Product details

By continuing to use our site you consent to the use of cookies as described in our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.
You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them.
Case
-
Reference no. 1-16-010
Subject category: Entrepreneurship
Published by: The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT
Originally published in: 2016
Version: September 16, 2016
Length: 14 pages
Data source: Field research
Topics: Entrepeneurship

Abstract

In developing countries, there are few options for obtaining objective, timely data. In 2010, as a Massachusetts Institute of Technology PhD candidate, Kenfield Griffith visited Kenya and noticed that over 70% of adults had access to a cell phone. In 2011, with a fellowship from MIT's Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship, he went back to research the potential use of cell phones as a viable way to collect data. After completing his studies and obtaining initial funding, he returned to Kenya and founded Mobile Surveys Inc (mSurvey). mSurvey employed a proprietary software system to collect and aggregate data using Short Message Service (SMS) text messaging over mobile devices. The system was inexpensive and appropriate for a short, direct survey-question format. Mobile surveys were less vulnerable to errors and falsified data, and data was stored in the cloud and easily accessible to researchers. Potential customers, however, uneducated about the features and benefits of SMS-based surveys, took about eight months to make a decision, sign a contract, and send mSurvey payment. Griffith needed to shorten that time; he also needed to increase the number of clients who renewed their contracts. mSurvey had assembled a large respondent base from which researchers could select. How could it keep this base active when no corporate surveys were taking place - a 'beehive of community activity'? The team considered introducing peer-to-peer products, creating a forum where respondents could ask for information from other members, and providing ways for members to form smaller, special-interest groups. Griffith remained optimistic about the future of mSurvey. Producers of goods and services need feedback: as consumers gain purchasing power, demand for feedback increases.
Location:
Other setting(s):
2012-2015

About

Abstract

In developing countries, there are few options for obtaining objective, timely data. In 2010, as a Massachusetts Institute of Technology PhD candidate, Kenfield Griffith visited Kenya and noticed that over 70% of adults had access to a cell phone. In 2011, with a fellowship from MIT's Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship, he went back to research the potential use of cell phones as a viable way to collect data. After completing his studies and obtaining initial funding, he returned to Kenya and founded Mobile Surveys Inc (mSurvey). mSurvey employed a proprietary software system to collect and aggregate data using Short Message Service (SMS) text messaging over mobile devices. The system was inexpensive and appropriate for a short, direct survey-question format. Mobile surveys were less vulnerable to errors and falsified data, and data was stored in the cloud and easily accessible to researchers. Potential customers, however, uneducated about the features and benefits of SMS-based surveys, took about eight months to make a decision, sign a contract, and send mSurvey payment. Griffith needed to shorten that time; he also needed to increase the number of clients who renewed their contracts. mSurvey had assembled a large respondent base from which researchers could select. How could it keep this base active when no corporate surveys were taking place - a 'beehive of community activity'? The team considered introducing peer-to-peer products, creating a forum where respondents could ask for information from other members, and providing ways for members to form smaller, special-interest groups. Griffith remained optimistic about the future of mSurvey. Producers of goods and services need feedback: as consumers gain purchasing power, demand for feedback increases.

Settings

Location:
Other setting(s):
2012-2015

Related