What Aspiring African Startup Founders Must Know Today

Few weeks ago, a friend of mine told me that he has a mobile app business idea. I asked him what’s the idea about. Oh my world, he said he can’t easily tell me the idea, that he knows I’m a Tech Enthusiast, and I may copy his idea. He then added that he wants to get an Investor before letting anyone know about the idea.

Oh!
What the heck? What gibberish idea do you have that you think nobody else have thought of or even implemented?

LET ME QUICKLY DROP THIS AND #LetsBeFrankWithIT here!

This is no longer the age of “pre-seed” investing. If you doubt me, go to Quora, follow a billionaire investor like Gordon Miller. There, read his answers/comments or even ask him questions. He will tell you that a business idea is just a dream. Now here I quote him…

“This, is how it is done. People don’t start out with “I have an idea for a light weight app that people can type 140 characters into. Can I have $10M?” People build the apps by self funding it and then go raise money.”

I personally think that most startups these days fail because of this same mentality. The mentality of not letting anyone even their closest friends know about the idea of what they want to build. They will spend hours developing, adding features and building what users does not want. Come on, you don’t need this my brother/my sister. You need what is called Idea Validation. There are lots of ways to validate your business idea. I don’t want to go deep on that but you can ask your prospective market users, setup a landing page to collect feedback or most importantly, build an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) that has only but the main features of the app and launch/push it to the market. This way, you can easily measure how your business idea is welcomed.

Let me tell you again that even a prototype will not get you an investor, to be honest. This is just a fallacy.
If you can fund the prototype, launch it in the market, get some traction from users. See if your mobile app resonates with your users. You need to track whether your app is able to retain those users so that they keep coming back to it.
If you have a good amount of retention with the first few set of users (100 or 1,000), that’s a good pitch to take to an investor.

Investors are not looking at ideas, they’re looking at businesses that can get, retain and engage a customer.

Believe me, if your app has been tested by your addressable market users and it enjoyed a reasonable traction, you don’t need to worry yourself. Just sit down at home, enjoy your cup of coffee and watch how investors will come looking for you.

#LetsBeFrankWithIT

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