Monday, November 06, 2006

The Google Story, University in Kenya, Work in Kenya

Just finished reading The Google Story by David A Vise -

A few things that struck me:

The way that Industry and Academic/Research Institutions work together to solve problems and the great importance that academic and research institutions are in the Us and indeed all developed and NI Countries

which brings to mind the stand off between Lecturers and Universities, Government that has paralysed learning in Kenyan Universities.

I went to university in Kenya, and to be honest, the job I got after that was not so much due to what I learnt on campus but off campus. It's only that a good number of employers LOVE papers yet in the IT and Telecoms field I know a number of people who didn't bother with campus and really know their stuff.. as well as people who were virtually not in class most of campus life, didn't do well in the exams while working on other things like business or different courses.

There's a great GAP between Universities and Industry in kenya and most of africa. We really cannot expect solutions from the west to always work in this country and in the region.

Until Universities are relevant to most facets of society and can work with the industry to develop ideas, products that solve problems, they probably won't be able to churn out the kind of graduates that the continent needs to develop, as well as attract the funding, investments (e.g. a slice of that 12B profit from Safaricom).

Another thing from the book that I also noticed:

The importance of keeping employees happy, motivated, content, siked and all..

I have a friend working @ google and last time we talked:
"Google is Lovely"

I particularly love their 20% time set aside for their engineers to work on projects of their own. A good number of their products have come from this time. Projects with potential get funding and a team of engineers to work on. Innovation at work!

Oh and just imagine they have/had less employees than Telkom Kenya!!!!! (Telkom Kenya is to retrench 12000 people)

Number of employees: Worldwide, Google employed 7,942 full-time employees as of June 30, 2006 (

Revenues for 2005 exceeded $6B :) and profits over $1.4B (


The Alpha Quadrant said...

Telkom Kenya - Could Sack 10 000. Not 12000

Ken O. said...

nail on the the way you have ariculated the issues. I particularly agree that the link between industry and university need to be strengthened.