The globe is rotating very disruptive and nations are following in the speed of light. Africa is not left out too as many disruptive innovations are already springing up in the heart of Lagos and other parts of Africa. In this interview, Lanre Ogungbe a young, dynamic and brilliant entrepreneur open the eyes of other entrepreneurs to see what to disrupt in Africa. Relax, read and act.
Disrupt is the latest language in the tech and innovation scene. What is this word all about?
It simply means lot of these are changing and would change. These changes would be so massive that if someone was unconscious for 2-3 decades and wakes up in the next few months or years, he or she won’t understand slot anymore.
Work offices would move from physical space to mobile phones and laptops. Majority of the world population would be working from beds and coffee shops. AI machines would teach and grade our children. Robots would work in the operation laboratories.
Cars would drive themselves, same as planes. Buildings would be 3D printing. Amazing Internet services would make us more physically lazy but mentally active, and the good thing about these disruptions is that they are not location, government or race bound.
If you said it is not location, government or race bound, what is happening to us in Africa?
The world has experienced 3 different types of industrial revolutions. The internet of things, cloud based solutions, and internet technology; And for the first time, Africa is taking part in this revolution. Though few African countries are taking it seriously, but I’m sure Nigerians are. Though it’s possible to over loop certain things, we can’t over loop ALL THINGS.
Before AI can work, you need a functional BIG DATA. We don’t have that yet.
Before certain internet services can be enjoyed, we need good internet infrastructure. These are limiting factors and if not solved, our growth in this space would be slow.
Good tech start-ups doing well in Africa right now, sort of rely on few things out of the continent. A lot of offline activities aren’t working as they should be, online may not work that good too. So adding all these up, we have a handful of things tied which makes our movement as a continent slow in the disruption business. Regardless, we are still trying to move with the train. And that’s a positive thing.
The positive thing is that we are moving and it is going to be a great hack having people like you in Africa. Africans seem to be bad product designers. We don’t scale in our designs. What are the reasons for this?
I don’t agree we are bad product designers. I think we don’t have patience for product maturity and growth.
Research stipulates that before a product or startup can be regarded as scalable in Africa, it must have spent roughly 18 months in the market.
The question is: how many products are financed enough to have such time frame in the market?
Elon Musk did a design, many people didn’t believe, his early investor’s money were all gone. He went for loan, finished all the loan. These are millions of dollars mind you. JUST TO LAUNCH A PRODUCT. NOT EVEN TO STAY IN MARKET.
Products are not meant to be perfect or super good from day 1, they get better as they interact with users or customers.
That’s why Steve Jobs said: “you can’t connect the dots from the beginning “.
Also, On another flip of the coin. Product designers, innovators, tech entrepreneurs face slot of challenges that makes it look as if their product design isn’t good. It takes guts to take on the journey anyways.
Interesting. What are the simple things entrepreneurs in Africa should do in order to meetup with the disruption going on?
The simple things? It’s to simply be disruptive (in the case of Nigeria). We all know you can’t design a driverless car to operate in Ikeja, or Kano or Akure yet.
So it’s normal to first be disruptive about what will provide the platform for driverless cars idea to work in Nigeria.
But if your question is WHAT WE ALL NEED TO DO TO MEET UP WITH THE DISRUPTING, THEN that’s a different tray.
As the former COO of mypadi.ng, ENACTUS ambassador, and currently a business development consultant for a multi-national company, and many other things on your profile. How come, and how will you encourage young entrepreneurs too to take up the disruptive challenge?
Mindset positioning is very important. A lot of young people starts the whole race with the sole aim of becoming rich within 3 months. It can be tiring not getting users, having bad PR, not having the right team, terrible leadership skills amongst others, but
WHEN YOU ALWAYS REMIND YOURSELF WHY YOU STARTED, IT’LL BE EASIER TO MOVE ON. .. Lanre Ogungbe
No tech entrepreneur trying to change the status quo will tell you it’s easy to convert customers or it’s easy to secure funding.. Regardless of all these, something must keep motivating you up. And that’s why you started. Within the journey, you’ll have enough cash in your bank account to buy a Range Rover.
For me, it’s wrong to start a product and your first priority is competing with another startup when the option for collaboration is on ground.
My challenge is that whenever I have young and brilliant people around, I will just be asking questions.. Don’t mind me jare.. Please, who is Ogungbe Lanre?
Ogungbe Lanre is a young man always interested in developing abstract ideas. I’ve worked with several companies/organizations at different capacities but always within the tech space. I graduated from AAUA…. The best State University please. Currently a member of the National Assembly Business Environment Round table. I’m under the E-business and intellectual property committee. A Wikipedia tech member and I consults for a couple of start-ups. I love working with start-ups, and I also love studying. Right now, I’ll soon be rounding up my certification course with YALA school of journalism in digital journalism. Since it’s not a dedication service, it’s of no need to read out experiences and all that.
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