This post was going to be around n reasons why you should participate in Startup Weekend Lagos, but then n quickly resolved to 1 because there’s only one reason – the startup attitude.

Startup is an attitude. Regardless of your industry, and whether you are employed or run your own business, the startup attitude is your only option for success.

Nigeria’s unpreparedness for dwindling oil revenues is quickly becoming another case where the pursuit of profits prevents an organization’s long term dominance of a market. There’s just so much cash at hand, that any attempt to disrupt the system, and create new markets is deemed unprofitable and frowned upon.

HBS Professor Clayton Christensen talks extensively about this in his book — The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail, and in this talk.

Oil profits were simply too good and any attempt to create new markets was rendered futile, after all we have at least 45 years of 2.28 million barrels per day even if no new oil was found and we are not even talking gas yet — and boy did we become lazy!

Christensen’s argues that that there are 3 stages of market innovation which should be circular (read: rinse and repeat); i.e

  1. Disruptive Innovations: create jobs and Uses capital
  2. Sustaining Innovations: make good products better, little jobs, little capital
  3. Efficiency Innovations: Same product but cheaper thus they free up capital for investing in disruptive innovations

Scalable innovation should be circular (1,2,3–3,2,1) but non-scalable innovation is linear. Nigeria may have stopped at 2.

The whole is the sum of it parts

Time is running out. It’s war time, however there is still a small window to salvage the situation. This calls for the startup attitude, individually and as a nation

Thou shall be data driven

The startup attitude is:

  1. Data driven ( time to make anyhowness in your life a thing of the past).
  2. Innovative
  3. Execution (Getting things done paradigm).
  4. Collaborative
  5. Persistent

Hopefully beyond the weekend, regardless of your industry and whether you are employed or run your own business, you would have contributed to charting the path towards an innovative and scalable future for Nigeria. Register to participate and if you want to collaborate, get in touch.

Startup Weekend Lagos is part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2014 and it is brought to you by Enterprise Development Centre (EDC), LeadPath Nigeria, Venture Garden Group (VGG), iDEA Nigeria, and it’s about putting the startup attitude to the test.

Photo Credit: Skley via Compfight cc

Francis Onwumere Author

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