Technology

To nourish that business idea, go back to basics

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Summary

  • When ecosystems operate off-base, catalysed by one form or another of manipulation and hype, intentionally or otherwise, tectonic corrections are part of the assured future.
  • One must study the patterns and strategically align with them to ensure that they are on the right side of every movement.
  • There is limited deep research and information about the opportunities present on the continent.

It feels wrong to shout a call to basics when fundamentals should form the basis of everything we invest in. When ecosystems operate off-base, catalysed by one form or another of manipulation and hype, intentionally or otherwise, tectonic corrections are part of the assured future.

Life and markets happen in cycles. One must study the patterns and strategically align with them to ensure that they are on the right side of every movement. Nothing is guaranteed; you win some, you lose some.

I have worked with various organisations and programmes connected to the African startup world and I am privy to many decks and metrics from founders and their teams, looking at opportunities to disrupt the status quo, often with an infusion of technology to part of an identified value chain.

Many have gone on to secure funding, but most continue to chug along, waiting and hopefully working towards a big break. All this is part of the cycle of entrepreneurship and value building.

However, the issue here is that most ventures tend to get sidetracked by the action from the perceived glitz of fundraising and closing. That milestone consumes teams almost to a fault which leads to chasing the wrong metrics, priming the opportunity for venture capital suitors on the hunt.

There is limited deep research and information about the opportunities present on the continent. It is common to paint one’s limited view of an opportunity, marked with grave assumptions. The potential problem-solution replicability across the individual markets feeding unsupported extrapolations.

While it may be unpopular in this age of blitz-scaling, we should hit reset and relook the fundamentals on which our ideas and concepts form.

Moonshot ideas, the ones that transform the trajectory of humanity, such as the creation and distribution of electricity, are far and in-between.

The lack of market insights outside research done by founding teams in their labs or on the ground to support assumptions is understandable for the radical and disruptive. The majority operate on the incremental level of innovation, meaning there is precedence.

As the corrections happen amidst bearish market conditions in the angel and venture capital space, we must appreciate three things.

First is the place of proper research, second is articulate business modeling for sustainable outcomes, and third is there is still tremendous value to give and be well compensated for in single markets and old plain-jane spaces.

Njihia is the head of business and partnerships at Sure Corporation | www.mbuguanjihia.com | @mbuguanjihia