In this edition, we have two people with two completely different styles of replying. These were the final two selected candidates from the >40 who attempted the Q&A.
Hotels.ng is looking to hire very smart people. People that like internet, that like startups, that want to be challenged to create order out of chaos.
So I put out this tweet:
Looking to employ full-time genius. Job description: Be smarter than 95% of people in world. Send me email email@example.com. 10 words only.
— Mark Essien (@markessien) April 20, 2015
I am 100% convinced that the incubation model in Africa is fatally flawed as a method of creating big software companies. Of the 9 biggest software startups in Nigeria, none was built by an incubator (Konga, Wakanow, Iroko, Paga, DealDey, Jobberman, Cheki, PrivateProperty, Nairabet, Nairaland).
Columnists in Nigeria excitedly announce the latest electric car technology, and how it means progress. Yes, it means progress for humanity as a whole, but for Nigeria in particular, it is demonstrative of a trend that is extremely dangerous.
The only true currency we humans have is time. Everybody is given a pot of time when they are born, and every day they take out a little from it. One dreaded day, the pot is empty.
People will pay money to have a little more of that precious time. So many modern fortunes have been made with products that save people time, like the automobile or the telephone.
The best way to evaluate the value of a startup is by looking at the value of the time it saves. If it costs $100/hour to produce a screwdriver, and you are able to save 2 hours of that time with a product of yours, then every reasonable company would pay at least $100 to purchase that product.
That is the essence of many software business. Save a business or person some time, so they can go make more money. The value of the time you save is basically the value you can extract for that business.
The chart above demonstrates this. You can calculate the value your startup creates by filling in the numbers for the chart.
For example, lets look at the chart for the invention of the car. The car significantly increased the speed at which travel could be done. It also did this for something that was done very often (travel) and done by basically everyone. So the value generated by the car was huge.
Hotels.ng is about two years old now. In the first year, it was just a website — no business built around it. It started off by me purchasing lists of hotels. The entirety of hotels that were available in any known dataset that was available in public or in any government archive was about 1500 in Nigeria. I listed them all on the site and put the site up. Only 100 of those hotels had pictures. The pictures were scraped from the hotel websites.