I did a presentation on Dérive app on Monday at MoMoKla, Mobile Monday Kampala. MoMoKla regularly organizes presentations on issues related to the mobile tech sector in Uganda and is part of an international collection of MoMos. This night's theme was 'Democatization of broadband' and, with the mobile focus, Eduardo and mine Dérive app, with its strong requirements for user participation, somewhat fit the bill. And, obviously, because Dérive app is a WSA-mobile winner, representing Uganda, it really made some sense to present.
The talk was a success, even if I ended up with a mere 10 minutes out of the implied 20. By coincidence, my presentation contained the 200th registered dérive, with within minutes after the presentation, the audience pushing the number to about 220.
The main reason for my talking time to be cut in half was the last minute addition to the list of speakers of Kai Wulff, now working at Google, with a talk that apparently lasted for an hour, and was somewhat interesting, but also somewhat baffling.
Wulff's two main points were:
+ There is too little content coming out of Africa.
+ As a consumer you can improve service quality just by voting with your money.
The first is certainly true, but without a plan for changing that (assuming there's a desire for change in the first place), the observation is meaningless. The second is not untrue, in general, but also not always relevant. And, in an African context, certainly more often not relevant than, say, in Europe. You don't like the roads in Uganda? Well, just drive somewhere else! That will teach the government who's supposed to maintain those roads!
The three other speakers, Ernst Fonternel, Mark Pritchard and some other guy, were all doing marketing for MTN, Smile and Airtel respectively, which made their talks, well, boring, though Ernst at least tried to walk through the changes telcos had to deal with over the last decade or so, until he was told his speaking time was cut.
Crossing the lake
On a weekend trip, we decided to cross lake Victoria. Well, actually Murchison Bay, which is the bay that comes closest to Kampala and, when looking at the lake from the elevated Tank Hill, could confuse you for taking the bay for the lake, even though the lake is perhaps 100 times larger, if not more.
We stumbled upon a chameleon, for the second time in a few weeks. Chameleons are cool. Were lizzards scuttle away when you spot them, chameleons are carefree and want to walk all over you.