Episode 034: Photo Friday – Love and Hate Photography

This Podcast is published on Anchor.FM or you can subscribe via Apple PodcastsGoogle Play PodcastsPocketCastsTuneIn and Stitcher.

Over the past year or so, I have been reflecting on my photographic journey and come to the realisation, that I am the camera slinging equivalent of the retired old men on the golf course, at the beginning, and end of the movie, ‘The Legend of Bagger Vance’.

The truth is, I am not an exceptional photographer. I have suffered from GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) from the very earliest days when I cut my teeth on a used, average condition, Canon A1. From 35mm to medium format, SLR to the rangefinder, manual focus to autofocus, film to digital, it is like playing with every possible club, looking for a hole in one when you cannot even drive straight.

In time, I have come to realise that while I get a lucky shot every so often, I cannot improve if I do not shoot more and shoot with a purpose.

At my lowest lows, I have sold all my gear and tried to move on in search of another hobby, but the strange thing is, nothing fills the void until I get a camera again. It feels like a lost cause.

Presently, I am camera free, except for the rather capable camera in my smartphone. I went on a walk with the specific purpose to take some pictures with my phone. Once again, I find my palms itching to do more. Looking over some pictures of my kids recently, I couldn’t help but notice that some of them are rather pleasing.

The camera allows me a form of creativity that I could never dream of attaining with my hands in another medium, and maybe this is the appeal that keeps me coming back.

All this has me wondering, am I alone? Are there others out there who find themselves spinning up and down as a yo-yo between loving and loathing photography?

Episode 032: Tech Talk Tuesday – Noise Cancelling Headphones

This Podcast is published on Anchor.FM or you can subscribe via Apple PodcastsGoogle Play PodcastsPocketCastsTuneIn and Stitcher.

They have been an aspirational item on many an overnight business flight, yet time and time again, I resisted the urge to drop the cash required to own a pair of the best noise cancelling headphones around.

Working for some of the top hardware companies globally, I have had the opportunity to use various noise cancelling headphones and found the experience to be pleasing, but due to past medical issues, the use of in and on-ear style headphones is limited to an hour or two at the most before the experience becomes painful.

What pushed me over the edge, however, was when I moved to Lagos Nigeria for work and had the generator for our building, running for several hours a night, usually for several nights a week, right outside the bedroom windows. Trying to sleep at night is like being on an overnight flight. So when I found myself in the USA recently, I took the plunge and added the Bose QC35 to my shopping cart of gadgets. Of everything I got while I was there, these have got to have been the best thing I bought.

Competition

So the Bose QC35 were not the only headphones I was looking at. Sony’s MDR-1000X have had fantastic reviews and in multiples tests, I found their noise cancellation for sounds outside of engine drone, to be superior to the Bose, however, the way they sealed around my ears created pressure on my eardrums that was a tad too uncomfortable.

This is really the only reason, that I picked the Bose over the Sony offering, that and the reports of Bose stores being able to service and replace padding and parts on older headphones still which seemed to me to make them a good investment.

Fast forward several months, every time I put these headphones on when the generators are roaring outside, I cannot help but smile and instantly feel my stress levels dissolve away. I never thought I could justify spending a few hundred dollars on headphones, but now, I wonder why I took so long.

(Listen to the previous episode here.)

Episode 031: Tech Talk Tuesday – LinkedIn

This Podcast is published on Anchor.FM or you can subscribe via Apple PodcastsGoogle Play PodcastsPocketCastsTuneIn and Stitcher.

This short episode of the podcast highlights this Reuters report on a US court ruling that LinkedIn cannot block the startup company hiQ from accessing public profile data.

Also in this episode, I chat about some disruptions that there will be to the podcast for the next two or three weeks as I revisit what I want to do with the podcast.

(Listen to the previous episode here.)

Episode 030: Photo Friday – Instagram Depression Indicators

This Podcast is published on Anchor.FM or you can subscribe via Apple PodcastsGoogle Play PodcastsPocketCastsTuneIn and Stitcher.

A recent study shared how an algorithm was able to more accurately diagnose depression through people’s Instagram feed than doctors could through conventional methods.

You can find a brief overview of the study on Fortune.com here and to understand the potential scale of impact research like this could have, check the stats of Instagram on this HootSuite blog post here.

(You can find yesterday’s podcast episode over here.)

 

Episode 029: Individual Influence on a Team

This Podcast is published on Anchor.FM or you can subscribe via Apple PodcastsGoogle Play PodcastsPocketCastsTuneIn and Stitcher.

This is not an exhaustive podcast on the title thereof as there can be many aspects to the topic of individual influence on a team, but this is just an introspective view on a single experience I had this evening.

Individual Influence

This evening I had an experience that shook me. To be honest, I have had a rough day, at least I thought I had. It seemed that nothing I was doing was computing in my brain and after staring at the same spreadsheet for ages I gave in and opted to visit the market and see how things were going with our products.

I came back from that experience feeling mildly better but still a long way off the feel good high I woke up with.

I decided to try to engage in retail therapy but realising my goals on getting debt free I focused instead on just getting some grocery items. I had been at the store earlier in the day but our promoter had been on lunch I think so when he saw me in the store he came to greet me.

We got chatting about sales and business, I honestly was feeling a little impatient to get home and was expecting the same answers that other promoters earlier in the day had given us. The next 10mins however, revealed a man who was frustrated even more so than I was. I felt bad. How could I let myself feel so sorry for myself when my challenges required my attention so that this team member, now matter how remote from my day to day personal interaction he may be, could feel supported. Here was someone who was facing on a daily basis the issues we only predicted were happening.

We all play a part in a team and there is something each can do to help the load of one another.

(Catch yesterday podcast here.)

Episode 028: Work Stress and Exercise

This Podcast is published on Anchor.FM or you can subscribe via Apple PodcastsGoogle Play PodcastsPocketCastsTuneIn and Stitcher.

Because of some lower back pain issues, I have been trying to loose some weight and strengthen muscles with daily exercise. What I have been finding though is that this is helping with managing my work stress.

Work Stress

It is normal to experience stress at work at some time or another and sometimes the work stress can be related to frustrations over obstacles that stop you meeting self-set goals.

I have found that starting the day with meeting an exercise goal has helped me get the day off on a feel good note.

(Find the previous episode of the podcast here.)

Episode 027: Tech Talk Tuesday – Online Security

This Podcast is published on Anchor.FM or you can subscribe via Apple PodcastsGoogle Play PodcastsPocketCastsTuneIn and Stitcher.

Let us kick off today’s discussion with a current affairs event that applies to the topic of online security and that is the HBO, Game of Thrones hack.

HBO Hack

As The Verge is reporting, the hackers of HBO who supposed have 1.5TB of data from the entertainment company’s systems, have share more of the data they stole online and issued a ransom demand. Some of the data leaked include personal details of cast members from the popular series, Game of Thrones.

There are concerns that this could become a repeat of the Sony Pictures hack a few years ago if the hackers got off with more email data than the one senior executive’s emails that they appear to have currently.

Password Guidelines are not great

According to a report by Gizmodo, the person responsible for the guidelines which many websites use for your password creation criteria has apologized for issuing the guideline that has people creating passwords with a mix of caps and special characters that you cannot remember but a computer programme could run and resolve in two to three years tops.

Turns out that a passphrase of some length and even lacking special characters and random caps can be much harder for a computer to crack. Which brings the next point.

Personal Online Security

I don’t have all the answers but I can suggest that using a password management application like Lastpass is a good starting point. Don’t use the same password on multiple places and turn on two-factor authentication.

The truth is personal online security is tough and can often be complicated. We will dive into this subject more in the future.

(Chat last week’s Tech Talk Tuesday feature here.)

Episode 026: You are not your Customer

This Podcast is published on Anchor.FM or you can subscribe via Apple PodcastsGoogle Play PodcastsPocketCastsTuneIn and Stitcher.

This was meant to be Episode 027 but after a moment of forgetfulness, last weeks Photo Friday never got published as a podcast and so the published Episode 026 is this episode where I recap a point I made at the Tink Africa meetup where I stressed the point: You are not your customer.

Nigeria Market Size

Yudala’s MD made some points about the diversity of Nigeria that I wish to second. While many look at Nigeria and think 180 million people, the largest market in Africa, do not look closely enough a the diverse nature of Nigeria.

Nigeria is often split into three larger regions in tech circles. Lagos, the centre of the western Nigeria. Eastern Nigeria is often focused around Port Harcourt and the North defined by the capital of Abuja.

The reality is that Kano in the North is a very different market from the capital city of Abuja despite them often being grouped as the Northern region.

When you split the country like that, you start to see much smaller population groups that require different marketing and communication strategies to be really successful because of the different customer behaviour.

You are not your Customer

The point I made in response to a question on the TINK Africa panel discussion was that “you are not your customer”.

This is something I have learned particularly in Product Management. It is important that founders and product managers make sure that they truly understand their market and what is important to that target.

Listen to the podcast where I share some examples of what I mean like how Nigerian’s find places to eat.

(Catch the last episode of the podcast here.)

Episode 025: Darryl Gibbs on Anchor and TINK Africa

This Podcast is published on Anchor.FM or you can subscribe via Apple PodcastsGoogle Play PodcastsPocketCastsTuneIn and Stitcher.

This is just a short episode since I am not feeling well. Basically, I want to share two new items with you. Firstly about my friend Darryl Gibbs’s podcast on Anchor and secondly about the TINK Africa Meetup this Saturday.

Darryl Gibbs on Anchor

A former colleague and good friend, Darryl Gibbs, has kicked off his first podcast episode on Anchor today.

In addition to what looks to be an informative podcast, Darryl has a blog which sometimes shares some unique views and entertaining stories. I would suggest you check out his blog here.

TINK Africa Meetup

This Saturday I will be on a panel talking about technology trends in Africa with Co-founder and Editor of TechpointMuywia Matuluko as well as Managing Director of Yudala, Wole Ogundare.

The event is a TINK Africa initiative and forms part of their mission to connect marketers and advertising agencies with consumer trends and disruptive innovation in Africa. You can find out more about this meet up here.

(Listen to yesterday’s podcast here.)

Episode 024: Mobile Money and Banking in Africa

This Podcast is published on Anchor.FM or you can subscribe via Apple PodcastsGoogle Play PodcastsPocketCastsTuneIn and Stitcher.

Following on from yesterday’s topic of Africa and technology, I figured it would be good to touch on what I think is one of the big tech wins for Africa and that is mobile money services like Mpesa.

The IMF has a report from 2014 that looks at the penetration of various financial services in the different regions globally. You can find it here.

Lets look at Mobile Money in Africa

Mpesa, the mobile money service launched by Safaricom in 2007, is by far the biggest player on the continent in the mobile money space. Many have tried to migrate it to other markets but in South Africa for example, Mpesa has failed twice.

You can find the CNN report on Mpesa here.

(Catch yesterday’s episode of the podcast here.)