In an alternate universe, Nigerians did not have to wait for nearly 72 hours and stay up all night waiting for elections results. The results are been collated in real time, once a person thumb prints his candidate of choice, the vote is validated and immediately sent to a central database where the whole world can watch in real time. Vote by vote until all voting is done and the winner can be seen immediately.
Elections do not get more transparent than that.
So, why can we not do this now? Well, corruption is not really the reason. The reason is that tech moves slowly.
As a Tech Overlord myself, I love moving in big quantum leaps, but in reality if you introduce a tech solution that is too far ahead of what the populace is currently used to, you would find out that you are on your own. Little incremental steps is the key to making people more open to tech solutions.
Do not storm retailers with a dozen solutions they must start using NOW. They will simply throw it all out the window, instead pick one problem they know they have and start working with them from there, little by little, get them to trust you and your tech solutions, then further progress can be made.
The biggest challenge most technologists face is not with building awesome technology (we rock at that!), the biggest challenge we face is getting people to trust our solutions and allow us to deploy them fully (we suck at that!)
Watching The World
I do not think any conversation about ecommerce in Nigeria can be had without making a mention of Konga and Jumia, widely regarded as the pioneers of ecommerce in Nigeria and rightly so. No Nigerian ecommerce venture has gone this far before.
I however would like to see their success as a win for everyone. Konga and Jumia are not here to take it all. I feel they are merely here to help us bring people online, then we can ALL scoop in and still make a killing.
The real success of Konga and Jumia is not that they get to build billion dollar companies, it is that they get to help us convince people that buying things online works. To convince people that the internet can really make their life better. They are helping us to get people to TRUST online companies and that is truly priceless.
The Nigerian ecommerce scene is still in day one, anything can happen. Konga and Jumia may have opened up the road, but we are sure they will not be the only winners. Several specialised e-tailers that can build a solid brand will also cash in.
The way I see it, everybody wins.
Watching The World
I have learnt the practise of re-reading materials I have read, understood and comprehended before. I also watch certain movies I love so much over and over again.
The amazing thing I discovered is that with every time I read the book all over again, I gain new insights and make new connections that where not there before. I think this may be because when reading a second time, you are already familiar with the contents of the material and what you are really doing is that you are searching for something more. Or perhaps, it is because you have acquired more information since the last time you read the material and now you can grasp a deeper meaning.
I sat down to re-read a lot of #TMP at the archives page and felt empowered and armed with new weapons to navigate the business space, you probably should take a look here.
There are tons of advice out there about productivity, but I have found out that most of the time, getting to apply them does not seem to work. Not because the advice peddled are terrible, but because as I have now come to realise, productivity is a personal thing.
The habits I cultivated to make me more productive might not work for you.
Everyone needs to start from the place of admission: “I am not as productive as I can be”, once you make this statement and admit it internally, you are now ready to dive in and explore for yourself new habits and traits that would make you more productive.
Once you admit you are simply unproductive and you do not make up excuses for the lapses, you are on the way to improved productivity. Once you are fired up from within, you can then quickly find tips that can be applicable to what you want to get done.
Typewriters are not going anywhere, they are here to stay.
Sadly, it didn’t work that way. Typewriters now have their place in the museum along with the floppy diskettes and video cassettes.
Resisting change is futile, seek out what works and what is next and align with it.
I agree that there is a lot of hype and false prophecies out there, people hype a new technology, programming language or company every week and such fails to deliver over time. But for people who watch the trends, search for and analyse the data for ourselves by ourselves, we can see what is coming up next.
Therefore, if you pull up the data and it suggests a trend, then jump ship! People who where paying attention definitely knew the typewriter was on its way out, but rather than wake up to reality, they clung on to the past.
If the data today suggests that ads do not do so well on mobile, we can fix it by thinking up new advert formats or thinking up new revenue models for our businesses altogether. We do not fix it by insisting Google (an old-era Internet company) made billions through advertising and we are next in line!
Only fools (or special people with uncommon insights) argue with the data. So, except you are a fool or a very talented person, just stick to the data and you will be fine.
We use tools for work, we play with toys.
You make money when you build or sell tools that makes other people’s lives easier. After a certain stage, toys are relegated to the background because it is people that earn their free time that looks for toys.
Facebook might have started as a toy, but smart people watching the company must have observed a shift. Facebook is now building tools, tools to empower businesses and other developers. At the Facebook developers conference yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the popular Facebook Messenger was now going to become a platform that will help you not only send money as previously announced but also potentially help you buy things, and allow other developers to build things on top of it.
Very soon, Facebook messenger could be responsible for helping you hail taxis, order cakes, send documents from your Dropbox, talk to doctors and anything others can imagine using the platform for.
For the Techie looking for the next big thing, go and build a tool. Shikena!
Watching The World
These days, we rarely find businesses who do real marketing. What most people do nowadays is around the grey area of spamming. All businesses seem interested in doing nowadays is just to get word about themselves out there, using any vehicle available.
I think it is a small-minded way to go about business. Real marketing; authentically connecting with our target audience, the ones we set out to serve initially helps our businesses and organisation develop a more tactile plan that can better succeed. Spammers do not have the patience to develop such a relationship.
Real marketing, not spamming is what can deliver real customers to us over the long term.
I expect business models to change dramatically as we proceed into the future. New and strange sounding business models are popping up all over the place and I predict that this trend will continue.
Business model can be defined as a design for the successful operation of a business, identifying revenue sources, customer base, products, and details of financing.
We have gone from a premium business model (sell your products at high prices) to freemium (give away a basic version, charge for extra features), cheapium (sell it cheap), and then the totally free, ad supported business model adopted by media companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Your local TV networks.
The whole business model landscape has really changed and it will keep changing. A few examples to help in understanding.
Some companies are experimenting with books for example, they offer you unlimited books to read every month for an access fee. This takes off the burden of having to buy books.
Some schools collect school fees daily or weekly, rather than per term. It is easier to pay in chunks rather than one-off payments. That is a business model innovation.
The concept of losing money to make money makes no sense to people who work in the industrial age, but in these digital times, you could do it and get away with it.
Business model innovations that deliver great value to the customer at perceived cheaper prices, wins. I doubt if premium priced products and services will get a seat in our future, but of course I know premium brands do not aim for the mass market and its ok.
More than ever before, if you can innovate with a new business model for your line of business, you would rule the world. Seriously!
Watching The World
A website is a collection of webpages that provides information. A web presence goes beyond that.
Creating and maintaining a web presence for your business means bringing together various pieces of digital technology to allow you acquire and retain your customers. If all your online efforts are not yielding you new customers on a steady note, then obviously you are doing something wrong.
When you create an effective web presence for your business, whether people stumble upon your website or come to your physical office: there would be no difference.
Watching The World
First, you want to tell yourself there is no going back, that is why wise folks burn bridges of the past so that there is no way they can turn back. With going back out of the question, you have solved like 50% of the problem.
When the going gets tough and various factors or forces swings in to halt progress, the first reaction is usually to turn back, back to familiar grounds, back to where we were coming from, back to the way things were. This is a terrible feeling and a terrible idea, once we head back, we lose everything and we will now likely settle permanently in the average zone.
Second, you want to remind yourself WHY you stepped out in the first place. What happened to you initially that made you venture out? What circumstances led to your stepping out? Fixing your mind on why you are out there, moving and seeking progress is a great booster to keep going.
Finally, you want to remember all the good things that has happened so far, the testimonies! Who has benefited from your work in the past and really commended you for the bravery? Every good remark people make about you should be stored up for times like this… When the going gets tough.
They say when the going gets tough, only the tough can keep going, but not necessarily. When the going gets tough, its the people who have decided there is no turning back and know why they are doing the things they do that will keep going. The others will turn back and join the applause crew.