If you thought I had hung up my pen, sorry to disappoint.
What I have learned first-hand in the 10 years I have spent studying and building tech and business projects is that starting might be difficult, but it is merely 1% of the challenge. The real test is when the heat is turned on as you try to get your project to work well and acquire new customers.
When the heat was too much back in 2012, I goofed, shut down Gistcaster permanently and moved on.
Moving on helped me to seriously re-develop myself, explore new worlds and maybe I am a stronger man now… but I think I do regret shutting down Gistcaster. In retrospect, I keep asking myself: what if I didn’t shut it down, how big would it be now?
Things that could only be classified as third world problems or Nigerian problems stopped me from writing my daily post for several days in a row, a perfect chance to run away from the project and even though I got a phone call or 2, a handful of emails and messages on Facebook inquiring about the whereabouts of the #TMP, I am honest enough to know that if I do not resume writing #TMP, it will not be terribly missed…. Just like Gistcaster circa 2012.
However, I will be the one to miss #TMP.
One of the many lessons my Gistcaster story taught me is that sometimes, you are not doing these things to help people and solve their problems, you are doing this to help yourself by giving you a chance to build up capacity and acquire skills.
I am not the best programmer in the world, but I am heads and shoulders above the rest because of all the real life projects I dared to embark upon. I always push my skillset to the brim, taking on things I am clueless about how to build and then figuring out a way to build it. Working on Gistcaster is what drove me deep into learning everything I know today. Before Gistcaster, I was a 19 year old guy who loved programming, after Gistcaster, I became a young man on a mission to design and build the future.
Writing #TMP for me everyday is not really about the loyal audience that is learning a lot from the posts or the critics who shark around, it is about me and all the capacity I am able to develop. It is about defying the Nigerian constraints, the financial constraints and pushing out the post.
Every single post that is published is a testimony!
It is about having a platform to discuss the future of work, the state of the industries we play in, what companies are getting right (or not) and how the world can be a better place.
It is about having a platform to publish my own opinions and not making excuses for having them.
It is about having a platform through which some impact can be made in other people.
These are the reasons I have to continue writing #TMP everyday.
Falling down is not the problem, the problem is when you decide to stay down. Building a startup is not a sprint, it is a marathon, little setbacks along the way should not stop you.
No matter what we are trying to get done and how impossible it looks, there’s always a way right in front of us.
We only need God to open our eyes.
When our human reasoning breaks down, when logic and analysis fails…. Something else can take over.
No situation is hopeless and cannot be redeemed.
Right now, there only seems to be no way, but trust me there is a way.
We just need to be humble enough to ask for directions from the one that knows.
I think critics should be considered as helpful and not totally mischievous elements seeking to wreck us.
I only need to know enough to start. Once I start, criticism, whether constructive or not can help me analyse my operations and help me grow.
I always allow people to “run their mouth” about anything I’m doing and I listen to what they say. I actually listen.
The critics look for the bad and amplify it while they themselves make no tangible progress in their own spot.
My job is to find the faults they amplify and then deal with it if need be.
Watching The World
A new wave of freelancing is here, one that excites me.
With the advancements made possible by smart devices: phones and laptops connected to the internet, freelancing suddenly looks like something that could empower lives.
Anybody can now freelance on the side. Working a free spare hours every evening and getting paid.
For example, a teacher that loves teaching kids but despises the low pay can easily boot up a new life as a Website developer, making websites for people at nights and weekends. Over time, the web developer by night will fund the teacher while demanding little of his time.
Anybody working full time anywhere can boot up a side gig, selling stuff online. You can setup your own website or use a marketplace. With a few clicks on your phone, you can quickly monitor orders and dispatch goods after confirming payment.
All you need is a website and some clever automation that keeps things running.
I think any full time staff anywhere that doesn’t have a little side business going online is cheating herself.
Watching The World
Traveling out to the USA or Canada or *insert your dream choice here* is not success.
In the words of Arch Bishop Benson Idahosa, “a lizard in Nigeria cannot become an aligator in America”. A lizard will always be a lizard.
Success will not come to you automatically because you jumped ship and traveled abroad, success will come to you when you practice the universally recognised laws of success. These laws work anywhere, whether you are in Nigeria or Benin Republic.
I know the headlines are saying Nigeria is doomed and the sky will collapse… that’s why I advised we pay attention to the trends instead. Ignore those crazy headlines. I heard that Africa’s richest man and President, Dangote Industries, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, yesterday, dismissed fears about the impact of the fall in crude oil prices on the Nigerian economy. He hasn’t jumped ship.
When you are obsessed with searching for greener pastures elsewhere, you miss out on the golden opportunities all around you.
Where you see collapse and doom, some of us see tremendous opportunity for growth and wealth generation.
At the end, it dawns on you: the grass is NEVER greener on the other side. With regret and hopefully, some remorse you settle down and nurture the field you have. The alternative is to work hard, learn new skills, seek out a better strategy for your operations.
Nigeria might not be the greenest field in the world – it doesn’t even have to be. But it is definitely green enough for me.
Watching The World
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Microsoft has announced that its SQL Server will be released for the Linux operating system. (For those not in the know, Linux is a rival to Windows Operating system which is made by Microsoft)
The news is not a shocker of any sorts, Microsoft, known for keeping everything closed and in-house started opening up under the leadership of Satya Nadella, their CEO. Microsoft has done so many things we would have thought was impossible over the past few years.
I am learning a great deal from this incredible turn around.
We must know when we are beaten and adapt our strategy accordingly. Microsoft always knew it had lost a lot of grounds in various industries, but it was only under Nadella that they finally admitted they had lost and then modified their strategy accordingly.
Under the previous CEO, Microsoft continued in their illusions of been the kings of computing and watched on while Google, Oracle, Amazon, Facebook and co wrestled power away from them. After so long, Microsoft is finally fighting back, fighting back on all fronts.
Bringing Microsoft Office suite to Android and iOS, buying up the most popular and useful productivity apps on those platforms (including my darling Wunderlist), and recently joining open source groups, this new Microsoft is no slouch.
It is great to see old companies getting back into real competitive mode. The customers win.
Watching The World
…As long as lateness is the exception and not the norm.
I usually tell my students that the reason I always turn up early everytime for any scheduled class is because a day might come when I’ll be unavoidably late and when that day comes, it will be easy for them to forgive me.
It is not fun when lateness becomes part of the game.
When you flip the scales and lateness becomes your signature attribute, don’t expect us to be grateful.
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You have an idea, perhaps you have even been nursing it for years… Not sure what to do about it. Completely clueless about where to start from.
I used to be like that too, until I learned and developed a framework that helps me build out my new ideas. These days, I can move from idea to launching out in 3 weeks or less.
Let me teach you this framework and hold your hands in building out your first business startup idea.
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Everyone will have an opinion about what you should be doing, where you should be, what you could become. It is normal.
They are just been human.
The only issue is if you feel that you have to accept and run with what people say. You don’t. You do not have to work with every opinion or suggestion you receive.
Listen to what people have to say of course, there is safety in the multitude of counsel. However, we must be ready to own the consequences of whatever comes out of it. We do not get to start pointing fingers around.
The greater the vision, the greater the preparation required. Every morning, you do need to ask yourself, what am I getting ready for?
Time spent worrying or envying others is best spent getting ready.
I have observed that most people do more of prayers than getting ready.
Don’t get it twisted; praying is good as it takes care of the spiritual side of things. But as we make progress spiritually, we ought to also practically work things out physically.
No matter how grand the vision is, or how tough the challenges that come up is, we can always navigate through and find a how.
How far and how well we can execute the vision depends on how thorough the preparation was.
It is easy to forget that the sole purpose of news agencies isn’t to inform us.
The sole purpose is to make money.
The money is made based on how large an audience they can command. That is why you have to understand the ‘headline politics’.
Business people have to learn to follow the trends and not the headlines. We are responsible for the amount of relevant information we have.
You should be curating your own news. Collecting facts and figures from sure sources. Be guided by real facts and data, not some dramatic rendition of events.
The trends are what we should seek out and interprete and act upon.
So, what is trending?