Saturday, October 04, 2014

Kenyan Apps that I actually use

1. MPESA Cost Calculator

One of Kenyan's peculiar habits include sending transaction fees when transferring money to them, Never mind it is for their convenience. As the sender you bear the burden for sending withdrawal fees to the recipient.

This app calculates transaction fees for MPESA. You can download it here.


I use it to track traffic before i leave the house. It can be used to track many things like where the speed cops are, gives information on heavy traffic expected and generally what is happening on Kenyan roads. Very useful app

Download it here


Although not compatible with my phone. I used this app once but through a longer route of contacting the developers of the app.

I think if you are running a small business, this is a very useful app that you can use to run your errands cost effectively.

There are many other apps i use which are not Kenyan. I look forward to seeing more Kenyans developing apps that you can actually use for your day to day life.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How KQ can improve Customer Experience

Today my flight was late. I am not writing this post to complain about the late flight as I believe this is a common phenomenon all over the world. Rather, the missed experience for KQ to improve on its customer experience.

To be fair, the captain did finally explain the reason for the delay (about 3 hours later)

But at the boarding gate, the two ladies seemed clueless as to what time the flight would depart. Infact, they did not seem to enjoy the questioning.

Most of the time I have interacted with the KQ ground staff; they almost always seemed unbothered to explain. Infact, they almost always look bothered by your questioning.

I think this posits an opportunity for KQ to improve its customer experience while traveling with them.

KQ is always going to have delay issues, PLAN for them. That may seem like a no-brainer but to KQ it is not.

I met someone whose flight had been delayed for more than 6 hours. What did KQ expect the traveler to do? With an almost non-existent free duty area and space, KQ needs to plan an area for travellers whose flights have been delayed. It is not that traveler's fault that his/her flight had been delayed so why make it his/her problem how they would keep entertained.

It would be nice if that area had FREE wi-fi, charging areas, water, a television, FREE coffee and most importantly seating areas. A few desks would be provided for those who wished to work during the delayed period.

Maybe buying new Boeings is more important for KQ but I am sure to a passenger, good treatment from an airline when it does not keep its promise would be a better experience. 

Do you have a tip on how KQ can improve its customer experience? Please share.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Essence of Fatherhood: 6 Simple Lessons

By Leo Babauta

I've been a father for more than 21 years, and have 6 kids altogether, and have loved every messy minute of it.

And now I have a young brother who's becoming a father this month, and is deeply scared by the prospect of fatherhood. He's not sure if he'll do a good job, worried he'll fail.

I can tell him this: being a father is the scariest thing I've known in my life. All of a sudden, I was 19 and in charge of a fragile human life, so precious and dear but so flickering and easily put out. And I was completely unprepared — no class in school taught me what to do, and I had very few life lessons by that time.

It was the most terrifying experience ever. And it's been the most rewarding thing I've ever done.

More rewarding than getting married, than running an ultramarathon, than starting a successful business, than helping thousands of people change their lives through my example.

But to be honest, I sucked at it at first.

My biggest problem, apart from a dreadful lack of knowing what the hell I was doing, was a sense of entitlement. My child should do what I say, behave a certain way, grow into the person I want her to be. That's ridiculous, I now know, but it caused me all kinds of conflict in the beginning.

I now see a father not as a shaper of clay, but a herder of cats. A father isn't molding a child into the perfect ideal of a human being he'd like her to be … he's trying to keep her alive, and feel loved, as she grows into whatever she already is.

So for young men who are becoming fathers, and young women becoming mothers as well (because there's not much difference other than anatomy) … here are my thoughts on herding cats. Just know that I've violated all of these ideas repeatedly, and learned these lessons the hard way.

Your first job is to love them. And to be there for them. This is above all other duties. Of course, we need to keep them safe and fed and clothed and change their diapers — keep them alive — and that's important. But let's consider that the baseline — it's not hard to keep a child alive into adulthood. Anyone can do it with a smidgen of effort.

What's important is whether the child grows into an adult who is loved. This is trickier, because in our entitlement to having the child behave the way we want her to behave, become who we want her to become, we tend to push, to judge, to expect, to scold, to drive wedges between our heart and hers. But in the end, all of those things just get in the way of the main duty: to have her be loved.

If at the end of your life you can say that you were there for your child, and she or he felt loved, then you've succeeded.

Your example is more important than your words. We often tell the child to be considerate as we yell at him, and so he doesn't learn to be considerate but to yell (only if he's the more powerful in the relationship). When we punish, they learn how to punish and not whatever other lesson we think we're teaching. When we put them on restriction, they aren't learning to share like we think they are.

If you want the kid to grow up healthy, you should exercise and eat healthy foods. If you want the kid to find work that he's passionate about, do that yourself. If you want the kid to read, then turn off the TV and read. If you don't want the kid to play video games all day, shut off your computer.

A hug is more powerful than punishment. A hug accomplishes your main duty (to love), while punishment is the example we're setting for the kid (to punish when someone makes a mistake). When a child behaves badly, this is a mistake. Are we adults free from mistakes? Have we never been upset, never behaved badly, never given into temptation, never told a lie? If we have done any of these things, why are we judging our child for doing them, and punishing her for them?

What's more important than judging and punishing, when a child makes a mistake and behaves badly, is understanding. Empathy. Put yourself in her shoes. What would help you in that situation? Have compassion. Give a hug. Show how a good person behaves, though the example of a hug. And yes, talk about the problem, get them to understand why the behavior wasn't so great, get them to empathize with the person they've hurt, but learning to empathize must start with your example.

Trust them. Let them take risks and fail, and show them that it's OK to fail, it's OK to take risks. Don't give them the neuroses of being afraid of every little risk, of worrying constantly about safety, of making a mistake and getting punished for it. They will fail, and your reaction to that failure is more important than the failure itself. You must show them that the failure is just a successful experiment, where you learned something valuable.

If you trust them, they will learn to trust themselves. They will grow up knowing that things can go badly but trust that all will turn out OK in the end. That's a trust in life that's incredibly valuable.

Let them be who they're going to be. You aren't in control of that. You might care deeply about something but she doesn't. You might think what she cares about is trivial, but that's who you are, not who she is. Let her express herself in her way. Let her figure out things for herself. Let her make choices, mistakes, take care of her own emotional needs, become self-sufficient as early as she can.

Read with them. Play ball with them. Take walks and have talks with them. Gaze up at the stars with them and wonder about the universe. Make cookies with them. Listen to their music and dance with them. Greet them in the morning with a huge smile and a warm, tight embrace. Do puzzles together, build a robot together, get into their blanket forts, pretend to be a prince or a Jedi with them, tell them stories you made up, run around outside, draw together, make music videos together, make a family newspaper, help them start a business, sing badly together, go swimming and running and biking and play in the monkeybars and sand and jungle.

Each moment you have with your child is a miracle, and then they grow up and move away and become their own person and figure out who they are and get hurt and need your shoulder to cry on but then don't need you anymore.

And so in the end, fatherhood is being there until they don't need you to be there, until they do again. And it's not a thankless task, because they will thank you every day with their love, their presence, their smiles. What a joyful thing, to be a dad.