Africans have been making and drinking beer before the first European set his foot on African soil but the Europeans were first to commercially produce beer in Africa. Throughout history, Human have consumed beer and made them from local cereal grains. Asian brewed their beer from rice and the native Americans from corn and Africans brewed from millet and sorghum, however, the Europeans who made their beer from wheat and barley as originally brewed in Mesopotamia and Egypt respectively, were the ones who improved and industrialized beer making. and during the Industrial Revolution, the production of beer moved from artisanal manufacture to industrial manufacture...[more]
When you see someone walking down the street with new sunglasses on, do you stare at them? Really stare at them, from every angle?
If you're fortunate enough to have a selfie with President Obama, with Bono or with Sarah Jones, what do you look at when you look at the picture? Do you focus on the tie he was wearing, or her earrings? Or are you worried about the bit of parsley that was in your teeth or the ridiculous jacket you were wearing that day?
We like to see.
But mostly, we're worried about being seen.
We spend far more time looking at ourselves in sunglasses than anyone else ever will.
And social media might appear to be about seeing what others are doing. But it's actually about our juxtaposition with those others, our standing, our status… The reason we want to know what people are saying behind our backs isn't because we care about them, it's because we care about us.
The culture of celebrity that came with TV has shifted. It's no longer about hoping for a glimpse of a star. It's back to the source–hoping for a glimpse of ourselves, ourselves being seen.
Culture is changed by design, and design by culture.
There are things that look ‘right’, and others that don’t. We notice the mistyped word, the straight quote, the lousy kerning.
But then, the paradigm shifts. An illuminated manuscript and a dime-store novel are both books, but neither would look right to someone accustomed to the other.
The challenge of breakthrough design is in doing it with intent. To deliver more, not less of the change you seek to make, the leverage you seek to provide. To do the work with knowledge and care, not laziness or haste.
There’s an internal consistency to breakthrough design. It’s of itself, it reflects the intent of the designer. Copying the status quo is easy, commodity work. Creating a new paradigm, one that resonates, is the real work the designer seeks to offer.
We find knowledge (and express it) by dividing the world into grids and segments, and explaining how this organization works.
The periodic table is a useful construct.
Useful constructs are replicable and they’re predictive.
If I tell you the rules needed to organize the elements, you’ll come up with the same table as every other scientist.
And if you know where something is on that table, you can make accurate predictions about how the element will behave.
On the other hand, race is not a useful construct. Neither is ethnicity. It’s not a replicable approach—every person who tries to organize other humans by race will come up with a different system. And it’s not predictive—it doesn’t tell us anything about how someone will act going forward.
Engineers build their work around useful constructs. And often, people who are in politics waste their time arguing about constructs that aren’t useful at all.
If we’re going to influence the culture, grow our organizations, lead people and engage in the marketplace, finding useful constructs (as opposed to established superstitions) is essential work.
In the traditional world, most things are organized so you can find them when you’re looking for them. That’s why you keep your tools in your tool chest and the forks in the silverware drawer. That’s why books are stored in alphabetical order, by author.
But in the digital world, finding is easy. Type what you want in the search bar.
What we’re still exploring, and not very successfully, is how to organize things for browsing. How do you bump into the thing you didn’t know you were looking for? How do you decide what your next home improvement project should be, or the next movie you should see?
Dancing along the edge of facilitated discovery is one of the most important frontiers that marketers are challenged to do. And we’re not doing it very well yet.
Because beniseed [sesame] seeds have their DNA and birthplace in Africa. In this post, I use beniseed, benne and sesame seed interchangeably – forgive me.
Sesame seeds are the seeds of the tropical annual Sesamum indicum. The species has a long history of cultivation – first for its rich oil but also for wine!
She Leads Africa Accelerator 2017.
The two entrepreneurs, along with Remilekun Dosumu, shared a vision to deliver quality home care to Nigerian elders and other vulnerable populations needing assistance. Their Greymate Care solution, an online platform to connect caregivers and families, was spurred by Maduboko’s own experience with a fragile grandmother in her final years...[more]
Wandie Kazeem interviewing Lois Sankey, Head of Agrifinance Diamond Bank. She talks about the role Diamond Bank plays in providing finance across the agriculture value chain. She also talks about their technology initiatives- BETA and DYA- with the
Not as a way to make big dollars (blogging didn’t do that either). But as a way to share your ideas, to lead your community, to earn trust.
Podcasting is a proven technology that is still in its infancy. It’s an open mic, a chance for people with something to say to find a few people (or perhaps more than a few people) who’d like to hear them say it.
And podcasting is the generous act of showing up, earning trust and authority because you care enough to raise your hand and speak up.
Over the summer, Alex DiPalma ran the Podcasting Fellowship, and I was lucky enough to be invited along to help out.
I was thrilled at the results.
More than 300 people signed up to be part of it, and the creativity was electric. People from all over the world, from 18 years old to 60, learned how to create a podcast they could be proud of. They didn’t just learn. They did it.
Learning the technology is the easy part. It’s the peer support, the community and the bias for shipping that really matter.
Because you asked, we’re going to run it one more time. You can read all the details right here.
Signups and engagement begin today, the lessons (delivered, no surprise, in podcast format) begin a few days later and we close signups on October 15th. It costs about $10 a day, and there’s an early bird discount if you hurry. You can do it at your own pace, and an hour a day is probably enough to get you going (though you can put more into it and get more out of it).
I’ve said before that my decision to blog is one of the best I’ve ever made for my career, for the work I do, and most of all, for my continued posture of teaching and leaping. If you’ve considered that this might be your moment to leap, I hope you’ll consider investing in The Podcasting Fellowship and joining Alex, her coaches and me in this 45 day journey together.
university-based innovation initiatives to facilitate innovative research, creation of technology-based start-up enterprises and synergy among industry, academia and government with a view to creating a stronger national innovation system.
In the race to solve a fuel-import crisis in Nigeria, Africa’s richest person faces competition from a swarm of tiny challengers.
Billionaire Aliko Dangote is building a 650,000 barrel-a-day refinery in Nigeria that will help cut the nation’s $7 billion annual fuel-import bill. Such is the pressure on its finances, the government is pursuing another option, giving licenses to mini refineries, some with capacity of as little as 1,000 barrels a day.
If all the small processors are built, their collective output would surpass Dangote’s giant facility...[more]
Landlords are notorious for having a bias toward raising the rent. They’re in it for the long haul, they’ve seen downturns before, and while they’re quick to raise rents in good times, they are loathe to lower rents, even if it means sitting with an empty storefront for months at a time.
While this math might be compelling for some landlords, it’s terrible for the cities those buildings are located in.
Empty storefronts deny residents accessible services.
They lead to vandalism and other crime.
And they suck the vibrancy from the neighborhood.
They also deprive the municipality from sales tax revenue, cost jobs and take watchful eyes away from the neighborhood as well.
If we view the ability to have a well-cared for, civil neighborhood as a privilege, it’s logical to consider a vacancy tax for landlords as an incentive for them to lower rents when decreased demand happens because retailers can’t afford the old rent.
It could be something like: For any storefront that’s empty, after two months of vacancy, the landlord has to pay a tax of 20% of the average rent they’d be receiving. All the money would go to neighborhood improvements and policing.
Lower rents create new innovations, which leads to more interaction and more vibrant neighborhoods. And in the long run, it gives landlords an incentive to do what actually generates more of what they seek as well.
Happy birthday to both Sigourney Weaver from the Alien, Ghostbusters, and Avatar franchises and to the late, great Frank Herbert, author of Dune and of five sequels to the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novel.
...Oil remains Nigeria's biggest source of income, but after recovering from its first recession in 25 years, Africa's most populous country is looking to diversify its economy.
And some entrepreneurs have bet on the leather industry - thought to be worth around $700 million dollars annually.
It is to this end that Femi Olayebi, a design and manufacturing entrepreneur, launched the Lagos Leather Fair in 2017 to champion Nigeria's luxury leather market.
"We wanted to promote Made in Nigeria," she told CNN...[more]
Raising too little. And raising too much.
The typical go-go small business goes out and raises $200,000 or $400,000 in equity, usually from friends, family and amateur investors. Maybe a bit more or less.
This is a danger zone.
This is funding for your expenses and your salary and it will rarely pay off for you or for your investors. Because, it’s worth remembering, your investors want their money back, somehow, someday soon.
If your goal is to build a significant brand, the sort of consumer products company that so many entrepreneurs dream of, you’re going to need fifty times that much before you cross the chasm.
And if you’re building a direct-marketing company, something you can bootstrap, where you sell high-value products and services to businesses and consumers in a measurable way, then you ought to be making money right from the start. Sure, you might need some equipment, but in today’s Meshed world, that’s easier than ever to outsource.
“And then a miracle occurs,” is something no fundraising entrepreneur ought to ever say.
Normally, you might think of a grid spot for what it creates: a tight zone of light. But it also can be helpful to think of it in terms of the inverse: a grid also prohibits light from reaching everywhere else.
And the "everywhere else" part—that relative blackness you can create with a gridded key—is what can help you to amp the color palette in even a small room with light-toned walls.
Read more »
The painting is by Marton Mull. This song/album won a grammy in 2014.
For most agritech startups, earning a competitive slot at an accelerator can make or break a burgeoning company. As agritech has solidified its spot among venture capital investors, countless accelerators and incubators have popped up to help provide eager investors with a seemingly endless conveyor belt of new companies...[more]
If you want to cherry pick to make an argument, no doubt, you'll be able to find some cherries.
And if you want to pick a fight, no doubt you'll find someone (or something) to have a fight with.
Changing a mind is different than having an argument. Persuasion takes patience, skill and insight, not force.
A San Francisco native rekindled cultivation in Yemen and did not let a war come between him and his American dream.
Brooklyn, United States - Five years ago, Mokhtar Alkhanshali was a grassroots activist with a law career mapped out, working as a doorman in San Francisco to pay the bills.
But his life changed when he saw a statue outside a cafe of an Arab man holding a cup of coffee.
After researching coffee's links to Yemen, his ancestral homeland, he set off to find the perfect beans and resurrect coffee cultivation in the Arab country...[more]
Nigerians, of course, saw it all along. The infiltration of world culture by the sounds, images, and styles of their country has been building for some time. The author and photographer Teju Cole notices Nigerian pop music when he travels—recently, in a taxi in Peru. The journalist Bim Adewunmi remembers finding a group of white British kids in London singing “Oliver Twist,” a hit by D’Banj, down to the artist’s Nigerian accent: OH-lee-vah. “D’Banj trumped Charles Dickens in that moment,” Adewunmi says. “And that made me feel good!”