Policy Rambling – Needed Change for Growth in Nigeria’s Technology Startups

I have had to spend some time thinking about the steep path most technology startups in Nigeria are faced with.

Base don this conjecture I believe the government has a role to play in at least one aspect. One way I think would be of immense help would come in form of well structured tax-breaks for new technology startups.

A tax break for technology and software companies for the first three years of operation could be structured so that only those companied that meet a set of requirements would be allowed to participate.

We can include the conditions below, even as I must say that this in not an exhaustive set of requirements.

Companies that would benefit from a tax-break:

  1. Must have a staff strength of not more than 4 employees.
  2. Must be in the business of technology innovation or software development.
  3. Must be willing and capable of providing verifiable information about progress and business activities.
  4. Must provide bank account statements as evidence in cases where business has not commenced.

This is just one of my quick ramblings about the technology startup landscape in Nigeria and Africa.

See this report by the Omidyar Network on accelerating entrepreneurship in Africa results from a detailed survey.

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Building and Bootstraping a Software Company from Scratch

I have had some time working and building my own company. Short to say it has been the most interesting and also most precarious time I have ever had. Celebrate your successes, you’ll likely not remember them in dark times, so make a memory for them while they are within view.

Starting out early 2011 I had a few worries that got me struggling in my mind as to how to “just do it”.

Here is an excerpt from a couple of guys who did it without looking for huge loans and venture capital for their “brilliant” software company / idea.

“One of the great advantages as a software company is that you have a product that has a price tag. From the first days of forming the company, we would get in our cars, put our laptops in the backseat, and drive around trying to sell our idea.”Tableau’s founders were upfront when sharing their prototypes with potential clients, disclosing that the product hadn’t been tested, was missing a few basic features, and didn’t come in a shiny box. “But it did a few magical things that could really help someone,” says Chabot.

Today, I still have some of those fears that keep me from taking a bold dive into the deep blue sea of business. But that’s going to change in a few weeks as long as I consciously and diligently manage myself (not my time) with the will to “JUST DO IT”.

via Forbes.

Hooking Users In 3 Steps: An Intro to Habit Testing | Nir and Far

So I was surfing through some friends posts and saw a link to this blog that talks a lot about building your online business, and I believe these things are not taught to most fresh entrepreneurs.

We easily think our new idea is going to revolutionise the whole world, only to have our world come crashing down when we get only a few users on our new “world-changer” site.

Below is an excerpt from a post on Nir and Far.

The truly great consumer technology companies of the past 25 years have all had one thing in common: they created habits. This is what separates world-changing businesses from the rest. Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter are used daily by a high proportion of their users and their products are so compelling that many of us struggle to imagine life before they existed.But creating habits is easier said than done. Though I’ve written extensively about behaviour engineering and the importance of habits to the future of the web, few resources give entrepreneurs the tools they need to design and measure user habits. It’s not that these techniques don’t exist — in fact, they’re quite familiar to people in all the companies named above. However, to the new entrepreneur, they largely remain a mystery.I’ve learned these methods from some of the best in the business and put together an amalgamation of them that I call “Habit Testing.” It can be used by consumer web companies to build products that users not only love, but are hooked to.

 

HABIT TESTING

Habit Testing fits hand-in-glove with the build, measure, learn methodology espoused by the lean startup movement and offers a new way to make data actionable. Habit Testing helps clarify three things: 1 who your devotees are; 2 what part of your product is habit forming, if any; and 3 why those aspects of your product are habit forming.A prerequisite to Habit Testing is having some kind of product up and running. Of course, before launching even a minimal viable product, it’s a good idea to take a stab at your business model hypotheses and how your product will create user desire.Once you have a site or app live, you can begin collecting data. Habit Testing does not necessitate collecting data about everything — just the right things — so setting up the appropriate analytics is critical. In order for Habit Testing to be successful, you need to date stamp the path users take while using your site.

via Nir and Far.