|Left - Right: Fabulous Femi, Magical Mike, Yare Yemi & Kool Kome|
That's my team up there!
Too bad we didn't emerge as one of the best three. Maybe I should have warned the rest of the team that I seldom win in any competition and having me head the team is a bad omen. Take Toastmasters for instance. Initially, the major reason I don't do the speech projects was that, based on experience, I was convinced that the only way I was going to be voted best speaker is to be the only speaker. So I had no incentive to put in the enormous work required for each speech project. It was so bad I stopped filling the voting slips for 2 years now as the people I voted ended up not winning and I began to feel it was because I voted for them. Then the unimaginable happened 6 months ago, I was voted the best speaker. Now it has made my situation worse, I'm sure it won't happen again in a long time from now and I'm better off eternalizing the experience. So I have given up almbitions to complete my Speech projects, I want to forever look at myself as a Best Speaker Award winner.
But back to the Lean Startup Machine workshop. What I learned.
- Never build a business without first getting interested clients. Don't just assume there is a market or bank on family and friends, go out and get people who will want to patronize your business before you start.
- Always test/validate your assumptions. Test your assumption of the customer's purchasing power, test your assumption of how important your product is to them. Test your assumption of what the customer's pain point is. Test, test, test.
- There is never a final product. You have to keep evolving your product to be the best for the customer and to continually exceed the customer's expectations.
- You don't need huge money to start a business. What matters is growth, growing in a sustainable way. Start lean.
- Your connections matter a lot. To get people who would be interested in our (my team's) project, I tweeted at my over 8,000 twitter followers (2 different twitter accounts) and mailed my blog connections. Guess what? I was deeply touched by the rate of response from my blog connections. And it's now my biggest motivation to dedicate as much time as I can find to make it work and deliver on the expectation of everyone that signed up. And that's how the biggest milestone in businesses are reached, through the connections you have. People who believe in you.
- Target specific customers and meet very specific need. If you set on making everyone your customer, you will end up with no customer. And if you don't have a specific need, you'll have a tough time making the right business strategies.
- Don't take up a business partner, no matter how rich or skilled or experienced, if you guys don't align.
- Be always open minded.
- There's never just one right way.
- Put passion in all you do.