Occasionally on the How I Work series, we go behind-the-scenes to spotlight one of our own to learn more about what they do and how they do it. A few months back, we featured Techpoint Africa Founder and CEO, Adewale Yusuf, and Culture editor, Titilola Oludimu.
For this edition, we talk to Muyiwa Matuluko, Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Techpoint Africa. He gives insight into his career before starting Techpoint, as well as his hacks and tools for getting things done.
Current roles: Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief, Techpoint Africa
Current computer: Samsung tablet with a Miniso keyboard (since the ‘real owners’ took my Samsung Chromebook Pro)
Current mobile device: Nokia 7.1
Describe how you work in one word: Quasi-planned
Tell us briefly how you started out and how you got where you are today
I’ve always loved writing. You can imagine my joy when I discovered blogging in 2011. I ran a personal blog where I blogged about any and everything — religion, politics, technology and the occasional ranting, everything.
One day I discovered WordPress.org, the self-hosted version of WordPress.com. I got excited about building my own website using WordPress themes and plugins. Naturally, I soon began to blog more about technology.
In 2013, I took up a paid contributor role at Mobility Arena. I got the gig thanks to the technology category on my blog. Being a much bigger platform then, the engagement I got was quite impressive. That was the first time it occurred to me that I could build a career out of this thing.
From there, I joined TechCabal, where I worked full-time as a Gadgets, Mobile and Apps reporter/editor for a year. It was during that time that I met Adewale who was helping out with photography for a device I was reviewing.
After leaving TechCabal in October 2014, I decided I wanted a break from tech blogging but tech blogging did not want a break from me. That’s how I found myself reporting for the technology section of YNaija for a month. Around November/December 2014, Adewale approached me about his idea for starting Techpoint. I thought it was a good idea but I told him I wasn’t ready yet. But I eventually joined in February 2015. The rest, they say, is history.
Walk us through a typical workday
I get up from the bed between 5 and 6 am, depending on how my night was. On the days I’m disciplined enough not to laze around the Twitter timeline, I prepare both breakfast and lunch before I set out for the office. This is one of the perks of staying 20 minutes (without traffic) from the office.
On Mondays, I join the general team meeting, after which I anchor another meeting with the editorial team where we discuss content for the week. The rest of my day is pretty much spent replying emails, delegating, editing and doing other reactive managerial stuff.
I don’t really get deep work done at the office because I work best in solitude. This is why I usually take Fridays off to work from home.
What apps, gadgets, or tools can’t you do without?
What’s your favourite shortcut or hack
Eating the same breakfast of instant oats, milk, apple, and cashew nuts (no sugar) every morning.
This achieves two purposes for me. One, it saves me time in the morning because I don’t have to think of what to eat. Because, if I have to think of what to eat, I may end up not having breakfast, and I can’t function properly without breakfast.
Secondly, it also achieves the added benefit of forcing me to eat healthily. I’m able to maintain my weight without thinking too much about it.
What task(s) do you dislike but still do?
Replying emails and, believe it or not, holding meetings.
How do you keep track of what you have to do?
The Color Note app, my Slack DM (I just paste links I need to get to later and hurried notes there) and Google Docs.
How do you recharge or take a break?
First of all, I avoid emails and anything work-related on weekends. So, my email and Slack notifications are permanently off.
I also watch a lot of YouTube videos and listen to podcasts. Most importantly, I spend time with myself.
Besides work, what do you spend time doing? What do you enjoy?
I used to be an active tenor singer in the choir but I haven’t done that in a while. I watch a lot of anime, also Hip-Hop and anime/manga breakdown videos on YouTube. I also like to read and learn new things; I’m very fascinated by Physics and science fiction.
What are you currently reading, watching, or listening to? What do you recommend?
Currently reading 1984 by George Orwell for our reading club at work.
I’m also reading How To Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Pop MC by Paul Edwards. And I recommend everyone should read Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.
Listening: Always listening to The Joe Rogan Experience and Stuff You Should Know podcasts. But I also recommend Daniel And Jorge Explain the Universe.
Watching: I follow Unabashedly Reggie’s YouTube channel and I am currently watching BoJack Horseman on Netflix.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I don’t know how to answer that question because I’m not really the seek-role-model-ask-for-advice kind of person. But I guess the best advice I’ve received is “You can’t please everybody; you’re not Jollof rice.”
What’s a problem you’re still trying to solve?
The biggest problem I’m trying to solve is how I can retire as a house husband by 40. I don’t like stress.
Who would you like to see answer these questions?
Sim Shagaya, Kofo Akinkugbe, Mr Mo, and John Obaro
Jan. 18: Bonus Built in Africa episode: Town Hall meeting with Peter Salovey, President of Yale University
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