When I started Geoshoppr about two months ago, it was clear what I wanted to make and the problem I wanted to solve (a result of reading too many TechCrunch articles & entrepreneur magazines on a daily basis for years). The TechCrunch syndrome that hits geeks, hackers and even tech enthusiasts as well is that we read so much that the hustle and grind part is neglected.
The saving grace for me was the hackathon that was organized in my university Federal Universty of Technology Akure (FUTA) that saw the 1st prototype of Geoshoppr debut. It was a very disappointing MVP (Minimum Viable Product) indeed but the sly truth is to make an horrible MVP and test here & there to see who and who would spend their time or financial resources to use that horrible app of yours. Another thing I learned over that period was the need to perfect the business side of my website, app or whatever you want to call the service that Geoshoppr brings to the new generation of Nigerian shoppers.
Linda IKeji Blog: Tech Or Startup?
There has been an interesting debate about what a startup is. Months ago, Mister Mo asked the question, What is a tech business/startup? The responses were an odd mix. Shortly after that, Bankole asked the same question on TechCabal. In the discussions that followed both articles, the question of whether Linda Ikeji Blog is a startup came up because there were those who insisted that any use of technology makes an endeavour a tech startup. It is in response to those positions that I write this article.
From what I have said up there I would like to extract and make very clear the top 3 reasons why Linda Ikeji Blog is just a business and not a startup (or even a tech business):
No MVP – Minimum Viable Product
There was no Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to start with. None of the joys and pain of seeing of your first version up and running and then building on that foundation. There was no coding, except she outsourced a few times to coders to help in her blog layout. The blog is still running on a “****.blogspot.com” sub-domain. Of course, one cannot say she didn’t use technology extensively. Yes; she DID. Anything online uses technology. What I am saying here is that what she is running is not tech.
There is no WOW factor. What would be the presentation if she were to sit with investors in a board room to talk about the possibilities of things like high-end revenue and consumer base explosion? Another obvious thing is that most of the news she passes out to readers are available on as many as 15 other blogs. However, she stands out by way of branding, which is a very powerful business tool. Business, yes. Startup, no.
No Exit Structures or IP issues
The following quote paints a picture:
“Small businesses are driven by profitability and stable long-term value, while startups are focused on top-end revenue and growth” – A Young Entrepreneur Council Contributor
Startups are distinguished by their risk/reward profile and scalability. We are talking about things like high profile investors, exit structures and plans, and a very strong view to protecting IP (Intelligence Property). These distinguishing factors are not the case with Linda Ikeji Blog, or even Mobility Blog.
In conclusion, Linda Ikeji blog is a simple small, but very profitable business that has objectives that differ GREATLY from a startup. As far as I can see, that blog is neither tech nor startup. I would love to hear cogent, contrary arguments as to why anyone thinks otherwise.