South African startup called Passerine has an idea, which is to do what birds do: Use wings to fly efficiently, while relying on legs and feet for takeoff and landing.More here
This is a rendering of Passerine’s drone, called Sparrow. The first thing to notice is of course those legs, which we’ll certainly get into. But the fixed-wing design of the airframe might be a better place to start. Those over-wing engines create what’s called a blown wing, where the engine exhaust passes over the top of the wing and over a portion of the wing flaps. The forced high-speed air passing over the wings and flaps generates a substantial amount of lift (two or three times the lift of a conventional wing), and since the air is coming directly from the engines, you get that lift even if the aircraft isn’t moving very much. This is in contrast to most conventional wings and flaps, the performance of which depends on the aircraft’s forward velocity. The upshot is that aircraft with blown wings or blown flaps can takeoff and land over a much shorter distance, and can fly much more slowly before they stall.
CFAO’s and Eurapharma’s long-standing commitment to Nigeria have inspired us to develop a healthcare offering based on cutting-edge technology and stringent professionalism to remedy the need for medical tourism –on which Nigerians have been spending upward of 1 USD billion per year according to government estimates.
Our diagnostic department offers an extensive range of cutting-edge Siemens radiology modalities as well as a clinical laboratory. Image acquisition is handled by a team of expat and local radiographers...[more]
Five and a half years ago my co-founder and I got started planning a new city development in Zambia. After a year and a half of planning, we started marketing the new town development and got busy doing the actual work of development. Four years in, we’ve done quite a lot, but there’s still a lot for us to execute before the town starts to actually look and feel like a town. Part of what makes what we do interesting is that it’s an exercise in the sort of planning typically done by municipalities and central governments, we have to think about schools, utilities, home affordability, access to healthcare, sanitation, jobs etc. Starting from the ground-up, with resources we’ve built through aggressive pre-sales, and conservative financial planning—we typically have to approach everything from the basis of first principles. Further, given that the city is already self-funded, and with no external investors; we treat our development company like a lean start-up. The first priority is to get the minimum viable product ready, iterate and improve from there. It’s easy to be idealistic when the purse is unlimited, the opposite is true when you have to think of the best and highest use of every dollar spent...[more]
Non-profit organisation RemitFund has launched an investment fund for African diaspora-led impact businesses...[more] and here
RemitFund aims to tackle unemployment and underemployment in Africa by empowering Africans in the diaspora to build and invest in sustainable impact businesses that create jobs and foster development on the African continent.
"We collaborate with African diaspora organisations and networks, money transfer operators and financial services providers to transform remittances into social investments that work for the continent’s advancement"
All problems have solutions.
That’s what makes them problems.
The solution might involve trade-offs or expenses that you don’t want to incur. You might choose not to solve the problem. But there is a solution. Perhaps you haven’t found it yet. Perhaps you need to do more research or make some tradeoffs in what you’re hoping for.
If there is no solution, then it’s not a problem.
It’s a regrettable situation. It’s a boundary condition. It’s something you’ll need to live with.
Which might be no fun, but there’s no sense in worrying about it or spending time or money on it, because it’s not a problem.
“I want to go to the wedding, but it’s a thousand miles away.” That’s a problem. You can solve it with a plane ticket and some cancelled plans.
“I want to go to the wedding, but I’m not willing to cancel my meeting.” That’s not a problem. That’s an unavoidable conflict. If you need to violate a law of physics to get out of a situation, it’s not a problem. But you’ve already given up turning it into a problem, so it doesn’t pay to pretend it’s solvable.
Once we can walk away from unsolvable situations that pretend to be problems, we can focus our energy on the real problems in front of us.
HT David Deutsch
Honorable men (at least that’s what they called themselves) used to settle their disputes with dueling pistols.
Honorable women used to bind their feet and shame others that didn’t.
Honorable humans used to own slaves.
“Honorable” has always been measured against the current culture, not an absolute of what we’re capable of.
Over time, then, as the culture changes, what used to be honorable becomes dishonorable.
Sticking with it because it’s always been that way is a truly lousy reason to persist in a behavior that causes harm.
mining value chain. Although she says none of her achievements have come without challenges, she always knew there is no cloud without a silver lining… maybe Gold.
Teriba’s gold refinery, scheduled to begin operations by the end of the first half of 2019 is expected to produce 3 tonnes of gold and 1 tonne of silver per month, both at 99.99 percent purity.
Through her company Kian Smith Trade &Co., Nere Teriba intends to help develop Africa’s mining industry, starting from Nigeria and West Africa. She has taken it upon herself to help Nigeria solve its challenge of not getting royalties from artisanal and small scale miners (ASMs), who produce most of the minerals in circulation in the West African country. She is also helping the miners get more from mining, formalize their operations and adopt sustainable mining practices. When she succeeds, she would have successfully created hundreds of thousands of jobs and made millions of revenue for the government. Nere Teriba is 36.
Arela chemicals, which is cofounded with Charles Boatin and Dewey Mair innovates on waste-to-chemicals by converting agricultural residue into food grade carbon dioxide for carbonated beverages and compressed natural gas for the energy production...[more]
Arela Chemicals uses biogas generated from corn stover to produce high purity chemicals for customers in the local food & beverage and mining sectors.
Biogas is a source of renewable energy that is used to power all facility operations. This strategy enables off-grid operation.
Introducing Datasheet, a conference on product development
Between the 4th and 6th of April this year, Hardware Lagos will host her first conference. For three days, there will be workshops and talks delivered by experts from across Africa and outside the continent...[more]
A thoughtful friend has a new project, and decided to integrate a podcast into it.
Talking to a producer, he said that his goal was to make it a “top 10 podcast on iTunes.”
Why is that the goal?
That’s a common goal, a popular goal, someone else’s goal.
The compromises necessary to make it that popular (in dumbing down the content, sensationalizing it, hunting down sort-of-famous guests and doing a ton of promo) all fly in the face of what the project is for.
It’s your project.
It’s worth finding your metrics.
We’ve been doing it for a long time.
“The Gods must be crazy.”
The easiest way for a human to deal with a complex system (an AI that plays Scrabble, the traffic, the weather) is to imagine that there’s a little man inside, someone a lot like us, pulling the levers, getting annoyed, becoming frustrated, seeking retribution or offering a prize.
If that works, keep doing it.
But it might be even more helpful to remember that there’s no homunculus, no narrative, no revenge. Merely a complex system, one we can understand a bit better if we test and measure and examine it closely.
AWIEF award and how do you plan to build on these qualities as Exotic EPZ develops?More here
Jane Maigua: Our job creation model, which is to provide men and women with an avenue through which they can sustain themselves and their families, has been key to our success. The significant volume of nuts we have been supplied with since starting the business – about 700,000 kg – means that everyone in the value chain, from the farmers themselves to those at the collection centres and the workers in our EPZ, have a source of income. This is another aspect of our business success.
Over time, some people embrace edge beliefs like ear candling, the Stein Harmonizer and hydrogen infused water, among thousands of others. Our search for reassurance and belief is built deep into our culture. And if it’s not hurting anyone and you can afford it, a placebo is a fine tool, and often a bargain, possibly effective as well.
It’s fascinating to note, though, that some people have embraced none of these edge ideas, while other people are regulars, moving from one to the other as each loses steam (you’re unlikely to know someone who currently keeps his razor in a pyramid to keep it sharp but it used to be common).
Why the need to switch? Why not stick with one for decades? And if you switch, what story do you tell yourself about this pattern–are you discovering that the prior ones weren’t nearly as effective as you hoped, but this one will definitely be the one? Or is it more likely that focusing on future prospects is simply more effective and enjoyable than acknowledging the long string that came before?
[The same behaviors can be seen in some stock investors, political pundits and diet gurus as well.]
It’s worth noting that fad beliefs are embraced precisely because they’re fad beliefs–temporary stories that bring solace, not breakthroughs in the long-term engineering of well being.
If you’re a frequent traveler, you probably have needed a visa expediter at some point. Good expediters can get you out of a serious jam, helping you get a visa or even a new passport in a short time. For over a decade, I used A. Briggs, a long-established expediter used by many large firms and institutions. They once helped me get a Nigerian visa and a new passport in under a week, which was pretty amazing.
But they’ve gone downhill. Way down. I’m enroute to Nairobi today and from there to Sierra Leone, and given some tight timing, I sent my paperwork to A. Briggs to get the Sierra Leone visa. I should have backed off once I noticed some significant changes to their website. They have been acquired by another firm, CIBT, and their application process is now loaded with hidden fees. By default, you’re signed up for a number of expensive extras, including a $25 fee for keeping a digital copy of the visa they obtain and $25 for registering you with the US State Department, a service the US government provides for free. The online process heavily upsells their “concierge service”, which promises handholding through the visa process for a mere $300 extra – in retrospect, I wonder whether my dreadful experience would have been better or worse after paying that extortionate fee.
People use visa expediters because they need a visa in a narrow window of time – you’re basically paying someone to carry your paperwork to the consulate, wait for it to be completed and send it back to you. The most critical piece of the application is the time by which you need the visa, which in my case was Friday, as my flight to Kenya left Saturday at noon. I spoke to Briggs several times through the process, as they needed even more documents for Sierra Leone than expected, and they assured me they’d have the visa by Wednesday to send it to me on Thursday. When I didn’t get word from a courier that it was enroute on Thursday, I called. Turned out they had gotten the wrong visa – a tourist visa instead of the much more expensive, multiple entry business visa I’d asked for. Instead of calling me and giving mr the choice of traveling with the tourist visa – which I would have chosen – they sent the passport back to the embassy. This meant I wouldn’t have the visa until Friday, and there was no way to get it before getting on my plane.
I got on the phone and got to a manager at Briggs who offered me the solution of a same day courier to deliver me the visa… for a mere $729. When I explained that this was their mistake not mine, she offered to have a courier meet me at the airport just before my flight, for only $200, which she rapidly reduced to $80. (It’s not clear what I might have been able to bargain the $700+ courier down to, but it strongly suggests that A. Briggs is marking up the cost of courier services as another revenue stream.)
I scheduled delivery of my passport to JFK for 10am the day of my flight, which left at noon. Tight but doable. The person I worked with gave me several numbers to try if there were any problems. Predictably, there were. When no courier contacted me by 10am, I started calling numbers. All went to voicemail boxes which hadn’t been set up, except one the woman had given me as her business cellphone, which went to a very confused woman in DC who had nothing to do with the company. Even though no one at A. Briggs or their parent company answered their phones, fortunately their courier did… who explained that A. Briggs had requested delivery at 11am, the time the flight would be closing. I begged the courier to come as fast as he could, tipped him generously when he made it by 10:40 and made my flight with a few seconds to spare.
So yes, I got the visa. I also vomited twice from stress, first when I discovered they’d resubmitted the passport, creating the crisis, and again when I discovered the courier wasn’t coming. Oh, and for such thoughtful service, A. Briggs charged me over $400 in handling fees on top of the $160 visa fee.
Don’t use them, or any company that’s part of CIBT. They won’t give you direct phone numbers to talk with whoever is processing your visa unless you pay an absurd extra fee. Their phone system is misconfigured, so if you’re in a jam, trying to reach someone, you’ll be sent to a broken voicemail inbox. I have no way of knowing whether my miserable experience was incompetence, or a new business strategy – I suspect the former – but I am now trying to get MIT to stop using A. Briggs as their visa expediter, and I would urge anyone, an individual or a corporate travel department, to find someone else to work with.
(Fun postscript – once I finally got my visa, I expected to see a cancelled tourist visa as well as a business visa. I didn’t – just a clean business visa. Given that there’s no pages missing from my passport, and no alterations to that visa page, it looks like A. Briggs just… lied. Either they got the visa on time and failed to send it to me in time, or they didn’t get it until a day late… or maybe they simply didn’t send it on time so they could charge fees on top of what they paid a courier to deliver it. Please, please don’t use this company’s services.)
BeatDrone uses precision drones to execute spraying on the farms, engage in crop supervision and mapping of the farmland. This enables the farmer to achieve optimum result, increased harvest yield and lower cost of operations; thus reducing the cost of food in the open market, eliminating hunger and poverty.via
There are two reasons we say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.
The first is pretty obvious. It gives the other person dignity. It acknowledges their humanity. It implies that at some level, this engagement is voluntary.
But of course, none of this is true when we’re talking to Siri or Alexa.
There’s a second reason.
It helps us realize that we might be acting entitled. We forget to bring humility along. “Please” is a narrative to ourselves, one about gratitude and choice. When we start barking orders without regard for what it costs to follow those orders, it’s easy to forget that time and resources are always scarce.
Even when it’s not voluntary, it turns out we benefit when we act as if it might be.
[And should an AI say please and thank you to us? Probably.]
Recently, the pay as you go solar industry has seen a dramatic shift away from vertical integration, to unbundled products and services. Unbundling allows specialization along the value chain, allowing businesses to focus on delivering hardware, software, and distribution services for customers — rather than attempting to do it all. Angaza was the first in the industry to offer unbundled solutions serving manufacturers and distributors. By focusing on the consumer financing aspect of the value chain, Angaza developed specialization in software and remote metering and monitoring technology...[more]
Bob Dylan, Life Magazine
April 10th, 1964
Spent a happy hour listening to Bob Dylan covers on Spotify last night, playing backgammon with my partner, Sarah.
SonoCare is a Port Harcourt, Nigeria-based mobile diagnostic imaging company dedicated to providing quality healthcare in the diagnostic imaging industry. Our comprehensive approach will help you add additional services to your practice, hospital or organization.We are the pioneer in delivering diagnostic expertise on an as needed, when needed, where needed basis using technology and innovation.View this post on Instagram
Nigeria’s Tech Start-up Receives Funds from Gray Matters Capital An impact investing #foundation headquartered in the United States, Gray Matters Capital has announced its investment in SonoCare, a Nigeria based health tech start-up. SonoCare, which provides women’s health services such as on-demand mobile 3D/4D diagnostic imaging and #cardiac monitoring, also provides a cost efficient system scaled to the needs of #hospitals, satellite clinics, health care providers like #physicians and #midwives, birthing centres, assisted living facilities, as well as corporate offices using a combination of the most advanced imaging systems and highly trained, registered #technologists as #sonographers. . . . Click the link in bio to continue reading. #Health #HealthTech #healthcare #technews #technology #cardiacmonitoring #graymatters #graymatterscapital #SonoCare #startup #investment #investments #startups #lagos #lagosnigeria #naijastartups #nigeria #usa #unitedstates
In The Wizard of Oz, we meet a powerful heroine. Dorothy is resolute, focused and honest. A generous partner, leading her friends to where they seek to go.
“C’mon, let’s go,” is a great sentence, worth using more often.
It doesn’t require a permit, a badge or a degree.
It’s simply the work of someone who cares enough to lead, at least right now. And right now is enough.
You probably know people who are late. Often.
They don’t want to be late. In fact, their good intentions are probably the reason that they are late. They might try one technique or another, and even apologize for being late, and yet it happens again.
There is one reason and one amplifying factor.
The amplifying factor is that when they’re late, people wait for them.
You might notice that things that leave on time (commuter trains, airplanes, live TV shows etc) almost never have a crowd of people showing up five or ten minutes late cursing out the system. For those things, the things that are known to leave on time, they manage to show up. That’s because their good intentions are not welcome here.
And the reason?
The reason is that in every interaction, they want to connect a bit more, respect the other person’s ideas and contribute in that moment. They do that by spending their most precious resource on their behalf. What’s happening is that they are looking for a magical way to get more minutes in the day.
Of course, the person they’re meeting with doesn’t need five more minutes of their time. They need five more hours of their time. But it feels like giving them five minutes one doesn’t have is a way of showing them that they care.
The alternative is a simple as it is difficult: Say no.
Say it without rushing and without stress. “I’m sorry, our time is up.”
An overloaded truck isn’t a more efficient way to move gravel (or anything else). And when you overload your day by treating time as squishy based on how much you care, you’ve just become inefficient and thus disrespectful.
Lots of other things in our life aren’t squishy. Gravity, for example, or the solidity of dry wall. They are what they are.
So is time if you let it.
The hard part about being on time is standing up and moving on. But the cost of being squishy is that you’re not only disrespecting the next person, you’re stressed all the time.
Stand up and walk out.
People will learn, and they’ll end up respecting you for it, because it’s not personal. Just as it’s not personal when the train leaves on time. The alternative, which is squishiness, is personal. Because if you like someone, you’re willing to be even more late than usual.
It’s pretty easy to tell when you have a plumbing problem.
Or when you need a roofer.
And if your finances are a mess, you might have an accounting problem.
But what are the symptoms that you have a marketing problem?
- There are people who would benefit from your work who aren’t engaging with you.
- There’s a change you seek to make in the culture, but it’s not happening.
- You’re having difficulty persuading other people of your point of view.
- The service or product you make isn’t resonating with those you seek to serve.
- You’re fighting in a race to the bottom, and it’s wearing you out.
If you have a marketing problem, how much time are you spending working on a marketing solution? What are you investing in, learning, creating… Because you can’t solve your marketing problem tomorrow by simply repeating what you did yesterday.
This is why The Marketing Seminar was built. It’s a group activity, a 100-day seminar designed to let you do the work, to act as if, to share your journey with others, to see what happens when you bring work that matters to people who care.
Today’s the last day to sign up, the best day left on your new year’s commitment to solve your marketing problem and to do work that matters.
The next one won’t be launching for months, so this is your last, best moment to level up.