done before and decided to look at the revered tech scene with a humorous lens. It was cool, until it wasn't. I thought HBO would give us a crew of swashbuckling startups, sailing the terrain of the popular...

  • Mecer Xpress Smartlife tablet review | an excellent, 7-inch Jelly Bean tablet

    I am a huge fan of tablets, they allow me the luxury of device hopping, which is something I love. A decent device experience allows me to hop from writing on my computer, texting on my mobile to reading on my tablet. There is a symphony of things that make this happen, the right devices and the right ecosystem. I use a Mac, and an iPhone. When I still had my iPad my ecosystem sang. Then my iPad waved farewell and my ecosystem became middling. Things have changed however, thanks to the Mecer Xpress Smartlife Tablet. Read more on...

  • 6 lessons on innovation from Bill and Melinda Gates: number 4 will stun you

    I listened to Bill and Melinda Gates' commencement speech at Stanford University over the weekend and one thing really stood out: the Gates' are big on innovation. This is, after all, the guy that revolutionised the face of personal computing and his company pretty much schooled everyone on enterprise computing. The speech was quite thought provoking, on what true innovation really is and what technology is and can be for. Is the role of technology to make people's lives better? Whose life? Should innovation bridge the digital divide? Who is technology serving right now? "If rich kids got computers and poor...

  • 9 things we wish African entrepreneurs would invent already

    There are times when it seems like there is an app for everything and entrepreneurs would have to reach pretty far to keep building new things. But in Africa, there many things that need to be invented and problems that need to be solved. As interested parties in the African startup and entrepreneur ecosystem, we obviously have a few things we think need to be built on the continent. We decided to put together a list of things we wish African entrepreneurs could get going on. Now some of these may be in the works already or some version...

  • Anatomy of a pivot: the story of Fora, a startup that never was

    When I was in Nigeria a few months ago, I go the distinct feeling that education startups were the new hot ticket for young tech entrepreneurs. One of them wanted to build an online university, another wanted to provide a test platform for standardised tests and Fora, wanted to give Africans access to the best possible education online. Today, Fora is dead. When I met the bright-eyed founder of this company, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, his energetic smiles and excited air suggested that he really believed he could make this work. Read more on Ventureburn.var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • There is no stopping Uber, even if users have to do a pagan dance for a ride

    As Uber's problems in the US mellow out (sort of), its European dramas intensify, begging the question: could Africa be next? Yesterday, thousands of taxi drivers in major cities across Europe protested against the presence of car-ordering app Uber and other car-sharing services on streets that, until recently, they had pretty much owned. The tech company, which allows users to order cars via their mobile devices, has had some troubling legal issues since its inception but this is the first time there have been protests on this scale. Throughout Europe, from London to Lyon and Madrid to Milan, thousands of taxi...

  • Pick a team, any team: more World Cup fun from Twitter

    It seems the 2014 FIFA World Cup will mostly be an online affair as social media and tech giants have put together custom hubs and features for the tournaments. Google, Facebook and Twitter have been hard at working making sure that its users aren't football deprived as we gear up for a month of sporting history. We have all added games to our Google calendars, bookmarked the Facebook hub and taken a walk through the stadiums thanks to Google Maps. Twitter has reintroduced hashflags but it seems there is more from the 14-character master. Just in case you haven't...

  • Google is hooking you up for the World Cup

    No guys, we have not hit World cup overload yet, not when Google has decided to throw in a World Cup experience you will never forget. From kickoff to the final moments of the tournament, Google wants to be your guide to the beautiful game. The way the tech giant has football fans covered this year is quite awesome. According to Google, for the first time, by simply searching for "world cup" or "world cup " fans will be able to browse team lineups before the match, live scores, and even up to the minute information about goals...

  • Everyone has the World Cup on the brain, including Facebook and Twitter

    What is the world's most popular topic right now? Yes, you guessed it, football and the World Cup. As the world's largest social network, it must be part of every experience, including the biggest sporting event. That's right, Facebook has announced a World Cup hub, Trending World Cup. "For this year’s World Cup, we want to give people one great place to experience the action in real time. Today we are launching Trending World Cup, a dedicated hub for fans on Facebook to follow the tournament as it unfolds," said Facebook. The hub keeps users updated on the latest scores and...

  • FIFA is the devil, but we worship it anyway coz football [Video]

    If you are like me and love football then this week is possibly more exciting for you than any other. The World Cup is here and the internet will soon lose its mind. But first, this viral video from John Oliver will get you in stitches. Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO, explains why he is excited about the upcoming tournament and South America's obsession with the beautiful game. Brazil is one of the world's most football fanatic countries and has produced some of the world's best players, yet the tournament has been marred...

  • New research shows 11-million South Africans have Facebook on the brain

    South Africans love Facebook and watching television, and this research proves it. According to a new study by Ipsos research house, South Africans who use Facebook are pretty much obsessed with the platform from the moment they wake up to when they go to sleep at night. The survey, commissioned by Facebook itself, showed that among those surveyed, 40% check Facebook before getting out of bed and 36% check Facebook just before going to sleep. The world's largest social network, which currently has 1.28-billion monthly active users globally and 101-billion monthlies on mobile, sees deep engagement from South Africans. According...