Everybody knows that software is eating the world.
But have you ever been frustrated by what software developers say to you?
Have you ever thought to yourself, ‘I don’t know what they are talking about, but I’ll just nod as if I do!’?
Have you ever been asked a technical question about your idea/business, and then not known how to answer it?
Have you been frustrated by having an idea, but then having no clue how it could be implemented technically, and how to even begin?
If you are a non technical person who is looking to build a tech startup and you have no clue where to start or what to do, here are the 13 key things you must know about technology as a non-tech entrepreneur. Click here to continue
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., left, and Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., watch a presentation during an event at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, California, U.S., on Thursday, June 20, 2013. Facebook Inc., operator of the largest social network, plans to unveil video-sharing tools, bringing its Instagram into closer competition with Twitter Inc., a person with knowledge of the matter said. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
When it comes to advertising, small screens are the new big screens.
This is what FacebookFB +1.08% chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg says the company’s latest milestone — announcing 4 million advertisers on Tuesday — signifies about the growing importance of mobile to consumers and marketers. And while the majority of advertisers on Facebook are small- and medium-size businesses, Sandberg said many small businesses still need to catch up.
“This is a big announcement for us — 4 million advertisers,” Sandberg said in a phone interview. “We think it’s another proof point of the story we’ve seen for years, which is the move to mobile.”
Mobile dominates Facebook’s advertising engine. In the second quarter, mobile advertising made up 84% of total sales in the quarter, up from 72% in the same period a year earlier. Mobile ads, in particular, mobile video formats, have been key to driving Facebook’s impressive revenue growth.
The company’s global ad revenue is expected to total $23.31 billion this year, says forecasting firm eMarketer, making Facebook the largest ad publisher after Google. Facebook has also found success offering mobile ad campaigns across its flagship app and Instagram, which is forecast to generate about $1.5 billion this year, thanks to the app’s popularity among millennials. Facebook first announced 3 million active advertisers just six months ago.
“You’re seeing our accelerating pace of growth, and what this shows is this is working,” Sandberg said. “We’re delivering results for small businesses and helping people connect with customers where they are, which is on mobile.”
Sandberg described mobile devices as “the fastest adoption of a consumer communications technology the world has ever seen,” noting that Facebook’s biggest opportunity lies in small businesses.
“The small screen is now big, because the small screen can do big things,” Sandberg continued. “This is now a really important place to reach customers, both because this is where customers are, but also because this is an exciting creative canvas.”
Sandberg noted that while 60 million businesses around the world are active Facebook Page users and the majority of Facebook advertisers are small- and medium-sized businesses, a significant number of small businesses struggle to manage their online presence. A third of small businesses in the U.S. don’t have a web page — and standalone mobile apps are even harder to build and get people to visit.
“While the small screen creates opportunity, it’s actually pretty hard for small businesses,” Sandberg said. Facebook has intentionally made business Pages as easy to start and maintain as personal Facebook profiles, especially on mobile devices, as many business owners manage Facebook Pages and ad campaigns on-the-go, the company said.
“We’ve worked hard to make our ads very easy to use, very simple, low cost and high ROI,” Sandberg added.
Facebook’s VP of global SMB Dan Levy said a top priority for Facebook is capturing the investment of small businesses that already have active Facebook Pages but don’t yet buy ads on the platform. Part of Facebook’s strategy is to make Pages as valuable as possible for businesses, even before they consider ad campaigns, Levy said.
“What I hear from small businesses around the world is their time and their money is precious, and we want to be the best minute and the best dollar that they spend every day,” Levy said. “We want to be number one growth driver for their business.”
Levy said Facebook is the “leading place” to run a video ad campaign as a small business. He said the number of advertisers using video ads is seeing “great growth” — as consumers seek more video content, they come to expect more video ads, he said. Levy said more than 20% of Facebook’s advertisers — about 800,000 businesses — have created a video ad in the last month, creating about 4 million video ads during that period.
“Video is a great chance to engage with sight sound and motion, and mobile is opening up new opportunities,” Levy said. “Over the past five to 10 years, only a fraction of those businesses could create a video ad because of the expense and technology required. Now with just a phone and a few simple tools, they can create compelling ad content to drive their business forward.”
Facebook said its fastest growing region for advertising is South East Asia, and its top five countries based on year-over-year growth are the U.S., Brazil, Vietnam, Mexico and the U.K. More than 85% of active business Pages use mobile, and 40% of active advertisers have a created a Facebook ad on mobile, the company said. The large majority of Facebook advertisers are outside of the U.S.
Last week, Facebook apologized for overestimating the average viewing time for video ads on its platform for two years. Facebook said that its metric for the average time users spend watching videos was inflated because it only considered video views of more than three seconds. Facebook said it was launching a new metric to address the problem. In a post on Facebook, the company’s VP of advertising and global operations David Fischer said Facebook takes “any mistake seriously” and that the error “has not and will not going forward have an impact on billing or how media mix models value their Facebook video investments.”
“This error should not stand in the way of our ultimate goal, which is to do what’s in the best interest of our partners and their business growth,” Fischer said in his post.
An easy, proven way to succeed is to have a look at those who have a lead on you to see what they are getting right. Nollywood (the Nigerian movie industry) and the Nigerian music industry are favourite whipping boys of more intellectually enlightened citizens. In truth, Naija music and videos leave a lot to be desired, BUT it is foolishness to dismiss them as having nothing to teach other sectors. Why?
Think about it: despite the everyday bashing that those two industries get, they are arguably Nigeria’s best export industries till date, if you ignore petroleum. They both thrive despite the horrible limitations of the environment.
So, what can Naija tech learn from Nollywood and Naija music? Here are my thoughts:
Grassroots Is Key
Keep in touch with the grassroots. Nigeria is still largely a grassroots country. Our huge population is only meaningful when you embrace the reality that 80% of that figure are more or less grassroots. Say what you will about Naija music and movies, but those two industries are very much in tune with the grassroots. Naija tech needs to create products that resonate with that segment of the population.
Spare Us The Innovation
Innovation isn’t always the answer. Many times, it is a stumbling block. Sometimes just find what works and replicate it. Replicate it with your signature. China, India, and Korea are all thriving today because they copied. Not a lot of innovation. Tons of copying. Copying is a valid way to grow. Innovation can be added to the mix later. Not many people will describe Nollywood or Nigeria music as innovative, yet they are two thriving industries and they sell massively in other countries.
Media! Media!! Media!!!
Lastly, Naija tech needs to grow, support and utilise vibrant media platforms. I remember how Naija music leveraged on FM radio in its early days. Remember Keke Ogungbe and Dee One and how they wouldn’t stop pushing our local music on air? On the Nollywood front, we can’t thank AfricaMagic enough for pushing Naija music everywhere. Naija tech needs vibrant media. Techpreneurs need to get their works and stories in the hands of the media. And when I say media, I do not mean tech media that only tech people read. That is counterproductive. We have to create tech media that everyone else enjoys reading.
What good would it be if only music industry people know about Tiwa Savage? Aha. Right now, we have many products and solutions in Naija tech that are known only to tech people. Mbanu. That won’t do. What if Naija music media only talk about music notes and scores and all the other technical stuff that only music professionals understand? Would you read them? Naija tech media needs to get out of the rut of talking in octa-core, valuations, round one seeds, and RAM. We are too busy massaging our own egos, masturbating to our own toys and ignoring the public.
All Put Together
The Nigerian tech industry is often too fixated on itself and on trying to be innovative. And the results so far have not been much to sing about. We need mass market products, not just products for the small elite segment of the country that the industry is currently obsessed with.
Tech enthusiasts are often thinking about the next cool thing and feeling funky within their own small tech circles. Naija tech needs to grow out of that stage and go mainstream. Smart business people will look for what the masses want and give it to them. As proven by Naija music and movies, that product doesn’t have to be great for starters. It doesn’t have to be innovative for starters. It does have to be something that the target market can relate to.
Naija music and movies are constantly the butt of jokes and snide remarks over the quality of their products, but note that the music and the movies have gotten better and better. Some of them are now world class quality productions. They hit the road running, copying and using what they had and have gotten better and better. Both industries fly the Nigerian flag high internationally today.
For all the hype and noise that we have witnessed in Naija tech in the last few years, it is not even scratching the surface yet. The industry has a whole lot of work to do. Let’s get it done.
from an article by Yomi ADEGBOYE of mobilityarena.com
Earlier today, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launch pad for no apparent reason. While we’re still trying to learn more about what happened, we already know that the company was doing a test, and an anomaly created a big mess. Fortunately, all personnel were clear of the launch pad. But this incident is going to affect Facebook’s Internet.org effort in a significant way as a satellite was also destroyed in the process.
While insurance companies are going to pay out for today’s failure, the SpaceX rocket was supposed to launch an Eutelsat communication satellite called Amos-6. Among other things, this satellite was supposed to beam internet in large portions of Africa for Facebook
This kind of project takes years to put together — you can’t build a satellite overnight. And yet, the satellite was destroyed in a few minutes during the incident. It’s going to make the Internet.org rollout slower.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared a message on his Facebook account. And, as you can see, Zuck is not happy. Today’s explosion is probably a real bummer for him as well.
As he also notes, Facebook has other ideas when it comes to delivering internet in developing countries, such as giant drones (the Aquila project) or lasers. Now that basically everyone who has access to the internet also has a Facebook account, Facebook’s next frontier is connecting more people to the internet.
In the contract between Facebook and Eutelsat, Facebook can terminate the contract if the satellite isn’t operational by January 1st. It looks really unlikely now. So long, satellite dreams. Or maybe it’s time to start over and launch a new satellite?