“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.” - John C. Maxwell (Failing Forward)
People are afraid of failing, it sucks. I don’t play chess because I am afraid of losing! I play other games, and yes of course I have lost my fare share of them, but the point is fear inhibits potential. How many people are being held back by the fear of not trying?
In our society, it is not ok to fail. Maybe we need to change this mentality to; it is ok to fail as long as you succeed in the end.
Typically I write blog posts and let them sit for weeks, even months at times, before pulling the trigger on them. Why is this? The fear of failure, this affects me at work also. If you only fought in battles you could win, then you would be a very local champion. I typically want conditions to be “perfect” before embarking on some things, but as we know, perfection never quite comes around. A nudge from someone is always useful in these situations to get you over the hump.
How is your fear of failure inhibiting your progress physically, mentally, professionally, and emotionally, etc? I can’t say that I cracked the fear code, but as is often said, knowing what the problem is means it is 50% solved. Let’s hope the remaining 50% doesn’t take forever to figure out.
In the words of JD Houston:
If you want something in your life you’ve never had, you’ll have to do something you’ve never done. - JD Houston
This is probably some of the most encouraging, but yet, unactionable advice you can get while starting up. It doesn’t tell you what you are doing right or wrong, except to just keep at it.
Those who have been successful know this is the secret to success, and that is why they dole it out in good measure. Frankly on the long hard road, you need every bit of encouragement you can scrape.
A sure path to failure is not keeping at it, and even if you eventually fail on the journey, you would have learned some valuable lessons along the way that you can apply to your next venture.
Someone categorized successful people as people who do what failures don’t like to do. So if failures read only when they feel like, then to be successful, you do both that and what they don’t like. This is a good way of describing going the extra mile. After some repetition, the extra mile becomes the norm and you include an additional extra mile.
It is important to evolve, in a fast paced world, standing still means you are going backwards. If you are on the long hard road to starting up, then just keep at it, because without that you can never know what lies at the end of the tunnel.
When you set goals and you hit them, there is a great feeling of euphoria, that eureka moment whereby you feel untouchable, like you can keep knocking them down. But we all know that usually is not the case. The next goal still goes through the ups and downs.
I want to suggest a strategy of riding on the euphoria from completing a goal. The momentum you get from that is enough to propel you into jump starting whatever significant/worthwhile goals you have unfinished. Hopefully you can link wins with wins and eventually eradicate coming up short.
I came across Parkinson’s Law:
“The amount of time which one has to perform a task is the amount of time it will take to complete the task.”
This was a profound revelation. If you can always do it tomorrow, it will always be done tomorrow, and if you feel like you have all the time in the world to get it done, you will use all the time in the world to get it done.
Most importantly, action is spurred by emotion, i.e. what drives you to action is emotional, which is why often times when you don’t feel like it you hardly get things done. With this knowledge, and the theory of riding the momentum of completion, I hope you can ignite action for your projects and create a winning culture.
No, HTML5 isn’t dead, but the debate between HTML5 and Native apps has been effectively laid to rest. By now a mobile app developer should know what tool to use for what task. I am no fan of cross platform app development, mainly because I have been burned once, and I vowed never again; your users will curse you for it.
Even now business types know not to go the HTML5 way, they specifically ask for native apps because we have all seen the difference between a HTML5 app and a Native app; it is not comparable. The next time you want to phone gap anything, be sure that it is the appropriate tool for the job. I am well aware that for some apps HTML5 is a logical choice, but this is mainly due to time and budget constraints, in other words lower quality. The single best thing HTML5 and cross platform development are good for is rapid prototyping. The hybrid app, i.e. Native with a web browser component has emerged as a better alternative. When a HTML5 device is released, HTML5 will be the native platform for development.
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg just announced last week at TechCrunch Disrupt that they made a mistake building for cross platform instead of focusing on native from the start. Because of that decision which probably seemed logical at the time, the company has incurred a large amount of Technical Debt that has been accruing interest over the years. It would be interesting to calculate how many billions of dollars in employee costs and lost revenue that decision has cost Facebook up till now and is still costing. Maybe they may have solved their mobile monetization earlier if they had gone native.
Next time you want to decide on writing an app, take into account the technical debt that will be incurred based on your decisions of using PaaS or SaaS, e.g. StackMob, Parse, PubNub, UrbanAirship for things like Push Notifications, Storage, etc. If you factor in your technical debt and the interest that builds up before you are able to repay the debt, you will make better decisions.
If Instagram had not built their own platform for Push Notifications on Android, based on the millions of daily downloads they had on initial launch of the Android app, they would have lost a considerable amount of users due to an un-optimized platform for their needs, and would surely be paying that technical debt presently, and maybe they wouldn’t have been worth the $1billion price tag from Facebook.
Do your homework, make the right decisions and avoid technical debt as much as you can, because, if you want your service to be any good, you will surely repay it with interest.
It’s been a very interesting 3 months, from June to August, the Nokia Growth Academy has been an invaluable experience for me and undoubtedly everyone involved. In collaboration with Co-Creation Hub, we underwent hands on training in customer development and product development.
A team from Futurice came to Lagos to train us on how to make our products top notch and I have incorporated those techniques in apps since. More important was the things we weren’t used to doing, customer surveys, financial plans, project implementation plans and the whole lot. We got a good orientation of being more sound business wise on our startups.
The academy ended with a pitch fest to top Nigerian Entrepreneurs and the clear winners were traclist, Danfo and Tiket Mobile. As @etcho3 mentioned, for some of us it may be time to pivot. For MyCash we have been looking for the stickiness factor, and we believe that we may have found it.
Enough of the talk, and let’s get to work. Stay tuned for something different.