iHubber: Joel Macharia

By Jessica Colaço
  Published 03 Jul 2011
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iHubber: Joel Macharia

In a quest to tell the stories of the people and the projects that make the iHub community, We have beeninterviewingour community and listening to their stories. These are stories about The iHubber -The People and The Projects we see at the iHub every day! This week, we talked toJoel Macharia. A green member and a personal finance advisor. Briefly tell me about yourself, How your day starts and How you get your inspiration? I am the founder of the Money Academy and work very closelywith Saiton Tameno, who handles Digital content and marketing and MathiasKinyoda, our super-star researcher (I am still yet to figure out where he getshis information from).

My day usually starts at about 5 AM. I get up and read for one hour, usuallyGoogle Reader off my phone, but more often than not, I’ll have an idea thatI’ll mull over as I walk around. From 6 AM, I plan my day and if I have anydocuments (proposals, reports etc) I do them then. From 8 AM, I do salescalls, setting appointments to pitch to clients. From 10AM, I am ready to leavethe house and head to the iHub, or head for meetings.

I get my inspiration from almost everything I come in touch with, but mainlyfrom music and books. I am huge fan of Jay Z and Kanye West and listeningto lines like ‘You have to get off the boat to walk on water’ help get me going.

When and how did get into finance? My background is in finance, and I have specialised in personal finance (how individuals make and manage their money) I guide people on how tomake the best of their money, how to grow their incomes and create wealth. In addition, through Money Academy, we provide educational andinformational content on all things money.

I’ve been the personal finance training for about 4 years, on and off, havefocussed on it full-time as from Sept 2010.

I got into personal finance back in high-school, after taking a trip to the Nairobi Stock Exchange and got so fascinated with it that in about 3 months, I was teaching people how it worked, and how to invest. People began asking about mortgages, insurance and I read about personal finance, taught them, and it grew from there.

Tell me about you latest projects Money Academy -Currently a personal finance blog, we are expanding it to become the premier resource for all things money, providing information on the prices of loans, credit cards, accounts, insurance etc

What are your guiding principles? Money Talks. Listen – I look for projects that have a clear revenue modeland path. I break it into milestones that allow for monetization at each stage.However, as I have learnt, planning and executing are 2 different things

What do you love the most about being a programmer? And what led you to start using the iHub? I love the fact that the area of money in technology, especially consumer facing, is still in its infancy, providing for great potential for growth.

As for the iHub, it’s the community; the best of the best in the world of design and development are within reach. It's free, but also the environment is very conducive to creative work, being very laid back in its design. Did i mention the community? When I moved here, I needed help with my website, and I got it.

What can other innovators do to take advantage of the iHub space? Share what you are doing with those around you. Don’t worry about your idea being stolen; if it’s any good, you wont have to force it down people’s throats.

What trends do you see being big in 2011? Content creation and aggregation; both on web and mobile. The infrastructure that allows access to the internet is in place, what remains is for localized webdestinations, such as Mobile Money, Eat Out Kenya and others.

Follow Joel on Twitter (@TheMacharia) and find him also on LinkedIn

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