Attention African Startup Founders

Are you a Startup Founder or someone who wants to solve a problem in Africa? If this is you then I want to grab your attention. We are living in the 21st Century and therefore it is important that you take this into account when starting up your venture. Organisations in the 21st century need to use Exponential attributes to ensure success.

I have written about these attributes before and have included a diagram of the elements below for a refresher.

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This image is supplied courtesy of ExO Works

It is vital that you have an MTP as this will ensure that you are working towards a purpose that moves you and is inspiring. If you want to determine what that purpose is you can use the Ikigai to help you.

I highly recommend that you follow these steps when creating a new business:

Step 1: Create an MTP (Massive Transformative Purpose)

Here is a tool to help you do this

Step 2: Create or Join a Community

Physical/Virtual, look at what is out there on Meetup / Eventbrite or others. Remember that you need to offer value before pushing your agenda. Read Jab Jab Jab Right Hook to understand this. BTW check out DIY Drones it is a great example of a community.

Step 3: Build a Team

Most successful startups are 3-4 people in the beginning. The team needs the Visionary/Dreamer; Finance/Business; Programmer/Engineer; User Experience/Design. What is vital is that you all agree on the MTP

Step 4: Create the Breakthrough Idea

Be bold, ask the community, make a difference

Step 5: Build a Business Model Canvas

Here is a tool to help you do this

Step 6: Find a Business Model

Read Kevin Kelly’s Article better than free 8 ways to make money when the base service is free to give you some ideas

Step 7: Build an MVP

Remember that your minimum viable product is just the basics that will solve the problem

Step 8: Validate Marketing and Sales

Use Design thinking and Agile Methodology

Step 9: Implement External Attributes

These are the SCALE Attributes

Step 10: Establish the Culture

It is important to do this when you are small. You can go with an Idea Meritocracy, Holocracy, or your own hybrid but create principles about how you want to run the organisation, this ensures implementation of IDEAS and SCALE.

Step 11: Ask Key Questions Periodically

This is to check you are following the Exponential Organisational method and building what you want to.

Step 12: Build and Maintain a Platform

This will allow for the best use of all the data you collect and build and use the network effect.

I will go into more detail with regards to these steps over time, I highly recommend that you read Exponential Organizations as well as Bold. These are two books that will ignite your mind to the many possibilities and the opportunities when solving massive problems and then how to go about doing that. The framework described here is straight out of Exponential Organizations.

If you find this helpful then share it and comment.

A Growing Passion | Crowdfunding | It’s History

As the Internet becomes a more prolific force in the lives of more humans we are definitely going to see greater collaboration using internet enabled platforms. Peter Diamandis speaks of the rising billions in terms of the emerging world’s citizens who are gaining access to the internet. This is extremely exciting as greater access to the internet allows people to collaborate more efficiently. Essentially crowdfunding is human collaboration enabled by Technology. Crowdfunding gives people opportunities that may not have been possible prior to the internet. It is extremely exciting to think about how this can positively affect the emerging world.

If we take a closer look at crowdfunding we will see that this is not a new idea, humans have been collaborating for centuries. Examples of pre-internet crowdfunding are:

  • Praenumeration: Subscription business model used to gauge demand before printing books in the 28th century. Not exactly crowdfunding but similar in terms of getting the crowds approval.
  • War Bonds: This is essentially the crowd funding war
  • Statue of Liberty Base: Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World, raised $102,000 in 1885 from 120,000 donors, with 80 percent of the total received in sums of less than one dollar.
  • Rotating savings and credit association’s, or ROSCA: There are many examples across the world where groups of people get together to pool money for particular purposes.

The foundation of crowdfunding via the internet though can be traced to the British rock group Marillion who in 1997 used donations from fans to pay for their US tour. In the same year writer/director Mark Tapio Kines designed a website to raise funds for his then-unfinished first feature film Foreign Correspondents. It was not really until 2003 when Brian Camelio, a Boston musician and computer programmer, launched ArtistShare that crowdfunding really started gaining traction. Maria Schneider’s jazz album “Concert in a Garden.” was the first project on ArtistShare and the campaign raised about $130,000. She won a 2005 Grammy Award for best large jazz ensemble album. This was the birth of rewards based crowdfunding and sites that we know such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter  launched in 2008 and 2009.

Debt Based crowdfunding saw its roots prior to the establishment of these rewards based platforms with the establishment of Zopa in the UK in 2004/5 and Lending Club in the USA in 2006.  The use of the internet to facilitate the collection of donations was in place long before donation based crowdfunding emerged in 2010 with the launch of  GoFundMe, which has raised over $2Billion to date.

In terms of Equity crowdfunding most information you can find focuses on the Jobs Act and America’s process to equity crowdfunding, EquityNet was founded in 2005 for accredited investors. You may not know that ASSOB took equity investing online in 2005 in Australia or that Crowdcube (founded 2010) and Seedrs (founded 2009) out of the UK are two of the most successful platforms for every man on the street.

This was a quick history and I have tried to make sure that it is as factually correct as possible. If I have made mistakes please comment about it.

This is most likely a good place to mention that I an working for a real estate crowdfunding company and together with some others based in Africa we have established the African Crowdfunding Association (ACfA) as a way to educate more and ensure that crowdfunding can impact Africa in a positive way!!!

 

 

Sunday Rambling | It’s been a while!

Working 7 days a week has become my norm for 2016. I have found that I have quite a resilience and enjoy a life that is full of busyness rather than nothing to do. Working in a scale up business in the fintech space has definitely been worth it to date. I have met awesome people and have had to learn and stretch myself in different areas. I am enjoying being out of the pharmaceutical world; being confined to the box of pharmacist.

I count myself very fortunate for the situation that I currently find myself in. Sure it is definitely not easy or simple but doing something important never is. I have worked hard in order to be in a situation where I can make a difference. So some of the negatives are: personal projects are on the back burner, my body is being neglected, I am not focusing on my social life.

Realising the negatives and ensuring that I do not forget about them and overcoming them is important. People go on about the journey of life and I do want to make sure that I am making the most of it.

Part of my current role has allowed me to look into different companies, researching and learning in order to ensure that we know where we stand in terms of our industry and what we need to do to push forward. Doing this has reminded me how full of information the internet is and how so much information is lost in the enormity of it, for example how this blog is a microscopic speck in the galaxy of the internet. One could look at this in two ways: I am insignificant and therefore should play no role on the internet or wow, there are billions of people who are a potential audience.

I will be sharing some of my internet finds moving forward and plan to take on a more consistent role of sharing online.

So this week I will share a find that was sent to me by our CEO, Scott Picken. If you are interested in start-ups, venture capital and entrepreneurship then check out CB Insights. You can sign up for free for 30 days and you can find out a whole lot of information regarding the funding of companies and more. The info is pulled from the internet and it not completely accurate, I say this as the info on our company is not completely correct.

That is it for today.