Rebecca Davis Profiles Mobinomics by Alan Knott-Craig Jr and Gus Silber
Alan Knott-Craig Junior’s story of Mxit, the popular cellphone-based social network detailed in the book Mobinomics: Mxit and Africa’s Mobile Revolution, is nothing short of a business fairytale. Knott-Craig and Gus Silber co-wrote the book which looks into the mobile economy in Africa and tells the story of Mxit’s rise in popularity.
Rebecca Davis of the Daily Maverick recently profiled the book and the story behind one of South Africa’s most successful inventions:
Cellphone ownership in South Africa is no longer the province of the rich: mobile penetration now exceeds 90%, according to the authors (with some sources claiming over 95% or even 101%, depending on the age group). That’s a massive market, and it’s not just cellular networks that want a piece of it. The most-hyped cellphone-based enterprise on the continent is MXit, which writer Gus Silber calls “one of the three great South African innovations, next to the heart transplant and the Kreepy Krauly”. Of course, it’s in his interest to claim that, since he’s just co-authored a book on the subject with MXit CEO Alan Knott-Craig. But the story of MXit’s extraordinary growth is indeed an inspiring one, and Mobinomics turns out to be a highly readable account of the company’s success in harnessing the potential of the cellphone-using market. [Disclosure: Alan Knott-Craig was Daily Maverick's first investor. World of Avatar holds a stake in Daily Maverick.]
“I met Alan in 2010 to chat about the possibility of a book about “Mobinomics”, the economy of mobile in Africa. Which means everything from the use of mobiles in commerce and banking, to social media, to social upliftment,” Silber explains. “As part of this process, Alan showed me a presentation on his laptop about MXit, which he used as an example of the spread of mobile in South Africa, and it was quite eye-opening for me to see just how big the network’s reach is, and how there is a lot more to it than chatting.”
- Mobinomics: Mxit and Africa’s Mobile Revolution by Alan Knott-Craig, Gus Silber
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