Why Kenyans Love FREE software and the Actual cost

Raise your hand if you have ever bought a music album? Now go and ask your Mother how many she has ever bought. If she is older than 50, chances are she will pull out a carton with VCD’s from all her favorite vernacular artists and Cassettes from long before you were born.

My Mother particularly likes Loise Kim, and should my aunties from shags visit, the treasure chest is unleashed and they proceed to listen to these VCD’s the whole day, and she wonders why we don’t hung around when guest come over, we love guest just not the VCD’s.

Now you are probably asking why you should buy music when you can get it on YouTube kwanza in HD, I also wonder the same what’s the point. Back track to those vernacular VCD’s did you know that the artists hand signs each copy. These vernacular artists actually make a ton of money from selling these VDC’s. River road automatically comes to mind, picture your average Kenyan celebrity hand signing VCD’s at River Road. They had better die than see an article online “Guess who was caught doing what in River Road Number 5 will shock you”, yet that’s where the most money changes hand in this Nairobi.

Question number 2. Raise your hand if you have ever paid for any software, Kaspersky, QuickBooks, MS Word, Windows 7 etc. Chances are you call your IT friend and they have you sorted in no time, raise your hand if you have ever given your IT friend 500 bob for helping install a cracked copy of window 7 or XP. Imagine if your IT friend got 500 Bob for every windows 7 or XP he has ever installed, chances are he would be a Millionaire, how does that make you feel? Long Dramatic Pause…”Nothing? Really?” you’d not want your IT friend to be a Millionaire? Kwani ata ringa? Chances are he is a nerd and has never even said Hi to his crush, if he knows the meaning of the word crush, anyway enough about nerds.

The real question what is the real cost of not buying software, I propose is the amount of money you’ve made using your IT friends cracked Windows, Word, Excel, Quick Books etc. How much do you estimate that is?

Software as a service (SAAS) where instead of paying or buying for software in bulk you pay in small amounts via a subscription model or a similar model. This is now the global standard e.g. Quick Books has moved online / to the cloud and is now intuit, SAP can also be accessed online. It’s the high time the Kenyan market understands this and start investing in online / cloud software solutions for their businesses.

This model is cheaper for businesses, they benefit from improvements and updates made by the offering company and eventually a small company is operating on the same global standard as fortune 500 company in terms of processes and technology.

Next time a small software company or even a large one comes to demo a custom online / cloud solution in your office do not turn them back or call your IT friend for a cracked copy, listen and you may learn something new, you shall also be supporting a local Kenyan company that is working hard to build and bring you the best solution.