Solving the right problem for the right people.
I have met a lot of entrepreneurs with very bold ideas telling me that they want to create either App Marketplace for “Africa” or an Uber for African farmers, whatever that means and I think there is a fundamental flaw in that sort of reasoning when it comes to identifying a target market.
Africa is made of 56 nations and everything single one of those has its own demographic, geopolitical situation and even different languages and cultures.
I started INGLOB.co with the goal of crowdsourcing the news. I didn’t want to start small. I wanted it to be a solution to an African problem --presented as a truly Pan-African solution that engaged African internet users in sharing with the world what happened around them. Here are some of the things I overlooked:
- I forgot that internet penetration isn’t the same in all African countries.
- I forgot that this solution would probably initially interest bloggers initially.
And you guessed those things made it rather difficult for my site to really take off. But when I decided to focus on South Africa … my site grew 500% in a month.
A problem or an opportunity in South Africa isn’t necessarily one in Cameroon for example. In some these countries, the ‘Uber’ model would simply not work because the technology hasn’t caught with the people to make this sort of innovation viable.
I strongly believe that it is time for Africa to start leveraging existing technologies to kickstart development and uplift communities … but it is also important to have a more realistic approach when coming up with these solutions.