Following on from my post of yesterday pointing out that if ColaLife is going to succeed it needs to recognise and respect the profit motive of its potential hosts (ie all those involvled, post bottling, in the Coca-Cola distribution system), I have contacted Ken Banks of FrontlineSMS fame and Benjamin Lyon of the significant off-shoot: FrontlineSMS:Credit.
FrontlineSMS is a neat system that allows people without a connection to the internet (like the majority of people in Africa) to do the things that those of us with a connection take for granted . . . with a basic mobile phone. Its developer, Ken Banks, has made it freely available and people are downloading it and using it to do amazing things. Benjamin Lyon is collaborating with Ken and using FrontlineSMS as the foundation for the development of a system to bring financial services to anyone with a basic mobile phone.
So why is this important? Well, if ColaLife is to embrace commercial principles it will need:
- A mechanism for registering the delivery of aidpods
- A mechanism for paying for this delivery
- You’d need a mechanism for inventory control: “Here is Mpika we need more aidpods containing diarrhoea kits”
I think that FrontlineSMS combined with FrontlineSMS:Credit could do all of this using very basic mobile phones.