The App Company that Never Was

Working long hours in a startup require a steady supply of cheap carbohydrates. That’s why we honored the single food that kept our tummy full and minds alert in our next startup endevour. After the exit from Doban Africa, our lead programmer at the time Ishuah Kariuki invited me to brainstorm on some app ideas he heard in mind.

A few minutes into the initial discussion I was amazed by the quality of the ideas. Given the smartphone craze that had just hit the country I thought these ideas could become big, so they needed a home – ‘let’s start an app company’ I said. Ishuah responded ‘what would be the most befitting name?’.

A momentary pause, I replied ‘mukimo…… that stuff is almost growing in our stomachs’. ‘Wait a minute, how about Green Stuff’, Ishuah responded. ‘No, I have a better name –  Green Cloud.

I spent the better part of the following week drafting the objective of the company. I shared them with Ishuah and meet weekly to review progress of the ideas and implementation plans. Sadly, Ishuah got a job offer to work for a new startup Pesatalk and sadly none of the ideas came to life.

That was 5 years ago. I stumbled on some of the documents we made for the company and thought I should share them.

The App Ideas
Our first app idea was reloading phone credit by simply taking a snap of the digits. This might have seem to be a fancy idea but there was an existing problem where someone with a high typing speed could reload another person’s card if they had a lower typing speed.

It was a common prank in our university class and we thought perhaps this app could help. So we design the system, laid out the algorithms and set out to start a build. The following two documents details the app’s development plan.

The second idea was christened i-Vent, a Twitter client app for mapping and intuitively displaying events. I used to follow most tech events on Twitter and even discovered some events via Twitter. I thought there should be a better way to experience the events. I came up with some additional utilities that can make following an event on Twitter much better.

One of them was a scroll bar to go back when an event started. The Twitter search API did not do great justice,it only highlighted a few ‘important’ tweets.  Other interesting ideas included a notification feature that alerts users when they pass by an area of active Twitter discussion. The doc below shows the full feature list.

The cool part of this idea is that we had a mock icon for the app.



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