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Friday, March 14, 2014

Less Chat… More Life!

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Lately, I discovered these social instant messaging apps are taking too much of my time, energy and life.

We need communication quite alright, but is it even necessary to stay connected at every giving minute with all the people in our lives? Just a drop of text away? In real time!

I don’t think so!

For me, it all started with WhatsApp then Skype Mobile, then Facebook Messenger and now BlackBerry Messenger…. Then Kik, then SnapChat and the next app I may likely install or rather most likely not!

My biggest challenge with these instant messaging applications is that they create some sort of unnecessary urgency to reply people and also a loop towards expecting responses from friends. This is keeping my brain at alert to my phone no matter what else I am doing!

It feels like these apps are using me, instead of the other way round.

With so many childhood, college friends and new acquaintances; it feels like a permanent party with not end time. I bet nobody wants to live their entirely life partying or chit-chatting.

So I resolve to go home!

I think it’s  only crucial to be instant with people around us those that can see when we are busy and when we are not. Then we should set  time to reach the rest of the people that are far away and important in our lives.

But, can we really survive this life without instant messaging our friends, family and everyone in between? That’s what I am about to find out.

Today, I went completely off mobile instant messaging for the next 6 months. But, I kept Skype just for timely business chats.

I may be crazy, I may even find more reasons to hang on but for now I want to lean towards gaining a new life that is less connected.

Although when I get bored, I usually grab my phone and chat. Now I will have to replace that with grab a book and read!

I think we all need this balance, set priorities and stay away from distraction. Should the need to talk arise, login to Facebook and send a message or open an Email  to drop a line or send SMS or even give that person a call. That is more like being in charge!

How does instant messaging work for you in this era?

PhotoCreds: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tgkw/

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Business drain, I’m just tired.

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Often times I get drained, feeling like the marrow in my bones are being sucked out of me by the day-to-day brain pull of business, growth, scalability, processes, etc. 

As a Founder of a tiny small Hosting Company, everything boils down to my ability to act fast, and it only get’s tougher every day.

Some times, I will wake up in the middle of the night and ask my self such stupid questions like “Why am I doing all this?”. The one thing that saves me is my passion towards my business, despite all the bruises, I know what I do is fun and I love doing it.

It takes an amazing amount of resolve and mental strength to continue doing what you’re doing and fight the self-doubt that inevitably creeps in, but when you truly believe in the business you’re creating, there’s just no other way to do it.

 Leo Rocco, CEO of GoPago 

So, this is what I do when am worn out:

  • Surf  through RSS for articles and sometimes videos of amazing entrepreneur stories that have gone through bigger ups and downs.
  • Take a break, call a family member or a friend to just talk.
  • Watch a movie or sleep off.
  • Go out, strolling around the neighbourhood.
  • Go to nice restaurant to eat some new soft meal.
  • Listen to music (I have a good collection of soothing songs).
  • Hangout with a friend or give them a visit.

Some of these activities are normal in some people’s life, but for me they are occasional and they help-out a lot.

Mostly, I come back refreshed and less stressed out. It feels like I got a cup of glucose and my adrenaline just got refreshed, I think straight again with deep sense of direction.

What do you do when you’re stressed-out & feeling less of your self? That moment when you’re just getting tired!

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Monday, January 20, 2014
Yeah, life is short. Do stuff that matters. | thanks to startupvitamins

Yeah, life is short. Do stuff that matters. | thanks to startupvitamins

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cheaper is not my weapon in business.

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This post was inspired by someone who asked me why GigaLayer’s prices are higher than XYZ and ABC hosts in Nigeria. So, I thought I should digest this here beyond the case of GigaLayer a lone.

First, the goal of every business is to be profitable enough to sustain it self for decades or even for ever as the case may be, to be able to serve it’s customer effectively and efficiently with the best service. Needless to say, no business wants to run broke in the end.

If you were to open a new shopping mall next to an existing one with a huge market position, how do you break into the market? 

If your answer to the above question is “cheaper products”, then that’s where you are wrong. Being cheap is not a business weapon, I once wrote about this before “What happens when you are cheaper than your competitors”. 

I on the other hand will look into more possibilities, more options and flexibility for the customers; like parking space, easier catalogues, more products and possibly additional services like home delivery etc but I will not go for being cheaper alone.

You see, if we go back to the agregerian age; business was carried out by that thing called “trade by barter” which simply means people trading things based on perceived value. Well, same thing still happens even with money, in this information age.

Do you know what deferences are there between that Burberry wristwatch and the Tiacichinko wristwatch (made in you know where). Oh yes, the material used in it, the efforts put to the product design, the social status of the product etc. But still they are both wrist watches, and you will choose by value!

The truth about being cheap is that, sooner or later someone is gonna find out how to be even cheaper than you!

You should not base your business on the war of pricing, instead you should look into the odds of providing a premium service with a fair pricing. Sure, nobody wants to be ripped off, so ensuring you deliver beyond what you are being paid for solves the puzzle.

So far we are not the cheapest in the industry interns of hosting but I am glad we deliver the best services. From our recent study (which we will publish soon) over 70% of our customers are fully satisfied with our services, giving us a rating of 9/10.

So, I will just iterate some key 5 reasons why we are not cheaper than XYZ and ABC and why we will not match the cheap band.

  • We do not buy servers from just any data-centre, we hand pick the best of data-centres in the world with the best cooling systems, location and innovative technologies.
  • We monitor and maintain a great stability and network balance on our servers. We do not overload or oversell any machine on our network.
  • We register domain names directly with ICANN Accredited registrar and maintain the same level of status with local CcTLDS.
  • We operate the most friendly, always ready to help customer support services. Happiness is part of our products bundle!
  • We are building a business you can trust for the next 100 years!

Now, that is why we are not cheap and we do not compete with cheaper providers around the block. I hope you learn something out of this, so I can arrogantly conclude with one of my tweets:

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Life, Direction, Passion and Success!

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When I look back, remembering the days I first decided what I wanted to do with the life I have, regardless of whether I will succeed or fail. That 17yr old me was self-exploring the work of craftsman on the world wide web, what the geeks of today call web-development.

During the course of my adventure, I faced lots of challenges with Web Hosting and even my first domain was confiscated because I was in Nigeria, never received a refund and so my quest led me to find a way to host without being kicked out… that was how Aimtech Hosting Company (GigaLayer) was born!

The other side of me has always been a business enthusiasts, when my friends were reading James Hardley Chase’s, I read Robert Kiyosaki’s. Should you come home, they also nicknamed me ‘CEO’ because of my keenness towards entrepreneurship and my only topic of discussion in the sitting room.

I have read a lot of business books, still reading and learning more in the area of Marketing, Sales and Leadership. (But hey, I’m a Physicist)

I graduated from Usmanu Danfodiyo University, 2nd Class honours in Physics. You may want to ask why I went to study something else in University? Well, I was naturally good in Mathematics and Physics, got distinctions in my O’Levels. (this is also a story for another day)

The thing I discovered is that, passion has a way of giving us direction in life, it shapes who we are and what we become. No matter how much we try to hide it or follow others track, our own inborn path will eventually outrun us.

The sooner we identify our passion, the faster we will gain a sense of direction. God made us all differently, with our own unique inborn creativity and affection; the challenge is to identify it.

I find passion to be the biggest thing at driving people to success, through the ups and downs you will still strive. I remember the saying, passion never fails. 

"You need passion and energy to create a truly successful business" — Richard Branson.

I tend to work late hours, spend 12 hours a day working without feeling exhausted only to sleep eager to wakeup for yet another day! What else could have cause this?

Money is only a distraction, the Devil against success. Many people go for it, taking jobs they don’t enjoy only to get burned out frustrated and crushed. I’ve been there before, doing things I don’t enjoy for one reason or the other; in the end it’s always a regrettable action.

If your day job is not what you love, you’ll end up with sleepless nights thinking of what you love. — @mukoshy (May, 11th 2013.)

As at today, I run a web hosting company empowering over 1,000 customers and growing; I’m also learning as we grow. 

What is your passion, what drives you to work everyday?

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

I wish someone had told me this early in my life:

There is a gap. That for the first couple of years, that you are making stuff, what you are making isn’t so good. It’s trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it’s not quiet that good.

The most important, possible thing you could do is; do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work. Because it’s only by actually going through a volume of work that you are actually going to catch up and close that gap.

This short clip from Ira Glass has changed a lot in my life in terms of what I do and how I accept the one fact that I have long way to achieve my dreams. I must do a lot of work and it will take time!

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Sunday, May 26, 2013
Innovation doesn’t necessarily mean you need to discover a new element in Chemistry, it means to use 2 molecules of Hydrogen and one of Oxygen to form Water! Stop trying to invent everything; Stop!
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Your Ideas are some o’l bull Sshh*t.
Back in May 2011, I registered a domain name flippii.com right inside Lagos Resource Centre in Victoria Island during the first Garage48 event in Africa where I and a team of 6 other great guys built a service on top that domain, enabling people share their Ideas. The aim was to get the notion off the heads of people that “an idea is everything” (well, it isn’t).
An interesting part in the Social Network movie; when Winklevoss issue of Mark Zuckerberg stealing their idea of Facebook was addressed by the lawyers, Mark said this:

I think if your clients want to sit on my shoulders and call themselves tall, they have the right to give it a try - but there’s no requirement that I enjoy sitting here listening to people lie. You have part of my attention - you have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing.

That’s what I call execution and trust me, it is everything!
Basically, your Idea is some o’l bull shit without execution. So, stop dancing around your ideas. No matter how fantastic you think your idea is, the idea is more likely to change over time. What you should worry about is execution!
Most importantly, you need to stop worrying about people stealing your ideas, there is no obvious way anyone can implement well any idea that you truly gave birth to, even if they do; they will never be able to build as good as you would. They don’t have the blueprints and they can’t have that much passion as you.
Just keep calm and share your ideas; iterate and improve.
Overtime, I grew to understand that sharing my idea is helping me validate my hypothesis and the more of it I do, the more results I gather that will help me in the long run.

If your prototype is 50% done and you decided not to show it to anyone until it’s 80% done, then you will only get the benefit of feedback for the remaining 20%.

Don’t get me wrong; a bad idea with good execution may as well fail. But I am certain a good idea with a bad execution will easily fail and the best way to ensure your idea is not a bad one is by sharing and validating.
Let me know what you think.
PhotoCredit: Fentino

Your Ideas are some o’l bull Sshh*t.

Back in May 2011, I registered a domain name flippii.com right inside Lagos Resource Centre in Victoria Island during the first Garage48 event in Africa where I and a team of 6 other great guys built a service on top that domain, enabling people share their Ideas. The aim was to get the notion off the heads of people that “an idea is everything” (well, it isn’t).

An interesting part in the Social Network movie; when Winklevoss issue of Mark Zuckerberg stealing their idea of Facebook was addressed by the lawyers, Mark said this:

I think if your clients want to sit on my shoulders and call themselves tall, they have the right to give it a try - but there’s no requirement that I enjoy sitting here listening to people lie. You have part of my attention - you have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing.

That’s what I call execution and trust me, it is everything!

Basically, your Idea is some o’l bull shit without execution. So, stop dancing around your ideas. No matter how fantastic you think your idea is, the idea is more likely to change over time. What you should worry about is execution!

Most importantly, you need to stop worrying about people stealing your ideas, there is no obvious way anyone can implement well any idea that you truly gave birth to, even if they do; they will never be able to build as good as you would. They don’t have the blueprints and they can’t have that much passion as you.

Just keep calm and share your ideas; iterate and improve.

Overtime, I grew to understand that sharing my idea is helping me validate my hypothesis and the more of it I do, the more results I gather that will help me in the long run.

If your prototype is 50% done and you decided not to show it to anyone until it’s 80% done, then you will only get the benefit of feedback for the remaining 20%.

Don’t get me wrong; a bad idea with good execution may as well fail. But I am certain a good idea with a bad execution will easily fail and the best way to ensure your idea is not a bad one is by sharing and validating.

Let me know what you think.

PhotoCredit: Fentino

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Garden Party - Adam Young

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Once you have a product that you are happy with, you then need to centralize things to continue growth