Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fix Our Networks

Nigerian mobile internet service is terribly bad. It need to be fixed.

We've been running pilot on Tiketmobile for some time now and I've not been directly responsible. However, when we were not going as fast as we had projected, I decided to push for installation on everyday people's phones, wherever I find myself and observe usage. The major observation from this is that the internet networks are terrible. All of them.

We created Tiketmobile out of CC Hub where the network is beautiful. Yes, you can get a device, connect to the wifi and test your app. In 3 seconds, the app has pulled start-up data from the remote server and is running fine. When you get outside, the story is different. A transaction which would take about 10 secs or less would now take some 5 to 15 mins. This is very bad. Everytime this happens, I always start opera-mini on the phones to check if it's a fault in Tiketmobile's architecture, but it is always the same thing.

It's terrible.

Telcos have to upgrade their equipments, or whatever it is they need to do for things to work better. Internet applications that don't require constant use or that's not social app would find it really hard to garner users in this kind of situation. If anyone can reach them, they should tell them.

Maybe it's Lagos only, because Kennedy said network was better when he was at Abuja. The network on the streets here is terrible and needs to be fixed.


If you have a Java ME device and you want to try Tiketmobile out, visit and download it. A change would be pushed-up tomorrow though. It's just a change on UX, based on observations and nothing special, so it's OK to have this.

Friday, September 14, 2012

It's a blood thingy!

My dad is easily the first person I'll go for for business advice.

He left his home after his primary school education to pursue a living. After some years of hardwork (and serving his oga(s)), at his mid/late 20's he became a successful businessman. At his prime, he managed 7 shops spread across Lagos and 12 boys manning those shops, in a joint business between him and his elder brother.

Things fell apart though, before we (his kids) could really feel his wealth :( Then he focused on ensuring that we all get educated. However, he always has one advice or another to give me in my quest to build a successful business.

The picture above was his business promotional material from way back. I saw it among some of his stuffs one day and I took a shot.

Here's to my dad, Mr John Ezeokoye -- M.D. DE JOHN Electrical and Electronic Stores. Dealers in electrical, electronics and plumbing materials.

Monday, September 10, 2012

We Hired.

We just increased our core team to 3 people.

Last Saturday, Kennedy Obiechina came all the way from Abuja to Lagos to join Tiketmobile as a business developer. Kennedy holds a BSc. in Accounting from the University of Nigeria, Enugu campus. While he was studying for his degree, he was the student union information officer for two sessions at a row.

He is quiet when unfamiliar with a place but has a very imposing personality when he's used to an environment. He cannot avoid being noticed. Very analytical somebody when he's trying to convey his points/views and HE IS NOT A TECHIE, but he's very technology literate.

We've been friends since 2005. While we were teenagers, everyday after evening mass, we would spend a lot of time talking about our dreams. He had always known of my dreams to build a successful technology company and always asked me how I'm faring in accomplishing it. Yesterday, when I told him that my co-founder is 18, he responded with: "probably, he would achieve that dream you had of founding/running a successful company at 20"

I've been speaking with Kennedy about the Tiketmobile concept for some time now, so he is familiar with it. Whenever I needed links to a bus service provider, he was one of the first people I'll talk to (by virtue of his SU "information officer" position, he had information). So it was only approprate for me to reach out to him when we needed a business developer in-house (A.K.A when the load got too heavy for me to carry and I started to fail in my tasks). We spent almost the whole of yesterday talking about what has been done, what needs to be done and the time frame we would apportion to tasks.

Kennedy would be responsible for accounts and business outreach. If you want to reach him you can send him an e-mail on

Friday, August 31, 2012

I'll be disciplined

Yes I have a blog. I have had it since 2007 and this is my first post for 2012.

I once had a goal of putting up at least 2 posts per month, but it takes discipline to blog regularly when blogging is not your day job. Like it take to do a couple of other things. Things like working on an attitude, creating (and running) a start-up and waking up in the morning and getting to work at 9.

Lately, I've decided to imbibe the culture of getting to work at 9, a culture that is extremely hard to start, when you don't have a boss to vet you. I decided to do this to set an example to my (much younger) co-founder and future employees. Despite the fact that I work late nights, hence go to bed late, I've had to force myself to sleep early over the past few day. I've not done badly in waking up early, but I've never gotten to work at 9 at the dot.

It's almost a year since we wrote the first code on TiketMobile, at Start-up Weekend Lagos and placing 2nd at the event. Since then, we have spoken to potential investors, done a brute force on implementation, lost direction, pivoted strategy, re-implemented and gained strategic partnerships (in that order). What has been most interesting -- and important -- to me is pivoting strategy. This we have done a number of times over and at different levels. Once you decide on the direction you want to go and determined what you need to do, it pays to hit hard -- hit as long as is required to drive the nail in.

We've worked hard, gone to the market to get data, released a series of buggy apps, gotten several feedback from internal testing processes and finished up on what we are ready to release as a public beta. Our app is based on our own targeted market data, gotten from real-life market research, which we did in our own little way. Thanks to Co-Creation Hub, Nokia and Futurise for the amazing experience of the Growth Academy (G.A.), which gave us key directions on how to lay basic foundations for growing that enterprise of the future. I should (ehm... would) write about the G.A. soon.

I've discovered (and I'm terrified at) the amount of impatience I exhibit on regular day-to-day activities. Impatience and irritability. Lately, personally, they have cost me a few regrets. I'm hoping to nip it at the bud before it becomes a monster and destroy big things. I know habits die hard, but I'll try. I'll be disciplined.

Wish me luck.