By Max Alexander
The hilarious tale of 2 brothers, a truckload of batteries, and an excellent plan to convey light--and new company opportunities--to Ghana
At age forty seven, Whit Alexander, the yankee co-founder of the skull board online game, made up our minds to begin a brand new enterprise promoting cheap items and prone to low-income villagers in Ghana, West Africa. His brother Max, a journalist, got here alongside to inform the tale. Neither of them may have expected simply how a lot of an experience they’d locate there.
In Ghana, Whit's preliminary target is to marketplace a top quality rechargeable AA battery that off-grid villagers may possibly use to strength their flashlights and radios, in addition to to cost their mobile phones. If winning, he deliberate to develop a bigger for-profit enterprise in accordance with these batteries--creating a depended on African model that will offer life-enhancing items, prone, and jobs, with no counting on charity.
Ghana, in spite of the fact that, provides impressive demanding situations, and the brothers salary day-by-day battles opposed to lethal bugs, insane riding stipulations, unspeakable meals, voodoo monks, corrupt officers, counterfeiters, and ethnic rivalries on their method to luck. From signing up consumers who earn a couple of funds a month at so much to education staff without Western-style paintings event, the brothers fast study that beginning a enterprise in Africa calls for single-minded concentration, a feeling of humor, and many patience.
Along the best way, Whit and Max relive their very own early life, bickering around the African bush and studying very much approximately Africans in addition to themselves. Irreverent, hilarious, and finally inspiring, Bright lighting, No City demanding situations authorised notions of charity, indicates the ability of broadening your horizons, and means that there's desire and chance in Africa.
Praise for Bright lighting, No City:
"An affectionate, good-humored and eventually inspiring account of 1 American's selection to make great things happen."
--Kate Braestrup, ny occasions bestselling writer of Here if you want Me
"My boss, invoice Gates, coined the word 'creative capitalism' to inspire using industry forces to deal with the desires of the negative. yet my pal, Whit Alexander, moved inventive capitalism from principles to daring perform. Bright lighting fixtures, No City will scratch your go back and forth malicious program, tickle your enterprise mind, and contact your heart."
--Patty Stonesifer, former CEO of the invoice & Melinda Gates Foundation
"I completely loved this experience, which is helping to end up that what a lot of the constructing global wishes is a hand up, no longer a hand out."
--John wooden, founding father of Room to learn and writer of Leaving Microsoft to alter the World
"I enjoyed, enjoyed, enjoyed Bright lighting, No City. A journey de strength! Bravo. it is perceptive, informative, considerate, attractive, funny."
--Carey Winfrey, editor emeritus, Smithsonian journal and previous Africa correspondent, New York Times
"Max Alexander has woven a compassionate and oft-times hilarious story of the Brothers Alexander's try and keep the area, one rechargeable battery at a time. when you've got any curiosity in a superb tale or supporting the opposite four billion, learn this e-book, now."
--W. Hodding Carter, writer of Westward Whoa and A Viking Voyage
"A lyrically written common testimony to the humanity that binds every body jointly in this fragile planet, Bright lighting fixtures, No City is a deeply relocating and humorous, can't-put-it-down book."
--Frank Schaeffer, writer of Crazy for God
"This booklet is full of the eagerness and incessant pursuit that it takes to make goals come to existence, and reminds you that it takes compassion, success, and humor to make heritage. A needs to learn for each entrepreneur."
--Richard Tait, Co-Founder, skull; CEO, Galazo
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Extra info for Bright Lights, No City: An African Adventure on Bad Roads with a Brother and a Very Weird Business Plan
Look ahead to them to call for it. ” “Okay, so then what? ” “Then you don’t get ‘arrested’ on a few trumped-up cost. ” “No, then what occurred along with your battery proposal? ” “Oh. good, this was once most likely again in December of ’07. i used to be nonetheless in Seattle, simply noodling on it extra, puzzling over names, beginning to guard IP, getting to know batteries and chargers. yet keep in mind this used to be all happening opposed to the backdrop of the skull sale to Hasbro, after which Dad died, so I didn’t have loads of mind cycles to spend on Burro till probably the top of January ’08. So then, as soon as I had locked in to Ghana because the top position to release, i began to gain I higher recover from there. That’s while I heard concerning the international financial institution convention in Accra. I spent approximately 3 quarters of per week on the convention, met Charlie, then a superb week and a part at the highway carrying out on-the-ground industry reviews. ” “How did you discover humans? ” “It used to be no longer as rigorous as you may want. we might simply hurricane right into a city or a village and locate those who seemed like that they had time and may be strength consumers. I had a motive force, Asare, and we had Martin Aponsah, a translator; he’s the brother of Rachel and Cameron’s highschool suggestions counselor in Seattle who's truly a conventional Ghanaian leader. We went as a long way west as Takoradi and as much as Koforidua, after which all alongside the coast highway the following. We interviewed humans up and down the Akwapim Ridge. We stopped at locations at the grid, off the grid, villages, towns, cities. We introduced a host of batteries so lets express humans what we have been speaking approximately. after which we interviewed humans as power brokers in addition to consumers. We talked to most likely seventy or 90 humans round the nation, and those have been particular, sit-down concentration teams, albeit very casual. ” “And? ” “What we discovered used to be great receptivity to the assumption. i used to be counseled through somebody on the convention, ‘Oh yeah, humans will inform you they’re till you ask for funds. ’ yet i do know slightly approximately industry reviews, and that i may inform we have been getting beautiful directly solutions from humans. I suggest, i believe I got here away feeling like there will be more desirable call for than we’ve visible in city parts, yet i actually underestimated the call for in off-grid rural parts. We’ve had difficulty cultivating the city call for, at the very least in Koforidua, yet we’ve additionally had hassle getting strong brokers there. So i feel the decision continues to be out at the strength in city parts. evidently what we’ve discovered is our candy spot is the agricultural parts typically, and especially off-grid components. “But the may possibly journey proven that individuals have been in truth spending among and 5 greenbacks a month on throwaway batteries. additionally, it advised that many of us have been dealing with their batteries 3 or 4 instances a month in any given machine. That’s what we have been so much after, simply because that’s the place they begin to determine the economies. until an individual is burning via batteries 3 or 4 instances a month in a specific gizmo, they’re no longer gonna be an exceptional shopper for us.