It has been a while since I posted an article on LinkedIn. I want to start by thanking you for taking time, in our fast paced world, to explore my thoughts; I appreciate it and would love it, even more, if you go further to interact with the article. I promise to end with my topic sentence in the first paragraph, so you get the whole gist of the article, which according to my communications professor is the point of a topic sentence. Okay enough house keeping.
I have just had my last day at FATE Foundation (FATE), where I have worked for the last 3 years. Ironically, FATE is also the company I have worked for the longest and there are clear reasons why, which I will share in a separate post. However, I wish to explore today what I have learnt about entrepreneurship. Now, as Einstein said,
“if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough“,
so here is my attempt; the quintessential entrepreneur should be like Wile E. Coyote, who has a clear goal or vision and is willing to doggedly try any viable solution, learning from mistakes and adjusting subsequent solutions accordingly- simple enough?
Are you still here?
Lol… there is not really much left to say, if you know who Wile E. Coyote is. But allow me to use more stories and examples to unpack my 3 years at Nigeria’s leading Non-profit Startup and Enterprise Development Organisation.
For those of us not familiar with the Road-Runner cartoon, Wile E. is a coyote trying to catch, Road Runner, probably to eat him. Now as a child every one I knew was always on Road Runner’s side, because he is like Sonic, the Hedgehog with super speed, Beep Beep. In comes, Wile who is a coyote, but also an inventor and innovator, thanks to the people at Acme; Wile keeps generating new, fantastic ideas to catch Road Runner and builds his MVPs to test if he will actually succeed. What is most magical and entrepreneurial about each episode is that he refines his failures to generate the next idea i.e. he takes feedback and innovates further.
Unfortunately, I am yet to see a Road Runner Episode were Wile E. catches Road Runner. However, this to me is one of the subtle, but foundational mindsets, entrepreneurs need to have; “wahala e no dey finish (meaning ‘problems never end’, Nigerian Pidgin from the song No Wahala by 1da Banton)” therefore you NEVER GIVE UP.
In conclusion, the characteristics demonstrated by Wile E. as well as his methodology, are the basis of how I analysed startups as the Orange Corners Innovation Fund (OCIF) Investment Manager. Going forward, I will still continue to look for those entrepreneurs not afraid to dive into the maze, to test their imaginative solutions, while keeping in mind that there is no end in sight; there are always new problems to solve and you don’t stop being an innovator/entrepreneur, it is who you are.