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Baraza – a failed Google experiment at a Q&A site

Learning from failures is important, so I invite you to take a look at Google Baraza. It is “a Q&A site designed for Africans“, whatever that means.

From the looks of it, it seems to be a clone of the Stack Overflow / OSQA / Quora models. What’s unique about it? Nothing, as far as I can tell. My question about this got little informative responses (the most pathetic response was “Because it’s Google, it’s cool.”).

The site seems plagued with questions such as where can we find girls to sex, and How can i handle a nagging wife.

Every startup or project should be treated as an experiment. At the start, you think you have “The Spark”, that undefinable quality that will make your project a success. Most startups are copies or combinations of existing ideas, there’s nothing wrong with that. Before Google, there was Alta Vista, and before Facebook, MySpace. But as we know, 90% of all startups are destined to fail. Better to fail early than lumber around stuck in a limbo forever. If I were leading the Google Baraza team now, I would decide now is the correct time to fail.


  1. Ken Egozi:

    why is it a good time to FAIL, rather than to GET BETTER ?

  2. ripper234:

    @ken –

    Sometimes getting better is not a realistic option, because your competitors have a huge head start. In this case, I really feel that the market is so crowded that nothing Baraza do here will stand any chance to compete. I could be wrong here, of course – I did say the same thing about three years ago, when Aya suggested I launch a Q&A site. I told her “No need, there’s Yahoo Answers”, and then came Stack Overflow/Exchange and stampeded over everything…

    The difference now is that I know exactly how much explosive growth Stack Overflow has shown, and I understand what edge OSQA & Shapado have over it (being FOSS). Quora, also, have some edge, being so integrated with Facebook. There is only room in the world for so many successful Q&A platforms, and seriously, I see nothing innovative about Baraza.

    Are you seeing something I’m missing?