Pareto Efficient

In search of pareto improvements

Posts Tagged ‘diet coke

Day #7: Working in Gulu

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Luxury Computers of Gulu

In 30 minutes I found faster internet here, in the bush, than I could find in a week in Kampala.  Luxury Computers of Gulu is a great place to work.  The owner, Charles, is cool, everyone is quiet and productive – no distractions – its cheap and they take good care of me.

Visiting Italy without leaving Uganda

When I loaded up, Goog auto redirected me to (Italy).  No doubt the satellite signal was being bounced through an Italian IP address or something.  It took me 20 minutes to figure out how to switch it back to English.

Perhaps Google shouldn’t use geo targeting in the developing world where satellite internet is more common.  This is the primary reason why we don’t geo target at  Other reasons include: 1. we don’t know how to do it  and 2. we really wouldn’t know where to start.

Now that's a real startup office

Think your startup is scrappy, check out my office.

Luke I have gone to the Dark Side

The general store next door sells coke for USD 30¢.  Do you understand what that means for a Coke addict?  Its not good, man. The sugar, the caffiene, the power coursing through my veins.  Wait, what?  Haha nevermind.

Doing a woman’s job…

In Uganda, washing clothes is seen as the “woman’s job” (along with almost all other forms of work).  So, when I, a white man, set out to hand wash my clothes in a basin, it drew considerable interest from my female neighbors.

I bought some Omo – local degergent brand – from a general store (hut) and got to work.  After a while, I had a small gallery of fans — who quickly turned to friendly critics and helpers.

In no time, all the dirt and blood stains were gone.  Strangely, my hands were tingling and felt rubbery to the touch… Which begged the question: What the is Omo made of?  Krytonite?  Asbestos? Unicorn tears?  I don’t really want to know.

If this is my last post, then you’ll know the Omo got me 🙂


Written by thetyson

October 14, 2008 at 12:05 am

Day #3: Walk to Town

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Side note: I woke up and realized something — I love Uganda.

Today I’m trying to setup meetings with MFIs and loan recipients…must find working internet in town.

So far I’ve been using taxis and boda bodas to get around. Today I’ve decided to go local, keep it real and walk Jinja Road into Kampala today.  Its only 5 kilometers — that’s nothing.

Its a great walk.  I’m eating dirt and diesel fumes.  Boda drivers are hammering me to take them into town, they don’t believe I’m walking there…I guess muzungu (white people) don’t usually walk.

On foot, its much easier to connect with the many people that line the busy streets.  I stopped to talk with some skilled metal/wood workers on the corner near my place (below).

Metal Shop in Kampala

Metal shop in Kampala

They were on the ball, but living in extreme poverty (behind the shop).  None of them have ever taken micro-finance loans.  I recommended that they explore that option to grow their business.

A little farther up the road I decided to heed friendly advice and avoid the tap water in Kampala.  Might be hard to see in the picture below, but the water has a ton of trash in it…

Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink...

Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink...

Shortly thereafter, I came across a hoof (below).  Would’ve eaten it, but the ants already had it.  Dang.

Anybody's goat loose a hoof?  Ah, random hoof here...

Ah, I think somebody's goat lost a hoof. Anybody?

My walk took me right by the Ministry of Elections for Uganda.  Interestingly, President Museveni, who took power through the millitary 22 years ago, has changed the constitution to afford himself extra terms in office.  The signs below show his deep commitment to the democratic process.

Daaaa, ummm...yup.  We don't count good...

Daaaa, ummm...yup. We don't count good...

...and ensure Mr. Museveni always wins.


Report the dead...I knew I forgot something.

Bicycle bodas were prevalent — and loaded with impossibly large loads (below).

Sugarcane delivery

Sugarcane delivery

No, no.  I can take two, watch me...

"Fuel-tanker vs. fuel-biker"

No, seriously.  I can take 4

"What's that? Four bunches? No problem."

At Garden City mall, I saw the guy (below) with this huge bag of bottles on his back…

Wow, that's amazing...

That's impressive. How far is he carrying that bag?

Wait, that's not right.  What?

Um. Wait...that's not good. Seriously?

Fortunately, I found a Coke dealer just before the shakes and cold sweats started up again.

Sweet elixuir of life

Ah, sweet elixir of life

Today was really fun.  The people are unbelievably kind.  I really like it here, and there are so many ways to help.  Gotta figure out the angles and get something going over here to help these guys…

Unfortunately, after a 2 hour walking adventure and a whole day of searching, I unable to locate suitable internet.  Guess I’ll try again tomorrow.

Written by thetyson

October 10, 2008 at 8:23 am

Time to visit the big U

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Beta, powered by Diet Coke

COUPONGOOD, powered by Diet Coke

COUPONGOOD is in beta, and we’ve made 52 loans to Ugandan entrepreneurs.  Now I’m headed there to drop in on the MFIs and the loan recipients to see if the loans are making a difference.  I’ll be evaluating four factors: 1) gov’t/infrastructure 2) Macro/micro economic health 3) MFIs 4) borrowers.

I think I’m ready:

Shots: Hep A, Hep B, Yellow Fever, Teatnus, Menengitis, Rabies — DONE
Waterproof bag, first aid kit, canteen, malaria meds, other meds, flashlight, pants, shirts, socks, underwear, shoes, belt, laptop, toothpaste/brush, bug spray, sun screen, sun glasses, hat, small towel, passport, vaccination card, money — CHECK

I’ve never been out of the US.  When I tell that to people who’ve been to Uganda, they usually laugh and ask me if I’m serious.  Weird, that can’t be a good.

I’ll be there for 3 weeks.  My biggest fear? Simple: I won’t want to come back.

Written by thetyson

October 7, 2008 at 1:19 pm

COUPONGOOD Release Notes: 08/26/08

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4 days worth of Diet Coke

Need a bigger desk

We did another iteration on the site based on user feedback.  We hit the internal goal thanks to a Diet Coke-fueled 36 hour push at the end…


  • People wanted a way to browse similar types of stores and find the best ongoing deals.
  • We added [very] broad Categories in order to start accommodating this request
  • Each Category page shows the top 100 stores and the top 25 coupons

New UI:

  • People were confused about how to use coupons
  • We responded by making the coupons a little smarter; now, coupons are customized by the presence of a coupon code (or not).
  • Also, we increased the clickable area for using the coupon code to make it more intuitive.
  • The header and general look and feel was also updated to reflect the tracking data

We hope you like the changes.  Please feel free to add your feedback in the comments of this blog post or you can always email us at:

  • 2cents [at] coupongood [dot] org


The Coupongood Team

Written by thetyson

August 26, 2008 at 7:59 pm

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