David Henia Finding Impact

FIP 82: Building an Iterative Product Testing Platform with David Henia

David Henia has been the Lead Developer at Eneza for the last two years and is in charge of product, technical and back-end development. Prior to his role at Eneza Education, he held a variety of roles at different technology development and software firms in Nairobi. David has a BsC in Computer Science from Africa Nazarene University. Eneza Education is a comprehensive virtual tutor, that provides universal access to affordable, quality, lifelong learning through dumb and smart phones. 70% of its users are low income students in rural areas. It has 4.9 million users and is Africa’s leading mobile online learning platform.

On this episode, David walks us through Eneza’s products tests and and how to design and run experiments on product features, pricing, and marketing campaigns, etc. The goal of this episode is to teach social entrepreneurs how to build their own product testing methods.

On this episode you’ll learn:

  • A product testing platform is essential for any startup organisation because the startup is like one big experiment, so you need to keep your learning organised.
  • Any organisation will surface many ideas about what to do – they come from your customer, yourself, your team – but without organising these ideas, they’ll soon slow you down or even move you backward.
  • Establishing an iterative product testing process also builds autonomy within your team, so team members can discern which ideas to park and which to take forward.
  • Ensure you’re collecting all the ideas that the organisation surfaces, and with the team, try to find the root problem that the idea is addressing or relating to. Then determine the time involved, the cost and the effect on profit and/or impact.
  • With a good handle on the problem, then you can start to build experiments and test ideas that can solve the problem.
  • This process is managed by the product team, who is led by the Product Manager. They work with all departments and are the representative of the customer.
  • To prioritise projects, you can use the RICE framework, which means Reach, so how many customers will the product or test reach, impact to the business, in terms of profit and/or impact, how Confident are you about the results, and how much Effort in terms of time, money and people.
  • Then come up with a hypothesis, e.g. if you do X then you guess Y and Z will happen, because of what you’ve observed. And success will look like A, B and C. And it will be measured by S.
  • Then you build a Minimum Viable Test to get some quick feedback over a week or two, independent of any other teams internally.
  • The engineering team isn’t involved until the tests have been conducted and the decision made to build the product or feature (although the engineering team leadership is involved in this decision).
  • General indicators exist which can help you benchmark your organisation against industry standards, such as customer lifetime value, customer acquisition cost, unit economics, etc.

Links to resources:

Connect with David:


FIP 52: Bridging Education Gaps in Rural India with Umesh Malhotra

Umesh Malhotra is the co-founder of Hippocampus which is a network of libraries and schools that is attempting to change the face of rural education in India. A graduate of one of India’s leading engineering institutes, IIT Madras, he began his career in Infosys and went on to create and sell an IT company. A serial entrepreneur, his entrepreneurship experiences range from IT services to restaurants to social enterprises. His latest passion project, Hippocampus, serves to provide quality education to rural children from low income families. By 2020, the aim is to bring preschool education to as many students in India as the population of Finland, but at one percent of its cost. That is why it is being called Mission Finland!

On this episode, you’ll learn:

  • About Umesh and his years spent in the corporate world – he takes us through the journey of his company and what made rapidly scaling possible.
  • Are you being challenged enough in your current role? When is it time to switch gears?
  • The importance of a good story behind your brand. Wait until you hear his!
  • How to give your social enterprise a chance to survive – Umesh never set out to create a profitable business.
  • How do you keep momentum and not scale too early or too quickly?
  • Is your business easy to replicate? This will help when it is time to scale.
  • The power of hiring people who are intrinsically motivated and passionate about what they are doing.
  • Sticky ideas are good for business! What do people remember about your story?
  • The importance of being goal oriented: Mission Finland – 2020.

Links to resources:

Connect with Umesh!

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