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This is the concluding part of the post on Africamars – Our Own YouTube?.
I asked Aliyu Daku, the man behind AfricaMars, a couple of other questions:
What do you think about SOPA?
I strongly believe that intellectual property should be respected and piracy both online and offline should be fought against. I think SOPA may have gone a little too far in sharing the responsibility for online piracy. This will cost content technology and web startups a lot of money to police their content or search index. I think SOPA could actually dwarf innovation in online media technology as more startups would be discouraged to go into this field.
Besides, the problems you listed. What other setbacks have you encountered in building your brand?
Apart from difficulty in raising funds, another major setback is lack of “willing” talent. Most developers would rather take small programming and design jobs from clients than embark on a long term and risky mission of building a startup. When I found a talented co-founder, we had to work remotely during the early days when he was working as a developer in a UK software firm. It was really hard to communicate features and product strategy, we tried everything from long phone calls to collaborative online tools like Google Wave and Threadbox. Nothing beats a face to face working environment.
Another setback is, not being where the action is. You have to be located at the hub (not necessarily a tech hub), where people live and breathe the idea you are working on. If you run a music startup, find an office near the record labels. If you are working on a financial services startup, re-locate to the biggest business hub in the country. Be where the action is.
How has ‘electricity’ affected your business?
Unstable electric power supply problem has significantly slowed us down. I just hope the situation will continue to improve because I can remember in the very early days of the startup when we had to work with just about 2 hours of power a day. There is no excuse for a business to under-perform and blame lack of power, you have to find ways and make things happen. This is why I’ll totally blame myself for not finishing up this interview on time.
That’s it folks! Words from the man behind Afrimars. What do you think?