Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Journey of an Afro-preneur: Sharing The Vision

So "the bug" has my mind, body and soul, it's actually a great feeling koz your so pumped up and every creative juice in your body is flowing. I picture Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they came up with google.

Almost forgot to mention that a last year I got bit by "the bug" and had a desire to setup a web directory service for east african businesses. The idea had already been implemented quite well by one or two companies (www.nationbusinessdirectory.com) but I figured I could do it better and incorporate other features that would make it the primary business portal for the region. I'm sure you wanna know how that went, may be I'll start a blog to talk about dead ideas :-)


I'm thinking to myself "what should I do next?" the logical thing was to share the vision with my fellow Afro-preneurs but there is this paranoia that would-be entrepreneurs concerning the ideas they have. We all fear that the next dude will steal the ide out pace us and implement our idea but I figure competition is healthy and so is paranoia :-).I had a meeting with a fellow Afro-preneur yesterday and he brought up the same thing.


I can't overstate the importance of picking the right people/person to share your idea with, so many times we pick the wrong people who tear into your idea and before you get started you've already seen failure. Constructive criticism is what your looking for as an entrepreneur, comments that will help you refine your idea and may be even take it a step further.

So first thing when I got to the office after my epiphany was to send a mail to a friend of mine where I basically outlined my vision for the whole web app. His comments were positive which was good but he asked the question that every budding entrepreneur asks "How do you intend to make money?". My answer to the question is "I don't know how and I'm not concerned how, I just want to do this" :-) Adrenaline had obviously overtaken business reasoning :-)

Social Apps and Revenue

Most social web apps generate their revenue through banner advertising or through the provision of premium services. In order to go the advertising route you need the numbers in terms of users and the traffic to back it up. My best example in the numbers category is Myspace.com, check the statistics here, the numbers can't be rivalled by any other social web app out there but the weird thing is that it's yet to make any money. In the premium services category I would have to pick LinkedIn.com (one of the most impressive social networking apps I've ever used, a must use) through their InMail service.But what you offer must really appeal to the masses and make them want to spend money so you really need to define your niche'.

Which way do I go?

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