Startup-preneur face lot’s of challenges in order to succeed. it is one of the reasons they innovate more than big companies that acquire them later. On the other hand, many of them have fallen by the road side. I remember reading an article about how the makers of Angry bird went broke but later shot into one of the most popular game ever. As much as we may not be playing in the same environment, we are both working on building profitable businesses.
No business thrives without adding and creating value. To create value therefore there is need to understand how to deliver to a unique audience. That is what Ademola has discovered.
Ademola has worked on a few Startup projects. He has a current project that I have already fallen in love with. I am looking forward to see how it would be scaled. Let’s see what we can learn from him.
Jesse: Can we meet you?
Ademola: I am a Writer, Public Speaker, Web/Mobile developer and entrepreneur with so much enthusiasm for web 2.0 and social media. I am most known as the Founder of gistcaster.com, a tech start-up that instantly connect you with the info you need.
Jesse: When did you start as a tech entrepreneur and what was the first product you built?
Ademola: My Journey as an entrepreneur started around May 2008 with RiRanWo! a web startup that collects and organize Nigerian content on the internet. I knew a lot of Nigerian sites at that time and wanted to build a social portal through which you could discover other cools stuffs, majorly Nigerian content. RiRanWo! performed ‘fairly’, I got exposure & publicity for it, I got featured on StartupsNigeria.com, Agegelabs.com and TechMasai.com back then.
Jesse: You got media buzz, how about the users, what were the feedbacks you got from them?
Ademola: The biggest challenge I had was that there was not enough content to engage the users. You know that on the web, we have more consumers than producers [Me: Nods my head in agreement]
Jesse: I agree with you 100%. So you failed, but learned, right?
Ademola: Yes, Fast failing
Jesse: So what did you learn?
Ademola: I learnt that you should NEVER build a product and think people will start using it by default, they won’t. You have a lot of work to do
Jesse: Did research play any role?
Ademola: Yes, you need to research, and build what people NEED, not what they just passively WANT this was what I learnt after the Gistcaster came alive.
Jesse: Which of your inventions have been the most successful?
Ademola: hmmmm! At this point I’ll choose g160 as the most successful project I did yet. With a user base of about 3,000people and counting, I’ll say g160 has been massive for me and the feedback has been great, helping us fine tune the project to better serve the needs of the people. You can find more at http://g160.net
Jesse: awesome! Riranwo! has been discontinued, right?
Ademola: RiRanWo! was shut down after most of its features was ported into Gistcaster.
Jesse: How did you go about getting users, marketing and publicising the product?
Ademola: Impressed users recruited other people. Word of mouth is very powerful, or come to think of it; have you ever seen a Facebook or Twitter advert in Nigeria before? But Thousands of Nigerians join these sites daily, word of mouth. We also requested for slots at popular programmes and talk about it. That way we were able to properly explain it and answer questions about g160
Jesse: What have you learned about building products for the Nigerian market and what will you like to do different now?
Ademola: Nigerians won’t use your product just because it’s built by a ‘Nigerian,’ especially if you have a global competitor and you don’t really have a local USP. Knowing this is why I aim to build products that offer more local USP making me more relevant in the local markets. Some tech entrepreneurs in Nigeria like to kid themselves that they are not doing anything for the Nigerian market. But if you are not relevant locally, how do you make impact globally? I am working on more local contents, difficult for foreign companies to duplicate easily.
Jesse: You’re right about that, great company starts locally before growing globally, eg, Square, america, Spotify Europe, Inmobi India. Recently, you created OmnificLabs. What is the vision and objectives OmnificLabs?
Ademola: The objective of Omnific Labs is to create simple but innovative products and services that add value. We’ll make different products for different classes of people and we don’t see a need to clone something already existing. Why copy when there are still so many things innovation can still solve.
Jesse: Good, we will be looking forward to your innovative products. Any current project you’re working on?
Ademola: We are working on some new products. I will give you a brief insight into what it is. It is very close to public usage. [me: the service I said I was looking forward to]. g160 follow [different from g160, but similar] g160 Follow is currently in private beta. http://g160.net/follow.html. g160 follow is an innovative bulk SMS solution. Designed to be easy and yet powerful. g160 follow provides flexible SMS list management that everyone needs – businesses, schools, churches, Marketing Firms, clubs and associations.
Jesse: Very interesting. I am interested in this service already. I would love to see how it will stand out from the general bulk sms services we have around.
Thanks you very much for your time. We will be looking forward to sharing in fuller details with our audience what g160 is.
If you would like to try g160follow right now. You are free to try it. If you have any questions or inquiry channel it via their web portal — . http://g160.net/follow.html. I tried it and I was fascinated about the product. In a future post after following the product more closely, I would give a more detailed product review.
It is obvious from the interview that one failed project builds the foundation for the next one. g160 wasn’t so successful and now they are working on g160 follow. When he started, there was to organizational system supporting his innovations. Now, there’s Omnificlabs. Those who succeed are those who are bold enough to look failure in the face and tell it off. I hope you do too and then share your experience with us.