Saturday, March 17, 2007

Journey of an Afropreneur: An exam and getting things done

This doesn't truly qualify as an afropreneur post but I figure that since part of who I am is a student I have to chronicle even the most academically annoying experiences, so please do bear with me.

This evening I had the rather painful experience of sitting for a Probability & Statistics CAT (Continuous Assessment Test) at the university, needless to say despite the many attempts by the lecturer to impart all the knowledge into our thick skulls, even going as far as far as taking as through the topics she was going to examine us I still managed to loose a major cache of brain cells, oh well what to do?..

Mathematics has never been my forte, I cruised on rather mediocre grades in high school and if there is one place that can show you that you have no inclination towards math it must be high school. With my mediocre grades I somehow managed to convince myself that I wanted to be an engineer. Now you don't have to be a genius to know that engineering, all forms whether mechanical, chemical or even civil requires a strong grasp of math, eventually my bubble was burst and I almost found myself becoming a "domestic engineer" (househelp) as I spent the better part of 2 years at home while deciding which direction my career was to take. Actually when I think back to that period (1999-mid 2000) I laugh at myself not because I've lost my mind (I figure I lost it a long time so I honeslty cannot tell the difference) but because it was a period of indecisiveness for me.

I jumped from one career choice to another, luckily no one was bothered with all this jumping since after all it didn't involve any money being spent, at one time I was sure I wanted to be a chemical engineer then an aeronautical engineer, the engineering phase ended when I realised that whichever country I went to study I couldn't escape the dreaded mathematics that is the basis of engineering. Soon after my engineering phase I moved into the financials phase, this time I wanted to become the leading stockbroker having spent many hours watching Money Line on CNN (that Lou Dobbs character really made the stock market sound like the place to be), I then moved to becoming an accountant (too much calculations) then finally a certified financial analyst CFA (that acronym has meanings in university circles that I cannot get into right now but needless to say it involves being promiscous :)..).

Mid 2000 I finally settled down to information technology as a way of keeping me busy, well its been almost 7 years now and IT has not only kept me busy, it's made me some money albeit in modest amounts, made me a lot of friends and quite a few enemies.

To much technology and very little business

Those are the words Al used to describe me a few days ago. It seems I am more engrossed in technology rather then business and that doesn't go down well with my role in the company as a Technology Director. I honestly don't know what to do on this one, It is true I am more inclined towards using technology to build applications rather then seeing the business opportunities for our company. So Al keeps sending me this business articles and interesting reads so that I can work on my "corporateisation" if there's a word like that, and occasionally I do read them which isn't enough since I have to apply what I've read otherwise it does me no good, it's almost like programming you either apply it or its useless.

Kwangoo???Kwangoo??Where art thou?

My friends keep asking me what's happening to Kwangoo and despite my eternal optimism (am a natural born pessimist) even I can't seem to convince myself that it will ever take off. It's becoming clearer to me everyday that Kwangoo is now an Army Of One venture, Bluefi5h has failed to deliver and I had so much faith in him. About 4 weeks ago, he assured me that he would deliver the concept in 7 days, well that 7 days has come and gone just like all the other deadlines that I had given him. I've learnt a lot a few things from this whole experience, and I would like to share a few of those lessons with you oh dear reader:
  • People will let you down even when they don't mean to.
  • The dream is yours and most people will never understand it or appreciate it no matter how many times they tell you they "get it and feel it".
  • All the talent in the world doesn't mean anything if you can't be reliable.
  • Failure though not an option is an acceptable outcome.
  • A little bit of money can really go a long way in getting things done.
  • If you can do something on your own do it.
  • A large number of those free offers from your friends rarely come to fruition.

I had a chat with a friend of mine Anne and she really did give me the energy to push on. So I've decided to do what it takes and get Kwangoo up and running no matter the setbacks I've faced, if it means I'll have to spend some money getting somethings done then I guess I'll have to.Will keep you informed on how it goes.


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