If you give a Nigerian bread and expect them not to ask for butter to compliment, you are setting yourself up for ridicule. The age of mediocrity is fast edging out in same manner as the world is evolving. Therefore harbouring such thoughts especially in this 21st century will be ludicrous.
Early on in my journey into the techie world, I penned down an article on my confusion with common buzzwords. To think that months after, I still get a whole lot of flak for its perceived incompleteness -- I didn't explain their meanings -- is a spirit damper of sorts. To say the least, it’s good to know that as Nigerians, we’ve come such a long way that we wouldn’t settle for less in anything, especially where information dissemination is concerned. This is something I quite needed a reminder of.
My countrymen didn’t stop coming at me until I either got it right or stake an attempt at it. While doing my bit at getting it right and embedding my apologies underneath, let’s take a look at the meaning to these buzzwords you all are hard bent on finding their meanings (na wa o) even though a lot of you already know their meanings.
NB: You might want to read the original article first for some perspective.
You can think of Rocket Internet as that global organisation whose African subsidiary – AIG -- is the parent company to at least 10 successful and fast-growing companies in more than 30 African countries. One of such companies that come to mind is Jumia. Rocket Internet, which started in 2007, now has more than 30,000 employees across its network of companies, and is active in more than 110 countries across six continents.
Ever heard of Silicon Valley? Well that’s a perfect example of one functional ecosystem. The term ‘ecosystem’ however is not exclusive to startups alone. It also includes people and different types of organisations existing in a location (physical or virtual), and more importantly, interacting as a system to create startup companies. A replica of such in Nigeria is what we have in Yaba aka Yabacon Valley (the popularized home to tech in Nigeria).
Be the smartest in the room
You all knew that man at the helm of Konga’s affairs before his recent resignation; well his name is Sim Shagaya. Prior to his resignation, he was recognised as the founder and CEO of Konga.com – one of Africa’s largest eCommerce platforms -- and also the Executive Chairman of DealDey. While the news of his resignation wouldn’t go down well with a lot of his faithful, they would have to take solace in his new role within the Konga structure.
These dudes aren’t actually angels or anything of that sort. They are human beings like you and I, the only difference is that they arguably have more money. Angel investors are usually found among an entrepreneur’s family and friends, and they usually provide financial backings for small startups or entrepreneurs in exchange for convertible debts or ownership equity.
This can actually be difficult to explain, but I’d simplify it using analogies. Imagine you find yourself in dire need of an air conditioned ride to convey you to a very important meeting even when you do not own one. Alas the thought of hailing a taxi online through an app drops in your mind. Within the next five minute or less you have a driver calling to pick you up at whatever location you are, and within the hour, you find yourself alighting at your destination feeling like a boss. You have just shared a ride. The use case is also the same when you have to share other luxuries with someone who can provide them, of course for a small fee. The sharing economy basically allows you firsthand luxury of products or services that aren’t within your confines to provide. The system is based on people with similar needs or interest banding together to share and exchange less tangible assets such as time, space, skills and money.
This describes a person who is very knowledgeable or enthusiastic about technology, and in one way or the other makes a living off it. I must admit that it also comes with its own price. I for one have lost the taste for watching television – something I once loved – since I became one. The price might vary with techies, but trust me, there’s always a catch after ‘baptism’.
While the concept of startups grows deeper root within our mind, we also need to know that a lot of them do not just develop from thin air or by mere snap of fingers. There are conscious and deliberate efforts engineered into a startup’s progression from being one smart idea to being able to attract customers which will ensure revenue generation. One of such efforts is incubation. An incubation process involves helping to create and grow young businesses by providing them with necessary support and financial and technical services.
Just like you attend a school of learning, and transit from the elementary classes towards graduation, you can also call this as a startup’s first stage while within the school of startup.
If only you were in attendance at the #SMWLagos2016 Going Viral event where our own Editor-in-chief shed more light on this, I wouldn’t have to be repeating his lines. For the records, SEO means “Search Engine Optimisation”. It’s one of the many tools, or should I say tricks, that allows people easily find you (as an individual or a company) on the internet. If you ever wish to be found on the first pages of people’s Google search, then there’s a need for you to optimise your search by leveraging on the right keywords, tags and tools that wouldn’t make you appear oblivious when you actually exist.
Well in the previous article I did mention that there are different kinds of hubs each operating under different kind of context, we’d be phasing out the rest and drawing emphasis on the “tech hub”. If not the tech hub, then what else do we need to talk about? They are many in fact, each playing host to multiple startups by providing space and facilities for them to leverage on. Asides from the few that have finally graduated from different so called schools of startups to owning their own space of work/base of operation, go and check, every other startup operates from these so called technology hubs.
While appearing to be occupying the same niche and performing almost the same function as the Angel investors, Venture Capitalist (VC’s) operate within the framework of an organised institution. Venture capitalist basically emerge from the fusion of individuals (Could be Angel investors, CEOs of companies or financial institutions) whose interests span from operating as a corporation with a legal entity while leveraging on revenues from such businesses to act as fund provider for startups and entrepreneurs.
Having clarified the above, I’d be glad to breathe freely now. But in conclusion, technology, internet and social media haven’t only made us wiser, they have also provided an avenue to weigh information, sieve such information and criticise with minimal consequence. I dare say that my people aren't ready to play follow ups. Think of anything at all and my ever inquisitive people (Nigerians) would be sitting right on top of it.