Thursday, September 14, 2006

2,000$ budget,LAMP and 10 million page views

2,000$ budget,LAMP(Linux,Apache,MySQL and PHP/Perl/Python) and 10 million page views.. according to Kevin Rose the founder of (Digg is a news website with an emphasis on technology and science articles) is what is about. only has 15 employees and no advertising budget, in fact it rose to fame through a lot of blogging which seems to be the way to go.I'm always amazed by the way the people with the smallest budgets and biggest visions always achieve the impossible, and it gives me hope that Kenya's own Silicon Valley isn't so far off.

A couple of months back a friend of mine, I call him "Duke" partnered up with a few like minded fellows and developed a Stocks website (, the bullish market being experienced by our stock exchange is the hottest thing after sliced bread and young people are investing their money in equities in order to cash in on this market. I'm not sure what their budget was but I bet it was less then the $2000 dollars that was developed with. was developed using Microsoft's ASP.NET with a slight influence of AJAX, the site isn't the most eye catching and this is understandable bearing in mind that Duke isn't the most creative person this side of the Sahara :-) it could do with a lot of work in terms of the creative aspects and Duke assures me that this is in the pipeline but in terms of a source of current information it fits the bill. I had a chat with a fellow Afropreneur studying at the University of Texas-Austin and he was really impressed by the website, one of the features he pointed out was the stock tracker which allows you to track the prices of the companies you are interested in. Quick access to information seems to be a key objective of the website hence the tabular format (the influence of a pure coder can be seen here) of all the information as well as upfront display of the most relevant pricing information, to access the full features of the site a user needs to be

Only yesterday the site was featured in one of local dailies, The Standard, I didn't get a chance to read up on what they had to say about it about it but it resulted in an increased number of signups, a source informed me that it was more then 500 people no small feat especially in a country where the number of internet users is primarily limited to office users. I guess the publicity went along way. Duke informs me that they have plans to put up Advertising banners and other features which he didn't feel he could share with me :-)

There are other websites that aim to achieve the objectives that is aiming for which should provide for healthy competition they include (available in both english and Swahili) as well as the websites run by the various brokerage firms.

I promised Duke that I wouldn't bash the site but I'd offer constructive criticism which I have channeled directlt to him, but some of the features I'd like would be:
  1. A more graphical analysis of the pattern of a particular stock with dynamic graphs. Currently the graphs are images which honestly doesn't do much for me in terms of tracking.
  2. Integration with mobile alerts. I'd like to be informed of the clsoing price of the stocks I have interest in once trading closes, this would really be useful to those guys who don't have access to a computer through out the day.
  3. Comparisons of several companies dealing in the same industry so that I can be able to make an informed decision based upon histories.
The list could go on and on, I believe these Afro-preneurs are on the right track they just need to realise that it's not a one horse race.


Duke said...

Thanks for the constructive critique on the website. It is a work in progress in many ways, though the fact is that right now, our features are way ahead of other sites featuring the NSE. And there are a few more in the pipeline.

As for the design, a lot of consideration is going into how to best rework that, as you will find that most people visiting the site are after the information, and so we have to look at how to best deliver this information with minimal effort.

All in all, keep your eyes on, as we are going places!

On another note, this is quite an interesting blog that you have over here..

Duke said...

Just a clarification... When I talked about delivering information with minimal effort, it means minimal effort on the part of the website's visitors.