What’s your advice to young start-ups moving into the digital space?
Most of the young lads I get to encounter these days don’t care much about the 9 to 5 and understandably so, technology and the internet has empowered us. Some of them that do have a 9 to 5 job are seriously disengaged and their bosses are struggling to understand why.
My advice is if you feel so passionately about your idea, before you go all in, validate it. Validate it beyond your family and friends. Don’t start building an app because your mum and sisters say they like the idea, go beyond them. Don’t be afraid to talk to other people about your ideas.
It’s extremely though to start and manage a start-up, you need a lot of passion and perseverance to make it. If you are in it just for the money, you are most likely to abandon ship early at the signs of struggle.
Pick a mentor(s), intern where you can get some experience, spend loads of time on Slideshare, Quora and YouTube. Read, read read. I can’t even say that enough. Read books about founders and writers in the start-up space that snipers you, learn from their mistakes.
Nigeria is a bloody tough place to start a business, it’s not for the faint of heart. You practically have to provide everything yourself so it’s tougher to start-up from here but several people are doing that. At this stage talent simply isn’t just enough, passion and perseverance is key, staying power.
Don’t be afraid to ask others for help too. Meet people, network, mix with other start-ups and learn from each other. While many of the start-ups in Nigeria are playing in the ecommerce and retail space, it really would be great to see solutions that solve real Nigerian problems like malaria, traffic, bad roads, power and related things. Don’t be too quick to get funding, bootstrap as much as is possible
Olusegun martins writes at www.martins.com.ng