Sarah Lacy of Tech Crunch wrote last week about Nigerian tech scene. What she wrote and how she wrote in brought about some controversy. She painted a picture of Nigerian Geeks being the folks that are at Computer Village, a place where we buy mobile phones and some electronic gadget. I want to believe she has just told part one of the story and she would write another to give a more general impression of how things are.
Before then let me share with you what some real tech girls and guys did over the weekend in Lagos; Garage48 event.
Garage48 started in Estonia. Estonia happen to be the country where Skype was founded. (just bought by Microsoft)
The event was for developing a solution that is mobile/web based, that would be demoed in 48 hours. It was premised on the fact that it would stimulate the Nigerian Tech and development scene and help expose it to the world, bringing prospective investors in contact with great ideas and startups. How did the event go?
More that 20 ideas were pitched, but later reduced to nine (9). the nine teams went to work on their ideas and demoed on the last day Sunday. The finale was streamed live
All the ideas demoed showed that Nigeria is blessed with great minds. It was my first time to sit in the same room with designers and developers and to work on the same team. My fellow team mate David has a great expository of how the event went plus who won.
Great designs and great team spirit was displayed by everyone. Their was a group who designed a mobile app (Mycash), they got an invitation by nokia to Nokia Office and a promise for mentorship and phones (oh! I want the phone too ) The Nokia rep must have been impressed to give them such opportunity. Go ahead and grab the full gist of the event from David’s site. Here I leave you with lessons I have learned.
Lessons I learned
* Technical skills isn't superior in a start-up, communication as well as marketing skills are very crucial. my team #Flippii, has a great idea, that will solve a local and global problem. However, from the way it was presented and the points that was communicated,. the points were not very clearly exposed.
* You can not sell what you do not understand. I never know colours have codes and designing a UI takes a unique coding. The closer I drew to the developers and the designer the easier it was for me to use our marketing tools to expose the value and benefits of our project to the online audience via social web platforms.
* Your team may never do things your way, but its a team, it is always good to find a way to team up and work together. Understanding is key. One of the good way to know if you would make it in business is to work with a team. businesses are based on relationships. You can never be in business for yourself and by yourself.
* Always look at the greater goal. Immediate goal do not impact as long time goal. Though we did not win at the event, we won as a team, we are still working on the Flippii project together. I was able to meet great people, even from other teams. they spotted my passion from marketing and wanted to keep my contact, if we could work on project together in the future.
* Seek to understand people. you are not always right. Speak out when you think you have been misunderstood, instead of keeping grudges, to the greater good of the team and the project.
* Always ask questions where you are not clear.
*The Importance of relationship. When we lunched our Facebook and twitter page it immediately went viral, why? we all had friends and relationship we managed before Garage48
I am expecting a follow up article from Sarah lacy, but if not you have an idea to how the Tech community is thriving here in Nigeria. Greater things to come. Watch out for Flippii.
those are a few things I learned. Now I live you to enjoy some of the photos I took with my Nokia e71.
what do you think the Future hold for Nigerian tech scene?
Do you think like me, think are set to change for the better?
Drop your comment and let me know what you think. You can also join us on Friday 13th May 2011 (12noon GMT) for a twitter party, the lunch of a new community on twitter. we would be using the hashtag #mbgeeks. if you have any question just tweet at me – @jesseoguns or send me a mail here email@example.com.