How “Connection” Entrepreneurship Kills Innovation #TheCubicleEntrepreneur

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hunger-413685_960_720About a year ago, a young man called me from the abroad seeking some advice on his new start-up.

He wanted to build an educational program/app/website … till today I did not understand what the app was going to do. But this guy was so confident that the app would make money, that schools will use it, that Universities will use it, that it would become the next big thing!

The idea clearly did not match his confidence.

But what can I say, I am a flawed human-being prone to errors. Maybe I just did not get the idea, maybe it was me at fault. ‘

So I said as honestly as I could after hearing the idea re-explained for like the 5th time a row …

“I still don’t get the idea, I don’t see how it will work, but ask other people, see what they say, see what they think.”

But before the line clicked, I asked him a parting question.

“How will you get people to use your app?”

And his answer shows how “Connection Entrepreneurship Kills Innovation” in Nigeria, this is what he said ….

“Don’t worry about that, I have that handled. My mother knows xyz person in the ministry of Education and she can make them make the app a requirement for all Public Universities.”

That was it, that was his marketing strategy. His Market Adoption strategy was his “connection” making people use his app.

This is what I call a “Connection Entrepreneur”

Connection Entrepreneur: A person whose idea’s growth or success is based solely on who they are connected with.

Sadly, majority of Nigeria’s Entrepreneurs were created from connection entrepreneurship.

They became successful not because of the brilliance of their products or intelligent marketing plans but because someone up there made it mandatory for you to use their products. Either directly or indirectly.

Sadly, this “connection” culture of entrepreneurship has slowly crept into the veins of our youths.

They are not looking to innovate, rather they are looking for the next big connection, the man in Government, the Pastor, the Civil Servant, anyone that will make their idea go viral by force!

All they do is think of an average idea like “Mathematics Text Book” then think of a brilliant connection “Education Minister” and vwala instant success “Mathematics Text Book added to National Curriculum!”

Now there is nothing wrong with being connected, or networking your way to connection.

But if the basis of your entire idea is connection and if the success is based on connection and if your marketing plan is based on connection, then your idea is really not an idea and you are really not an Entrepreneur. Your are just a Connection Entrepreneur and your success is killing innovation in Nigeria!

-Signed the Cubicle Entrepreneur



Words by Okechukwu Ofili of
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6 comments on “How “Connection” Entrepreneurship Kills Innovation #TheCubicleEntrepreneur

  1. I always believed that “…going far is more a matter of WHO you know than WHAT you know.”

    actually, I believe because I have seen.

    I do not think the ‘connection’ thing is a totally bad idea. Except for the fact that the nigga, sorry ninja in question seems to want to use *compulsion* as his marketing strategy.

    He seems more focused on *the profit* than *the solution* that’ll be provided.

    MY POINT:…although not supporting *this entrepreneur*

    Innovation is often fueled by Connection.

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