“Are you a developer?” See, if I got a credit alert every time someone asked me this question, well, let’s just say I wouldn’t need to be working so many jobs. The thing is that I don’t really blame them for assuming, I mean I do kind of look like a developer (yeah, I’ll get into what they look like soon). Anyway, since I found myself in the Lagos tech scene, I’ve come across a number of characters and they all, strangely enough, seem to fall into a kind of set category.
What’s even weirder is that almost all of them within said categories, behave similarly. So, I decided to break down some of the techie stereotypes I’ve come across – in my short time – in our ever growing tech landscape.
I’ve met only a handful of founders (not co-founders) and while they all varied from obnoxious to inspiring, they all had one thing in common: charm. I guess you’d have to be charming to convince your severely under-paid staff and a bunch of investors to believe in that crazy dream as much as you do.
The Annoying Trait: Impatience. Yeah, I’m sure waiting for everyone else to see your idea as clearly as you do can get a tad… upsetting
The Wardrobe: Suits. Lots and lots of suits.
Throw a stone in Yaba and you’re more than likely to hit a developer. They are seriously everywhere, and while some live up to that geeky introvert stereotype, others are quite the opposite. But the one thing that seems to make all of them tick is how logical they are. If founders are the dreamers, developers are the realists that stop them from flying too close to the sun.
The Annoying Trait: Condescension. It must be hard to accept that the other developer you met during Social Media Week might know python a little more than you. It’s fine.
Be the smartest in the room
The Wardrobe: T-shirts and jeans.
The Social Media ‘Expert’
The great thing about being a social media ‘expert’ is that you really don’t have to know too much about the startup you’re representing. You only have to make it seem like you do in 140 characters or less. Oh and the hashtags, don’t forget the unnecessary hashtags that will probably never trend. The common denominator in this case is the capacity to be fun (or at least seem fun), ‘cos no one wants their company’s social media accounts to seem like it’s being run by a bot.
The Annoying Trait: Detachment. Well, our society is getting increasingly detached from real life, thanks to social media. Now imagine you were actually getting paid to ignore reality.
The Wardrobe: No one really cares. Just tweet.
“Scaling, ROI, Revenue, blah, blah, blah…” basically marketer lingo for ‘when do we start making (more) money?’ While the founders are trying to make the world a better place, the marketers are the guys that understand that real change isn't cheap. Yeah, the whole ‘if you build it, they will come’ idea is great in theory, but without a great marketer, your great idea might never make it in front of the right crowd. I guess that’s why they are almost all loud; always seen, always heard.
The Annoying Trait: Self-Important. If you were the money-person, I’d be shocked if you weren't self-important too.
The Wardrobe: The brighter, the better.
Ugh. Tech bloggers are the worst, and I should know. They just love to think (or pretend) that they are at the forefront of everything tech-related. If I had to point out one thing they all seem to have in common, it would be their propensity to show-off. I dare you to find a tech blogger that doesn't fill up their posts with unnecessary words they know damn well their reader know nothing about. But as much as they like to feel technologically superior, would you know (or care) about what hotels.ng or Jumia were up to without them? I highly doubt it.
The Annoying Trait: Know-It-All. They do get most of the best tech gist before anyone else, so I guess you can’t really blame them.
The Wardrobe: Anything they freaking want.
So, did I miss any? Please sound off in the comments section.
Featured image credit: Lecia Store