Monday, 17 May 2010

Does Startups Have To Be DotComs ?

I find it really interesting to watch the activities of several technology startup companies across Africa through many blogs that pay attention to such companies. One trend I notice is that almost everyone talking about startups in Africa is basically talking about on-line businesses. The moment you hear "startup" it's almost certain you will hear "web 2.0" or "dotcom" in the same discussion. I think there is more to tech startups than just web based businesses. Some of the technology businesses that changed the course of history were not web oriented. Agreed Google is a glaring example of an excellent web oriented business but how many Googles do we plan to create locally? Microsoft which is the largest software company in the world is still trying to get it's web strategy right.
I am not saying that web startups shouldn't be encouraged but let us not forget that startups do not really have to be dotcoms. In fact very few dotcoms are able to solve real world business challenges in Africa. Let us promote the idea of tech startups in general and not limit ourselves to dotcoms.

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