Posts by Erik Hersman

Moja is Coming to South Africa

Kilimanjaro rises through the cotton clouds, spread like a skirt around it. I don’t often get this view as most of my flights go West or North from Nairobi. This time I do, though, as I head to South Africa for the annual trek to AfricaCom, that gathering of all things established telecom and a … read more

BRCK Acquires the Surf Network

BRCK has long been on a mission to create an onramp to the internet for people who can’t afford it regularly.  To this end, we built the SupaBRCK that runs the Moja Network, and then started expanding that service in Kenya and Rwanda.  Moja is about getting everyone online, even if you can’t afford it, … read more

The Case for Connectivity (part 2)

(Part 1 here) I’ve argued before, alongside others, that the main inhibitor of ubiquitous and perpetual internet connectivity at a global level isn’t a technology problem, it’s a business model problem. Mostly the tech exists to put the signal everywhere. What we overlook when we say this is, that while that is true, it’s unsavory … read more

The Case for Connectivity (part 1)

As with most CEOs of younger companies, I find myself on the investment raising treadmill. Doing so for a company focused on internet connectivity in frontier markets provides an extra layer of complexity, since it’s not a sexy of a proposition as a new app for ecommerce, agtech, fintech, etc might be. Those are easier … read more

Reflecting on 5 Years of BRCK

It was 5 years ago that we created BRCK as a company, and I’ve had the great joy of being on a journey with some fantastic people, including the three here with me in this picture (Reg Orton, Emmanuel Kala, and Philip Walton). We had an idea of what we were getting into back in … read more

21st Century Economies Need Power and Connectivity

I was bumping along a waterlogged dirt road on the island of Pemba a couple weeks ago, trying to find my way to a lighthouse where the BRCK team was setting up a weather station. I stopped to check my map, and had a solid 3g signal I could use to check my map. Looking … read more

Eating our Own Dogfood on BRCK Expeditions

This last week I was part of a BRCK Expedition team that traveled from Nairobi through the Chyulu Hills, and oversea to the small island of Pemba in the Northern part of Zanzibar. On the way, we installed some of our equipment, including: A point-to-point link, running Moja WiFi, providing free internet access for Kenya … read more

Give More to the World Than You Take

A random seating assignment by a friend on an airplane leads to an email intro, which leads to a meeting in Nairobi. Two years later and I find out that that random person on the airplane, now one of my friends, a business partner, and someone I deeply respect has passed away unexpectedly. Vanu Bose … read more