Friday, 8 February 2013

Best time in life to start a start up

my first bog post in while.. over a year!!!

Anyway was just thinking this morning and thought I'd share my thoughts on what I think a lot of people might be struggling with; the best time to quit your job and run your start-up. 

The way I see it there are 2 optimal points in life to try your hand at full time or full income start-up entrepreneurship (a large percentage of your earnings or time devoted to the venture).

The points below are by no means scientific and make major assumptions about what I feel someone a certain age may or may not have achieved.

Undergraduate or fresh graduate (16 – 26 or till you get married or have kids)

  1. No dependents
  2. lots of time
  3. No major commitments.
  4. Lots of energy, zeal, passion and drive.
  5. Youth
  6. If your business fails no bother, you can always try another venture or become an employee and try again later.

  1. Lack of professional experience
  2. Lack of strong professional networks
  3. Lack of access to customer base
  4. Lack of business management experience
  5. Lack of access to capital
  6. Possibly small idea mind-set simply because of lack of exposure to your own potentials

35 to 45 years

  1. Fully developed professional experience
  2. Strong professional networks
  3. Possibly good understanding of business management
  4. Greatly improved access to capital, perhaps from savings or business associates
  5. Big idea mind-set
  6. Likely leadership experience
  7. Less risky if there is financial buffer saved over the years
  8. If you have been continuing formal education, then more education form degrees, certifications etc.
  9. If you have been running business gradually, business might be fully developed and self-sustaining or even very successful by this time
  10. Possibly decent family life during the build-up to the switch to full time entrepreneurship, of course depending on how much time and money is devoted to business idea or business on the side.
  11. Likely have created a decent life for family and set things on motion for a decent life through the initially risky entrepreneurship cut-over period
  12. If your venture fails you can always go back to being an employee, you have the work experience to get you another job

  1. Dependents
  2. No time
  3. Major commitments to family, friends, work etc.
  4. Might watch several big opportunities go by
  5. Very risky because failure will might adverse effect on family life.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Google, I fear you!

After reading this excellent article written by Bill Gurley about Google, I am officially scared and in awe of the company. I’ll give a brief rundown of the article.

The article starts by quoting a famous saying by Warren Buffet, it goes In business, I look for economic castles protected by unbreachable ‘moats’.”.

Bill goes on to define an “economic castle” as a great business and the “unbreachable moat” as the “strategy or market dynamic that heightens the barriers-to-entry and makes it difficult or ideally impossible to compete with, or gain access to, the economic castle".

Now everybody knows that Google is making seemingly random forays and causing disruptions (with various levels of success) in business sectors that are not traditionally associated with it.
I mean search and ads is Google’s forte right? So why the expansion into other businesses i.e. android with regards to mobile devices, wave/buzz with regards to social media, chrome OS with regards to computer operation systems and chrome browser with regards to web browsers.

Well the article above has an answer, its explains that search is Google’s castle and as such it will strive to remove any barrier (the barrier being competitors) between it and its customers (you and I).

So what’s the best way to prevent other competitors preventing Google's unfettered access to us than to build a moat to its search business, a moat so deep and so wide that no other company on earth can breach it. That moat is android, Google Chrome, Wave, buzz and some of its other business forays.

Consider it, if all our access to the internet is funnelled through Google via its website or some service, device or operating system then there is nothing between us and the warm embrace of Google.
What of the competition? the answer is simple, Bing or yahoo search simply can’t compete on that level.

An even more awesome thought is that Google is not even on the offensive, the by-products of Google’s defensive strategy are so strong that they are causing massive disruptions in various other business sectors. This is both scary and impressive, scary because it means eventually everything we do online will somehow originate via a Google service (if competitors can’t compete a monopoly is inevitable) and impressive because the strategy is so deep and far reaching.

Google I duff my hat!

Friday, 18 March 2011

I'm back!!!

Yep, I'm back and it feels good to be writing once again. I have been very busy with work, preparing for an exam (ISEB Business analysis practitioner) and getting married. Yeah you read right, I just got married. So yours truly is no longer single, yay!!

Marriage is wonderful, and though I've been married only about a month, I strongly recommend it.

Anyway like I said feels good to be back, should have a proper tech oriented post out shortly.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Ten pointers for I.T managers

Having worked in several I.T companies where I managed and was managed by good, bad and ugly managers. I just thought I would put together a short list of pointers to remind myself a few do's and don't s of I.T management.
This list is by no means exhaustive and I will add to it as I remember more.
While the title refers to I.T, I believe the pointers below can apply to any creative sector.

  1. I.T professionals are a resource not slaves or students
  2. Endeavor to encourage rather than instruct. It is better for a person to decide himself that he wants to do a certain thing rather than be instructed to do it, he does it with gusto
  3. Team effort all the way, "we" rather then "you", "us" rather than "I"
  4. Staff should be responsible for thier performance, while being given periodic reviews to judge how they are doing.
  5. A sense of belonging, of being part of something great helps build staff moral, good staff moral in turn encourages staff loyalty, productivity and descipline
  6. Staff trainings are good, they show you are concerned about building staff career.
  7. Encourage attempts, praise good attempts, Reward excellence
  8. Discourage a bad and unprofessional attitude to work, unprofessional in this case refers to lateness, low productivity, bad social skills, lack of team team work and spirit, reluctance to self improve. 
  9. Good language, a good attitude, staff loyalty should be imbibed in staff and office culture 
  10. Carry staff along with key decisions that affect them and get feedback on what they think.

10 Most Common Mistakes in Agile Adoption. Part I

10 Most Common Mistakes in Agile Adoption. Part I

10 Most Common Mistakes in Agile Adoption. Part II

10 Most Common Mistakes in Agile Adoption. Part II

Friday, 1 October 2010

Adopting a mountain climber mentality

What’s a mountain climber mentality in the first place?
when climbing a mountain you first have to decide on what mountain you have to climb, carefully plan the climb and then begin the task, when climbing you have to stay lean, carry less luggage, invest in physical and mental health rather than material possessions, needs rather than wants.
At milestones its ok for you to celebrate how far you have come, have a rest and get yourself a treat but it’s important to be careful not to get complacent and settle there, the climb has to continue! You have to keep your eyes on the prize which is to get to the top, because when you get to the top it will be totally worth it.
After the climb what next? Well, find another mountain, if you keep at it long enough you will one day look back and find that you have become a great man, an achiever.

In real life this means..?
Setting life goal(s), planning how to achieve them and then striving to achieve it, it means constantly investing in your health, education, business and career, keeping a lean budget, few important luxuries but many more targeted and well planned expenditures, investments for needs now and in the future.
Keep at it over and over again and then one day you will look back and find that you have achieved so much over the years, you have amassed wealth, kept good health, have truly become great and achieved more than you could ever have dreamed you would achieve.

Advantages of a mountain climber mentality

  • A mountain climber mentality helps you to be disciplined in your spending, because you are forced to think carefully of the benefits of any expenditure before making it.
  • A mountain climber mentality helps gives your a direction, a focus
  • A mountain climber mentality helps you to get richer because as you achieve more, you earn more.
  • A mountain climber mentality helps rise above your peers because your focus is not to compete with your peers but to achieve goals you have set for yourself.
  • A mountain climber mentality helps you to become wealthier because the returns from investments will always be giving back.
  • A mountain climber mentality helps you to be wise because when your others are wasting time and money extravagantly you are focused on achieving more and more
  • A mountain climber mentality helps you to stay sharp and make good use of your time, because you need to constantly think of ways to achieve your goals
Yeah, yeah I know my writing above is not exactly technical, but I believe a more focused, physically and mentally healthy pro is a better I.T pro.

p.s Happy independence Nigeria!!