Nerding in Nairobi

A few months travelling, living and hacking in Kenya

Welcome to Soko

Welcome to the Soko (renamed from Sasa) offices!

  • Our friendly day guard at the gate
  • It’s pretty peaceful inside the compound walls
  • My first tech meeting with the Soko team
  • Lunch time!

A few weeks before I arrived, the team moved into a house in a walled compound just a few kilometers west of the city center. The eight Nairobi Sokoers share the (huge!) space with mSurvey, founded by Ella’s husband. For now we just have the basics: tables, chairs, power strips and a white board. In some ways, it’s not that different from a startup house in downtown Palo Alto, right down to the catered lunch.

Of course, some things are very different from our counterparts back home. 24/7 guard service and concrete walls topped with electric fence are table stakes for running an office in Nairobi. As is battery backup for the frequent and unpredictable power outages. Our batteries are TBD and we all had to leave work early on Monday when the power stayed out into the afternoon.

I’ve had a busy first week getting to know the team and trying to get up to speed as quickly as possible. I’m even more excited for the weeks to come having met all the great people here and gotten a taste for where I can help! In future posts I’ll talk more about the Soko team and what we’re up to.