Sim Shagaya is a serial technology and media entrepreneur who
has worked for Google, RealNetworks, Microstrategy. He holds degrees
from George Washington U, Dartmouth and Harvard. He is the founder of DealDey,
a Groupon kind-of group-buying site that offers its members in
Lagos discounted deals on several kinds of products and services.
He was one of the speakers at the second session of Creative Enterprise Sessions. Steve Babeko (CReative Director, 141 Worldwide) and Akin Adeoya (of M2 and MarketingMix) was there with Steve taking a session on Creatitiy through innovation and Mr Adeoya being his normal self brought a lively balance between these two
business technocrats (lol)
Simdul admits his success is a combination of good timing and good people and it was good to see him publicly ackowledge his staff. He shared that in the past 5 years he’s tried 6 businesses out of which 2 has suceeded. But after working on a startup to sreaming Nollywood movies online,he’s made a success out of e-motion advertising and Dealdey. He shares his thoughts;
why you need one
After getting your killer idea, it is the next important thing. There are times when you need someone else to support you emotionally, spiritually and financially. You will need someone who can balance you with the right energy and synergy of talents and strengths.
Very few one-man businesses become very great. I am presently reading a book on the transformative entrepreneur and a chapter shared the story on Walmart. He had tried 3 businesses and until he involved his brother on Walmart. MOreso, investors are weary of one-man businesses
I found a great partner in Demola.. Even though I have the idea, pursue the idea, even make sales, but Damola brought the balance of following
up on leads, crunching the numbers e.t.c.
How to find one
Research shows successful companies have an average on 2.1 max 3; additional ones are a recipee for crises. But then finding a co-founder is almost like dating a lady. You need to analyse dispassionately and once you do this do anything to get them on board. One test I use is this; can I infect this person with the same passion I have in 10 mins? Can they come up with your ideas refined or expanded?
You can also give assignmnts, not like class ones but a discussion. E.g asking them to come up with the financials. Immediately the person begins to give excuses about time – pls run. One thing you can’t take away is the instintive ‘flow’ with one another.
How to compensate the person
Though there are no rules regarding this. I generally alow the people to work as consultants for a period of time and dont be too in a hurry to discuss money. No great company starts with money in mind, and fewer of those great businesses are being run by one person.You’ve got to take your time and be patient in getting this done.
You can use outright grant of shares/equity, or introduce share options (e.g. giving 40% of the business but phased over a period of time while retaining the right to terminate the deal)
It’a delicate process and you are definately going to meet dissapointments along the way, but it’s worth. Treat them with absolute kindness – even in Nigeria, people respond to this. Though there are lots of tales of woe, Nigerians are good people and you need to find them.
If Mr Wale can drag Steve Babaeko (@steve_eko) and Akin Adeoya back, I think they need to come and share their practical approaches to helping entrepreneurs bootstrap marketing communication