Noticed how some start-ups pick up so fast and others seem to always be stuck in the “underground zone”? Got us thinking what makes a great start up company a success and why do others find it so difficult to well,make it.
This one of those few posts that is not entirely tech related but for illustrations I will be citing companies that majorly deal in tech.And no,it won’t only be Microsoft,Facebook and Apple being mentioned here.Such examples can always be watered down with arguments like they were thought of,founded and grown in the Silicon Valley where I think most of you will agree,is where technology currently “dwells”.
A friend of ours,who is a blogger as well recently added a post dubbed “baby steps” which to confess is the trigger of all this.(Click here to read the blog post)
To wrap up her post,she had the idea that to succeed in anything,you had to set a definite realistic goal and work slowly but consistently towards it.We couldn’t agree more.But that kind of leaves a contradiction as to why some companies pick up so fast.It took Microsoft less than a decade to turn into a multi-million dollar company.What are they doing right that we are not?And yes,there are companies here in Kenya and Africa that have gotten the answer to this question.And these are the ones we studied and that i am going to highlight today.
The DevSchool(Formally Nairobi Dev School): In 2013,after 19 year-old Martha Chelimo Chumo failed to get her chance to go into hackers school in the United States,she sought out to bring the hackers school in Kenya instead.And that marked the beginning of a remarkable journey towards starting her own hackers school in Kenya.It’s been less than 5years down the line and the school is already internationally renowned.
SoleRebels: In the year 2004,Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu from Ethiopia saw a way of igniting hope and eradicating poverty through shoe designs.She did not only do that,she also came up with Eco-friendly shoes and yes right now she too is also internationally renowned.
Ushahidi: Back in 2007 during the post election violence,one Juliana Rotich could not stand back.Instead of folding her hands like most of us did,she decided to do something. Ushahidi which is swahili for testimony is a company that deals in creation of open-source apps that allows the voiceless to have a voice.I will not delve into how they work,but just know for her problem solving and ingenious creation Juliana has gone a long way to win many international awards
Lyft: After visiting Zimbambwe and seeing how they had tried to mitigate the problem of traffic jam by offering each other lift at low charges,John Zimmer thought the same idea could be implemented back in California,a state with more than 4 million occupants.He did it in a different way,an app alias “Lyft” that lets you know who is coming your way and going your same direction.It allows you to “ask for a ride”. Less than 2 years down the line,networth was already more than 1 billion dollars.
You are probably bored by now with all these stories.But here is the thing,what do all these start-ups have in common?Some of you might have already figured out the answer by now.But for those who haven’t,here are a few pointers:
1. They identified a problem:
- All the above companies did not seek to make money first.They saw a problem and wanted bad to fix it that they sought out solutions.There goes the problem with most of us,always seeking to get money before solving a problem.
2. Created solutions using their own passion:
- Not all of them went into coding.After identifying the problem,in coming up with solutions they used that which they loved most.It’s only passion that can make you work the extra mile an hold on even if the road gets tough.
3. They did it different:
- You don’t have to reinvent the wheel,you’ve heard them say.Well it’s true.Inventions hardly occur nowadays,but what is dominant is innovation.What is everybody else doing and how can you do it differently?If you can’t answer that then best advice don’t start anything at all
4. They believed that one person could change the world:
- Do we even need to expound on this?
So yes it is true, hard-work resilience,determination,network and all those other things are important to succeed.But we feel,the four mentioned are the most vital.Remember that VISION WILL NEVER LACK PROVISION