Wednesday, October 05, 2011

i for Inspiration & innovation...Steve Jobs Rules...

The man and the legend...just passed away. Steve Jobs was an inspiration to those of us that occupy the innovation complex. I know for sure that at LoftyInc, Steve Jobs particularly occupied a special place in our hearts. 

I remembered Wole (co-founder)  and I have had our Apple moments, discussing how Steve Jobs shaped his products and the company, we seeking how to adapt these lessons earlier on into ours. His focus on quality, user experience and perfection were simply impressive. Apple and Steve Jobs have consistently defied the adage that the customer knows best....Steve never shied away from creating a new need for his clients; that is what we aspire to be to our clients. Create a user experience the user never realized they even needed!

The height of my personal Steve Job moment came about exactly one and half years on the clock at LoftyInc. I was preparing for an epochal presentation at the World Bank ABCDE Conference at Stockholm, Sweden.  I had to turn to the master: Steve Jobs.

After reading the book, "The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs- How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience" by Carmine Gallo, I was turbo charged for this audience. At the end of it all, and after my 50 or so recorded practice presenting like Steve Jobs, I was at Stockholm selling our ideas which today is known as the Wennovation Hub. Yes, our strategic partner- the Africa Leadership Forum was part of that audience at  Stockholm...two weeks later I was on a plane heading to New York to sign us up. 

Everyone have their Steve Jobs story. His black turtle neck wears, his secret preparations and product releases, the perfection in product aesthetic and functionality, his ability to read your need and even his choice of product name, makes Steve miles apart from his peers. He was a showman, a presenter and above a special human being. His insistence on perfection, sometimes near dictatorial handling of product releases was also legendary. 

You want to demo?  do it in your office...those are not for his users. Your release product must be bug free, and plug and play: that was the Steve Philosophy. Here was a technology visionary, an astute entrepreneur, an entertainer, a designer and above all an innovator. Steve will be missed, but he lives with us all. 

As I shut down my MacAir writing this, I'm amazed how beautifully functional it is: and grateful I have it to fittingly pay this tribute to the man who can proudly say of this product in the words of Wole Soyinka's Bambulu: "this is the child of my brain; the product of my endeavors....the materialization of inventive genius". Genius...that is Steve. Inspiration..that is what he left us. 

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Wennovation Hub Launches WennoCamp 1.0 for Mobile Apps Development

Seven of the thirty students trained by the partnership between LoftyInc and the MIT Accelerating Information Technology Innovation (AITI) , to incubate student launched local businesses around mobile application developers at the University of Ibadan this summer, have been selected by the Wennovation Hub to herald the first cycle of the Wennovation Camp this Fall. 

The product enhancement and development process will be supported by business & technology mentors sourced from among the associates’ rank of the Nigeria Leadership Institute, and technical assistance will be rendered by Google Africa.

Since the MIT-AITI program ended in August, the process of Wennovating begun in earnest as these entrepreneurs were screened and carefully selected for fit into the incubation model, and allowed to reshape their teams accordingly around the best ideas. 

The seven "wennovators" selected were from four teams at MIT-AITI program (InveniQTing MobileCompass and Pluss) with very exciting products which may be enhanced or entirely remade during the WennoCamp. The Camp will span six weeks of product enhancement and business development leading up to seed funding and operations using the Hub as their space in the first few months of beta product launch. 

The Wennovators are organized into two inter-disciplinary entities (teams):

Team 1 (Opacus Technologies Limited)- Alpha Product: Location Awareness & Transport Finder App
                TL-R: Wennovators 1.0:  Dara Adeyemo,Diji Adeyemo,
                         Ibrahim Abiola, Adetayo Rabiu
Team 2 (Business Name Pending CAC Approval) - Alpha Product: Enterprise Expense & Recruiter App
                                    L-R: Oluwatosin Adesanya, Onitilo Oluremi, Oghenekhowo Tega
During the Camp, the seven "wennovators" aim to coalesce around redesigned and fused products from their initial pass at their ideas, and eventually launch into the market at least two mobile technology products focused companies in Nigeria. The greatest promise of these teams is to optimize their existing products, build newer ones and truly bring Nigeria Mobile App development into the business mainstream. 

The "business bootcamp" heralding the six-weeks WennoCamp 1.0 is scheduled to begin in earnest on November 2, 2011. Exciting activities including engagement of notable CEOs, Technology gurus and bandstorming sessions are planned during the program. 

This program further enhances LoftyInc's continued focus on enhancing Nigeria's innovation eco-system specifically focusing on areas like mobile technology where our impact can be most felt. It also validates the unique business incubation model designed by LoftyInc.

Our thanks to all our partners for helping us bring this program to fruition.