Search Results for “music”

Google Nigeria Launches SYNC To Promote Local Content Culture

Google, between the 3rd and 5th of June, 2013, hosted industry experts from the business, content creation and entertainment communities to its SYNC Nigeria 2013 conference. The 3-day conference which brought together entrepreneurs, content creators and journalists, was aimed at enabling content creators to embrace the power of the web to grow locally relevant content online and drive monetization.

Delivering the keynote at the event, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor said the sessions are being held with a view to helping individuals from key communities better understand how to take advantage of the internet to boost content distribution. “The internet presents huge opportunities for Nigeria’s creative and content production industry. We intend to work with this community as well as others to fully harness internet tools that have proven to be very successful across the world.” she said

Some of the notable highlights of the first day of the conference included the launch of the Impact of Internet study which examines the internet’s impact on, and potential contribution to, social and economic development in Nigeria. The launch event which was held at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja had the Honourable Minister of Communication Technology, Omobola Johnson, as keynote speaker.

Other highlights included a first of its kind 12-hour online musical concert via Google+ Hangouts called Music Out of Africa. The online concert which hosted an array of top Nigerian musical acts like Dr Sid, Dipo, Emma Nyra, Pryse, Yemi Alade, Blink, Show Dem Camp, Endia 48, Temi Dollface and Nosa amongst others afforded the musicians an opportunity to bond with their fans from different parts of the world. Speaking about the online concert, Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Anglophone West Africa said, “We are excited to see our local artists engaging and socializing via Google+. The level of excitement generated is further proof that there is a global community of Nigerian content consumers who are constantly looking for fresh and entertaining content online. Our hope is that these session will further inspire our entertainers and content creators to create and share a lot more content online.”

Some of the activities of the second day included the much anticipated Data Journalism tools training for the Nigerian media and advertisers/publishers session and an e-commerce round-table session with top players in the industry.

The third day was rounded up with a dinner party on 5th of June at Civic Centre, Lagos, Nigeria.

SYNC, an acronym for Share Your Nigerian Content, is focused on to enabling content creation and distribution in Nigeria.

View loads of photos capturing the launch event here.

Tecno P3: Communication On A Budget [REVIEW]

Tecno seems to be putting up a good fight when it comes to playing in the smartphone league; that’s if the release of Tecno P3 is anything to go by. This dual SIM entry level smartphone that runs on Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread) OS has the basic features you need in a smartphone – multi-tasking, communication, connectivity – with some social features and productivity apps thrown in for good measure.

I got to use the Tecno P3 for a few days and for a phone in its price range, it definitely delivers. Here is my quick review.

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The Unboxing

The Tecno P3 comes with earphones, a detachable charger that doubles as a USB cord, 13 month warranty, battery and of course the phone itself.

Look and Feel

My first thought when I saw the Tecno P3 was, ‘hey, this looks like a cute makeup mirror.’ (That’s probably because mine came in pink) But the Tecno P3 does more than reflect things (which it actually does when the screen display is turned off). With its responsive 3.5inch capaitive touch screen display, this sleek bodied device is easy to navigate through and fits right in your palm.

Communication

When it comes to messaging and social media, the Tecno P3 gives many options. You can call or SMS (as is expected of any mobile phone), and you can set up your emails, either on the email app or using the Gmail app. Instant messaging is easy with Hi Gtalk and Yahoo Messenger and for this social media era, you have Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Instagram. There is also MMS for anyone who still uses that.

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Apps

The phone comes preloaded with a couple of apps like Whatsapp, Fruit Ninja, Gmail, Facebook, Instragram, Bible, Quran, and more you can install from the ‘Assistant’ app. Being an android device, the Tecno P3 has access to the Google Play Store where you can download and install  more apps that suit you. As a bonus, you also get the Afmobi market, Tecno’s own app store with more apps to choose from.

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Battery

Battery life is good on the Tecno P3. The 1400 mAh Li-Ion battery took me through 18 hours of browsing, messaging, calls and gaming without me having to charge it.

Memory and Media

The device comes with a 512 MB internal memory and an 8GB micro SD card. WIth that memory size, one can optimize the media functions – you can save a large amount of music, videos, photos.

Taken with the P3 (1)

Camera

The Tecno P3 has a 3 megapixel back facing camera and a 0.3 megapixel front facing camera with LED flash. It does a decent job of capturing images, although the nearer the better. While it has the option to zoom up to 4x, the quality of a pictures reduce as the zoom increases. You can also switch between camera and video mode.

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Connectivity

It has 2G, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth and USB …and you can share your internet via the WiFi hotspot!

In a nutshell

For anyone wanting to get a device with basic smart phone functionalities on a budget, the Tecno P3 is just right for you. It won’t win smartphone of the year but it definitely works as advertised. You can buy the Tecno P3 in any Tecno retailer outlet near you. It costs between N13,000 – N15,000.

P.S. Apparently, the Tecno P3 also comes pre-bundled with a 12-month special promotion from Etisalat Nigeria that offers 100MB free data bundle on purchase You can choose to either buy the Etisalat-customized version available at Etisalat Experience Centres and its partner retailers, or the uncustomized version from Tecno’s partner retailers nationwide which also  comes with the same data bundle offer as the customized version.

Jason Njoku TEDx

Learning From Founders Chapter Two: Jason Njoku’s Story

After graduating from the University of Manchester in 2005, Jason Njoku already knew paid employment was not for him. Ten failed businesses later, he was starting to have a rethink. But with a resilience that seems common in successful entrepreneurs, he kept going. You might know him for his brash demeanor, but you can’t fault his ability to yield results when it comes to internet businesses as he has shown with iROKO Partners. Between taking shots at Otekbits’ name, talking about past failures, and sharing the plans he has for SPARK, I learned more than a few things from Jason.

IT STARTED WITH…

You finished school in 2005 and you started iROKO Partners?
iROKO started in 2010. Between 2005 and 2010, I had several businesses, ten businesses in fact. They went from a t-shirt fashion brand to a student magazine; I had a web development store, I had all sorts of different weird and wonderful ideas. I had an event marketing company.

Over a 5 – 6 year period, I basically had ten failed ventures. iROKO actually started off as a side project as one of my ventures was failing at the time, so it kind of grew from a side project and just moved to become more and more of my life.

When you say failed, what’s your definition of failure? It didn’t last for long?
So, failure is when you put three years of your life, about a hundred thousand pounds and you basically get nothing back in terms of revenue or anything like that whatsoever. Failure is when you spend the year trying to do something and you still end up with nothing to show for it. Failure is failure. I think failure is relatively easy to judge – if you are in a business and you’re not making any money, then you’re a failure.

If I think of Amazon, they weren’t profitable for a long time; they don’t consider themselves a failure.
I didn’t say profitable, what I said was revenue. If you are building something, you will lose money. But if you are building something, it doesn’t have to just be like building users, it has to be building revenue at the same time. Whenever I tell the story of iROKO, it’s not the story of just us raising money, but it should be the story of how much revenue we are making. Now, in as much as I can’t disclose how much that is, if you are in the business of startups and you are not generating any revenue, then what are you? Because ultimately, a business is a business is a business, and a business survives on cash. If you are not making any cash or trying to make any cash, then you shouldn’t be in the business of doing businesses. At least as far as I’m concerned.

Now are you trying to make cash? Oh, you said you are making revenue already.
We have been. Between 2011 and 2012, we grew revenues like 400+ percent. When it comes to revenues, it’s something we just don’t play games with. I spend a significant amount of my time coaching the companies I work with to make revenue. Interesting thing actually, I wrote an article about what kind of companies SPARK will want to take on and revenue is essential. So, if you don’t understand your revenue model, if you don’t understand how you make money, and if we don’t believe you, we can’t put money in you. I don’t care if you have ten million users and no revenue, I’m not going to eat ten million users, it’s not going to fuel the gen, it’s not going to buy fancy cars, it’s not going to look after my children to be. It’s not going to do anything.

So, in 2010, iROKO started. How did that come about? What’s the real story?
In 2008, I was in Nigeria. I was in a club there and they were playing predominantly Nigerian music and I was quite surprised and I guess proud at the same time that with all the global music out there, they were playing Nigerian music and I thought, ‘hey, I wonder if people know about this in the UK.’ So, I basically bought about a hundred CDs of a variety of musicians and brought them back to the UK thinking I could just set up an online store selling Nigerian music CDs; that basically didn’t work. The first iteration of iROKO was an ecommerce store selling Nigerian music. It didn’t work for like six months but it was only a side project so it wasn’t something that was taking up too much of my time.

Then my mum asked about Nollywood movies because she used to watch them all the time. I went to a store to try and buy the movies and it was a bit of a nightmare. I’m a person who loves movies, predominantly Western ones at that point, and whenever I want to watch a movie, the first thing I do is go to IMDB, see what the latest movies are and get some basic information about them. For Nollywood movies, nothing like that existed. So, I thought, ‘how can a massive phenomenon have no one way you can find and discover movies and have no actual type of online presence?’ I thought that was ridiculous and unsustainable.

At the time, there was a lot of piracy on YouTube. Those days, YouTube’s clip restriction was about 10-15 minutes. People will take an hour movie, chop it into six parts and upload. I thought that obviously a huge community loves this stuff and there is no formal way of doing this; it just made no sense for me not to at least exploit that. So, I took it to Bastian and said we should look at doing this thing. I mentioned not having any money at the time. He said, ‘Shut up, let’s do it.’ He gave me £500 and we started looking at how to do that properly.

In the end, I had to jump on a plane and come to Lagos. Over a nine month period, I came to Lagos two different times and on the third occasion, I moved to Lagos. Then in December 2010, we launched Nollywood Love on YouTube, which is the first legal presence of Nigerian movies online ever. We were one of the first Africans to be part of YouTube’s partnership program which is quite wide spread now, but it was very rare then. I guess I was fortuitous that we were at the right place at the right time.

How many people before Bastian did you talk to about your idea?
I was never part of the Manchester or London Nigerian community so it was strange to people for me to start telling people that I was thinking about doing this Nollywood movie thing and that I was thinking of going back and forth to Nigeria. They thought it was a bit crazy and more importantly, I had failed consistently for five and a half years so there was no reason for them to believe me anymore.

I spoke to the friends that I had and they said, ‘Hey, good luck. We’re not giving the money but good luck.’ Again, luck does not do you anything. It’s good to have but if you don’t have cash as well then you’re fucked.

I’m just happy Bastian believed in me at the end of the day. I had pitched different ideas to the same people on so many occasions and it all had failed. Why will they have ever thought that this one would be the one to amount to anything? I spoke to some of my Nigerian friends, they just weren’t interested.

What was the relationship between you and Bastian?
We were roommates in school. We lived together over a couple of years while we were in the university. He left Manchester in 2006 while I graduated in 2005 but stayed on for another four years. We wouldn’t see each other but we would always talk on the phone. We were good friends and he was always interested in what I was doing.

He invested in one of my first business which he lost all his money on. I say invested because he was a student at the time and he invested his time and a few hundred pounds. When the iROKO thing came up, it started with £500 then I came back to him for more money and over the course of the year, I probably came back to him like fifty times and it was for small amounts. Then one day, it was over thirty thousand pounds and he told me, ‘Jason, you’re not getting any more money.’

Then we were seeing some progress on some fronts and in the end, he said if we are going to do this thing, we should do it properly. He liquidated his life savings and just said, ‘Jump in the plane, go and live in Nigeria and figure this thing out.’ Only your best friend will do that.

ON PAID EMPLOYMENT

It just sounds like you were a ‘kept man’ with someone taking care of you and in this case, it was Bastian. What were you bringing to the table, minus iROKO being your brain child?
So, I’m smart and I obviously have the personality. I could have gone out and easily gotten a good job.

Why didn’t you?
The thing is, I want to be rich and I was ready to brutalize myself for that. Some people say ‘get rich or die trying’, that was me. I was like I’m going to change the world, I’m going to make my dent in the universe, I’m going to make so much money and the only way for me to do that is to focus on big things which I thought will yield big returns.

A lot of people who go into entrepreneurship think ‘I’ll do this for six months and see what’s going on,’ I was just like ‘I’m doing this!’ So in that period of time, I took small jobs, but I never stayed for long. I actually made a commitment to myself. I would get so broke that I’d have no money, no food. I was homeless for nine months. I could have gone back home, but I decided that going back to my mom was not the way real men earned their straps. You stay where you are and make things happen.

For me, at any point in time I could have stopped and given up. But once I give up and I start getting a salary, to disconnect yourself from getting a salary is quite a difficult thing. I think salary is cancer to an entrepreneur

BUILDING THE TEAM

When iROKO first started out, it was just you and Bastian? You came back to Nigeria and started talking to distribution channels?
Bastian only joined the company early this year.

How did you convince him to do that?
A boatload of VC money and I said, ‘Look, we are trying to build one of the most valuable properties in Africa. We have a big head start; we are obviously winning’, and I said, ultimately, I needed him. I am a big vision, big sort of talking type guy and Bastian is more detailed oriented and tends to be more operations focused. He is the complete opposite of me so together we make an amazing team. I’m sure by myself, iROKO probably would have spun out of control. I kind of explained to him that it won’t end with iROKO; it would be more like what I’m doing with Spark and so many other things I am interested in doing.

Let’s go back to the first few days when iROKO started. Talking to people, making connections. Who helped you start off? Did you do everything yourself or was it contract staff you got to help?
For the first year, in most of 2010, I did it myself. Everything. I had like six screens, I was sitting in my cousin’s house in London. Eight hours a day, I’ll just stare at the screens; I spent obscene amounts of time just sitting there trying to figure things out. I think I was scarily ambitious.

In the beginning, it wasn’t contact staff; I pulled in people as I needed them. When we launched Nollywood Love, it was me and like six people working at my apartment in Festac. Over six months, it was me and 45 people. At the end of day it’s me and 100 people. We’ve grown and shrunk the business accordingly depending on the nature of the work we have to do.

And again, bringing online the digital assets of 15 years – and we are talking about text, visual, audio and video – bringing it all from all the different formats is not a lean, four guys in a room type of thing. It needs bodies to get that done.

Jason (screens)

Do you handpick all these people?
I’m a terrible interviewer. Literally it’s one interview and if I like you…there are two criteria for me. First: are you stupid? If you are stupid, then you can’t work with me. If you are not stupid then we give you a chance. So, if you are smart, if you can string some sentences together, I’m good. And second: do you want a job or do you want to come in and work for me? Can you believe in what I’m actually trying to do? Anyone who has interviewed with me knows that I’d have an interview and at the end of the interview, I’ll make you an offer. I’m just that kind of person; I don’t have the patience for that long ‘getting to know company culture’ and the rest of that stuff.

And co-founders, are they necessarily important?
It depends on the kind of business but I think usually co-founders are. You need someone to share in the pain. It’s horrible to start up. Running a business is not easy, you think it’s all kinds of glitz and glamor, most of it is just really boring stuff. You’d be horrified how much time I spend on admin

ON STARTING OUT

So you moved back to Nigeria and started this. What you did basically was bring Nigerian movies online with a partnership from YouTube and that was it?
Simplest thing. The issue with the partnership was actually a very difficult thing to get. I was trying to get it for three months and I just couldn’t so, again, in steps my angel Bastian and he said he knew someone who is the largest independent film distributor in Germany. We reached out to this guy and spoke to him, told him we were trying to contact someone from YouTube and asked if there was any way he could help us. He was kind enough to listen to me and hooked us up with someone from YouTube. Once I showed them the data of what people were actually doing on YouTube with the pirated stuff, they got really excited. So my original YouTube partnership, even though there was a Google in Nigeria and in the UK, was with Google in Germany. We got the contract on a Tuesday, by Sunday, I jumped in a plane and moved to Nigeria. It was like that was what we were waiting for.

What was the hard part in this? The technology?
The technology was easy. Getting the licenses was the most difficult.

How long did that take?
We launched with 200 movie licenses in December. It took me the best part of eight months just to figure the licensing piece out. We had to deal with the complexity of not trying to get fucked over. The whole iROKO business is basically built on a stack of legal notices and this is not the most respected thing in Nigeria. So we had to make sure that we could protect ourselves from that. It’s called a fuckability factor.

So, we were very aggressive. We were very content focused in a world where no one valued content. The biggest innovation we brought to Nigerian media space is that we value content more than anybody else. And when I say we value content, we pay for Nollywood content more than anybody. We pay more than DSTV for content because we value it. We have almost forced them to increase their content cost by hundreds of percentile just to catch up with us. Our biggest fear is DSTV because ultimately, they have eight channels dedicated to Nollywood type content.

I would think that your target audience are not in Nigeria
Today. There is a tomorrow, and tomorrow usually looks a lot like today. There was a DVD market in the US, we just destroyed that basically. Seventy percent of their market just disappeared in like a year. Do you honestly think if we had like 5,000 free movies online and you had a fast internet connection, you’d go out and…

But that would take us a while, getting the fast internet connection.
Absolutely. But the strangest thing about progress is that it always seems slow until its not. Ten years ago, no one had a mobile phone. Now, everyone’s got a mobile phone or two. I think, lets see how the next 3 – 5 years looks like. And the interesting thing is that iROKOtv is what, 17 months old? It’s a very young business. Let’s see what it looks like in like 5 years’ time.

And you are going to stay strictly online? You’re not going to try and compete with DSTV directly in their space?
Last year, I actually looked at how we could get into TV. I’m a big fan of TV. We looked at acquiring a TV channel in the US and in the UK, we even spoke to StarTimes at the. In the end, we looked at the space and we thought they’d have to come and beat us where we are. With TV, it’s more difficult; there are lots of gate keepers and I don’t like gate keepers. So, our concern today is not DSTV or trying to compete with DSTV. Our concern is to make sure that we are so awesome that they will have to somehow find a way to deal with us.

I think Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, said recently that HBO will end up having to look like Netflix because they have to go online, they have to mobile, they have to do these things. So he wants to look more like HBO in terms of his content deals and his strategy before HBO ends up looking more like Netflix. In the end, do you honestly believe in ten years’ time that people will be using mobiles and internet to watch TV programming? Of course they will. Will we need to go back and be on TV or will we need to be on every device? I think as long as it many seem, things move much more faster than we usually think.

ON FUNDING

When did you start having other people minus Bastian investing in you?
So, Bastian put his money in. It wasn’t enough. Then we met with the Tiger Global guys and the first raise was $3 million, then $5 million. We announced $8 million as a big number because we did not want people to know yet that we had raised the money. By the time we announced it, it was game over already.

How did Tiger Global get to hear about you?
They read about us from Sarah Lacy on TechCrunch. When she came, we had grown beyond my apartment, we had about forty people, we were doing fifty thousand dollars a month in revenue so we were actually profitable when she came.

So why did you need funding?
The difference between a business that does $1 million in revenue and a business that can quickly grow to doing tens of millions of dollars in revenue usually is funding. So, to open up our global office base is not an easy thing. To hire the sort of people we need is very difficult. I think you’ll be hard pressed to find any actual big consumer internet companies that haven’t taken funding.

You spoke about having revenue models, what’s yours?
Too much money, that’s our revenue model. As much money from where ever we can. We have revenue from our advertising business, both display and video. We have direct relationships with different advertisers, locally and globally. At the moment,I have an ad sales team in Johannesburg, Lagos, New York and London where we are just trying to make money from advertising. We have a subscription business based out of New York. We launched iROKOtv PLUS in July 2012 and, to get access to brand new movies, you basically pay $5 a month.

LET’S TALK SPARK

So you took VC money, started your company, made money and now you are putting money into other companies
It’s the circle of life. But they are very separate things, there is no iRoko money in SPARK. SPARK is a completely different thing.

Whose money is in SPARK?
My money, Bastian’s money, my wife’s money and we have a private individual who is interested in giving us some money as well.

How do you find these people interested in giving you money? Or do they find you?
Rich people like to do business with rich people. I learned that the hard way. That is the reason why the world is what it is. Social mobility is dead. Three years ago, if I wanted to raise $1000, I would struggle. Now, I can make a few phone calls and raise a million dollars just because it’s me. I think what has changed: Ten failures, One success.

Let’s go back to SPARK
SPARK is my pension.

You know, I was thinking, it wasn’t like you started iROKO cos you absolutely loved Nollywood movies. Fine, you loved movies but the driving force, to me, was the need to make money.
No, it’s not need. I don’t even like money. The strange thing about me is that I have no interest in how to spend money. I’m sure if you look around, I wear the same things over and over again. I have no care for fashion, I have a thing for Range Rover cars but beyond that, I genuinely don’t care about most things. I care about building. There is just something beautiful about building things. So, I work every single day, I read reports, I look at stock charts. I’m just interested in the business of business. iROKO was an interesting business opportunity I thought I could exploit, and I guess SPARK is like a similar big gamble.

It’s not much of a gamble
A million dollars put down into about twenty unsubstantiated teams is a big gamble. If it wasn’t, why is everyone not doing it?

These COMPANIES you brought together, they are different people who own all of them?
I have been sort of half advising. I’m very active online, I advise people all the time.Whether you want my advice or not, I will give it to you. So, these are guys I felt had the potential to be the next generation of like internet beasts. Interesting ideas, interesting teams; they just needed a little bit of mentorship and some money. And I think that’s pretty much what we bring to the table.

So each company is owned by different people?
Somethings we have created ourselves because we thought it was an interesting space so we kind of built a small team for that. A lot of the bigger businesses we are putting more money into are businesses that existed before. Take hotels.ng for example, he was there for a year and we thought he needed to move faster with somethings and we could help him.

The idea was really simple, it was just like: you didn’t have the idea quite right, but I like your hustle. I think with the idea quite right and just some strategic advice on a non-frequent basis, you could build something pretty awesome. That’s pretty much it – strategically helping them get a framework for their ideas and just make sure they are well funded.

And its only technology companies you are taking on?
Yeah

Why do they have names like that? Why is it Drinks or Bus or To Let? Why not some brand name like Kuluya?
When you see Insured, what do you think it is? If you are going to build a brand, the most important thing is that people get you. A lot of startups have some pretty stupid names. I think you should try where possible to improve your chances of success and sometimes the name looks after that.

I think iROKO Partners is a shit name. I was telling Bastian I want to rebrand it to just iROKO. iROKO Partners with what? It sounds like a private equity firm or something. I think simple things like stupid names have a massive impact. If you call up like Nigerian Breweries and say I’m from Drinks.ng, understandable. If you go to pitch your hotel to get some direct relationship and you say you are from Hotels.ng, understandale. If you talk to insurance companies and you say you’re calling from Insured.ng, you get it. if you call yourself a christian dating community then Christians.ng…

Its still vague. It sounds like a group of Christians coming together
But what is it? The whole point of the dating site is: you want like minded Christian individuals to come together. You don’t want strippers and prostitutes on there.

So, as opposed to me thinking it was you guys being lazy, its really you keeping it simple?
Brutally simple.

The whole point of SPARK is to give other businesses a structure?
No, just to give it cash. We write checks; our edge is access to funding.

IN RETROSPECT

What would you tell your 2005 self?
I would have told my younger self, go straight to the internet. Don’t waste your time on anything else. I have no interest in anything else other than internet or technology. Not banking, not oil. I would be a terrible banker and a terrible oil executive. Internet is the thing. Go to the internet!

Everything Announced At The Google I/O 2013 Keynote

Big day for Google yesterday as 6,000 developers were the event center, while 1,000,000 joined live via YouTube for the 3-hour I/O 2013 keynotes.  Many announcements were made ranging from Search, Google+, to Maps, and having surfed the web, we’ve stumbled on a  very handy compilation from TNW so you can catch up and make sure you haven’t missed anything.

Google announces 900 million Android activations, 48 billion apps downloaded

  • there have been more than 900 million Android activations in total
  • 48 billion apps have been downloaded on Android
  • 2.5 billion apps are installed every month

Google’s new App Translation service lets developers get pro localization services right in Console

  • developers will now be able to request their apps to be translated directly in the Developer Console, making the process easier and faster

Google announces beta testing and staged rollouts to help app developers pilot new features

  • a new feature for developers will facilitate alpha testing within apps
  • the feature allows developers to pick a percentage of users that will get an update, in order to alpha test it, before sending it out to the rest of the users

Google announces Android Studio: An IDE built just for Android developers

  • an integrated developer environment, set to replace Eclipse, has been announced. It will be called Android Studio.
  • Google also announced cloud messaging will be integrated into the platform
  • the aim behind Studio is to help developers be faster and more productive

Cross-platform Google Play games services unveiled with cloud saving, achievements and multiplayer

  • a new set of APIs have been released, targeted at game developers specifically
  • the games platform will allow users to save their progress on the cloud, meaning they can leave and pick up from different devices
  • leaderboards will be created, linked with users’ Google+ accounts and permitting friends to connect in particular circles

Google Cloud Messaging now supports persistent connections, upstream messaging, and notification sync

  • Google Play services will now have Cloud Messaging (GCM) integration
  • persistent connections, upstream messaging and notification synchronisation are all additions that will be brought to the service
  • Google revealed it is sending 200,000 push messages every second, or 17 billion messages a day

Google reveals unlocked Samsung Galaxy S4 running stock Android, coming to Google Play for $649 on June 26

  • a version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 running the Nexus OS has been revealed
  • the phone will be sold via Google Play from June 26 at $649 a piece

New Google Play Music All Access subscription service at $9.99/mo with 30 day trial available in US today

  • Google is launching a new music streaming service
  • the service will cost you $9.99 per month, or $7.99 if you take a subscription by June 30. There is also a free 30-day trial period
  • songs will be updated according to user tastes and preferences, and songs can be removed from playlists with a simple swipe motion

Google Play for Education: Google goes after Apple’s K-12 stranglehold with cheap apps, tablets

  • Google has announced a store aimed at, and curated for, young children
  • the Google Play for Education will have apps sorted by age and genre
  • Administrators of accounts will be able to push out apps to multiple devices in one go

Google is giving a free Chromebook Pixel to all I/O attendees

  • all attendees of this morning’s keynote were told they would be receiving a free Chromebook Pixel

Google announces 41 new Google+ features including Pinterest-like card-based Stream

  • Google+ is getting 41 new features affecting the Stream, Hangouts and Photos sections
  • Stream is getting a new, multi-column design, which will be going live today, though if you do not like the new layout you will be able to go back to single-column view
  • one of the new features will let you click on pictures to flip them over and reveal related pictures under the same hashtag. Users will be able to opt their pictures out of the feature

Google+ Photos gets automatic photo combiner and Gif maker Auto Awesome

  • Auto Awesome is a new feature that automatically combines pictures together in order to create new ones
  • it will be able to create gifs by linking multiple images with each other
  • it will also have an automatic panorama option, creating panoramic photos from pictures taken side by side

Google launches Hangouts, a new unified, cross-platform messaging service for iOS, Android and Chrome

  • Hangouts is a new messaging service that replaces the current multiple services Google offers
  • it has launched today and is available as an app for iOS, Android and Chrome
  • in Hangouts you can start one-on-one or group conversations.

Google’s new Google+ photo features: 15GB full-size storage, Auto Highlight, Auto Enhance and more

  • new features were announced for photos on Google+, notably that you will now get 15GB free storage for full-size pictures, as well as unlimited space for standard resolution images
  • an Auto Highlight feature will automatically decide which of your pictures are the best and put them at the forefront
  • Auto Enhance will automatically make your pictures the best they can be with some smart editing

Google previews next version of Google Maps for iOS and Android, including an iPad app coming this summer

  • over 1 million sites use Google Maps
  • a new version of the app, to run on the iPad, was teased
  • the new version will incorporate a new suggestion engine to help you find relevant places nearby
  • it will also have life traffic incident reporting and re-routing features

Google unveils new Google Maps for desktop with unified imagery, new interface, live 3D and more

  • the desktop version of Google Maps is getting a new version, that includes an improved interface, imagery and services unification, and more a personalised experience
  • this new version of maps will be tailored to individual users, using the same data Google Now employs
  • images from Google Earth, Street View and special projects will all be available from one place
  • WebGL is used to augment the new views and produce a more interactive and detailed imagery

Google CEO Larry Page speaks at I/O about competition and negativity in innovation

  • CEO Larry Page shared some personal stories up on stage, as well as his views on the importance of technology
  • he also went on about the products are being created at Google, and the drawbacks of negativity

Learning From Founders Chapter One: Sim Shagaya’s Story

Eons ago, I mentioned that I will be sharing Nigerian technology founders’ stories here. My first founder is Sim Shagaya, founder of DealDey, Konga (both strong contenders in the Nigerian ecommerce space) and E-motion Advertising.

In this interview, we discuss starting up a technology business in Nigeria, the competition, funding, building a team, and the future of technology (among other things). Because I’m nice, I snuck in a few Easter eggs in the MP3 recording of our conversation.

There is an edited transcript below and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed putting it together. (I’d like to know if you did …or didn’t)

IN THE BEGINNING

You have E-motion, DealDey and Konga. How did it all start?
The first business was E-motion, that started in 2007. I was much younger and I didn’t know as much as I know now. I have always been intrigued by technology so back then, I probably was spending much more time just sort of browsing and reading than I do now, while now I just spend more time sort of doing. I think like many young entrepreneurs today, you are just trying to figure out what you want to do and trying to understand your environment so you don’t make too many mistakes. But I do know that even now, even though, there is lots more work and many more challenges and the things we are building are kind of in the lime light so if you fail, you fail in front of everyone. In spite of all these things, I’m a much happier person now.

Why were you qualified to start a business?
I really wasn’t. I had tried to start a dating site called Alarena, I tried to start a job site called Job Clan, I tried to start a classified site called Gbogbo. I tried to do all these things and they just weren’t working. The timing was just wrong. And then of course a streaming media business called iNollywood, and all these things were just way ahead of their time.

And now that’s what everybody is doing.
Yeah, I know. I think part of it is just reading the times as much as finding the opportunity. Anyways, after all these things, I literally was at a point where I was like, ‘Okay, I’m just going to go back to school, get a PhD and teach, and I’m done.’ But at the time, I had a wife and a child and I was like ‘okay, I need some kind of income stream’, so I figured that billboards were like real estate business, you build something and then you just charge rent. So, I wanted to set up a couple of them in Abuja and this would just be kind of my income stream. I put up two digital billboards in Abuja, and what was supposed to be ‘set this up and then have somebody kinda manage the cash flow so I could go back to school’ (I had started applying to universities) just quickly grew.Very very quickly and I couldn’t finish my application. So here I am.

You started this many businesses, but I have never heard of you having a cofounder. Do you have one of those?
Yeah, in E-motion, I definitely did. I had one and I think it helps. I don’t think anyone can do this sort of stuff alone and even for Konga, I don’t have one, not for not looking for one. I looked for one pretty hard but I didn’t end up finding. But that said, there are about two or three colleagues of mine that I must give credit to that were here from the beginning when it was just four of us in a room with diapers stacked. I mean in some sense, I had those co-founders, but just in a very different kind of way.

Konga Day 1

Konga’s first day

ON COMPETITION

I keep on trying to separate DealDey from Konga.
Yeah, many people do.

How do you draw the line between two separate companies that seem to offer similar things?
There is a Chinese wall between the two, and they are both kids. Let the kids compete. They even compete on some level.

I noticed that. How can you compete with yourself?
They are different retailers and even in brick and mortar retail, you have a high street retailer and you have the discount, out of the way outlet mall. They are both tools for brands so if you are Ralph Lauren, you sell high street and what you can’t liquidate on the high street, you pass off to the outlets to kind of get your capital back.

You have deals on both Konga and DealDey, how does that work?
I think one of the big drivers of ecommerce is the savings that you get. So, whereas DealDey is really fashioned around the discounting experience, Konga looks at discounts more as promotions. The other really big difference between them is, if you are familiar with TV shopping  like the home shopping network, DealDey is more like that kind of retail. TV shopping is a potent form of retail where you have one thing, this is what it is, 20 people have bought, call and buy. And I think for Nigeria, Dealdey sort of fills that space of TV shopping. The other thing about DealDey is that it is discovery commerce. You don’t come there looking for something, there’s no search tool even. You come there and you’re like ‘uh, wow, that’s interesting’ versus the Konga retail experience where you are actively looking for something.

When you think of the competition in any of your businesses, do you take steps to actively combat them?
Competition on some level serves a purpose. It sometimes brings out the best in you and it also forces you to distill what is most important to you. Competition in the outdoor space was completely different from this life I am living now. In the outdoor space, when you have a billboard, you have monopoly on that radius. But I think that for us here, we have had to kind of get very comfortable about where we are going and why we are doing this.

We look at competition but only from the point of view of ‘how can we make things better for our customers’. I don’t think you can live as a hermit and ignore everybody else, but we try not to be reactive or let competition drive what we are doing because what will end up happening is that some of the good things you are doing, you will undo to try and copy somebody. I think everybody has to chart their own way.

That said, I think the best businesses, the greatest businesses that have been built in Nigeria, whether they are MTN or DSTV, across all sectors, its always been very strong collaboration between a very well aligned and incentivized local team and very capable foreign expertise. There are some exceptions to that but I think by and large, if you look at the banking sphere for example, the purely foreign operations are at the margin and I think that speaks to the fact that you have to have this close collaboration between local and foreign and it cant be collaboration just on an employee level, it has to be collaboration in the fact that if this enterprise, this journey goes well, everybody shares in the spoils. And that’s why we’ve set aside 10% of the equity of this business for employees, they are all aware of that so as you join, after six months, you are evaluated and you’re given a grant. There are many people now who are shareholders. What is the point if only one person does well?

What is your take on advertising?
There are different forms of advertising and you have to do all. You have to do digital, you have to do banner, you have to do radio, you have to do TV. We are doing all of them, but the most important form of advertising is word of mouth.

BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER

I have noticed three things that stand out for ecommerce businesses: the technology, the logistics and the client relationship. So far, you seem to have the last two on lock, but I’m not so sure about the technology, especially for Konga aesthetically. What’s going on there?
Really? Well, it’s going through vast improvements. We are constantly iterating and releasing. I mean, I think we have had to learn a lot of this stuff and I think another thing with me technologically is that we didn’t buy an out of the box platform like Magento. We are building this thing, and while this is an advantage, it looks like we are slow out the gates in the beginning. It’s like Usain Bolt that the first ten meters, he is slow and then he starts building up. But that said, I think the technology is about to increase and improve rapidly.

All from local talent?
Yeah, local. And we work with Indians. We are going to be doing some really interesting things with interfaces over the next few weeks. Really really interesting things.

How do you balance all your businesses with your personal life? Where do you find time for you?
Well, I love what I do so for me, it’s back to this work/life balance thing. While I’m here, I don’t really feel like this is work, it’s just life. The other thing about me is that I really value my family. Without them, you can’t really get very far. When I’m not here, I’m at home.

I guess it helps that you have people on ground that help you?
Exactly. That’s the biggest part. That’s the most difficult part of my job. How do you find the best people you can find?

How do you find them?
You look for them everywhere you can find them. Some of the people have come to us. You go give a talk at TED and somebody runs up to you afterwards and says ‘I have to join you’. A number of people have said they have to join us and some people have joined us from competition, we’ve not poached one person. Also, we interview here for head, intellect, as well as heart. This has to be somebody I can spend a lot of time with and whose heart is really passionate about what we are doing. Beyond that, there are other things you have to do. We’ve been to INSEAD, reached out to MIT, some of these schools to try and pull Nigerians back and motivate people to come back. It’s a lot of work. There is also a bit of frog kissing.

Yeah, till you find the right ones. So, you’ve had bad experiences with people?
In the minority, yes of course. Not because they are bad people but just because they didn’t quite understand the scope or the scale of the wok or the energy required. They didn’t just really kind of understand it.

Is there any minimum requirement to join your team? You mentioned you went looking at INSEAD and MIT, and those are top schools.
We have also been to Lagos Business School at the career fair. We are going to be touching Yabatech and Unilag. I think one of the key things about businesses that we are building is that it can’t just be populated by Ivy Leaguers, there is a role for everybody here – for the repatriates, for the expatriates, for the Nigerians.

When you started these businesses, aside the need to make money and sustain yourself and your family, what were the other driving forces?
It’s what I enjoy. It’s what I’m good at. Some people play the violin, some people run, some people play football. I like tech, I like building tech businesses. It just makes me happy. And then also I think it’s about leaving a mark and about helping our community and Konga is taking that direction.

Because we have a pool of people who want to go into technology entrepreneurship too and they just don’t know how to go about it, do you have any advice for people who want to startup?
I think there are some basic things you need and then everything from there – school, your environment, whether you went to some Ivy League institution or not – all of those are secondary. I think the primary thing is hard work. You have to be willing to work harder than you think you can; you have to be willing to push yourself beyond the limits that you think you can physically push yourself to.

I also genuinely believe be good to people. Be good to your investors and your friends, and your family and those around you because all too often, I have found good luck, or some will call it karma, but I think its just when you try and be good to people around you, roads open and somehow, goodwill just comes to you.

And be willing to fail again and again and again and again and let the only bloody constant about you be your stubborn willingness to just get up again and again and again and if you fall yet one more time, get up again.

I was wondering how you could have started like five things before and they all sort of failed
I learned something from each, every single one. There is not one I didn’t learn a lesson from. You just have to keep getting up. And have no ego. I think half the time we don’t come out and farm under the sun because we are afraid of what people will say if we fail. But if you don’t fear what people say, then, i mean, look at Elon Musk. That’s what I love about that guy. Not only does he build businesses, he goes after the most daring goals. I mean, who tries to build an electric car company and a space company at the same time. And then he does it but more than that, when those rockets take off, the whole world is watching your work and the dragon spacecraft exploded three times. Seriously, it was on the forth time it got to orbit. Three times! And the whole world is watching and you do it again and it explodes again and you do it again and each attempt is tens of millions of dollars. He took all of his savings from PayPal and put into that thing, everything. At one point, he was borrowing money from friends. Everything he made from PayPal, he would have lost. He literally would have become like me and you from being worth like hundreds of millions of dollars, and not because he lost it in an alimony battle in a bitter divorce or because somebody robbed you, but you yourself, you took your own money to go and do something that seemed like a pipe dream.

I guess that’s another quality you have to have. You guys have to be crazy.
You have to be. Going back to Elon, he describes entrepreneurship as staring down a chasm, chewing glass, and in many ways, it feels like that. Like last year, at the beginning of Konga and what was happening in the competitive landscape, and the noise, people were telling me ‘don’t do it, don’t go, these people are too strong.’ There are moments when you think ‘maybe I shouldn’t’, but you go, you just have to go.

ON FUNDING AND PROFITABILITY

I know you’d have made  money from the businesses you owned before, but Konga and DealDey are funded right?
Yes.

By the same people?
No. different people.

So who has DealDey and who has Konga?
Dealdey is myself and Kinnevik of Sweden. Konga is myself and Kinnevik and Naspers. Naspers are amazing. We knocked on every door to find money, we couldn’t find but Naspers came to us.

Has there been any one moment when you felt you were going to lose it all?
No matter how good your intentions are and how strong you think you are, you need funding in this game. I think the biggest time of anxiety came when, at a certain time after our first round of funding, we had started exhausting it but we had to keep accelerating. It’s like you see a cliff but you have to just have faith that when you get to that cliff, a bridge or a ramp will appear. And Naspers came through. Of course, when your team sees you, you look like nothing is worrying you but between October 2012 and January 2013, I grew quite a few gray hairs.

Are you profitable yet?
No.

How long do you think in your estimation?
It depends on competitive dynamics and how quickly Nigeria as an environment grows but I think profitability will probably come in 3-5 years.

ON THE YOUNGER GENERATION …AND THEN SOME

Young Nigerians, like folks in their 20s, I think you guys are really amazing! My generation has nothing on you guys, you are so creative, so daring, you don’t care about government. Look at the music and the creativity and the energy, look at what you guys are doing. It’s amazing.

So there are people you look up to, like mentors, but are there people who look up to you? Do you have any people you mentor?
I think those relationships are important without explicitly making them sort of a give and take.

I know that you love your work and its part of you and what you do, but minus ecommerce and technology, what other things interest you?
Hmm, I like poetry, I read a lot of poetry, like a lot. I used to write a lot but now with Konga and KPIs…I love tech. I love nanotechnology, just futurism and what will be. When I think of Konga, I think of 20-30 years from now when there are robotic vehicles delivering things. I think that’s where we are going to go, like all these Google automated vehicle technologies are going to work. Yeah, I love technology.

Jumia Nigeria Gets Verified On Twitter, Right After Konga

We broke the story of Konga getting verified and one of my followers on twitter was quick to respond that Jumia will add that to it’s to-do list, and it seem that has just happened as Jumia Nigeria is also now verified on twitter making it the second brand to be verified in Nigeria, joining the elite list of Nigerian twitter users – usually music and movie artist.

Jumia Nigeria is pretty excited about the news

Other interesting tweets on the news:

 

Gadget Craze? Things To Consider Before Buying Your Next

The average Nigerian in this generation (who can afford to be) is gadget crazy, owning something close to three gadgets and still intending to acquire more. You wonder why? We are brilliant, we are smart, and we like good things. I have heard it said that we are a consumer nation – one that imports almost everything we use – and I begin to wonder, if we actually produced these gadgets, would we be this crazy about them?

Picture this: a lady sits in front of her laptop holding a Samsung Galaxy S3 in one hand and a BlackBerry Bold 5 in another hand, a Nikon smart camera hangs around her neck and in the handbag beside her, an iPad is slightly exposed. All these are connected to the internet via the MiFi device in her pocket. Yet, she is thinking about getting the new BlackBerry Q10. The question is: do we buy gadgets because we love playing with some new gizmo or are we just showing off?

A quick one for the seemingly rational person who has a coordinated strategy when acquiring these devices, you might have wondered if there are any tips that can help in deciding what new gadget to get. Depending on the gadgets you already own and the needs driving you to purchase the new gadget being considered, the answer is yes.

So we start by considering the basic uses these gadgets have. Off the top of my head, I would mention internet access on the go, productivity tools, communication, music, videos, ebook readers, camera, and gaming. In addition to these functions, other things to consider will be: having great battery life, taking clear pictures and having good storage. When choosing a second (or third or fourth gadget), you should ask if the new gadget makes up for a lack of one of these basic functions in your current device.

[READ]: A Sneak Peek At The Samsung GALAXY S4 by Jesse Oguns

It is also necessary to ask whether these gadgets are assets, liabilities or potential security threats. Remember the lady from before, all her gadgets might be considered assets if she can monitor and improve her business because of them. Conversely, they could become liabilities if all they do is tie down finances that could have been invested more adequately. They could also be security threats – this show of ‘luxury’ could attract the wrong kind of attention, exposing the owner as a prime target for criminals and putting both owner and device(s) at risk. Let’s not talk about the adverse emotional, financial and psychological effects a loss of one or more of these devices, due to theft or carelessness, could have on the owner.

Lest I forget, I am of the opinion that we as a technology participatory economy, will thrive better if we had the concept of “trade-ins” introduced and flourishing. A typical trade-in process, would involve returning your current gadget, in the form of a technical sale. After due evaluation has been done, you can add some extra amount to pick up the newer device you want. This will also prevent devices from just piling up because it provides an option for effective disposal, with a bonus to boot.

If you have ideas or tips regarding the ideal number of gadgets an individual should own, or the larger topic about the craze for mobile gadgets in this generation, please share in a comment below.

Experience Smart Life With TECNO Qwerty Smartphone Q1

TECNO Q1 is a great smartphone for users that want the comfort of a QWERTY keypad, the smartness of a 2.6-inch super-sensitive touchscreen, the high speed of 3.5 network, the excitement of an Android 4.0-powered mobile operating system, the power of 1GHz CPU, and the flexibility of a Dual SIM phone.

Endless Possibilities

The Q1 comes pre-installed with great apps such as Facebook, Gmail, Yahoo Messenger, Google Maps, WhatsApp and PalmChat. And the best part? It also gives you access to over 800,000 amazing applications through the Google Play Store. With the Q1, the possibilities are truly endless.

Innovative Sharing

Another innovation from TECNO is Flash Share. The Flash Share app comes preinstalled with the Q1 and enables you to transfer music, pictures, videos and other files from one TECNO smartphone to another –without Bluetooth or internet connection… even without a SIM card.

With Flash Share, you can send or receive any file of any size to multiple TECNO smartphones at the same time.

Touch It. Type it.

With the Q1, you get the best of both worlds. Typing is now faster with the comfortable and well-spaced QWERTY keyboard. Also, the 2.6” capacitive touchscreen enables you to still enjoy all your favorite touchscreen apps and games.

screen

Face-to-Face Communication

Equipped with a 5.0MP back camera + flash and a 0.3MP Front Camera, the Q1 is the perfect device for face-to-face video chats with friends via Skype.

The Ultimate Productivity Tool

Would you like to work on the go? The Q1 gives you instant access to multiple email addresses, a document reader and voice-enabled search functionality. It also comes with a task scheduler, memo, voice recorder, FM radio and dictionary.

side

Power to do More

The Q1 is a powerful device. With a 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM , 4GB Internal and 8GB (up to 32GB) Micro-SD external storage, a 1450mAh battery providing a standby time of up to 120 hours and talk time of up to 3.5 hours, you’ve got enough firepower in your hands. Now you can take control.

Other Features

The TECNO Q1 contains other cool, useful features such as Wireless Hotspot, GPS, Light Sensor, G-sensor and Proximity Sensor, etc.

A Sneak Peek At The Samsung GALAXY S4 [REVIEW]

The Samsung Galaxy S4 launched with fanfare in New York on Thursday, March 14, 2013. With this launch, Samsung brought the battle to Apple’s turf causing Apple to react by putting new ads explaining the excellent features that exist on the iPhone 5 in a bid to stay competitive.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 has had mixed reviews from technology bloggers. I was able to play with the phone for two days.

With a 5” size, screen resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixel and 441 ppi density, the Samsung Galaxy S4 has a huge spec bump when compared with the Galaxy S3 that has 720 x 1280 pixel, 4.8” and 306 ppi pixel density.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes with latest Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. This software upgrade is the distinguishing feature of the S4. Some of the magic you can perform with it are:

Samsung WatchON - Connect your Samsung Galaxy S4 with your home entertainment system and let it be your TV expert. It suggests different programs based on your preferences, provides program schedules, and does the channel surfing for you. The Samsung Galaxy S4 even allows you to remotely control your TV.

The Smart Pause - Building off of the Galaxy S3’s Smart Stay, the Samsung Galaxy S4 knows what you’re doing and intuitively moves along with you. Whenever you look away, the Samsung Galaxy S4 makes sure to pause whatever you’re watching, so you don’t miss anything. Amazingly, Smart Pause resumes where you left off when you look back at the screen again.

Air View/Air Gesture - Simply motion your hand at the Samsung Galaxy S4 to accept calls, change music, or browse the web and your photos with Air Gesture. How simple is that? Air View makes it quicker, easier, and super convenient to enlarge content and photos, preview emails, and speed dial all with your finger hovering over the screen. Even when you’re wearing gloves, or eating your eba with your hand, the Samsung Galaxy S4 still responds to your apparent touch.

I only used the Air View/Air Gesture feature when I wanted to dazzle people around and show them how my own phone has superior ability. Like a friend told me; “I just want [the S4] for the shakara. She wants it for show off. The Samsung Galaxy S4 has some swagger you won’t find on the Galaxy S3, or any other phone for that matter.

With all these awesome features, there’s one problem I spotted with the Samsung Galaxy S4. The 16GB internal memory that is the only portion of the phone where you can store apps comes with bloatwares that consume about 45% of the 16GB storage. The space available for use isn’t more than 8.82GB. You may be thinking you have the option of adding a microSD for external storage, but you should note that only photos, music and videos can be loaded to the external storage unless you root your device. (Rooting is an activity carried on by nerds that play with the operating system of their phone. Rooting gives one access to toy with the phone’s operating system and tweak things, but it also voids your warranty).

When I had my GALAXY S3, I did not like the customized TouchWiz skin, so I rooted my phone, installed custom ROM from CyanogenMod and installed Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2. But a few hours after using the Samsung GalaxyS4, I did not see any reason to change to custom ROM. TouchWiz on the S4 is buttery smooth and super fast.

What other things do I observe about the S4?

The battery on the Samsung Galaxy S4 (2600 mAh) has more power than the Galaxy S3′s 2100 mAh. This will give you a full day of moderate use. But take note, if you are on an epileptic network, you’d notice that your battery power is depleted faster.

The camera at 13 MP shoots pretty decent photos. It is possible to have a number of clever modes available on the S4. Some of the options available are Drama Shot, Eraser mode and Beauty Shot, as well as cueing up the likes of HDR mode

If you don’t place the Samsung Galaxy S4 alongside the Galaxy S3, you’d hardly notice any difference. On my morning commute to work, I asked a gentleman by me what phone he thinks I was using, he said it is the Galaxy S3. Only a closer look would make the difference obvious.

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In comparison to the iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S4 offers more in terms of size, resolution, removable battery and expandable microSD. This is one edge for anyone who decides to go for Samsung devices.

Mat Honan of Gadget Lab on Wired UK said this of the S4:

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is Completely Amazing and Utterly Boring.”

I also agree with Walt Mossberg of AllThingsD who says “Galaxy S4 is a Good, but Not a Great, Step Up.

What the two of them are simply saying is that the S4 is a tiny increment over the S3; similar to the upgrades that Apple has been doing since the iPhone 4. If you are on a tight budget and still want something very cool, I would advise you to go for the Samsung Galaxy S3, that goes for N72,995 on JUMIA. But if you want the perks in terms of upgraded software and swag, and you also don’t mind being set back by N108,000, then the Galaxy S4 is the phone for you. So, if you want to be one of the first people in Nigeria to get the Galaxy S4, you can pre-order at N108,000.

This is by no means a detailed review as I only had the phone for two days and I have already turned the phone in. Here are some close up photos for you.

2Face Contributes Wedding Shoe And Cap To Kaymu’s Charity Aunction

The Kaymu Celebrity Charity Auctions enters stage two with a significant donation from one of Nigeria’s living music legend, 2face Idibia. The artiste who sang ‘African Queen’ recently got married to his African queen and longtime sweetheart, Annie Macaulay in a spectacular wedding ceremony that took place both in Nigeria and in Dubai.

The Kaymu Celebrity Charity Auctions is a commendable initiative from Nigeria’s e-Commerce community for buying and selling online, Kaymu, as the initiative launched last month with donations coming from DJ Caise, DJ Obi, DRB, Lynnx, and Eku Edewor-Thorley.

To help raise money for the Lagos State Motherless Babies Home through the Kaymu Celebrity Charity Auctions, 2Face or 2Baba as he’s popularly called, gave up one of the most significant items in his life; the cap and shoe he wore for his traditional wedding on March 8, 2013 in Uyo.

The items were donated immediately 2Face returned from Dubai where he had his white wedding. The coffee color branded cap and shoe with the inscription “2Baba” is now being auctioned on Kaymu and can be won by any of 2Face’s fans through bidding. 2Baba who is known for his generosity and kindness has once again demonstrated it through this special donation.

According to Efe Omorogbe, 2Face’s manager, “2Face is very supportive of this initiative and he’s counting on his fans and well meaning Nigerians to help him raise money for the less privileged kids through their bidding”.

How do you participate?

  • Head over to Kaymu.com.ng to start bidding for the item of your favorite celebrity (You need to register here for free)
  • Share, tweet, like, spread the word to your family and friends –help make a difference!
  • Get involved –click here to start bidding!