#productideas, business, product, startups, Technology

Disrupting VC

2 years ago, when tiphub was started, our core team had a couple of initial assumptions that came to be true.

  1. Bootstrapping is important, however majority of disruptive technologies need early capital.
  2. Venture capital is broken. With failure rates that would not be accepted in any other industry, most vc’s continue business as usual. The best ones have found ways to de-risk their investments by leveraging marketing strategies but its not a sustainable model for all vcs in a given ecosystem.
  3. The decision making process for investment selections was purposefully arbitrary. It allows gate keepers to claim a higher power than a regular person at picking companies that have the best chance of success.
  4. Lack of diversity in decision making leads to unequal representation and missed opportunities.

Now, to throw a wrench in it all, bring in the African perspective. Not enough vc activity, not enough opportunities to invest in, not enough capital, etc etc.

The major issue with the private market is that its supposed or destined to be the engine of growth for developed and developing countries alike. However, we don’t have the correct scale-able processes, or institutions in place to really push the needle of investment at scale. The two major problems are;

  1. How do you assess risk in a way that is accurate?
  2. How do you match risk, interest, and expertise to ensure optimal outcomes?

So early on in the inception of tiphub, the idea and the hope was that we would create a platform that would exactly what is missing in the vc community. A platform that could learn, overtime, the best investments for an investor based on different inputs. We called this project tracker.

2 years later, on the anniversary of tiphub, I can say we’ve gotten to the second phase of the tracker which is a platform that will bring together experts, investors, and startups to learn from interactions, and we’ll move on to phase three, where things will start to get really interesting.

Stay tuned as we build what we hope will be a game changing platform that will improve outcomes for all entrepreneurs and investors.

 

communication, Technology

Agile Tasks: My New Favorite App

AgileOver the weekend, I randomly stumbled upon (Didn’t find it using StumbleUpon, but someone should make a StumbleUpon for mobile apps) Agile Tasks, a light-weight project manager app that makes it easy to manage your day-to-day projects and to-do lists. I got really excited when I found Agile Tasks because it takes a stab at the challenge of making a universal task app that everyone will appreciate while still understanding that people have unique flows when it comes to managing tasks. As a product manager, I can appreciate the agile process and how it applies to getting tasks done. The interface and the flow of Agile Tasks makes sense to me and makes it way easier for me to apply to my daily routine.

agile Agile Tasks separates tasks into specific projects, tasks that are in the queue, in the process of doing, and done. It’s a pretty simple set up. Agile Tasks also includes the ability to record voice tasks and time sensitivity/ reminders.

So far, its been a pretty smooth transition from my other task manager. (I used Zoho Task Manager because it connected to my email and project platform) While there’s no special integrations for Agile Tasks, I still find its use worthwhile. I’d love to see a desk top version. The more I think about it, Agile Tasks reminds me of a simplified Pivotal Tracker. Pivotal Tracker has been my primary project manager for my dev teams so that is probably why I find it so easy to use Agile Tasks.

I’ll keep on playing around with Agile Tasks and I’ll report back in more detail my experiences.

Self-Revelation, Technology

Growning up

Less is more

The older I get, the more I realize that life is extremely complicated. We decide  how complicated we want our lives to be. For me, I’ve decided to simplify over the years.

Following the very similar design philosophy I use to build products, I’ve decided to simplify all parts of my life.  Everything is going down to the “minimal viable product” necessary to work.

The best example I can use here is my phone. We’ve all been duped into thinking we need an app for everything. Based on a Nielsen study from 2012, the average US phone has 41 apps downloaded . That’s a lot of apps! I had over 60 apps downloaded on my phone. I’ve got it down to 15 and looking for more to cut.

When you simplify, you focus on what’s truly important. I hope to replicate my app deletion frenzy in other areas of my life….like my shoes. (Yes, I have a shoe problem)

Technology

Twitter IPO

images twitter

Twitter opened today at $49 a share this morning on the NYSE. While it still holds true that 60% of IPO’s are overvalued, the betting man in me hopes that Twitter is in the 40%. The rational side thinks that $49 is a long way to fall and hope to short soon. Why do I think that you ask? Here are three reasons:

  1. Tech companies are historically overrated
  2. Revenue is king and ads will only go so far
  3. Twitter handled PR around IPO very well (too well)

In the short-term, not a good buy. Twitter has a lot of long term potential if it finds more revenue streams and expands its user base.

Technology

Why I will never be #teamapple

I own an Iphone that was given to me as a gift and I prefer to  use Mac os when the dual-boot option came up in my computer labs back at school. I like the designs and the creative advertisements that Apple effectively uses to gain users. I am the first person to jump up in excitement when a picture of a soon to be released apple product is leaked. Even with all my enthusiasm and fanboyish ways, I will never spend my money on an Apple product. I want to bring up one of Apples first commercials:  1984

So a quick reading of this commercial…. Apple is the woman with the war hammer and she is taking down “The Man” . Granted, this commercial was in 1985 and companies change overtime, but Apple has assumed the role of the man in every form. Apple handles its software and hardware. Even when they allow other parties to sit at the table, they are extremely restrictive. I think back to constant battles developers have had with apple over many of their apps in the app store. I’m sure you must have certain standards but Apple went over and beyond with many of their restrictions. This normally happens to underdogs in markets. They become top dog and forget where they came from and what they stood for.

So, if you haven’t guessed it, I’m a Linux user. Linux is who is fighting the man now. For that reason, I will never be #teamapple