Forget all the internet analysis, this is how Nigerian startups fail4 min read


So I’m doing a startup tour because it’s southeast startup season and I’m not even gonna lie it’s been such an experience so far, I’ve encountered the good, the bad and the worst sorry to say.

And I must say some startups have been commendable, that’s right Medinterns, they are doing a good job. But then one thing I came to realize

Founders analyze potential users based on imagination

It’s so funny founders think marketing is what’s done to advertise a business or that it’s only applicable when ready to sell to customers. I’m like “where the fuck” do people get all these ideas from? This mentality has really messed with a lot of startups and next thing they are waiting for huge a capital to save the day.

Know your market! I can’t stress this enough. Knowing your market is not doing a google search of your potential customers, it’s not doing random statistics of potential people that will use your product NO like HELL NO it’s way beyond that. Yeah because it’s easy for people to accept to buy your product on survey monkey then the moment your product is finally ready to sell, they will turn to US visa no kidding. It has happened to my own startup.

It goes from studying the lifestyle of the people you want to sell your products to “lifestyle ” , being alert to and paying attention to “how things work” , Understanding what works for the people around, focus on that then relate it to the problem you want to solve.Genesis Cinema Enugu started a cinema and after a while it closed down.

Another good example is My1suite a promising startup that went on leave and never came back.

You want to build an app like Uber in Enugu where transportation is somewhat seamless, questions that should come to mind, how do the people prefer to convey themselves?, what’s the traffic situation?, is it a small town?. Now I’m not saying you should give up on your dreams because your observations don’t match up to the solution your bringing to the table , all you need to do is to position your solutions to work well with your observations. Period well this one deserves 2 periods sorry.

Ogwogo? is doing tremendously well especially in the food delivery services and from my analogy you can tell why.

The other day I was talking with someone who wanted me to advertise their product, i asked what he had put in place so far and he’s response was “we have a good twitter coverage with over 1k twitter retweets”…Lmaoooo! Responds from surveys isn’t even enough and you’re talking about twitter retweet’s Lool some of you are mad.

You see Founders complain about the situation of the economy and how it’s affecting their businesses, change in government policy, tax bla bla bla but when you look deep into it, these people have little or nothing in place.

I asked a guy what’s the first thing he would do if he gets funding and he said ADVERTISING. Now how can you advertise what you’re not sure people will buy? why should you even spend so much money on advertisements as a startup. See eh apparently the problem is not the government, the problem is you! Yes you! If you don’t care to put in that work then it’s YOU, if you care but you’re just lazy then it’s YOU, if you are just ignorant then YOU my friend “You” Jay Baer once said “if you have to do sales to people then your product isn’t ready for market”. It should be the people coming to you and not the other way round.

Look at Forbes Statistics on why startups fail and notice how 1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and more are still bordered about poor marketing.

Let me bottom line things for you — WAY too many “Marketers” have no idea what they’re doing to be honest— Someone who is badass at doing Facebook Ads is not doing Marketing — they’re doing online advertising. Someone who does “Content Marketing” isn’t really doing marketing, they’d developing content to promote something.

Now I’m not saying that proper marketing is what will make you blow NO but we need to understand how important it is first.

Promotion “advertising” is only one of the Ps of marketing and when you’re actually doing Marketing and not just Promotion, it includes all the other Ps in the foundation of the role: Pricing, Placement, Product, People, etc.

Marketing is the work of determining what to do, when, where, how, and for whom. BASED on the market.

But then if you’re on a hustle level and probably don’t think it’s necessary you better be flexible enough to bounce back when things start going south, else you would end up one of the many Nigerian startups that are struggling to survive.