Monday, June 11, 2007

Business for Development: This is the right paradigm to bring about a change in the economic status of what are normally referred to as "developing countries". Being a proud, cardholding member of the developing country called Kenya I am a firm believer in this philosophy. and having witnessed the economic transformation that the country has gone through over the past 5 years I must say that there is a lot of truth in that belief.

The other day, founder of the Enablis Entrepreneurial Network said it perfectly, "development will not come from poverty alleviation, it will come from wealth creation". It is my prayer that more countries in Africa look at building their entrepreneurs and private sector as the main thrust towards national development.
Last night over dinner I had a very stimulating discussion with an icon of the computer age - John Gage. John had some very interesting ideas about how Google Earth could be used to track connectivity status of schools around Kenya.

I wasn't exactly sure how this would look or work until today when I saw how world bank is tracking the ease/difficulty of doing business across 175 countries. Check it out:

The "Doing Business Map": How easy (or difficult) is it to do business in 175 countries? is a part of The World Bank Group and offers a database to "..provide objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement. The Doing Business indicators are comparable across 175 economies. They indicate the regulatory costs of business and can be used to analyze specific regulations that enhance or constrain investment, productivity, and growth."

To make it easier to browse this database The World Bank Group has created a Google Maps mashup called the "Doing Busiess Map" which creates a map view to the the database they are providing as a service from their website. Now entrepreneurs and business people all over the world can more easily create business plans and develop their overall business strategy. It is truly a Google Maps mashup that has the potential to change the way the world operates.

Another very impressive device that I'm itching to get my hands on is the Sony Vaio UX-280p. This device belongs to the class known as Ultra-Micro PCs. It has a 4.5 inch screen, which slides upwards to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard. Coming with 1GB RAM, 40GB Hard Disk and pre-installed Windows XP and a number of productivity apps - this device is very attractive to the highly mobile proffessional. It is especially appealing to me because it means I can have two computers in my bag (main: Apple Macbook - Black, and UX280p) without the bulk, weight and inconvenience of two laptops in a bag!

Besides having Bluetooth, Wifi and WWAN (Edge Cellular Modem) as well as built in USB and Audio ports, it comes with a port replicator that provides 3 more USB ports, VGA out, Audio in/out and Ethernet. This is kinda neat because it means that while in the office, you basically can hook it up to full size screen, keyboard and mouse to get full Desktop functionality.

Palm announces "Mobile Companion" - Revolutionary new approach towards Data/Mobility for "Active" Proffessionals

In a move that has attracted both strong criticism as well as raccous applause, Palms' Jeff Hawkins announced a new approach towards Mobility and Data with the "Foleo" - a new device tagged as a "Mobile Companion" and intended to work in tandem with a Palm Treo Smartphone (either Palm or Windows Mobile OS). It was also suggested that the Foleo will shortly be able to work with smartphones running any of the other popular smartphones OS i.e. blackberry & symbian.

The Foleo has a large screen and full-size keyboard (which makes email and working with documents much easier), Wi-Fi, and an on/off button that actually does just that...instant on, instant off (i.e. no boot up).

For more details: