Happy Birthday Joel Gascoigne!


Joel is one of the very few truly great guys I have met in my life. I am not ‘famzing’ because he recently raised $400k for his startup Buffer. Anyone that can live with Oo for 4  months+ and attempt to run a business with him without running mad, is truly a great person.

Few people know how I met Mr Gascoigne.

Back in ’08 I got admitted to Warwick. I was in Nigeria when  I created a group called “Warwick Internet Entrepreneurs”, he was the only person that joined. When I eventually got my visa (I get faith sha) and arrived Warwick, we met up, got talking about his projects, mine, etc. We eventually started OnePage together. Even though I was EXTREMELY self conscious about being Nigerian (my “Yes, I Am Nigerian” tees were just fronting), it was as if this dude did not realize. He trusted me more than I would have imagined.  He has no idea how much it helped me. Thanks buddy!

When OnePage did not go as planned, we needed lawyers to tidy up a few things as we decided Joel would be taking it forward. What I realized much later was that his lawyers  ( I did not have one) wanted to insert clauses that would have given him the option to “screw me” if he so wanted. He asked them not to.

There was a period we got a mini grant (about 1500 quid) to do market research. Now at that moment, we did not need any damn market research but Joel needed a computer to build the product we were to research for. I needed the ‘seed money for a space over my head. Even though there was a ‘way out’,  Joel consistently refused to do anything remotely borderline against the rule even though it was what we sorely needed. So we forfeited the grant. 🙁

Of course he acted as my translator on quite a number of occasions when I did not sound Bri ish enough to be understood.  I even got him to enjoy a helping of Nkwobi.

So Joel, as you turn 25 (Haha! You are damn old man! 25?? Really? You are that old??) do have fun and keep being a great person.