Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Singapore: Government that Works?

As some of you may know, I spent last week working in Singapore. I have to say, when I decided to move to Africa, I didn't expect my job to take me through an entirely different continent. Three months in, and I may have to reassess the name of this blog and start calling it Google's Man in Transit. But that's the subject for another blog post. For now, I want to highlight a few observations I had in Singapore, another truly fascinating place.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Launching Google Trader in Ghana

In between getting 200 Nigerian businesses online and flying off to Singapore for my month in Asia, I had spent one day in Ghana to help launch the country's largest classifieds website, dubbed Google Trader. We had launched Trader as a pilot in Uganda over a year ago, and after months of iteration and improvement, we're seeing it spread to the other side of the African continent. Since I had been involved in much of the pre-launch preparations, I decided to come back to Ghana in between my two other stops for the big day. And boy was it a big day.

Monday, December 6, 2010

One Day, 200 Nigerian Businesses Online

There I stood, in front of my first group of 100 small business owners at ChamsCity, the world's largest cybercafe, in Lagos, Nigeria. I had just been informed that none of the equipment I thought I would have was functional. No projector and only a broken microphone. And then, to top it off, due to a last minute schedule change, I was going to be giving the entire workshop rather than just the second half. Lovely. If I were going to pull this off, I would need to be quick on my feet.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Lagos, Nigeria: One of the Most Fascinating Places I've Ever Been

When I got off the plane in Lagos, I had very little idea what to expect. As I mentioned in my last post on the subject, I had gotten very mixed reviews. One colleague called Nigeria "extreme Africa". Others warned me about the constant mortal danger. And another colleague told me about all the money there. Without actually visiting, it was hard reconcile all of these observations, but now that I have, I can say it all makes sense. Sort of.