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Iterate, Don’t Break

Hello there. Happy New Month! This month on Series V, we write about changes and speed in the growth stages in a startup. Please forward it to a friend and share it on your social media by clicking any of the buttons below. We love to get feedback and suggestions, you can send them here.


Precision beats power, timing beats speed.

Anonymous

Move fast and break things” is a famous Mark Zuckerberg quote that has been adopted into Silicon Valley lore. When we couple this with one of Amazon’s 14 leadership principles “speed matters”, along with a plethora of various principles that revolve around the same idea, it becomes pretty clear that the startup ecosystem puts emphasis that startups have to move at a breakneck speed.                                                                                                        

However, although it is incredibly important for your startup to move fast, you should try to avoid breaking things. 

Building a business is a race, occasionally a sprint, occasionally a marathon. If you find yourself in a marathon and you treat it as a sprint you’re going to run out of stamina very early on and not finish the race at all. 

So, we can see you need to move as fast as possible, but you also need to contextualize how far you need to go and how long you need to get there. So, how does a startup tell whether they’re competing in a 100-meter sprint a 10,000-meter marathon or even an Ironman triathlon?Naturally, the idea is to move as fast as possible, but if the childhood tale of the Tortoise and the Hare has taught us anything, it’s that just being faster may not necessarily get you to the finish line first. Because if you move too fast you’ll run into obstacles, sometimes these obstacles are of your own making.

Now, how do you decide what pace you need to move at, to make sure you avoid obstacles but still get to your targets as quickly as possible? The biggest thing you need to focus on, in this case, is your product and how sensitively it impacts your users. 
Take, for example, financial services. This is an industry that requires a keen sensitivity to privacy and confidentiality, as both are extremely important to building trust with users.
If you move too fast you can break that trust, and having to rebuild that trust with your users is a huge obstacle. We can see this reflected in other fields that may even have mortal impacts if they move too fast, from healthcare startups to car manufacturers, etc.
Whereas in the case of a social networking application – the likes of Twitter and the rest, making changes may not have such a substantial impact on their users as other services would; which gives them leeway to move at a much higher speed.
However, sometimes, it’s difficult to see the impact your company has so one cannot take an early industry rule and continue to apply it as the industry grows. As your company grows so will its impact, and you must recognize this and adjust your pace accordingly. 
Overall startups need to recognize the impact of their industry and their size. Sometimes you’ll find yourself in an industry that allows you to move at breakneck speeds, but as your company grows in that industry you’ll find that you’ll probably have to reduce your pace more so than smaller competitors may have to, as your actions have a greater impact. 
It’s also crucial to apply these same principles within the startup, how fast does each team need to move? What team’s decisions are going to have the greatest impact on the organization? Setting the correct pace for the organization and the teams within is extremely important. 
Ultimately, it is key to move fast as this is still a competitive landscape, but the speed you iterate at should be relative to the industry and your scale, so as to not break things and find yourself fighting various obstacles.


That’s all folks! Now, let’s dive into the other parts of Series V.


Portfolio Chatter

Great news for African creators as Paystack launches Product Links, a seller tool that allows brands to create simple, high-converting pages to sell products, display multiple images, collect delivery fees automatically, customize URL, & much more! Read the announcement here. Well done Paystack team!

Are you looking for more visibility for your business? Printivo is offering free promotional services for business. All you have to do is use the hashtag #FollowMyBiz and tag them and voila! For more information, visit here.

We’re happy to announce a new integration from Paystack. It is in collaboration with Craft SMS. To learn more about this new feature click here.

Paystack has also announced one of Africa’s first direct payment integrations with@Wix. To find out how to utilize it, click here.

RelianceHMO is currently hiring a Product Designer. To find out more about the criteria, kindly click here.

Drum rolls! We’re excited to announce that MDaaS has won an award as the Best Digital Health Solution by Pulse Nigeria for developing Sentinel X.

New feature alert! You can now pay using your dollar card on Trove Finance. To learn more about this, click here.

How are you adjusting your workforce for post COVID? See how Seamless HR can help you put your operations in order. Click here for more.


Inside VP

Ventures Platform Foundation has released its 2019 Impact Report. Read the report to learn how they have created 40,000+direct and indirect jobs – bit.ly/VPF_2019_Impact_Report

Ventures Platform turned 4 on the 6th of June 2020. We continue to say thank you to our partners, donors, program alumni, co-workers, community members, investors, mission-driven founders in our portfolio, and friends of VP! Watch our anniversary video here.

We published a piece on our stand on Sexual Harassment and the workplace. Read here.

With the support of the folks at UK-Nigeria Tech Hub, Ventures Platform Foundation will be hosting a Policy Dialogue Series on Thursday, 2nd July 2020 at 11:00 AM WAT to discuss the impact of COVID-19 crisis on startups & investors in Nigeria. Register here.

On Saturday, 4th July 2020 at 1:00 PM (GMT+1), Ventures Platform Founding Partner, Kola Aina, alongside top business leaders, Angel investors, early-stage venture capital firms, and founders will gather at Velocity_Mini (by Stanbic IBTC Founders Institute Lagos) to discuss how businesses can thrive amidst the global crisis and celebrate founders who have completed the FI Cohort II program. Register here.


What are we reading?

Everything on the internet.


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Stay safe and see you next month,

V.

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