Principles for Design & Development

Problems vs. ideas: why GSMA mAgri is investing in human centred design

By Victoria Clause, GSMA

“Being based in the ‘Silicon Savannah’, also known as Nairobi, I’ve heard entrepreneurs talking about “looking for a problem, not an idea”. After the deluge of M-Pesa wannabes, social entrepreneurs in the tech space are realising that to create a profitable business one needs to begin by understanding the problem, the pain point, the inefficiency that needs a solution. Those who come up with a great idea, and go straight to developing their app, product or service will most likely fail unless they’re solving a painful problem.

In our experience of working with mobile service providers to launch and scale mAgri services, we’ve seen the same problem arise: too little time spent understanding the problems that need solving, and too much time using secondary data to back up an idea. The result is that service uptake and regular usage of mAgri services struggles.

MNOs and VAS [value added services] providers do not typically invest in comprehensive research to understand their target customer’s daily life, their pain points, their needs etc. The more typical mobile VAS approach is to get the product out to market fast, promote it, see if it works and if it doesn’t, scrap it.


Click here to view the entire article on the GSMA website.

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