OoTheNigerian

sometimes, I make a lot of sense.

All posts by Oo

Tomato Jos’ Mira is Showing True Hustle.

16 May 2015 by Oo

Tomato Farmers (except the wannabe fresh boy Uzoma holding the hoe). Mira is bottom right.

While million of Nigerians claim “no work” American HBS Alumni, Mira Mehta left the US to hustle tomatoes in Nassarawa.

She is founder of Tomato Jos

When she cleans out in the forthcoming agrarian revolution you’ll begin to hear them lament “because she is oyibo” and rally for “patriotic protectionism”.

Presently, I am in so much awe with here bravery in a country where we, the pseudo elites refuse to live anywhere outside our semi town cites.

NYSC has given Nigerians the opportunity to discover opportunities outside where fate and education placed them but they will cry until they have been reposted to Abuja or Lagos.

Mira is the role model young Nigerians need.

Still on the topic of the farming hustle, this is a great nairaland thread you should peruse.

2 comments | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

A Polite Rant: How to Use Only An Hour to Make Online Payments in Nigeria.

21 April 2015 by Oo

I decided I needed to get business cards for an event tomorrow and decided to use my favorite online print shop Printivo. I uploaded my design, hit check out and my life took a left turn

If Printivo were using Stripe, Balanced or any payment system from the 21st century, I would have had to click a single button since as a returning customer, my card details would have been stored. Instead here is what happened.

  1. I decided to pay with my Diamond Bank company card and after several redirections, was told I needed to go to the ATM to activate my VISA card for online payments.
  2. I took out my personal GTBank Card, after several redirections, it decided to give me an unintelligible error.
  3. I tried GTBank Mastercard again, same error.
  4. I emailed the merchant. Waited to find out if the payment went through and was told it didn’t. Was advised to use online transfer.
  5. I has not used online banking in 3+ years so I had to pull out my form, search for my token and log in to GTBank online (I got these recently).
  6. Ater entering PINS upon PINs, I got to where I was to add a new beneficiary. Filled in all the details and was told to “Answer your Secret Question?”. Of course since there there are a million secret questions, I had no idea what the question was so I typed ’42’. It seems that is not the answer to the meaning of life.
  7. I emailed the merchant who I’m lucky to know personally, and pleaded to be given credit.
  8. Decided to give up, tweeted my frustrations and it got favorited by Tayo, Paga oga.
  9. Aha! I remembered I always used Paga for my bank transfers until our dear Interswitch decided to make online payments so safe that card owners could not use their cards.
  10. I logged into Paga and deposited money into my Paga account. I had to do it thrice becuse I was on the lowest tier of KYC. Yup I had to do the redirect to Interswitch and OTP three times.
  11. Transfers the money to Printivo.
  12. Done.

I deserve a meal.

PS: I skipped the steps where I took out time to insult a few people’s fathers and censored like 10 “fucking shits”.  But you get the gist.

3 comments | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

We Need a Nigeria Based Business Development Intern

14 April 2015 by Oo

Fonebase Labs Logo

Fonebase Labs is in need of a female Business Development intern to assist the Business Co-Founder in varying tasks that span non-technical activities.

The role is 100% remote, however, should the intern be resident in Lagos, she can attend meetings with the Business team.

Why Female?

The primary reason is diversity. With the Fonebase Labs team currently consisting of 4 males, we are in search of a young, smart, hardworking lady to join the team. As people usually hire from their networks, and ours primarily consisting of male techheads, we’re going one step further to diversify our team and specifically seek for qualified females.

This however does not imply that we are lowering the bar, on the contrary we are looking harder, further and longer for the qualified candidate we know is out there. By joining the Fonebase Labs team as a Business Development Intern, you’ll get the chance to really contribute to the success of the team, use your skills all while gaining valuable experience. To put it in better perspective – you’ll make up 20% of the team.

Who Are We?

Fonebase Labs is a Nigerian founded technology company. We have a suite of web applications that provide various services targeted at the international market.

  1. Callbase – A web based call center
  2. Fonenode – A telephony API with services
  3. WriteRack – A tweetstorming application

Your Responsibility

Your primary responsibility will be to assist the Business Co-Founder in business related activities. This position will require and encourage you to take initiative in conceptualizing and/or executing various tasks.

A Week In The Life Of…

This is currently what my week at Fonebase Labs looks like across our various products

Fonenode

  1. Today, a proposal was sent out to a company interested in integrating Fonenode with their application.
  2. Fonenode is to launch a new segment. We need to recruit a few beta testers and would also need to get press for the product launch.
  3. We need to follow up with a client regarding balancing up an invoice.
  4. Work with the dev team to integrate intercom

Callbase

  1. We are following up with a remote Interface Designer (in Poland) to complete the redesign of the Callbase dashboard.
  2. Work with the dev team and a front-end developer to integrate the dashboard.
  3. Set up a meeting with a company that trains call-centre agents.
  4. Work with our devs to integrate intercom

Writerack

  1. Launch the new design
  2. Inform our hundreds of users about the new design and solicit feedback
  3. Communicate the feedback to the WriteRack lead.

Other

  1. Get a lawyer to tidy up an outstanding agreement with a new supplier
  2. Tidy up the books
  3. Rope Ope and the team into another long meeting.

These are just a few of typical things to be done so having an extra hand and perspective will be very welcome.

How we work?

We are a 100% distributed team. We presently consist of 4 people. 3 developers one of whom is on on extended holiday in Boston, my Co-Founder (presently in Akure), Intern developer (in Ilorin) and myself (In Lagos… for now)

Our “office” is situated on HipChat, Trello, Quip and Google Mail

Our Ideal Candidate

  • Pre NYSC or NYSC
  • You are top graduate and very interested and familiar with technology and startups
  • If you have visited Lagos, you must have dropped by CcHub or its equivalent elsewhere
  • Know that Raspberry Pi does not taste delicious and Hacker News is not a dangerous place.
  • You have a blog , write/have written about technology
  • You take initiative. e.g started or ran an association while in school.
  • Previously worked with a startup or a business
  • You are naturally organized and like writing (this is important).
  • Wired or The Economist is not out of place in your magazine rack.

Why Us?

First, why not us? We do not offer a competitive salary for a graduate, which is why we are specifically looking for Pre and NYSC level candidates. We however offer a decent package for the job requirements.

In spite of that, here are some advantages of working with us.

  1. Getting a deep knowledge and experience of startup operations. From concept to revenue. We assure you after your tenure you’ll be a catch for a Nigerian or international technology company. We’ll work towards being able to afford you when the tenure ends.
  2. We’re very (Buffer open) internally. If you want to know the balance of our bank account, just ask. If you want to know why any decision has been taken, ask. Nothing is off the table.
  3. We’re pretty flexible. You can work from wherever, whenever as long as you complete your tasks properly and on time.
  4. Our contacts are your contacts. You will get to meet and know a lot of people that will be of help to you in the coming years.
  5. You will be working with a really top notch team and will definitely learn A LOT!
  6. We encourage reading, and will also provide unfettered access to our library.

How to apply

Send an email with

  1. A summary of your academic background
  2. A list and description of projects you have done (it should have a technology angle)
  3. Visit Callbase.co and in a few paragraphs, explain what you think it is and where you would take it if it were handed over to you

Pls dnt wrt lk dis

Oo Nwoye

Co founder, Fonebase Labs

oo@fonebaselabs.com

Leave a comment | Categories: Startups | Tags: ,

Watch out Swatch! Today, Apple Starts the Clock for You and the ‘Timepiece’

09 March 2015 by Oo

I wanted to write this post after Apple announced the Apple Watch but decided to wait until the launch day.

For such an old device, the timepiece has not evolved for quite a number of years in terms of function. As the mobile phone became ubiquitous, the wristwatch being single function device lost is utility and became a full time fashion accessory. This changes today.

Before we talk about how Apple upends the cart, lets try and understand the meaning of time.

Understanding time

The Timeline Interface by Pebble

The Timeline Interface by Pebble

If you think about it carefully, time itself is not really important as its accuracy expires the second we look away from our watch/clock/timepiece. Time only really useful in context.

“How long before my flight?”
“How long before the match starts?”
“How long am I behind schedule for the meeting?”
“How long before I need to wake up?”

Watches should tell us the time and not us looking at the time and doing irrelevant mental math (this generation will ruin the brain)
With the sensors and app that will come with the Apple Watch, our watches will move beyond the time realm and prompt us with

“Dude you’re about to have a heart attack!”
“Dudette, your blood sugar is low. It’s time for your next insulin shot!”
“Mamalete, ya babylette’s temperature is too high. Nope, not Ebola”

Pebble with their timeline interface, and smartstraps have built the first wearable that’ll take input from our bodies, compute without us looking like dofusses.

Time to say goodbye, swatch

Swatch

A collection of Swatches

 

Swatch‘s business model has always been built around the uniqueness on the watch face and strap. However, the core of the watch remained below basic.

It is not even Apple that will turn swatch to blackberry, it is Pebble, the cross platform alternative to the Apple watch that gets it right; as regards to building and affordable mainstream wristwatch.

Why spend $150 for a piece of plastic that tell you the time and at best has a stopclock when you can get a device that gives you infinite number of faces and tell you a lot more stuff beyond the time plane.

Here comes the Apple

Apple Watch

Apple Watch Collection

I am not a fan of Apple products, however, if there is one company that can take a consumer electronics mainstream, is is Apple. They tell the cool kids when it is time to move.

Today they are taking the smart watch mainstream and we are going to have a number of casualties.

You might ask, what’s so different? Smart watches are not new!

Apple has attacked the segment not as a gadget like her predecessors in the Watch race but as a fashion item that happens to take the timepiece to the next level. Looking at the above, you would have to admire the three pronged approach

  • The Sports watch (Casio, G- Shock and co)
  • The Casual
  • The Luxury (Made of 18Karat Gold)

As you can see, unlike with Pebble (who have done a great job) and other tech companies, Apple has 10s of millions of iPhone owners who are tired with wristwatches that do not really do much. After a person’s watch stops her from getting a heart attack, and other countless answers and activities and uses like opening doors (I’ll send my key to your watch), cars etc. Would the person put a piece of metal or plastic on their wrist that does nothing more than ‘look good’?

Of course, there is the ‘little issue’ of battery life which will only keep improving . That is the only reason the death of Swatch and co will be slow. Death of course is certain for  a lot of the old brigade.

Hopefully, rather than laugh like Balmer, Swatch would be hovering around founder asking “Guy, how far na?”

As for me, I’ll be getting my first watch in 10 years this year and is is not going to be from the old brigade.

*ticktock*

This is my first post this year. I’d like to blog more frequently so I’ll probably increase commentary pieces. Not every time serious post. Sometimes, Apple. As usual, forgive typos and please point them out for me.

2 comments | Categories: Commentary, Technology | Tags: , , ,

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