Last Mile

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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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Visiting our Solomon Islands Schools

BRCK has been known for developing products for the edge of the network and very remote regions of the world. Lately our products have been pushing even what we as BRCKers consider the edge. One of our biggest themes is the “if it works in Africa, it can work anywhere.” And that was never more…
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BRCK, INTEL – Designing at the periphery

There has been a lot of talk about “inclusive business” since the term was coined by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in 2005. A business is said to be inclusive when it’s value chains purposefully “include” the needs and wants of low-income people and communities, and the company then implements on a business model…
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Internet, Even When the Lights go Out

As a Kenyan company based in Nairobi, we know first-hand the challenges of dealing with power cuts. So we built a router that stays online when the lights go out. Our team was down in South Africa, a couple weeks ago, which has some power issues that they’re working through. This means different neighborhoods have…
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