I spoke to Comark Maloba, chief technical officer at Pamoja Media and also the brains behind Payuka, about well, the app! Excerpts.
- When did you come up with the Payuka idea?
It was around September 2011. Two things contributed to the idea formation. First, a group of Swedish newspaper journalists came to the office to research about how African newspapers publish their content online. East Africa was their last stop after West and South Africa. Second, I observed that people pay for sports content instead of for example, politics, by SMS subscriptions and going online.
- What made you come up with the idea?
I’m a football fan and I’ve always wanted to interact with the games that are being shown on TV or placed on sites such as BBC and Goal , not just listen to the commentators. Look at it like being in the stadium itself. With those two combined I thought:
“Why not focus on an app that not only enables you to view what the scores are, but also lets you get the mood from similar people.’’
- Where do you see Payuka being mostly used?
When I first thought about the app, I thought about my immediate sphere of influence: my Facebook friends and the people I follow on Twitter. The strategy then changed to how Payuka could work both in Africa and the rest of the world.
- How did you test drive Payuka?
We have had 4 test drive sessions this month. We also test drove Payuka daily before we launched it at the Android marketplace on 13th January.
- How long did it take you from conception to completion?
The Tandaza development team worked on the app from September 2011 to actualisation in January this year.
- What challenges did you and Tandaza experience during the app development?
The first challenge was naming. We initially named it ‘kick-off,’ a name already taken. So, we had to rename the app and took into consideration that the name had to be memorable and easy to roll off the tongue. Second, because the developers lacked prior mobile apps development experience, they had to undergo best practice and standardisation lessons so that users can encounter a good user experience.
- What metrics will you use to measurePayuka’s success?
I usually use Twitter to tweet about football. Most of the 900 people I follow on Twitter are Kenyans and I like to know what they are talking about regarding football. If at least 300-400 of them download Payuka and use it weekly during live games, I will know that they are responding well to the app.
- What other app idea are you working on, or is it confidential?
There are actually 2 ideas at the moment: the first concerns social gaming and the second, data collection. Watch this space.
- When do you plan to avail Payuka to other mobile phone operating systems such as Nokia’s Symbian?