I spend a good portion of my time reading through the teachings of Jason Njoku, founder of Iroko and Venture Capital company, Spark.ng and I thought to share some lessons I learnt during my reading hours.
First of all, apologies for my terrible writing patterns; new story one day and nothing the next couple of days. Juggling work, music and business is sometimes (who am I kidding 😨) a handful to deal with.
Nevertheless, safe to say, I actually got inspired to start my own Medium page where I’d document my own entrepreneurship experiences, lessons, failures, successes etc for anyone remotely interested.
I may not be a super star tech founder like Jason Njoku yet but I myself have learnt a few things down the road I’d love to impart on a willing mind.
So without further ado, here are 10 lessons from Jason Njoku to Nigerian startup founders that will strike a chord with you. Trust me, you may not like all of them, but it’s going to be worth your while.
#1. You don’t need capital, you need customers.
#2. If you pitch me (Jason Njoku) to fund your startup hoping to blow me away with fancy presentations and the likes, and your startup doesn’t have revenue, even as low as $1,000, I’ll be happy to fund you absolutely $0,000.
#3. An internet business in Africa with a business model based soley on ad revenue from adnetworks like Adsense and the likes will fail. There’s a good reason you see top publishers like Nairaland, Linda Ikeji, Bella Naija etc with more direct ads than programmatic ads.
#4. The Freemium business model in my opinion will work best for a vast majority of internet companies in Nigeria.
#5. Straight e-commerce is brutally capital intensive and is being ruled by the big J (Jumia) and K (Konga). You can’t hope to compete if you don’t have funding anywhere from $10 million to $30 million over 2 years.
#6. If you don’t focus on generating revenue, there’s a large possibility you won’t generate any. And if you’re not thinking of making money, why should I give you mine and not expect a ROI?
#7. Cut it. All of it. All your lifestyle. Everything you love in this world which costs money. To the bone. Cut everything. Cut it to the bone. When you’ve chipped it, then you know it’s deep enough. Then you can get to work. Because it’s all downhill from here. This is the advice I (Jason Njoku) give would-be startup founders.
#8. If you hope to stay in a degree of comfort whilst starting your new venture. Woe unto you. If I could, I would short you all the way down.
#9. Startups don’t die – they commit suicide…and the founders are usually the ones holding the hammer.
#10. Create your luck, seize your good fortune and embrace risk: they’ll get used to you.
So what lessons did you enjoy and dislike the most? Tell us in the comments section.