Pre-Geospatial business Fireside Chat Podcast with Willy Simons

Geosymp and Startup Grind Nairobi had a chat with Willy Simons ahead of the Fireside chat and here is the Audio Podcast of the interview

Listen to the Podcast here


Click on Willy Simons Podcast with Akoth Caroline to listen

I have transcribed part of the interview here for you. For the full interview listen to the podcast instead.

…on his drive for content creation as a business channel.

Content and data are becoming increasingly important, in addition to technology as an assets it’s the data and knowledge that has to do with it.

On promoting business brand.

Willy says, it’s good to try things out as it helps you learn new trade skills. You always get plenty of ideas on how to do things better.

On his Fireside Chat at Startup Grind

As a startup, referrals are key, find your niche and find your customers starting from within your network.

When people know you they might take you for granted


Willy on business lessons from previous businesses and the role of luck

Sometimes it’s just luck, when environment favours you, it has nothing to do with taking lessons but luck.

On open source software.

Definitely thin guys fear this debate on Open Source vs proprietary. Once again, he appreciates the two worlds by not favoring either.

Money, Work, Quality, Impact

Money is a hygiene factor, it keeps you going. It’s an indicator of all the others. W/o quality you won’t necessarily make money. If you really work for it you’ll definitely be appreciated.

Impact ranks first. In terms of satisfaction

At 25, finding work ranks higher, then money. Then impact. At 50+ Impact definitely ranks higher.


On startup products ethics

Standards are of importance, particularly on data access and sharing, but less essential for the services.

Willy raises the critical problem in cartographic standards in Kenya, as this is an indicator of a bunch of problems with the data used. Accuracy, currency and frequency of update. He pointed out the example of Kenya Census data. A lot of businesses base their decisions on old datasets that are no longer relevant.


On public data generation.

On free access to data generated using public funding. Quality. It’s a disservice to the country. There need to be openness and good quality on data.


On Spatiality_ke.

Personal branding and the rigor to learn to do the best as much as you can.


The biggest lesson over his time.

Spatial is not special. As GIS professional do not put yourself in a corner. Ensure you connect with other worlds. Improve business value regardless of the business.

Think about business goals and objective, before data. How can that be connected with location data.


On starting business and funding

You have to know sometimes you are the only guy who sees value in what you are business.


While I was transcribing this Audio I felt very inspired. I believe the Fireside Chat will be very useful for early starters in the Geospatial business.

Want to learn do business with geospatial technology Register  for Willy’s Monetizing Geospatial Technology Fireside Chat at Startup Grind Nairobi to be held on the October 27, 2017 / 6:00 PM

Steve Ochieng
About Steve Ochieng 18 Articles
Geospatial Specialist | Avid Reader and Vivid Writer here | Geospatial Tech Advocacy and Evangelism | GeoProgrammer and Follower of @geohipster