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Yusuph Mkangara

Early in career software engineer.
Fostering entrepreneurial spirit in education + health sector.
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Prototyping Life

1 Highlight
May 10, 2022
May 10, 2022
Today, I've been learning about #fintech and mobile money payments/transfers/remittances in Africa. And I'm really confused.

It seems there is a lot of money being invested for everyone to essentially do the same thing, over and over again.

Is this all a function of "whoever gets there first wins"?

Here's my thought process here, and I'm still early in my learnings so I'll preface with I'm extremely ignorant and oversimplifying.

Why does anyone think they stand a chance against the likes of Paystack/Stripe and Flutterwave/Paypal? That's not even accounting for other mostly fine solutions like Sendwave and WorldRemit?

I guess I'm mostly curious what the big bet is when investors pour more money to different competitors on the continent. Is the bet that we think we can execute better than the competitors? I would believe it if some companies wanted to make that claim since there's enough signal that the way to win is vision + strategy + execution + a little bit of luck.

It sounds like everyone has mostly the same vision. Most of the high flyers have basically the same strategy (read: Nigeria -> South Africa -> Kenya/Egypt -> ???). And as far as luck, it seems the formula is to make your own luck (i.e. partner with Stripe,  partner with Paypal). Progress has been less than great (the ecosystem is objectively hard to work with) so execution is key. So now the differentiator is execution.

These are bold claims from a fairly inexperienced person on the internet, Twitter fingers and all that. I just found it kinda odd to read the same stories with different names attached to them. I think on the whole more competition seems right. I just wish it were more clear what's new and fresh with each competitor.

For instance, one company I'm watching closely is NALA out of Tanzania (disclaimer: I'm Tanzanian.) One of the coolest marketing ideas that NALA was putting forward when they first burst onto the scene was offline money transfers with an incredible user interface (as opposed to USSD). Haven't heard that being put front and center since 2019. I assume it coincides with their pivot to international money transfer. I think it's a regression to the (lucrative) mean, but we have to keep the lights on in this line of business. Interesting! Writing this statement and linking that article forced me to look into their CTO and apparently that same year, the CTO and NALA parted ways - wonder if there's any correlation with the move away from marketing the product using this offline angle. 

More learning to be done...
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Jan 10, 2022
Jan 10, 2022
I have a mildly creative side and it is very talkative. I'm channeling that energy and seeing where it takes me!

The first stop is a podcast! I created Measured recently, a podcast meant to accompany folks as they start their weekday mornings. It's been fun so far!
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Oct 11, 2021
Oct 11, 2021
I struggle with time management and focus. I am distracted when I don't want to be and I hyper-focus on some things while losing sight of other important things.

This week, I will practice finding and maintaining balance in life by taking two steps. 
  1. I will spend mornings doing my personal deep work and allocate time in the afternoon for the collaborative, inter-personal, and familial moments.
  2. I will list my weekly goals, and write daily goals every morning as a check-in with myself.
Let's see how it goes!
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Jul 01, 2020
Jul 01, 2020
Excited to join Twilio as Software Engineer! 🎉
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Software Engineer, Twilio