Last month I was part of a couple of Nigerian Tech Events and one of them was Busicon App Challenge. I was invited to be a judge at this event where young app developers were supposed to provide a solution for an existing problem using technology and minimum investment.
It was wonderful to be at the event and interact with the young app developers. The more I interacted, the more I realised these young people have big ideas but that’s about it. Great Ideas…So What?
People come up with ideas, even good ones faster than light itself; which is pretty amazing. But scratch the surface a little and you discover that there’s isn’t much depth. You begin to uncover that the idea is not well researched – that the idea itself may not be completely novel. Moreover, there’s little understanding and knowledge about the market itself – opportunities, challenges, analysing competition or understanding customer journey. There is very little idea about the industry and how it operates.
As a judge at this event, an entrepreneur and an investor, the area of scalability and growing business has often appealed to me. I have always felt that an idea can truly be great if it can have a wider, mass appeal, ensuring that the solution reaches out to more people. So when I find an idea appealing I tend to ask a simple question about how this idea can scale and grow. To my surprise, I don’t get much of an answer. I feel there’s a serious lack of understanding about how a business really needs to grow and develop in order to stand true to itself. Similarly, I also felt that certain basic business questions such as how is the customer segmentation done? How are you spending on advertising and marketing? How and which channels of media work best for the idea etc? How do you plan to go to the markets aren’t really thought about and answered superficially.
Practical Business education is a necessity and it can really help solve this issue. I do not mean fancy MBAs but a more basic understanding of business and growth. So if you are a young entrepreneur, I would request you to do extensive research on your idea. You can also take some online courses on business and start-ups, some of these courses are very good and available for free. Your start-up might be based on a wonderful new idea but it would need to be guided by solid business fundamentals for growth.