On Thursday, November 17th, Gbenga Sesan held a Google Plus hangout with finalists of the Android Developer Challenge (ADC), Sub Saharan Africa. The hangout was an opportunity for African web developers, entrepreneurs and Internet marketers to hear from the winners about their experience building winning applications, what their experience has been like since winning the contest and their plans for the future.
The session was held simultaneously in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa with audiences tuning in from Co-Creation Hub in Lagos, iHub in Nairobi and Umbono in CapeTown. Interestingly, the session’s host, Gbenga Sesan hung out with the finalists from Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos en route to Addis Ababa. Given his track record, we really wanted Gbenga to host this hangout and it was nice to see it happen live despite his busy itinerary.
The hangout kicked off with an introduction on the various apps from the ADC finalists. This was followed by a series of questions by Gbenga where he asked the Challenge’s finalists about what skills and qualities helped them design their applications among others.
Most of the Challenge winners unanimously cited perseverance as the key quality that helped them emerge as winners with Richard Marsh of Wedding Plandroid emphasizing that patience and a focus on value coupled with perseverance helped him develop his app.
In addition, Afrinolly’s CEO, Chike Maduegbuna noted that developing a clean user interface for the app was key to their winning the competition. According to him, the Afrinolly Team wanted to make a world class app and this helped them stand out from the competition.
Gbenga asked the finalists about their plans for their applications especially around partnerships and monetization. Olalashe’s developer, David Lemayian said that he is currently in partnership discussions with security companies in Kenya to integrate the app with their systems and that monetization plans are in the works.
Chike Maduegbuna of Afrinolly said that the Afrinolly team is focusing on partnerships with content aggregators, network providers and device manufacturers to help drive up the app’s adoption. According to him, Nokia recently approached Afrinolly to develop a version of the app for their S40 series. Afrinolly is also in discussions with network providers to use the app as a means of spreading apps consciousness among Nigerians.
As regards monetization, Herko Lartegan whose newly formed company, Starburst games recently got angel investment for his app, Rainbow Racer, courtesy of the Umbono program said that he intends to keep the app free while Gerald Kibugi of Shoppers’ Delight said he plans to market the app to help drive up its user base.
To round up the session, Gbenga asked the top three questions from the hangout’s Google Moderator page. The page registered about 20 questions and 133 votes from about 31 people from Nigeria, Uganda, Mali and Ghana among others.
The top question on Moderator was posed by Femi Taiwo from Lagos, Nigeria who asked thus:
“Whenever I’m building an app based on my own ideas, sometimes it’s difficult to freeze the feature scope to choose between what should be included and what should not. What helped you with those decisions- especially because you had one shot at this?”
In response, most of the finalists advised that he focus on the core features that are central to the application’s usability as this will ensure that users are satisfied.
Overall, the session was a great way to connect African developers and entrepreneurs with this year’s winners so they could learn from their experience.
To watch the full hangout session, check the interview out on YouTube below.