Former MIT researcher Nathan Eagle wanted to use outsourcing and mobile technology to lift people in Kenya and elsewhere out of poverty. But faced with the realities of the outsourcing business, he changed course, and now wants to bring marketing dollars to people in emerging economies.
Forget the latest iPhone or Android handset, and watch how people are using mobile phones in Central Africa instead: Jana CEO Nathan Eagle has built technology to reach more than two billion consumers in the developing world, where airtime is money and mobile is the future.
MIT researcher Nathan Eagle regaled the audience at the O’Reilly Emerging Technology conference yesterday with tales of technical innovation from East Africa. “Kenya has some mobile phone services that are years ahead of what we have right now,” he said. Eagle was at ETech to present his new startup, Txteagle, which aims to be a kind of mobile Mechanical Turk, using countless mobile phone users in Kenya and beyond to solve easy tasks and earn small amounts of money in return. (There’s a good writeup in Wired News today)
It’s definitely an interesting idea. But to me, the real story is how mobile phones have transformed a country like Kenya in recent years, making not only services like Txteagle possible, but also shaking up the region’s entire economic system. Read More about Kenya’s Mobile Banking Revolution