This post was originally published on Medium in November 2016 as a response to Jason Njoku stating N50 naira revenue was a great number for a Nigerian startup to plateau. I cannot find the original post to link to. But this is the archive. This is being republished here because of another recent bad advice encouraging founders to take money from investors and “hedge risk” by not focusing on the business they took money from others for. Jason is smart, successful, and has influence, so his deliberate bad advice needs to be countered.
Guys and ladies, don’t listen to Jason ‘cos Jason will not listen to himself.
One common theme about people that have been successful doing something is that they — in a bid to be humble? state it was’t worth doing what made them successful and you should not go the same route.
“Don’t sell your company” — AFTER they have made out like bandits! 😂😂
Jason saying “be content with N 50m/year” — when Nollywood Love (Iroko’s original name ) was doing > $1 Million Run rate by year 3 from a generator run house in FESTAC Town.
One of my “problems” with Nigerian startups is that because we play in Nigeria, our ambition is tapered. We don’t/are not allowed to think bigger than our surroundings. We build Nigerian startups instead of global startups based in Nigeria.
$100k/year is really too small of a target amount of revenue if you are looking to play “startup”. Especially when looking to go the venture-backed route.
Interestingly, not thinking big enough was the one “room for improvement” feedback Michael Seibel had for our ecosystem founders.
Clone a pair of Nigerian founders with the same idea (say a booking software) and skillsets, put one in Lagos and the other in the Bay Area. Give both of them $50k and come back 6 months later.
By then one would be working on building the world’s best booking software and the other the best booking software for people in Lagos.
By year 3, one will be hitting $1 Million/year in run rate, the other will be raising shoulder from a revenue rate of A WHOLE N20 million/year
That to me is the issue.
For us to move the needle on the potential of our economy and people, we have to be potential GLOBAL players FROM DAY ONE! And That means benchmarking with the worlds best.
If your aim is to build a “Nigerian business” and not a GLOBAL business from Nigeria, by all means do so and it is very OK!. And in that case, I second Jason, N 50 million /year is terrific progress. 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽