Monday, January 08, 2007

Embarking on a new journey

As 2006 was coming to an end I began to really consider what 2007 had for me in terms of challenges and the general direction of my career, one thing was obvious to me that is I didn't want to be in the same place I was in back in 2006 and as such I had to set things in motion to ensure that the general direction of my life was heading towards a place where I would grow.

I kept asking myself "What do you want do?" the same answer kept coming back to me "Develop applications that set trends in this part of the world by showcasing the power of the internet" I know that sounds like a line from a company mission/vision statement but it kindoff captures where I would like to be, the bottom line (money) for me at this stage seems to be irrelevant (that doesn't mean I have more money then I need), the chance to be part of something that changes the way people work, communicate or just lets them share who they are (kwangoo) is my driving force.

I had already decided that working 9am-6pm in a commercial environment wasn't the best place to be but at the end of the day bills need to be paid and even the most boring full time gig allows one to do that.

So i began networking with people who would ensure that my vision was achieved, as the year ended I met up with Al Kags(he runs a small technology startup) who contracted me to develop a web application (by the way it's still under development although the core is done) , to say he challenged me would be an understatement. At one point I thought I would crack, I had already gone past the stated timelines which can be attributed to many factors one of them being the lack of a proper understanding of the application and its objectives, It took a 4 hour sit down at a local food place to get me to understand the objectives of the application. I would eventually do a presentation at the client's premises and despite a few hiccups I managed to pull it off and then head off to the University for my final exams.

It's at that point when I realised that Al Kags was onto something, he had explained to me his vision for the company that he was heading and despite my interest i always shrugged him off since I had and still have a lot on mind. In him I saw a person who was willing to go the extra mile to do what others had obviously run away from, you rarely meet people with that kind of drive and when you do they scare you silly because they challenge you to think "outside the box" in a world where conforming to conventional ideas is the norm.

I'll leave Al Kags to explain his vision which is herculean in nature but in a nutshell it aims to change the way Kenya and Africa use the internet, if I may quote him "we must drive people to the internet and develop a culture of using the internet as an information repository.." in other words we haven't in this part of the world seen the internet as way of sharing information we basically check mail and log off and this needs to change, if applications like will grow and thrive then we need to drive people to the internet to share and contribute information.

When Al offered me a chance to be part of his team I'll admit I was practically scared shitless but I was also excited because here was a guy who saw something in me that I probably couldn't see and was willing to take a chance at working with me, It would have been foolish for me to say no, I accepted his offer without thinking of the monetary aspect (yes I did) because for me its all passion and the challenge that lies ahead.

I haven't quit my day job just yet..Billz..Billz..

I'm sure your wondering what does this mean for is my baby and it doesn't matter whether am working at "The Sweatshop" or with Al, it is something I started and I must finish even if it kills me. Even as I embark on this new journey, I must conclude all other areas that contributed to making who I am.

As I embark on this Journey with all of its challenges I pray that I am able to rise up to the occassion and be part of something that changes this continent...

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