Keep Calm And Join The (Tech) Cabal

3 weeks, 14 posts, 3k plus views and 51 comments later…

I’ve been posting links to this place for a few weeks now. Quite a few people that follow me figure they know what’s going on. But I think it’s time I explained what this is, what I’m trying to achieve here.

How does one blog about Nigerian tech in a way that is sustainable, scalable and most importantly, adds value to the ecosystem? That is the question I’ve been trying to figure out for the past few months. Close to two years now, if you add the time I’ve spent at TechLoy and otekbits.

I joined TechLoy because I thought I could be part of an improved local technology ecosystem narrative, and help move the conversation forward. It seemed like we had something good going on for a bit. But I had to leave when it became apparent that Loy and I weren’t walking down the same path.

Then there was Otekbits, a platform that has great, great motivations and is incredibly good for the space. A number of things made working there complicated however. I’m glad that they’ve finally decided to do a brand and platform reboot, and I can’t wait to see the new product that will emerge from that metamorphosis, and support it in any way that I can.

However…

Let’s try something different…

Start with the assumption that the best way to do something is not the way it’s being done right now. – Levie

When I said I was done trying to compete with TechCrunch, it wasn’t just a decision to stop pursuing an alien content focus at the expense of local stories. I was also referring to the publishing model itself — high volume news and features. It’s a publishing model that I’ve come to believe is unsustainable down here at this point in time, at a minimum standard of quality. At least not without massive upfront investment in resources, without any expectation of return in the near to medium term. That need for a short term return causes people to do things. Things I prefer not to do. If survival comes at the cost of the original objective, then what’s the point?

Instead I thought I’d try something different. On a clean slate. With two main features.

The Weekly TC

I won’t be posting news. At least not in the traditional sense where blogs try to react to any and every new development. There are too many Nigerian/African tech news sites that already do that. Except that it leaves much to be desired — Nigerian tech news is largely incoherent, devoid of context and analytical insight. I might not be able to solve that problem, but I will propose an alternative.

Everyday Friday I will publish a curated list of links to news and stories around the techosphere that I find interesting. The list will be punctuated with commentary that offers context, insight and my opinion as relevant. I’m still not sure what to call it yet…the Weekly TC?

The Cabal

This is what TC really is…or what I hope it will be. A conversation.

I’ve come to realise that most of us bloggers and self-styled ecosystem pundits actually have no business pontificating about things we don’t know. Not only is the ecosystem not about bloggers, bloggers are not nearly as interesting or smart as the entrepreneurs and professionals who are actually making stuff happen in the space.

TechCabal is about getting the smartest guys in the space into one “room”, and then getting the hell out of the way so that the rest of the ecosystem can actually learn something. That is all. Many thanks to Big Chief Victor Asemota, our innaugural Cabalist — his first piece on TC is reverberating all over the interwebs. And there’s more strong men waiting in the wings to share insights and experiences that will take the conversation forward.

In summary, here’s what you’ll find on TechCabal

1. A weekly roundup of what’s interesting around the ecosystem — kinda like an assorted salad of news, opinion and quick analysis — personally curated by yours truly.

2. My original opinion and feature pieces.

3. Hard, fast, no-holds-barred tech talk from the people that make things happen in the ecosystem.

4. A few easter eggs I’ve got planned that I can’t quite talk about yet, except to say that you should expect them.

I want to thank you for all the thoughts and the tremendous feedback that have brought this project to where it is right now. I’m running TC like a lean startup, and we’ll be moving fast, breaking things, constantly iterating on content, community and the experience, at breakneck speed. There are no timelines. No fancy launch dates, announcements or any such frippery. We already did it.

I give you TechCabal – everyone is invited.

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