Whether or not to be a product manager with Dadaben

We had a #tweetchat with Dada Benjamin, he is a Solutions Architect at SoftcomNG, and also Editor in chief @dadabenblog. The topic of the chat was focused on “whether or not to gop into product management”. This conversation is for recent graduates with an entrepreneurial mindset who are thinking about what would be the perfect job for them. It’s also for people thinking about moving into product management.

Below is the conversation between Ingressive and Benjamin on twitter. You can check out the hashtag here #IngressiveChatWithDadaben

@_Ingressive_ It's good to have you here! Aside from intellect, smarts, the power to adapt, think and act on their feet? Product managers are motivated to do the job, can work with multiple types of teams and has the ability to prioritize features that they already know users are looking for.
How would you explain Product Management to a 5-year-old?

@DadaBen_ Well, first of all, whose five-year-old wants to learn about Product Management? Me to a 5-yo: Product Management is what Medicine used to be in my days.
Up until 10 years ago, I wanted to study Medicine because of the times and seasons. But, now even you, Junior has a phone at five! The times are changing; we are in the internet age and some of the world's wealthiest billionaires are Founders/CEOs of "Product" companies built on the internet.

You know Facebook? Facebook is what we'll typically refer to as a product. So the act/process of bringing a Facebook to live is what is called Product management.

(Let's have a deeper conversation when you are 15).

@_Ingressive_

Oh, nice! Thanks for breaking it down. Many people don't know the difference between project management and product management. What is the difference between a project manager/product marketing manager and a product manager?

@DadaBen_

(Phew! Since we are back to talking to adults, it's time to throw in the big-big grammar).

With Product management and its "affiliates", its usually all semantics. And it's true definition can only be found in how the company defines the role.  However, if we wanted to define it based on 'popular' understanding; their differences can be identified when we decouple the terms. Yet, one thing is clear, there is "management" in all three.

So, first, what's a product?

A product is an entity---it can also be a service packaged as a product. LOL. Basically, a product is anything that can be packaged and sold.

A project has 3 major constraints;

- scope (extent/coverage)

- time-bound (delivery) and

- budget

Now, product marketing can be defined as marketing for a product, TBH, it is really that simple.

However, when you start to uncover what it takes to "package" something (as per product), you now begin to see where things like road-mapping, user research and even marketing come in.

So, in the rare cases of companies that have all three, the Product manager is responsible for the delivery cycle and marketing of the product.

To summarise, the other guys like Product marketing manager and Project manager will report to the Product Manager...who has the mandate to build the right product and make it succeed in the market within  resource constraints

@_Ingressive_ Awesome! Very insightful. This leads to the question should a Product Manager know how to code/Is it a requirement for a PM to be a developer or know how to write a piece of code?

@DadaBen_

LMAO, this question na set up.
"Should a Product Manager know how to code?" Maybe not.

But should the manager know how the web works and all those other things, yes.

"Is it a requirement for a PM to be a developer", Clearly, no.

In fact, I'd argue that if there should be a technical requirement for a PM, it should be how to design. Where Design speaks to the "how" things should work. I think the discourse around whether a PM should have a technical background comes more as an advice than the rule.

My advice: Let the role/JD guide what a product manager should know or have. But broadly speaking technical expertise is a plus.


@_Ingressive_ Okay this is amazing but how do you know product management is what best fits you? Well, how do you know Medicine is what's best fit for you? Or Engineering? Or Law? Or Music?

If I were to give a step-wise process, I'd say:

1. Look to your strengths/skills,

2. Interests/Motivation

3. Luck/Times

@DadaBen_

For instance, I wanted to be a PM because:

1. Strengths/skills: I had spent the better part of my education in a technical field, AKA I had a technical background

2. Interests/Motivation: In SV, they are about the most paid!
3. Luck/Times: My desire to work in a Prod. Mgt role is largely influenced by the company where I'd be doing the PM.

Remember, it is the company that determines whether you are an Enterprise PM or consumer (B2C) PM (I think this is sexier but more Snr

In summary, if you want to be "CEO" of a product, can motivate people, learn a few things like the tools and terminologies. Then, go test out (either on a fun project or something) and shoot your shot at the companies you want!


@_Ingressive_ That was supposed to be the last question for the #tweetchat. It’s been exciting, enlightening and fun. Thank you @DadaBen_ , to round it up where do you think is a good resource for learning about product management?

@DadaBen_
Err, tricky. But when I was starting out my first ever prof. PM role, I signed up to @udemy's Become a Product Manager.

@_Ingressive_ Awesome! The conversation is open for questions. If you still have questions on whether or not to get into product management, ask your questions now and don’t forget to use the hashtag #IngressiveChatWithDadaben. Thank you for your time @DadaBen_!



Follow us on twitter to be a part of our next tweetchat and also join over 1200 developers, designers and entrepreneurs in the Ingressive community.

AMA With Joseph Agunbiade the founder of BudgIT

On the 9th of March, we hosted one of our bi-weekly AMAs on slack, our guest for this insightful session was a Techpreneur, Joseph Agunbiade.

Joseph is the Founder of Univelcity a tech school that teaches young people software development, Data Science, AI and Product Design then connect them to Jobs. So for Devs and upcoming software enthusiast he is your plug.

Also he is the co-founder of BudgIT. A civil organisation that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement, to facilitate societal change. He currently sits on the board.

He is a Techpreneur per excellence with companies like Getmobile Technologies, SmartED with over 15 years experience.


Ayobamigbe:

Yes, and we need you to head over to the ingressive blog to read more exciting stories like this.

Ayobamigbe:

Good evening House. Welcome to another exciting AMA session and today we have @joseph taking the session.

Ayobamigbe:

Great…

So we see that you have started a lot of tech companies and 3 not for profit organisation, can you share your motivation with us.

Joseph:

Thank you for the question.

BudgIT was the first of them. I cofounded BudgIT with Oluseun as a call by CCHUB then for a Tech solution that can solve Governance issue

That was in 2011 and ever since I have worked on a couple of ideas while some survived others did not

So at the Moment apart From BudgIT, I have Univelcity, SmartED, Resolute40(resolute40.com) and a few others in the pipeline

Ayobamigbe:

Amazing.

Joseph:

My Motivation: I am a natural problem solver

And since my training was in Technology, I have always believed that I can use Technology as a tool to help change the world

Funmi Aliyu :

@joseph when is the right time to start/ launch your startup idea or realize a MVP?


Sean:

Nice! I'm curious as to what advice you would give people like university graduates or novice devs who want to start ventures and solve problems.

Joseph:

The result is what we see today as a all this startups/company

@Funmi Aliyu MVP is your first attempt to the market. Before you go out you must have done sufficient market research and possible Market fit


Joseph:

@Funmi Aliyu And on the question of when it is the right time. As soon as you think you have a solution the world needs please launch it

Joseph:

@Sean I always recommend that as a university graduate you work first for some time usually between 3-5Years and gather experience, build your network before starting out on your own.


Olayemi Oluwadurotimi:

@joseph what advice would you give to a start up founder who has been running for almost a year and needs funding ?

Joseph:

@Sean Also develop your skills and volunteer in ventures that naturally you may not qualify by your CV to join

@Olayemi Oluwadurotimi Depending on how far you have gone. I will advice you work first for sometime. When we launched BudgIT in September of 2011 the first time we raised money was in 2013. And we had to travel multiple times pay for hotel and travel tickets. If we had not worked it would have been very difficult


Olayemi Oluwadurotimi :

@joseph I worked for two years full time in the same field before going back for HND and later worked part-time for two years during my HND

Joseph:

@Olayemi Oluwadurotimi then you can reach out to several venture capital out there for funding. You need to join platforms like F6S.com etc. Just be sure you are solving the right problem with the right Market size

Timothy :

@joseph I don't know if you ever had issue getting developers or designers to work with when starting up. My questions it's how do you get people to work with you on a particular product when starting up with little or no funds to pay them.

Joseph:

@Timothy for most of the startups I cofounded I was called in to co-found it because I am the Tech guy. So the easiest way to get a free tech service is to share equity and make the developer(s) your cofounder.

Timothy:

Oh, okay. Thanks for this @joseph

Joel Osoba :

@joseph what are the best approaches for establishing a new product in an existing market,

Joseph:

@Joel Osoba First of all how did you come about knowing that the market exists? My assumption will be that there are other people with Similar product in the Market.  And If that is the case you have to ascertain the Market Size whether you can seize a part of the market

By offering Unique product Offering, better Pricing, additional Feature etc

Joseph:

For Example, Pure Water has a massive Market in Nigeria and you want to launch your own brand of Pure Water you might just add a mouth like that of bottled water to it or make the packaging triangular  etc

Sean :

@joseph Please feel free to come to this later, but what informational resources including reading, networks, and etc.; would you suggest for those ready to launch a tech startup?

Joseph:

@Joel Osoba Whatever you do just make sure you are the PURPLECOW

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable https://g.co/kgs/k9ai4y

@Sean Travel is one of the most powerful informational resources you can have. For example, today if you have a lot of money and you are looking for an idea to start with Just travel to China and spend a week or two(2) the amount of education you will get will be mind blowing for you.

Ayobamigbe:

Wow, I don’t want this round of knowledge sharing and information to end but we just must call it a day…

Hey house it's time to say a big thank you to @joseph i am sure he has given everyone something to think about

Joseph:

Thank you @Ingressive Community, @Ayobamigbe and the entire team. Have a Good evening!!!


Join the Ingressive community to join the conversation!

AMA with Chidi Nwaogu the founder of Publiseer

On the 16th of March, we hosted one of our bi-weekly AMAs on slack, our guest for this insightful session was a Techpreneur, Chidi Nwaogu.

Chidi Nwaogu is a serial Internet entrepreneur, computer programmer, Westerwelle Fellow 2019, Yunus&Youth Global Fellow 2019, SensX Fellow 2017, winner of Startup World Cup Nigeria Regional Competition 2019, and first place winner of OD Impact Challenge 2018. Nwaogu started his entrepreneurial journey when he was 16 with the creation of 9ja Boi Interactive, a video game development company. Today, Nwaogu is Co-founder and CEO of Publiseer, a digital publisher for African Creatives, described by Konbini as “one of the largest digital publishers in Africa” and identified by IFC as one of the startups “that could speed up innovation in Africa.”

What was the main motivation to starting a company at 16?

Chidi Nwaogu:

Well, for me, I have always been fascinated about how things are created more than how to use them. While playing video games with my peer, what always runs through my mind is "the process in which the game was created." So after graduating from high school, I decided to learn how to develop video games. Before this, I had already starting web design by learning HTML and CSS when I was 13. Within two weeks, I had learnt the basics of ifelse, dowhile, dountil, and a bunch of other statements. I had learnt about sprite and object oriented programming. And in the second month of learning to code, my twin brother and I created our first video game. This was when we decided to start a video game development company.

"Before this, I had already learnt web design" [correction]

How did you build your team?

Chidi Nwaogu:

My team was built gradually though. I started off with my twin brother, Chika. It was only logical since we have done this several times before. We've worked together since we were 16, and had co-founded, grown and sold two tech startups since 2009. My twin and I ran the startup together for a few months, before meeting an old university friend who was also a software developer. He liked what we were doing, and jumped on the wagon. Along the road, we met a blogger with a wide connection in the media ecosystem. He offered to handle our PR, and we jumped in. And that was how we grew until now.


What were the major challenges you faced while building your first two startups, and how did you overcome them?

Chidi Nwaogu:

The major challenges we faced was getting people to know about what we were offering and signing up. It was an easy task, so we had to develop an incentive for them around our offerings, which paid off in the long run.

For the social network we developed, people earned airtime for updating their status, adding new friends, and sharing multimedia like photos and videos. And when the airtime accrued reaches N100 threshold, they receive it into their phones. This made up grow by over 10,000 new signups every month.

What is your primary focus or in a better way what is your african dream?

Chidi Nwaogu:

My primary focus is to solve problems using technology. It is what gives me the most satisfaction in being a tech entrepreneur; the ability to create something extraordinary out of nothing and having that thing change people’s lives for the better.

In a country like Nigeria that there seem to be a different problems facing all entrepreneurs what has been the greatest challenge you have faced in this few years and how have you surpassed it?

Chidi Nwaogu:

Piracy: This is has been one of our greatest challenges at Publiseer. At the moment, we mitigate this by contacting our author, artist or filmmaker when we notice a different merchant selling a book, song or film in our catalogue, to verify if they are aware of this, and if they aren’t aware, we take legal actions against such merchant. The reason why we contact our Creatives first is that we don’t take away their publishing rights, which means they're free to republish their works elsewhere without our permission.

However, piracy seems to top our list of challenges.

How was it easy for you to figure monetisation model and do you still adjust it or you just want to keep scaling users(on the finished model)?

Chidi Nwaogu:

Copyright Infringement: This is a big issue as sometimes some Creatives plagiarize works of others and submit it to us for distribution as theirs. To mitigate this, we always verify the originality of any work we want to distribute. We have several tools we use for this, thanks to the great folks on the Ally team of Google. Their tools have helped us ensure that the works we distribute are free of plagiarism and are 100% original.

@RightSilicon.com when we started, we only had the 'freemium distribution' package because our target was independent creatives who don't have the money to distribute their works. And we monetize this package by taking 25% of the revenue generated when a unit of any work we distribute is sold.

However, we started receiving emails from record labels and book publishers seeking to keep all the revenue from sales, and that was when we introduced the 'premium distribution' package, which lets the right holders keep all the revenue generated from sales of their work by paying an upfront recurring distribution fee.


What is your motivation and what keeps you going.

Chidi Nwaogu:

I'm motivated by my reason "why". It's what keeps me going especially when things aren't working out as planned. When the rough gets rough and the situation is tough, I remember why I started in the first place, and it keeps me going. In my years as a tech entrepreneur, I have discovered that it's better to be the man who knows "why" than the man who knows "how", because the man who knows why something is being done is the man with the vision, and the man with the vision is the man who leads.

Ayobamigbe:

Thank you so much for this session @Chidi Nwaogu it was really amazing and eye opening.

Chidi Nwaogu:

You're welcome.

Hope y'all have a great day ahead!

Join the Ingressive community to join the conversation!

10 Content Formats to Increase Engagement & Traffic On Your Website

Creating a compelling content is the best way of attracting the right audiences to your website. Standing out might be difficult, and what's more important is creating a valuable content.

There are different formats of creating compelling contents that will drive traffic or perhaps increase your audience engagement on your website.These content types can work well for evergreen content that does well with your audience and in search engines.
Here is a list of 10 content formats that will boost your website’s traffic and engagement:

  1. How-to Articles: A how-to article or guide is a step by step list of how to achieve a specific thing. For example, if your audience is interested in learning Excel, then a blog that details how to edit/create a mastersheet would work really well. Ideally it would include instructional text and imagery.

  2. Case Studies: A case study is a written account of a real customer's experience with your business. They describe the customer’s success thanks to your product or service. They typically include the problem the customer was facing before they used your product or service, and how you helped overcome that problem.
    Example: https://www.ingressive.co/case-studies

  3. Webinar: A webinar is essentially a communal seminar conducted online. It is usually conducted by one person who leads a discussion or tutorial to several other connecting users who can all individually engage with the presentation from their respective locations.

    Example: https://www.ingressive.co/blog/2019/3/5/notes-from-our-ama-session-with-gholahan-t-fawale-at-the-ingressive-community-finding-your-niche-as-a-designer

  4. Templates: A template serves as a starting point for new documents. Templates are pre-formatted, for example, you might use template in Microsoft Word that is formatted as a business letter, templates can come in different forms and can be very useful in driving traffic to your website.

  5. Videos: Videos are always great at engaging audiences, and there are different forms of videos e.g. traditional, live videos, interactive videos, interview videos. Videos could be expensive to create but the rewards could be very remarkable.

  6. Quotes: Quotes are good sources of traffic, a lot of people go online to search for inspiring and motivational words from greats and successful people in different industries.

  7. E-books: Ebooks are online leaflets or reports filled with educational or informative things that can benefit the end user. They can be made available as free downloads or even as part of an email sign-up transaction. Using it as an email sign-up transaction have been very useful inbound marketing strategy.  

  8. Interview: Interviews are very good and can be a source for very good content. Interviewing people, especially thought leaders in specific industries and getting their opinions on specific topics can produce brilliant content.

  9. Surveys & Results: Running surveys is an effective way to extract general opinion – they are made up of targeted questions designed to collect valuable data. Once the data is collected, you can use the results to form a separate piece of content in its own right.

  10. Podcasts: These days, people are mobile and mostly on the move. Podcasts are a great way to reach people whilst on the move. Podcasts are usually longer recordings, which can be serialized into multiple episodes consisting of interviews, discussions and debates.

Hopefully this list will be useful for you. If you have any other suggestions, or if there are other formats that have been successful for you, leave us a note in the comments below. And join our community of Entrepreneurs here at bit.ly/ingressivecommunity

A conversation between Ingressive and eWorker

Tweetchat with Sean Burrowes, COO Ingressive
In this Tweetchat, you’ll read about:

Why Developers and Designers are leaving Nigeria?
What Can be done to reduce it?
Governments part in helping the Tech community?


eWorker: Looking at the trend, why are they leaving? Who is to blame for it?
We are here with @ingressive to talk about the issues, cause and discuss a solution around it.

Ingressive: Hello Everyone! I can't wait to tackle your questions. Initiatives span 5 different countries and we have heard it all, and I'm here to tell their stories!

eWorker: You have an active community of developers on slack and other online platforms, what are your thoughts about the rate at which developers are leaving for opportunities abroad?

Ingressive: It feels good knowing our developers are awesome enough to be offered opportunities abroad. Do you feel the rate at which they are leaving is a blessing or not?
Two great examples in a collective mind dictating terms on a national level is the Tata Motors story in India (bought crappy cars until they got better) and the US vs China (crush foreign competition).
We're hopeful everyone who sees this gets inspired and take on the challenge to make our ecosystem better and stronger for us.

eWorker: You've had the privilege of working with lots of developers, what major reason(s) do they give to justify leaving the country for opportunities abroad?

Ingressive: But for the pure coders out there, some really want the opportunity to push their craft to the farthest limits. They want to step into arenas with more funding, progress, and support in areas like robotics, edge computing, AI, AR/VR

eWorker: Do you feel the reasons given by most devs are legit and justifiable or you feel there are other underlying factors that could be responsible for the flight of developers in the Nigerian tech ecosystem?

Ingressive: Parents don't understand paying school fees and seeing their child at home on their laptop all day. I've heard stories of newly graduated freelancers getting kicked out because their parents think their job is 419...

eWorker: It might not be possible to stop this developer's flight but I believe it can be reduced. What is your opinion about this?

Ingressive: Corporates need to start investing in the tech ecosystem and preparing themselves for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) or get left behind... it will take the help of the public sector as well...

eWorker: If we are enlisting the help of the public sector, what do we have to offer in return?

Ingressive: It is the job of the government to create economic opportunity. By creating jobs and helping the flow of money, they collect more taxes. A better question is what do they have to offer us in return of creating entirely new economies through technology?

eWorker: We have some brilliant young minds coming onboard, becoming a part of the ecosystem and we don't want to lose them to opportunities abroad. What can be done to retain them?

Ingressive More businesses need to consider how they are integrating technology. There are jobs there, but the sad part is on tech job can displace hundreds. Informal economies also don't want the transparency or efficiency.
What did the creation of the internet or semiconductor do for the American economy? What has Amazon, Google, and Facebook done for the world? There is money in tech. Corps and govt support isn't help or a loan, it's a vital investment in survival...
We hope authorities see this and get stirred to work.
Investment in tech is probably the most lucrative investment anyone or company can make!
Our government takes a wait and see approach. Techpreneurs will have to be brave and create ventures that can't be ignored. We can't complain, because right now, the lack of regulation plays to the tech sectors advantage.

eWorker: Yeah, that's correct. We might have created our own Silicon Valley before the government decides to get involved.
Technology is usually faster than the government lol. Silicon Valley had support in the US but only after it showed it's potential...
A lot has been learnt during the course of this discussion. It's great having you on here Sean.

Ecosystem Hangout: How to Attract Venture Capital Funding for you Startup/Product

On Friday, 26th of April. We had our Ecosystem Hangout at Venia Hub and it was an exciting and insightful day filled with tips and ways to attract Venture Capital funding for startups. ⁣

Damilola Thompson of EchoVC Partners was out first speaker and Mary Joseph from Greenhouse Capital was the second speaker. The two speakers touched on many subjects surrounding What VCs look for in a startup. ⁣

The hangout started at approximately 5:30PM, it was planned to start 5:00PM but due to the famous Lagos traffic and registration, the event started 30 mins late. Ayo Teriba, the HR & Operations at Ingressive started the conversation by introducing himself and Sean Burrowes(COO), Sean talked about his experience and how Ingressive is working hard to push the African tech community to the next level with a community of over 15,000 Entrepreneurs, Developers and Designers.

Damilola.JPG

The first speaker of the day was Damilola Thompson, Senior Counsel, Legal Compliance & Corporate Development at EchoVC Partners. She highlighted on having a valuable team “A team with vast experience and strong expertise will boost your chance of getting an investor to invest in your startup.” Received and answered a lot of questions before she ended her session.

Mary.jpg

Mary Joseph who is a Senior associate at Greenhouse Capital, was the second and last speaker of the day. She came with a presentation and highlighted on major things to take note when pitching a startup.

⁣These are some of the key takeaways from the Hangout, more details will be on our blog post on the ingressive website. ⁣

  • Your product should solve problems for a lot of people at the right time!!! Market size and Market timing is very important.⁣

  • The product is the very first thing. But, investors have to go through your presentation to get to you. Make sure your deck is standard. - Write a script: writing a script gives you a guideline on how to make your pitch smoothly.

  • Spell check: It gives credibility to investors that you can handle your numbers too. Practice.

  • What people say about you is super important.

  • One of the major things investors look out for is your team. There should be consensus amongst yourselves.

  • A team with vast experience and strong expertise will boost your chance of getting an investor to invest in your startup.⁣

If you missed the Ecosystem Hangout there will be a follow up conversation on the EDG channel on the 9th of May, join the conversation.

8 Social Media Hacks For The Growth of Every Startup

Growth hacking is a data-driven, full-funnel marketing strategy based on rapid experimentation. It is the overall term used for initiatives focused only on growth and usually used in relation to early-stage startups that want to achieve rapid growth in a short period of time on a small budget.

As much as it is used to grow revenue, sales and app users, growth marketing can also be used to grow audiences on social media. As we all know, follower numbers aren’t the only KPI to be measured for social media growth. There are other KPIs such as clicks, likes, shares, brand mentions, profile visits, and etc.

In this article, I will be giving you 8 social media growth hacks that can help the growth of your startup.

  1. Lead Magnet: This is an incentive you can offer your followers in exchange for their email address or other contact information. It could be in the form of a resourceful ebook or webinar. The idea is to use lead magnets to grow your list and engage with your community.This will also give you something to talk about repeatedly on social media.

    After building your list, the next thing is to work your social media fans through your funnel, and ultimately convert them into customers. Always make sure that you provide value with your ebook and/or webinars, value in terms of uniqueness, resourcefulness, and align initiatives with the goals of the company.

    At Ingressive, we provide weekly webinar sessions to our community, by having thought leaders in the tech community come on as guests and provide valuable information for startups, entrepreneurs, designers, and developers. This strategy has increased our community members as well as our social media audiences.

  2. Visual Content:  32% of marketers say visual images are the most important form of content for their business, 80% of marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing. Without any doubt, this is a top social media hacking strategy for growing a business.

    Optimize your growth strategy by sharing visual content on social media, it could be in the form of images, infographics, or videos. Aside from producing engaging and professional visual content; you have to optimize it for the company’s goal. Always align your content with each platform you are using.

    You need to know what works best for the different social media platforms you are using. Watch the size or dimension, for example Instagram contents are more engaging when it is 640 x 640, and the video length is not more than 1 minute, consider these features when creating your content to achieve a smooth experience for your followers.

  3. Influencer Marketing: If you’re looking for a social media strategy that will give you an instant result, Influencer marketing is your go-to strategy. Due to the industry competition, companies are using influencer marketing to register their brands in the minds of their audiences and as a way to shape their opinions.

    If you want to leverage on Influencer marketing, you should focus on relevant Influencers in your niche and reach out to them for collaborations. This can help boost your brand awareness, increase followers, sales and build trust for your brand. Brands are collaborating with Influencers in different ways and some are even having social media influencers as brand ambassadors. You can read more on Influencer marketing here.

  4. Ask Questions: When you build strong relationships in real life, the more time and effort you put in the better the result. It’s almost the same with social media; you have to engage your followers, ask them questions and acknowledge their answers.

    Tweetchats are another example of how we have used this strategy at Ingressive to increase our social media followers on Twitter. At least, once a month we have a tweet chat with someone from our community, and these tweet chats allow questions and answers from us and our community members.
    This gets us an average of 400,000 impressions and 200,000 reaches every tweet chat. Always seek out new opportunities to reach out to new followers, rather than wait for them. This might sound hard but the authenticity in this is what builds great communities with loyal followers.

  5. Social Media Analytics: The importance of social media analytics can never be underrated when it comes to growth marketing; every account requires a strategy and there is no strategy you want to implement that won’t require the use of social media analytics. Your analytics will tell you what works, and what it is that doesn’t.

    This will help you optimize your social media presence as you progress. For example, Instagram insight will tell you the best time to post your content, the most engaging type of content, call to actions that are driving engagements, and so much more. All this information helps you get maximum engagement. Check your analytics weekly to quickly determine what is working and what isn’t. This is where you apply the ‘Iterate and Release often’ philosophy.

    There are so many social media analytics tools that you can use to determine what’s working for your social media presence. Hootsuite, Iconosquare, keyhole, socialbearing, and others have been found useful in this endeavor.

  6. Trending Topics: Every industry will always have new trends; creating content around new trends will always make you relevant. Creating valuable content can be hard, but knowing how to use search trends and volumes to identify trending content will help you in creating valuable content that will grow your social media presence.

    Creating content around trending topics has worked for various brands, for example, the lead designer at Kunocreative, created a custom graphic for the season premiere of “Game of Thrones” and earned an incredible amount of engagement relative to their follower base.

    Knowing how to leverage on trending topics would give your social media page that uplift you’re searching for.

  7. Storytelling: The importance of storytelling cannot be overemphasized, storytelling has become a very important part of marketing as it helps brands resonate with their audience. Emotions play very essential roles in how human beings think and behave, the emotions people feel can compel them to take action and influence the decisions they make, both large and small.

    You can tap into this human strength/weakness by harnessing the emotional power of stories within your content, using social media storytelling can help form strong, long-lasting relationships with their audience. When you create content on the topics that customers care about, it gets shared and one of the ripple effects would be the growth of your social media influence.

  8. Collaborate: Collaboration in this sense means leverage. Leveraging on the network of people in your industry/community could get you very far in building your social media presence in your industry. Some of the ways you can collaborate to build your social media presence is by doing Tweetchats, Instagram Takeovers, and/or Live videos.

    Create publicity materials after getting a guest you want to collaborate with, and share with your community. Your guest(s) would also share it and this will help you get across their community. It could be an organization or just an individual who is influential in your industry.

Wrap Up

You cannot copy and paste strategies, you have to learn what is working for you as a startup, what works for one business might not work for you. You have to focus on your focus, define your goals, identify your audience, create a plan to get to them. Never forget to add value to the lives of your audience, and encourage them to take action. Depending on what you want, it could be to sign up for your newsletter, buy a product or join a community.

Value is valuable, and your followers would start sharing your contents if you present this to them. Experiment with your ideas and learn from A/B testing, see what works and what doesn’t. Also, reach out to people in your industry to learn from their experiences.


Join the Ingressive community to get access to a network of over 10,000+ Founders, Developers and Designers. And if you are a Founder in the Sub-Saharan Africa Ingressive capital is funding $50k-$100K investments in top early stage tech companies. Apply for funding here

What You Need To Have a Successful Investor Pitch

Pitching is a very necessary part of scaling your startup, it is an opportunity to share your passion and talk about your business with investors.

Investors see a few hundred to a few thousand deals a year. Bigger ticket funds tend to make less investments (3-5 deals a year), while smaller cheque funds tend to do more (10-20 deals a year). That means there is fierce competition for funding, especially in regions like Sub-Saharan Africa where there are more great ideals than accessible capital.

Many entrepreneurs come up with great ideas but there is a huge difference in having an idea and being able to implement it. This is where seeking for fund comes in, and without a good pitch that idea might just disappear into thin air.

Here are 6 tips that will help you with a successful investor pitch.

  1. Sum it up & quickly: Be concise, but be thorough. and when it comes to your deck and your explanations, less is almost always more.

  2. Know your target customers: You need to know who your customers are and be very specific when describing them. Show investors a picture of a customer along with relevant data points, using demographic and psychographic features to pinpoint your customers.

  3. Explain why your target customers will pay for your product/service: After showing investors that you know who your customers are and where they are, the next thing is to explain exactly how you intend to acquire these customers, this will show investors that you know what you are looking for and how to get them. The success of a business comes down to the marketing, Contrary to the familiar saying, good products don’t sell themselves. You sell them.

  4. Know your competition and differentiate yourself: If you want to convince investors, you need to let them see that you know your business well, and have realistic view over the strength and weaknesses of your product. Also, show that you know your competition as well as their businesses, product and strategies. A quick statement like “we’re the only company who does abc” or “companies recognize we are uniquely positioned to help them accomplish x” creates separation between you and other companies out there who may be claiming similar capabilities. Learn how to define your unique value and make it central to your pitching. Differentiate yourself with your elevator pitch.

  5. Share what any funds you are asking for will be spent on: As an Entrepreneur looking for investor funding, you need to always remember that all money comes with strings. Investor money isn’t free o—they want it back, and 10x+ more once you’re successful. Also investors are interested in helping you scale the business, that means they want to see that your product is working. When pitching your startup, make your priorities clear, simplify your list to no more than three items or categories, with a percent allocation to each, make sure allocation amounts are reasonable, tie use of funds to real traction milestones, and show when you’ll start making money / become profitable. Most importantly, that you’re targeting a billion dollar market and can reach venture capital scale.

  6. Test your pitch: This last step will help you get familiar with pitching, always put into consideration the 10/20/30 rule. The optimal number of slides is 10, you should be able to give your whole talk in less than 20 minutes (even if you have an hour), and the ideal font size is 30 points. Pitching is an acquired skill, not an innate talent, It takes practice.

For more details that will help you in knowing what a VC wants, check out 4 Things a VC wants to see before Investing in your startup.

It is always challenging at any stage to raise money for your startup, even for experienced founders with significant traction in their company, it requires a great pitch. Here is a template that will help you with tips and also help you create a compelling pitch.

Download: Investor Pitch Deck Template

Ingressive Capital is investing in startups all over the Sub-Saharan Africa. Check out IngressiveCapital and, if you need help pitching your business, join the EDG Africa community to get a free personalized action plan pointing you to resources who provide pitch consulting, mentorship and advice.

4 Things A VC Wants To See Before Investing In Your Startup

Many Entrepreneurs spend months and some even years developing an idea. Ingressive Capital have received thousands of application for funding in the past few months and noticed that a lot of startups applying for funds have similar problems that stops them from getting funding for their startups.

There is a big competition in the industry, and there are so many things Venture Capitalists try to find in a startup before investing in one.

These four things are must haves for you to be able to get funding for your startup:

  1. Team: Ideas come and go but an agile team can pivot, venture capitalists take time to look and study the team of a startup because many investors know that a good team can pivot. Investors are looking for a good startup team and not just a good startup idea. Investing in an idea could turn out to be a loss but if the team is great it can lead to a better return on investment. Decisions are largely made based on the people involved, so it is critical to have a team that has chemistry, can move quickly and easily. Some of the things VCs look for in a team include business knowledge, willingness to learn and adapt, passion, communication skill and awareness of weakness.

  2. Skill set: It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill. Skill sets are very important to Venture Capitalists when making decisions about startups. Your ability as a startup to sell yourself, get things done, solve problems, identify inefficient business processes, being organized and structured. These skill sets are required for the growth of your startup and Venture Capitalists that want to invest look out for these skill sets. Great tech founders often combine more than one of these skill sets.

  3. Focus on a Scalable market: Affordability is the foundation of scalability, scalability allows businesses to expand and generate more revenue while minimizing the operational costs. A scalable product that can accomodate a large number of clients, will keep developing. Scalability is one of the most important factors to consider for your startup. Successful business growth depends on scalable business models that will over time increase profits, by growing revenue while avoiding cost increases. Venture Capitals are more interested in investing in a scalable product. Before approaching a VC, make sure your startup is focused on a scalable market.

  4. Build an interesting product: To build a great company you need a great product. To get the attention of a VC you need an interesting product, a special product, a good product, a product that can’t be easily replicable. Building a great product is a hard skill, a special skill. That is why this is very important because at the end no amount of money invested in marketing would sell a bad product, as David Ogilvy said: “Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster.” Also, if it is an easily replicable product, in no time would you have competitors providing same service and this will saturate the market.


If you are a startup in the Sub-saharan Africa with these 4 qualities, you should apply for funding at Ingressive Capital. Also, join the Ingressive Community to meet Founders, Developers and Designers in the African Tech ecosytem.

Why 'Inspiration' is killing your Design career

On the 7th of March we hosted one of our bi-weekly AMAs on slack, our guest for this insightful session was a product designer, Chimdi Chimereze.

Chimdi is a creative and innovative thinker who seeks to change the world with good design. He is professionally a product designer and has worked on products for reputable brands such as Interswitch, OVH Energy and VisaCheck.

Apart from product design, Chimdi also likes to work on visual branding projects as well as motion graphics.
When he’s not looking at his laptop screen, he’s either reading a medium article, hanging out with great people or sharing his knowledge.

Chimdi: Hello Good evening

My name is Chimdi, a product designer and I'll be handling today's AMA session. Feels really great to be here!

First off, I'm kinda shy because I know there are a lot of us who have more experience in the industry than I do, but I'll do my best to share the much I'm able to

Today's session centre's mostly on design, but I believe all the devs in the house can pick something and make input too

Please, I'd really appreciate if the people here can say hi.

I think I'll start by talking a bit about myself. I'm a freelance product designer, and I really love this industry and what I do. Right from time, I've always loved anything that combines science and art and I totally fell in love when I discovered product design, ...and this brings me to the topic of the day

Why "Inspiration" is killing your design career

First off, I'm not about to attack dribbble or anything, not in a thousand years (as long as they don't do anything really stupid like saying dodo is useless :) I've landed great projects from there and have made contact with amazing designers from across the world

But the real problem isn't about the platform, dribble, It's about how designers are using design inspiration today. I feel really sad when designers basically just lift another design without asking the proper questions nor doing the proper research

I've seen designers who design a mobile app for android, then mock it up in iphone x, because everyone is doing it

  1. It reminds me of a story my mom told us once about when she was in secondary school. During their exam, one of the students decided to copy from the next person, but that wasn't even the matter

    The girl not only copied the next person, she also copied her neighbour's name! how dumb right?

    But a lot of the time, designers do the exact same thing!

    Design should be guided by insight, not gut feeling or trends. I spoke a bit about this in an article I wrote a while ago " https://blog.usejournal.com/before-you-jump-to-design-3a512eb267f3 You can check it out when you get the time

    Meanwhile, feel free to throw in a question anytime,

    This obvious misuse of design inspiration can be attributed to several factors such as; The lack of a proper understanding of UI design and UX design and how they work together Some clients just ask for shiny stuff and don't lay much emphasis on how it works, A poor understanding of who you're designing for or a lack of empathy plus other numerous factors that have brought about this trend


    I've spent about 30 mins pointing out the problem, I think it's only fair to now suggest solutions

    1. A proper understanding of UI and UX and how they work together I believe that when a designer understands the basics of user experience, that designer will take research as serious as design because the designer now understands that without UX they could be providing the right solution to the wrong/less important problem


    2. Designers must learn that inspiration is inspiration, not a library of free stuff waiting to be used. The visuals or inspiration should be used as materials to facilitate your design process and the ideas you find should be subjected to scrutiny based on the specifics of the product you're working on such as demographics, user behaviour and so on.


    3. Good designers should invest time into *reverse engineering* . The art of reverse engineering basically has to do with working your way to the foundation from what you can see. Designers should learn to ask more *whys* than *whats* when working on a product. It it far wiser to be more concerned about the thought or reason behind a design decision than just trying to find out how to create that design element


    4. This is something I've observed that a lot of great artists do. Try to look at design inspiration without copying anything. Just look, then lay back and watch your subconscious do the magic. It has worked for me severally so I still do this a lot. After I look at design inspiration, I just soak it in for some time, then I find out that my mind begins to sort of upgrade my creativity in many other ways and I start finding solutions to my design challenges


    5. I also suggest that designers study design systems or libraries that are widely used today especially google's material design and apple's human interface design

https://material.io/design/introduction/ https://developer.apple.com/design/human-interface-guidelines/ios/overview/themes/

They are great resources that will help to educate you on certain design principles and guidelines. I'm currently studying material design myself. Try to check them from time to time, because they get updated frequently

That's the much I have to say for now.

Thanks to the entire Ingressive team and community for having me!


Join the Ingressive community to join the conversation!

The Importance of Design Process With Flox Dairo

Like we do every two weeks, Ingressive had another Tweetchat session with our twitter community and Flox Dairo was our Tweetchat guest for the week. Florence Dairo also known as FloxDairo is a UI/UX Designer at OneFico, owner of Paylater. It’s an opportunity for tech founders, tech enthusiasts, developers, and designers in our community to gain in-depth insights on the importance of Design Processes.

FloxDairo: Thank you Ingressive for the opportunity. I am Florence Dairo, UX/UI designer OneFi (Paylater ).

So, we'll basically be chatting about "The Importance of Design Processes".

Kindly use the hashtag "#IngressivechatWithFlox" and "@" my handle and Ingressive's for any question along the line. I will answer all at the end of my session.

Enjoy!

When it comes to design, the strength lies heavily on the steps taken to create the final result than the final product, itself.

Please bear in mind that there are more than one possible solution or thoughtful approach to solving your clients' problem…(so feel free to come up with your process 😉).

The attempt at solving the given design problem demonstrates how empathic the designer is willing to be on behalf of the client.

That said, a design process is a series of steps that helps you (as a designer) define, plan and produce a product your building. Product in this case are applications (mobile and web apps).

Having a design process allows you to be efficient and focused on creating the best product possible. It also allows you design based on facts and not assumptions.

There are different ways of approaching new projects and it is advisable to create a process that works for you. Most importantly, it is advisable to have a process that is strong and flexible enough to accommodate different clients and problems.

I start by "Exploring" the problem...analysing and expanding my knowledge through UX research (collecting as much relevant information as possible at the early stage int the project's lifecycle through user surveys and user interviews <for primary data>)

This gives me an idea of my users, their needs and visions. Then (no.2) "Focus"... I combine my findings and facilitate scoping exercises such as personas, user stories and product maps. This allows me decide how my users will move through the app.

Then I move on to creating "Wireframes" (LowFi and MidFi). In order to ensure that you are designing the best possible experience for your users,

it is advisable to create bare bones of the app (no colours, no photos or icons just boxes and lines) to show the placement of where things would be without getting distracted by how things look.

Then to HighFidelity "Visual design" and Interaction design (ie. animations and transitions). At this stage, you can use fonts, add colours, images and icons. You can basically give your app an identity that brings it to life.

The last stage of my process will be "Usability analysis" and "Production design". Create and test prototypes. Along all stages of your process, it is advisable to always test your design decisions made.

Then finally create style guide and asset slicing. This allows you accurately ship your designs to your engineering team for production.

So, Why is all these really important? Really. 😑

  1. Primarily to cater for your users. UX research gives you more information about your clients' users and their competitors.

  2. With a clear design process, you can establish realistic project deliverables and deadlines with stakeholders of the project. They know what to expect and when...thereby eliminating needless miscommunication.

  3. It decreases the risk of failure. There's a lower risk of having a failed product after carefully and thoroughly gathering your findings to create the product as opposed to pushing pixels first.

  4. It allows you to be more efficient and transparent when designing. Efficient in the sense that you know the next step to take (and you're not just chasing your tail) and you can clearly trace back your steps. Transparent, in the sense that all (major) stakeholders on different teams are involved and can collaborate easily at anytime. There are a lot of amazing tools that encourages collaboration.

When it comes to design, Figma is the best at bringing in major stakeholder to give inputs at every stage of your design. This saves time and effort.

In conclusion, there is no one way (or process) to get through a project. It is advisable to come up with a strong and flexible design process which clearly shows what you need and caters for different clients' problems.


Be a part of our biweekly tweetchats by following us on twitter @_ingressive_ and also join the Ingressive community to get access to Founders, developers and designers in the ecosystem.

How To Deal With The Deadline Syndrome

If you’re reading this; you may have the deadline syndrome.

Meeting deadlines isn't difficult, you just need a system that works for you and stick to it.

As designers, we're always dealing with a million tasks at a time – whether it's dealing with client queries or doing research on a new product's user needs. Additionally, we've got real work to do too. You know, designing things and sorting through the high volume of projects (In the case of a freelance designer).

It goes without saying that missing deadlines is bad for business whether you're working freelance or in-house and to keep track of all your responsibilities, you need a system. If you don't have one well you're in luck because I'm going to touch on how to do exactly that in this article.

The State of Zero-Stress

To become a better and more productive designer, the first and most important thing you should always try to achieve is the state of "Little or Zero Stress."

Stress comes in many forms but the most common for designers are carrying unfinished projects around in your head, feeling like everyone is a better designer than you and dealing with negative feedback from your client or boss. These things affect you mentally and subsequently leaves you exhausted, feeling miserable which then compromises your productivity. In a nutshell, reduce stress levels, and you'll become a better designer.

Make A List

The first step to meeting your deadlines is to make an exhaustive list of tasks including everything you have to do and everything you want to do. You can do this with a pen and paper or a task management app (more on this later)

Prioritise

After making your list of tasks/projects, the next thing you want to do is prioritise. Starting from the top of your list, sort each task by level of priority. Doing this will help you figure out when you want each task completed by, how much time each will take, which tasks you will delegate to someone else and which one you have to do yourself.

Do Hard Things First

It's pretty common to start with the easiest tasks first and leave the harder ones for later. But if we're not kidding ourselves, this approach automatically means saving the difficult tasks for “tomorrow” which probably means the day after that and before you know it, your whole schedule is down the tubes. Tackling more difficult tasks first means that by the time you’re exhausted and energy levels are low, you only have the easier ones to get to and it gives you such relief to know that the hardest ones are out of your way.

Be Accountable

There are times when you just want to chill even though you know it in your guts it's just not the right time but you easily convince yourself you'll get back on track. 9 out of 10 times, you won't!

Set up an accountability system for yourself. It could be a friend, a fellow designer, or anyone you feel comfortable with. Share with them what you hope to achieve in the coming days or weeks. That way when you want to “chill” at the wrong time, there will be someone to put you in check.

Tools you can trust

There are several ways to keep track of your projects and tasks. You may choose to go the traditional pen and paper way or explore a digital approach - I would suggest the digital approach. There has been a lot of different online task managers over the years but Todoist is my favourite of the bunch. You can organise your tasks into projects and subs. For example, you can create a project “UI Design”, then break it down into sub-projects: emails, prototyping, invoicing and so on. Each project or sub project can be colour coded. Todoist even goes as far as turning your productivity into a game of sorts where your efficiency over time is charted and you get little congratulatory notes when you hit milestones – nothing tops that!

Source:  UIJar

Source: UIJar

If Todoist is too complicated for you, there are more simplified tasks managers out there, Gtasks, Microsoft To-Do, Trello, Wunderlist and a bunch of others. Find what works for you and stick to it.

Conclusion

Ultimately it's not the tools you use or the order in which you tackle your tasks but the general change in approach and figuring out a reliable way to organise your time and deadlines that's most important. Anything that lets you get on with your core work of designing things!

Try out a few of these techniques and see if they keep you on track. Tweak them all you want to fit your own work style and flow. Make them your own. You will discover that even if you’re unable to achieve everything on your list, about 80% will be done perfectly. The joy you derive from this will energize you, and keep you going.

Notes from our AMA Session with Gholahan T. Fawale at the Ingressive Community: Finding your niche as a Designer.

Finding your niche as a Designer is a somewhat delicate subject as most designers become overwhelmed trying to choose a path. Technology today is a very competitive that everyone is always striving to be the best they can else they become outdated.


It even becomes harder for us as creatives, trying to stand out, create a style or build a following for our work, it increasingly seems to appear unachievable because of the countless number of amazing talents all over the world, be it as a result of socio-economic background, exposure to technical training and experience or just innate talent of these great individuals.

In this fast paced industry of ours (Technology), we are all trying to get the best of it as we advance in our individual fields and respective career paths, it can be very overwhelming to pick a niche and focus. It even becomes harder for us as creatives, trying to stand out, create a style or build a following for our work, it increasingly seems to appear unachievable because of the countless number of amazing talents all over the world, be it as a result of socio-economic background, exposure to technical training and experience or just innate talent of these great individuals.

Different types of Designers

  • Graphic Designer

  • User Interface Designer

  • User Experience Designer

  • Illustrator

  • Interior Designer

  • Fashion Designer

  • Animator and Multimedia Designer

 

Yet every expert, professional seems to have something that makes their work stand out, recognisable amongst many others be it an artist, designer, developer, musician, sound producer and the rest of them.

What does this mean for us as designers? How can we hone our skills up to the level that we have our personal style, brand, voice and our work can easily be recognised, we become the go to person in our different chosen paths, an individual with domain knowledge and expertise? I will be highlighting some few tips that can help us on.

Learn as much as possible

This very first step is to gain as much foundational knowledge possible, this is what every other step and next stage of our careers will be built on. This can be achieved in different ways, from reading books,blogs,to buying courses online, attending workshops, trainings and meetups or even getting a formal training on design at a college or university if possible.

Quantity over quality

Yeah, this is a very common stage for many designers, experts recommend creating as much as possible to find your style not minding the final quality of the work or design. Here one will find repetitive patterns and trends in once work, also one would have learnt how to express one's creativity and personality into the work.

Always try to showcase and share your work/designs

Many of us try to shy away from showcasing that incomplete or not so good project or design we worked on because of the fear of criticism but remember one of the characteristics of being a good designer is being able to accept feedback and you are also a week, month, year better in experience than someone who hasn’t started at all. People are watching, following the progress of our work as we share them on social media sites and design portfolios, you might be surprised someone sends you a message for a small gig.

Every level of technical expertise as its level of equivalent compensation or value, so the more you create and share your designs you start to attract value, people will compensate based on your current level of experience. Don't wait till you become an expert, before you start sharing your designs and building your portfolio, there is no such thing as an expert, learning continues everyday throughout our careers.

Write blogs

Sharing and writing about your progress, findings, mistakes and solutions your found while working on your projects also helps, they say writing helps to give more clarity and understanding of whatever it is your write about. There are also beginners who will find your articles useful, it doesn’t always have to be very  technical.

Writing also establishes you as an experienced designer , that is how people can actually have an idea of how you approach your designs. Inspire someone today!

Sidenotes

My first post about figma in 2017 has about 2k plus views and 1.5k reads to be precise and also ranks 2nd on google when you search for things related to using figma offline, it was just something i discovered then out of curiosity and wrote about, apparently the stats shows that people esp beginners have actually being searching for ways to use figma offline.

Link below
https://medium.com/owerritechgroup/using-figma-offline-well-not-totally-8899757243e4

Work on side projects

The importance of this can’t be overemphasized, it is very easy to get caught up in office work or whatever pays the bills and not have time to try out or channel these ideas or concepts we have into design projects, you know the work that pays the bills is also important but could sometimes limit our creativity.This brings me to my next point.

Work on projects that you love

One of the ways we can truly identify with ourselves and personality is to work on projects/ideas that we truly love or find interesting, projects that gives us the freedom to try out different styles or do something unconventional.

Your Illustration/Graphic style doesn’t need to be excellent; it needs to be original. - Johny Vino

Work and try challenging designs

Another way to find  a niche is to try hard or challenging designs to work on, there will be a lot of learning and mistakes which can lead to mastery, once mastery has be achieved one becomes an expert  in that skill or design style.

Specific knowledge is knowledge that you cannot be trained for , if the society can train you, it can train someone else, and replace you - Naval

When we work on challenging designs or concepts we acquire specific knowledge which can make us one of the most sought after persons in the skill.

Pick One

After exploring different styles and ideas

Check out

UI Engineer, Daina A Smith  http://diana-adrianne.com/
Find a mentor if possible
It could either be someone who you just like their style, look up to or even want to emulate. They don't have to know you in person.Study the great and become greater.”

Most designers belong to at least one category mentioned above, you can focus one(probably pays the bills) while you explore another (passion) and try different styles, this way we can have freedom to create portfolios of work that might not necessarily have an instant/immediate financial benefit and compensation but that which is truly out of our most innate abilities and creativity.

Check out

Baugasm on instagram, Johny Vino on behance and dribble

Teams & organisations such unfold, ramotion, etc

 Advantages to having and finding your niche:

  • It helps you define your brand and what you are known for

  • Finding and focusing on a niche helps stand out and leads to faster mastery of the skill/style.

  • Easier to get clients

  • You become a  “go-to” person in that skill.

  • It helps on lead a life of inspiration to others

Side Notes

We all seek inspiration from each others work but we all have different ways of interpreting things that we like in these works we seek inspiration from.

Everyone Is Born An Artist, the problem is how to remain one once we grow up - Pablo Picasso. I have heard several people think one has to be an artist or should be able to draw before one can get into design.

Observe what is working, and what's not working then apply it to your work.

Hard Work beats talent

Feel free to reach out to me personally if you have or need more clarifications, guidance or just want to share ideas.

Thanks


The Best Time To Start Working On An Idea With Celestine Ezeokoye

As the CEO and Founder of Wemove, a company registered solely for building innovative technology solutions for the transportation sector, Celestine shared some of his Entrepreneurial knowledge with our twitter community

Every two weeks, we invite some of our Ingressive Community member from all over the world to participate in a Tweetchat session. It’s an opportunity for tech founders, tech enthusiasts, developers, and designers in our community to gain in-depth insights on tech trends and how tos.

This week, we were honored to host Celestine Ezeokoye, CEO and founder of Wemove — a company building innovative technology solutions for the transportation sector, he’s also a software craftsman and businessman.

The Tweetchat was interesting and enlightening!

Celestine: Hi y’all. Wotagwan. My name is Celestine. And in the next couple of minutes, I’ll be sharing with y’all one or two things you need to know as you set o’u on building your idea.

Thanks to @_Ingressive_

So you’ve got that great idea & you want to build get it into the hands of users & maybe make some money out of it, right? Here are the things you should consider.

Is the market ready? This is the most important question you need to find answers to.

How would you answer this question? Simple. Run the scientific method on the market.

  1. Design a hypothesis:

This means that you make assumptions on how you think that the market will like to use whatever you’re building. And then build products that meet your assumptions.

You might do this over and over until you find something that resonates withe the market.

No idea ever comes out fully formed.

However, you might be lucky to have stumbled on a goldmine or have a data point that shows you exactly what to build.

But most times, first-time successes is either luck or domain expertise. Or building on something someone has done in the past, so there are data points to look at.

2. Test your hypothesis:

After designing, building the most basic form of what you want to go to market with & test it with real users.

When @WeMoveCo started, it was just a single Web page with a phone number for users to call in & make a request for any vehicle they want to hire. Before the Web page, we had already fulfilled a few requests by word of mouth. Absolutely nothing fancy, no single for, no React Native, no Node.js, Just static HTML, CSS & JavaScript.

But in the coming months, it started to get complex. We added a little form & email notification. Then every other thing came later. With that static Web page (and basic PHP form), we processed a request with a total value of $55k.

That led to us deciding to go full time into it & build out some of the ideas & feedback we were getting.

3. Take feedback & reintegrate it:

After testing your hypothesis, if the market doesn’t want what you’re building. Don’t continue to stubbornly push it as is. Take feedback & iterate the process.

If in the process of testing, you discover that the market doesn’t want to use your product, kill the product/idea. There’s no “that meins wee sleep here” in this one, it’s only you that will be sleeping there.

Long story short, you can have the best idea after suya & garri, but “if the market nor vibe with am, throwey am sharply!”

So the timing of your idea is best determined by the response the market gives you, when you tease it with “just the tip” of your idea.

You can build all the others later.

4. Focus on the market:

Some people like to harass other people with the question “what do you think about this my great idea?”

“Bruh, I don’t think anything.” If I’m not using it, whatever I think is irrelevant.

Anyways, sorry in taking so much time. Also, if I start to type all the things that I want to say ehn, that meins wee sleep here!

So I’ll end it here by re-emphasizing that y’all should focus your idea in giving a market value.

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Blockchain and Cryptocurrency: Are they Practical in Africa with Dickson Nsofor

As the CEO and Founder of Korapay, a cross-border payments and remittance platform utilizing technology (+Blockchain) tomake payments within, to and from Africa seamless. Dickson shared some of his Blockchain knowledge with our twitter community

Every two weeks, we invite some of our Ingressive Community member from all over the world to participate in a Tweetchat session. It’s an opportunity for tech founders, tech enthusiasts, developers, and designers in our community to gain in-depth insights on tech trends and how tos.

This week, we were honored to host Dickson Nsofor, CEO and founder of Korapay —  a cross-border payments and remittance platform utilizing technology (+Blockchain) tomake payments within, to and from Africa seamless.

The tweetchat was insightful and as well as exciting!

Dickson here and I am excited to tweetchat on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency's practicality in Africa

I’d like to thank the Ingressive Team for putting together this chat. The Ingressive Team continues to achieve its aim to open up resources and opportunities for tech communities across the continent.

Africa is dare to my heart and it is my passion to always share my 2cents on whatever benefits or would help the continent.Thanks again for having me.

Firstly,

Bitcoin is not Blockchain!

In practical terms, let’s call Blockchain = Electricity and lets say Bitcoin = Light Bulb.

Most people think of Electricity as Light, so it’s understandable why people think Bitcoin is Blockchain.

In recent times, Bitcoin and other crypto's have garnered substantial attention across Africa. No asset can do 1000% returns and not get the attention of even an ordinary cab driver.

A lot of people are interested in this wave of new technology as it is no longer a buzzword in Africa, but an engine powering significant gains and change across the continent.

The movement of blockchain has transcended the usual cryptocurrency trade and is now being considered by various sector players for application across the continent.

Interestingly, while all cryptocurrencies run on blockchains, not all blockchains have cryptocurrencies.

Remember the Light bulb and Electricity analogy above?

All Light bulbs run on a form of electricity but Electricity must not light up a bulb to be Electricity. We can use Electricity for machinery tools and all other sort of application

So we can simply define Cryptocurrencies as, a digital asset or digital form of money, leveraging blockchain technology that only exists online. Cryptocurrencies use cryptography to verify and secure transactions, hence their name.

Its major characteristic is its ability to transcend borders without a central control*** This is the juice of it all

The difference between crypto and traditional financial models is in the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies. Means that when you spend a cryptocurrency, the approval of the transaction is not from a central authority

But rather from a Peer-to-Peer network of computers, coming to a consensus that your transaction is legitimate on a blockchain.

There are many great Africa startups doing great work with Cryptocurrencies but in my opinion, the only market that is practical on the continent for optimization through Crypto is CROSS-BORDER PAYMENTS.

We can see a lot of amazing companies in the payment space using crypto like, Bitpesa and Suremit just to mention a few.

Crypto permits Fintechs to provide a cheaper and faster service to its users. None of these great companies would be able to serve their customers amazingly without the underlying technology called Blockchain.

There are many ways to define Blockchains but I like to call it the Database of Truth! with 4 pillars:

  • Immutable

  • Time stamped

  • Verifiable

  • Transparent

This is priceless, and revolutionary as it signifies the ability for Value to be transferred over the internet!

Now, how does this relates to Africa??? is there any practical application in Africa?

I have seen all sort of projects leveraging blockchain, from Supplychain and Agro-tech down to Instant messaging and gaming solutions.

But for Africa! Any Blockchain solution must be able to factor in 3 major challenges:

  • Infrastructural deficit

  • Poor Internet connectivity

  • Low access to devices (MobilePhones)

Africa's challenges are unique and all solutions must be tailored to suite the continent. It's not a one size fits all continent, and even within the continent, each country is unique as well.

In my 2 cents, I see just 3 practical applications of Blockchain in Africa:

  • Identity (Issuance and Management)

  • Land Registry (Government Database)

  • Payments (Inter-bank Settlements)

IDENTITY, is the crux of all of Africa's problems. Identity is the bedrock of social services which is the blood line of a country. There is such a great opportunity in issuing and managing Identity via Blockchain across Africa.

No Identity means, no way to account for people, no way to build credit. Loans and trust becomes the hardest thing hereby leaving many people in the poverty circle. ID is key

LAND REGISTRY- shout out to my brothers and sisters who once bought a land last year but this year the land belongs to the village chief!

hahaha

Properties and asset registration is such a volatile market in Africa.

Mostly because of corruption. The chief tells the ministry that he owns your thing and the ministry burns the paper file (or maybe the Snake swallows the papers of your house in their custody)

If any government/country ever adopts blockchain for asset registration, that would be the greatest thing it can do to foster economic growth. Y'all should read " The Mystery of Capital" by Hernado De soto.

PAYMENTS- I so believe in this application of blockchain to Africa that I founded Korapay. You can't have companies charging African's 8-10% for remittance and not do anything about it.

There is so much room for Blockchain powered crossborder settlement network and that the future we see. Where you can send money to Ghana from Nigeria like you send a WhatsApp message!

With this 2 cents of mine, I believe Blockchain is over estimated in the short run but highly underestimated in the long run. Africa is the only place with the most room for growth.

Thanks and was my pleasure sharing

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AMA Session with Akinpelu Tobi, Creator of MavenStickers and Gingered

Please note that the contents shared in this article rightfully belongs to Oluwatobi Akinpelu.

I was delighted at the opportunity to share my over 5 years experience in software development with the ingressive community.

Here is a bit about how the conversations went.

My special thanks go to  Ingressive for the opportunity.

Interviewer: Kindly tell us about you

My response: A bit about me - I started programming as self-taught in 2012. Started with Website development, which I later made the bold decision to specialize in mobile development in 2014. I've done a series of projects for clients, and the majority of the rest ended up as localhost projects. Learnt my lessons about being productive as a developer and made my adjustments. These corrections helped me to be spotted by the best tech company in Nigeria, and the release of MavenStickers and Peppercolor.

Interviewer: So you recently launched Maven Stickers and it has been trending for some time now....tell us about it

My response: Fast Forward to 2018. Because I believe in creativity. I wanted to bring an idea to life that has an impact on the lives of people I felt what people use daily is good to start. Something like that came to my mind in the era if BBM. But I could do it due to the lack of adequate needs of a good laptop. And then telegram But Telegram is already crowded. When I saw WhatsApp, I was excited and I knew immediately- I need to do this. I wanted to create a simple tool that will have a massive impact on the e-social life of people, so I decided to create a tool that can make it more expressive and engaging at the fingertips of people.

I built it in 24 hours ( on a Wednesday/Thursday) -  wrote contents about it on Friday -submitted to play store on Saturday - Made the announcement on Sunday.

Mavenstickers had over 230,000 impressions on Twitter alone within the first 36 hours - and the happy thing for me is the feedback of how it has brought more fun to chats.

Let’s dive in quickly into  some actions I make that enables me to develop and produce faster faster faster!

Interviewer: Tell about how to get localhost projects to live in such a short time...like you did with Mavenstickers.

My response:

1. Don't start with codes. Start with good plans

Before you build it, research for all libraries and frameworks you will need upfront. Usually, what elongates production is because developers try out something today, and tomorrow changes it for the name of "it looks better". When looking to increase productivity for developers, it may seem counterintuitive to have them spend more time away from their keyboards. But adequate planning and specification of work are well worth the effort. Unclear requirements cause confusion, which is the most frustrating roadblock for every developer who needs to code rules and logic into their applications.

By spending some time to properly plan your project and simplifying your planning process, you’ll save time on fixing and redesigning things whenever you are actively coding. This is a very vital point. Please hold on to this. Don't start with codes, start with good plans.

2. Don’t optimize prematurely

Premature optimization is a serious issue among the coding community. For real-time projects, optimization is necessary. Other projects, such as games, also require optimization to a certain degree for better user experience, certification for publication, etc. However, that doesn’t mean you should start optimizing your game in its half-baked state. It's a good idea to optimize after a good chunk of functionality has been implemented. The game also applies to any other software. The late start will help you to avoid unnecessary work and keep you productive.

3. When codes get naughty, sleep over it! please I beg you, sleep over it

Have you ever been in that situation when you get those naughty errors for 6 hours? Just to go out to play, come back, write a few lines, and voila- it works. And you start wondering, why did I forget that comma? Or why could I have made that silly little mistake?

Working fewer hours can help you remain productive. In the meantime, you also need to get proper sleep. Without proper sleep, you can easily hamper your productivity to a great extent. Not to mention, improper sleep can also hamper your health and cognitive capabilities. I do it a lot, whenever the code doesn't work, I just sleep, play games, chill out or just do something fun.

4. Reduce cognitive coding, increase building usable software.

Let's take a look at these problems: 3 of them

(A) Write a function that returns an array containing the currencies  for an ATM transaction, assuming the ATM can dispense all the available Nigerian currencies, 1k to N5 so if you have someone that wants to withdraw 750 the function should return [500, 200, 50] you can't return 100 naira bills since there's a 200 naira currency...

(B) Create a software usable that an ATM machine that handles improve the experience of the withdrawal process.

(C)  Build a module/part feature adoptable by banks or/and fitness.

Above are 3 problems, which can be solved by developing software for it. The only difference are the purpose, goal and mindset of the developer.

In A, B and C, which of these will bring more productivity to the developer and will likely go from localhost to live usage? (edited)

I leave the thoughts to you guys.

5) Be creative, keep growing into excellence

Just like me who believe in creativity, to do things differently. No matter how small the uniqueness could be - It will propel you to do more and push it to the hands of people to use.

Interviewer: Finally from me. I am very curious about your Publicity. It was very strategic..How did you do it…

My response: Thanks Sandra, I believe when there is a good content/product, it will fly with effort. I basically shared it with friends and few in the tech community I could share it with who could also reshare to their audience.

 

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Blockchain and Cryptocurrency; Are they practical in Africa?

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a decentralized, peer to peer, immutable storage network which is censor free and regulator free because of the absence of one single controlling entity. Every transaction that is written is voted upon by a majority of nodes and changing something which was written before in the chain is computationally very difficult.

An example would go this way “You’re reading your emails on your device, phone, tablet, laptop. Someone throws your phone into the water. This is sad and annoying, but your email is not lost because you can still access it on your laptop or tablet.” Blockchain is the same, it is a distributed data storage system, which has massive opportunities to reduce corruption and inefficiency.


What can it be used for?

While blockchain is far from perfect, it certainly has plenty of real-world applications.

1. Payment processing and money transfers: The first thing that comes to most people’s mind when they hear blockchain is ‘Bitcoin’. Arguably the most logical use for blockchain is as a means of transferring funds from one party to another. As noted, with banks removed from the equation, and validation of transactions ongoing 24 hours a day, seven days a week, most transactions processed over a blockchain can be settled within a matter of seconds.

2. Authenticated Digital voting: In a continent like Africa where voter fraud is rampant, blockchain technology is here to save the day. Blockchain offers the ability to vote digitally, but it's transparent enough that any regulators would be able to see if something were changed on the network. It combines the ease of digital voting with the unchanging nature of blockchain to make votes truly count.

3. Smart Contracts: Smart contracts can be built on top of a ledger and operate as decentralised applications. These programs can run functions which are becoming more sophisticated and may diminish the need for standard legal contracts.

4. Real estate: One of the primary goals of blockchain is to take paper out of the equation, since paper trails are often a source of confusion. If you're buying or selling land, a house, or a car, you'll need to transfer or receive a title. Instead of handling this on paper, blockchain can store titles on its network, allowing for a transparent view of this transfer, as well as presenting a crystal-clear picture of legal ownership.

5. Tracking prescription drugs: Blockchain technology could be used for transparently tracking prescription medicines. In a world where prescription returns do occur, and counterfeit medications are in surplus, blockchain technology offers drug makers or companies the power to track their products to ensure that consumers get the original product when they finally get the medicine at the pharmacy.

What is Cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses strong cryptography to secure financial transactions, control the creation of additional units, and verify the transfer of assets. In simpler words, Cryptocurrency is a virtual currency or a digital currency. It has value like money, can be exchanged for money, can be lent or borrowed like money. But it does not have any physical presence. And most importantly, there is no issuer or backer like a central bank. And banks are not needed even for transactions using cryptocurrencies. Transactions are recorded on a digital public ledger called a Blockchain. Transactions and the ledger are encrypted using cryptography. That's why it is called cryptocurrency. It is also decentralized, which means that it is controlled by users and a computer algorithm and not a central government. An example is Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies include Ether, Ripple and Litecoin.


What can you use it for?

1. Fast and Low-cost money transfers: Banks in Nigeria charge an average of N50 to make money transfer locally, making international transfers is another hassle that comes with exorbitant charges. One of the major benefits of cryptocurrencies is sending and receiving money at a low cost with fast speed. For example, a recent $99 million litecoin (LTC) transaction took just two and a half minutes to process and it cost the sender $0.40 in transaction fees. If this money transfer had gone through a normal bank in Africa, the fees would obviously have been way, way higher and the transfer would have taken days, if not weeks, assuming this was an international transaction.

2. Ability to Make private transactions: Contrary to popular opinion, Bitcoin isn't an anonymous cryptocurrency — rather, it is pseudonymous. Bitcoin makes use of a public key to secure transactions, the key isn't linked to any identifiable information, this is why it is perceived as private. But in theory, information about a person using bitcoins can be gleaned over an extended period of time.

Private digital currrencies such as Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC), and PIVX (PIVX) enable users to make anonymous financial transactions. With this digital currencies, individuals can make money transfers without having to explain to a bank why they are sending a certain amount of money, what the sources of the funds are and who they are sending it to, this processes involve unnecessary bureaucratic and can delay the transaction.

3. Send Non-cash remittances: Another awesome use of cryptocurrencies are non-cash remittances. Avery good example is the Nigerian blockchain startup named SureRemit, what SureRemit has done is create an app that allows its users to send non-cash remittances like mobile data top-ups or utility bill payments from anywhere in the world to selected African nations.

Diaspora Africans can now purchase SureRemit’s native RMT tokens, which are then used within the SureRemit app to make non-cash remittances for their relatives in Africa.

In December 2017, the company raised $7 million during its initial coin offering and they plan on using this money to improve the platform and expand into new markets.

4. Alternative store of wealth: Fun fact; no personal bitcoin wallet can ever be frozen by the authorities. Cryptocurency as an alternative store of wealth is one the most unique and powerful use of crypto.

Bank account and assets could be frozen, and the reality is that this occurs more often than people know — especially in places with suspicious rule of law. Sometimes all it can take is for someone to be accused of financial misconduct or make a powerful enemy. When that happens, people can find themselves with little to no access to cash, even if they’ve done nothing wrong.

This is where crypto comes into play. Cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, act as a censorship-resistant alternative store of wealth that only the individual with the private keys to the wallet has access to.

The relationship between Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

A lot of people would presume that the blockchain technology refers to cryptocurrency, and the first thing that comes to mind is Bitcoin. Well, that is the most famous type of cryptocurrency. The truth and reality of it is that the blockchain technology could be used for so many things as listed above.

Blockchains are signed, peer-to-peer, distributed ledger databases, and a cryptocurrency is a digital asset that can be an exchange medium. Cryptocurrencies are implemented by using blockchain technologies, the Blockchain technology is what allows transactions using the cryptocurrency to occur in a decentralized, distributed fashion. This decentralization is why using cryptocurrencies have so many advantages.


Challenges facing Blockchain and Cryptocurrency adoption in Africa

Ingressive Ecosystem Hangout: “The Economics of Blockchain”

Ingressive Ecosystem Hangout: “The Economics of Blockchain”

At the last Ingressive Ecosystem Hangout themed “The Economics of Blockchain”, it was discovered that private companies and government bodies are working towards a way to use blockchain and cryptocurrency to grow the economy and transform many things in the country. One of the speakers from Luno, who explained that there is a committee set by the Central Bank of Nigeria making policies for cryptocurrency. This is the problem of regulation, key aspects of blockchain like cryptocurrency, data encryption, identity management, taxation, attracts the attention of the government and government wastes time because the regulations have to pass through many body and arms.

Looking further is the need for validation, a lot of African Banks run when they hear the word crypto because they are scared of the the effects they feel it might have on the economy and the loss of control. Africa still have a long way to go before considering cryptocurrencies as legal tenders, and as such are not of major interest to the people yet.
One of the major problems is the cost, the amount needed in storing data in blockchain databases are really much and it is always a one off payment. Apart from the cost for storing data in the cloud, there are other costs to be incurred such as blockchain development, deployment and system integration, which will amount to a very huge amount of money that cannot be easily raised by the African government.

Another challenge to highlight is the access to internet, only 31.2% of has access to internet connection and the speed and strength of the connectivity is not reliable. Even though usage and access grows daily, poor internet connection and electricity is big hindrance to the growth of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

Conclusion

Blockchain technology is set to be the key to a digital economy in Africa and the world at large. There are so many challenges this world changing technology can solve because it has the ability to improve financial services in all industries, eradicate the high costs of transactions, and enable faster, secure transactions.  In addition, it can help in the security of data and records are stored safely in an immutable digital ledger. Do you think Blockchain and Cryptocurrency have a future in Africa?

Weekly Hub Tour: Godo.ng Hub

Holla! from the Ingressive team, I bring to you our weekly tech hubs tour.

For this week, I will be taking you through Godo.ng Hub, Located at 53, Oladipo Bateye street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos state.

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Godo.ng Hub is a coworking space and hub for startups,entrepreneurs, and tech Innovators.

On getting to the hub, I spoke with Mr Mustapha, the Content writer and Partnership Lead for Godo.ng Hub, he gave amazing Facts about the hub and how passionate they are on supporting startups through capacity building, incubation, mentoring and resources.

Godo.ng Hub has been in existence, but was officially launched in August , 2018. It was founded by Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata, generally known as CFA.

Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata (CFA), through his weekly shows, titled; Tech Trends on Channels Television, ICT Clinic in the Punch Newspapers and a nationally syndicated radio show, engages individuals, startups and organisations across the tech ecosystem and beyond, on trending and important issues.

CFAtech blog, CFA’s Startups Hangout, Nigeria Int’l Tech Exhibition & Conference and much more; are examples of platforms he utilises to power a nexus on the integration and relationship of digital technology to human existence.

WORK SPACE

They have an amazing work space, which makes networking with other like mind community builders easier.

Another amazing fact about this hub is that ,startups who get to enrol with them, stand the chance of featuring their ideas on cfamedia.ng, CFA tech trends, as well as Pitching opportunity.

Currently, they are organising tech training for kids between the age range of 6-17years old, on HTML, CSS, Scratch, and other tech tools.

EVENT SPACE

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As one of the medium to ensure proper growth for the startups in their space, they organize a monthly meet up for startups, titled; CFA Startup Hangout; which is a platform to collaborate, share and learn from business experts, CRMs, mentors, coaches, entrepreneurs,media moguls, potential customers and many more.

They also run an annual Tech Talk, called Nitda.

Godo.ng Hub is a very nice place to work, meet new people and organize/hold tech events because of the ambience and space, and I must say this space is definitely one tech hub to look out for in Lagos, Nigeria.

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Have you been to Gododotng Hub?

Do you have any tech hub you’d like the me to visit and write about?

Drop your opinions in the comment.

Self Development for Developers with Adewale Abati (AceKYD)

On the last Tuesday of January, we had our weekly(now bi-weekly) Tweetchat with Adewale Abati also known as AceKyd. He is a developer advocate at Ingressive and also the community manager.

This week’s Tweetchat was on SELF DEVELOPMENT FOR DEVELOPERS, it started with an introduction at approximately 7:00PM.

You can follow the hashtag #TweetchatwithAce on Twitter.

Please note that the contents shared in this article rightfully belongs to Adewale Abati (Ace).

Ace: Hello everyone! I’m Adewale and I’m glad to be here tonight.

Thank you for the introduction @_ingressive_

Today, I’m not here to tell you how to format your code or anything like that but rather have a chat with you all on how to keep growing as a developer. #TweetChatWithAce

I want to use this opportunity to touch on things that go beyond the code we write but how we continue to develop ourselves, prepare for opportunities and also seize them. This may also apply to even more than developers, so stay tuned.

I saw a video recently about developers being problem solvers. That it's not just about how neatly formatted your code is, or how advanced it is, what eventually matters is the impact your code has on the world.

Growing your career can be a tough one as a developer whether you are self taught or not. There are so many options & paths to take, what matters is to focus on learning. What you consume is what is going to determine the next stage of your career

Nigeria for example, starting out, all you knew was to be a developer, then maybe you become world class. It can be difficult to plan out a career path compared to the process of civil servants perhaps. This leads to feeling stuck multiple times.

You wonder if you are truly growing, or if you are going to stay where you are forever. In my experience I've seen people address this situation in the following ways.

  • Be part of a community.

  • Create content

  • Build a brand.

  • Grow a network.

Being part of a community presents you the opportunity to not only discuss with others and share ideas, but also for you to see the paths other people have taken and work it to match yours. They say experience is the best teacher, someone said they omitted "Other people's".

Meaning, "Other people's experience is the best teacher". You can argue that, but it mostly sounds valid. 😀

Being a part of this community also goes in hand with Networking as they can sometimes be similar things.

I learnt something powerful from @asemota at F8 in 2018. He said, and I paraphrase, everyone at a conference is here for similar reasons, sometimes, one person just needs to start the conversation. And he showed it. And it worked

So don't hesitate to network, start up a conversation in a community, or even reach out when needed.

Creating content at the same time does not mean starting a YouTube channel, or a podcast. Unless it's what you want to do. It could be just building. Building or creating stuff to put out there in the world presents series of opportunities.

Opportunities that won't normally just walk to your doorstep. So it never really hurts. You are adding stuff to your portfolio. More people are seeing it. More people know what you do. And most importantly, you are learning stuff and growing!

With all these said and done, it's really easy to focus on what you cannot do. Oh I don't know how to write code that well, or I'm not a good technical writer.

Well stop it.

I go through this phase a lot and one thing to recommend is, stop beating yourself up, it won't make you know it.

Sit up, make a list of the things you think you should know or you are worried about, and start learning them one by one.

Before you know it, your list is empty. Blink and you have another set of items to add to a new list. It's just how life is.

We just have to continue to make steps to become better.

So don't forget to chill out (I should take this advice myself 😅) and get a hobby outside work too. Helps a lot to step away for a while and then get back into it. I play video games for survival 😊

Last but not least, we also need to take personal hygiene seriously. Health they say is wealth, so take care of your body so your mind is right. I'm personally also more productive when my table is organized. Might just work for you.

Finally I'll leave us with a quote from a guy that made me start watching Naruto - Rock Lee.

"My motto is to be stronger than yesterday, if I have to I'll be stronger than half a day ago, even a minute ago!"

With this I've come to the end of my story and would love to hear more about how you all try to get better at what you do and develop yourself.

Ace shii up!

Thank you once again for having me.

Join the Ingressive community on twitter, and also gain answers and insights from our weekly AMAs with industry experts on the Ingressive Community on Slack. Which you can join HERE.

Also, follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date on our programs and events.

Previously in Figma Africa

Most frontend developers will tell you that they started learning frontend with HTML, then CSS before moving on to Javascript. For web designers, it is totally different as a lot of already existing designers taught themselves how to design. Maybe they were already doing graphic or print design and started experimenting with web design, or they were learning some of the principles of User Experience design and got curious then allowed their minds to wander.

The point here is, if you ask 10 designers how they got started in design, you will most likely hear 10 different funny stories. Most often the stories go thus “Oh! I was just reading on typography and became fascinated with it so I started creating designs with it and boom.” Not to trivialize the different ways we learn but to show the lack of a structured learning process for design education in Africa.

In Africa, there aren’t a lot of web design schools one can go to learn web design. Thank goodness for online learning platforms like Coursera, Udacity, Pluralsight and YouTube — which afforded designers in Africa with the opportunity to learn design so as to scale their careers and keep up with existing technology as designers.

This is one of the main reasons why we at Figma Africa (a platform for the designers in Africa to come to interact, mentor, learn, grow and profit together while engaging in design activities) are so focused on Design Education across the African continent and we are excited about how much progress we have made so far especially from seeing how much recognition design education is getting nowadays.

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We officially launched the design community in May 2018 in Lagos and by the end of 2018 we were in 8 countries, 17 cities and we had 25 design ambassadors across these places advocating for the community and facilitating learn design sessions because we realized the impact gotten from Learn Design sessions were much greater than that of meetups.

As we progressed, the community grew to the extent where members were freely interacting among themselves in private and this was one of the soft goals we set out to achieve. We used Slack as our official communication platform but we had WhatsApp groups for some of the communities that might have difficulty fitting in on Slack an example is the Congo DR community where French is the official language there.

In order not to feel secluded from the outside ecosystem, we started hosting A.M.A (Ask Me Anything) sessions with Design Leaders from different design fields. We hosted world-class designers from Figma, Netflix, Microsoft and had one with the Engineering Manager of Paystack. These sessions offered our members the opportunity to interact with the AMA Guests, learn from their experience and also get answers to unasked questions that might have been bothering us.

DESIGN ACTIVITIES

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For someone just starting out web design, it can be a bit tricky because they are usually faced with either of these two common problems which could be:

Too many materials, resources, and mentors — making it confusing.

Lack of materials, resources, and mentors for proper guidance.

Sometimes they just need some guidance to point them in the right direction on how to get started. Interacting with others going through the same beginners’ struggle has also proven useful in providing guidance.

As mentioned earlier, there’s no clearly defined structure for learning web design unlike coding and this makes it difficult to for those interested in learning it to get started so they usually just end up doing a crash course on everything tagged “Design” that they could find on the internet in an attempt to make progress.

Learn Design with Figma

Figma Africa launched along with a free Design learning program (special thanks to Zach Grosser for creating the curriculum) that was self-paced and came with a well-curated curriculum, weekly activities, learning materials and resources for those interested in learning design to get started with. This didn’t go hitch-free but we found a way of adapting it to the individual communities and making it work especially with the many design reviews and weekly documentation of activities.

THE COMMUNITY

We successfully hosted 73 events this means we were hosting a minimum of 2 events every week and usually in different cities. This would not be possible without the help of our ambassadors who organize and facilitate these events and activities. Special thanks to our ambassadors listed below.

South Africa

Johannesburg

Chesway theWay

Benin Republic

Cotonou

Ralph Gnonlonfoun

Kenya

Nairobi

Gathigia Njiri

Lavet Adhis

Rwanda

Kigali

Olusegun Aribido

Ghana

Accra

Michael Sarpong

Joseph Kanyiti Kiipo

Joseph-Albert Kuuire

James Baduor

Mubarak Sumaila

Nigeria

Lagos

Eleojo Emmanuel

Coker Oluwafemi

Kome Sideso

Florence Dairo

Ukauwa David

Gbolahan Taoheed Fawale

Enugu

Eugene Ebere

Uyo

Mfonobong Umondia

Port Harcourt

Ojemeh Peace Ozioma

Umuahia

Jethro Theo Paul

Ogbomoso

Abiodun Okunade

Kaduna

Mudia Imasuen

Morocco

Casablanca

Ezouhri Maroua

Republic Democratic of the Congo

Goma, Nord-Kivu

Mumbere David Kathoheryo

2019: What’s Next?

DESIGN EDUCATION

Our goal for 2019 still very much remains the same and that is to continue making design education accessible to designers across Africa. As usual, we partnered with a lot of Hubs and workspaces last year and we look forward to partnering with a lot more this year.

WEEKLY DESIGN CHALLENGE

The Figma Africa weekly design challenge has been helpful for designers looking to build their portfolios. Last year we ran more than 20 design challenges on a weekly basis. This year we intend to make it even more rewarding with paired design challenges to give the experience of working in a team or office.

NEWSLETTERS

We started the Figma Africa newsletter late last year on a biweekly basis. This year, we plan to do more and continue serving our subscribers with awesome well-curated design contents and this is handled by the lovely Jennifer Onwudiwe. You can subscribe here if you haven’t subscribed for the newsletter yet (http://eepurl.com/dC9ESn - Figma Africa)

Figma Africa Email Forms

PARTNERSHIPS

Partnerships are an important part of our success. From providing event venues to footing some of the bills for these activities especially for some of our events hosted in locations where we are just starting out. We are hoping to partner with a lot more Hubs, Workspaces, Companies and other communities.

Join Figma on SLACK: https://figma-africa.slack.com

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/figma_africa

INSTAGRAM: https://instagram.com/figmaafrica

MEETUP: https://www.meetup.com/figma-africa