We Should Work Together
For too long Jamaican people have fought against one another. Instead of supporting and building each other up, we badmind and tear each other down. Way too many people are operating alone when they could benefit from the advice of others. That needs to change. The Collaboration Hub plans to be a part of that shift in how we do things. It aims to help people:
- find co-founders
- give feedback on businesses
- Support initiatives
- Change the mindset around how we approach problems.
Starting a business can be scary however, having a good Co-Founder can reduce that fear.
Creating businesses remains one of the best ways to attain wealth. According to Investopedia, the 10 richest people in the world are business owners. Out of that number, 7 of them made their wealth from starting technology companies. The wealth acquired by these business owners can be easily passed down to their family members. This creates what is known as generational wealth. One man builds the company, passes on the knowledge to his children and they keep the company running.
How We Can Collaborate
Let’s say Akeem Williams wants to create an education startup/company because he sees where Jamaican students are falling behind. He has sales/business knowledge but no software/IT knowledge. Akeem goes into the Collaboration Hub group chat and says, “I want to create an ed-tech company and I am looking for a founder with extensive development experience”. Persons from the group could reach out and he would evaluate all of them and then decide which one best fits his criteria. When it comes to seeking a co-founder you want to look out for the following:
- The individual should be aligned with the overall goal and vision that you have for the company.
- Should be someone you can get along with.
- Fills in for what you are lacking. For example, let’s say you are good at sales but bad at the technology/technical aspects. It would be best to find someone who can handle that side of the business.
- Someone you can trust. Vet the person well before engaging further.
You could flesh out your idea more and the group could provide some constructive feedback. Even if your idea isn’t received well, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad idea. Jamaicans tend not to receive constructive criticism well and we need to change that.
Another case is someone who already has a company established and is in need of a particular service. Jerome has a Weed Soap Company that keeps you fresh and high throughout the day. The demand for his soap is high locally and internationally. Someone in the Hub has a ‘logistics business’ that he could leverage to have the soap delivered everywhere. And just like that, a partnership is formed.
Many people believe that you have to reinvent the wheel. How many persons have called a company but received no response? At times, you have to literally walk to the company and beg for service. Sometimes all you have to do is create a good company and ANSWER THE PHONE. Poor customer service remains one of the major pain points that we have all experienced.
Jamaica is filled with all sorts of problems. Finding a business idea can be as simple as thinking of a personal problem that affects you. Given the complaints seen on social media daily, I doubt your search for a business idea would take long.
One of my favorite social media accounts to follow is Nick Huber. He talks about unsexy, regular old-fashioned businesses. Think cutting the lawn, washing cars, or walking the dog. According to him, people spend too much time chasing shiny tech startups while there are ‘simple’ businesses that people can do to build wealth. He made a post on LinkedIn about the current state of entrepreneurship in America. There is a lot of value that can be gained from what he is saying.
There is a subreddit called r/sweatystartup, where people share stories about unsexy businesses that they are pursuing. Some of those business owners made it big and retired. The subreddit is based on Nick’s sweaty startup podcast.
Reading through that subreddit reminded me of a tweet I saw about how a good tradesman is hard to find. We often underestimate how much these people make. I spoke a bit about it in my article – What are Salaries in Jamaica Like?
Some promising news came out of the Budget Debate this year. Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that all admin fees for Heart up to level 4(Associate degree) would be removed on April 1.
The Digital World
The digital space has such a high earning potential. There are all sorts of jobs out there that people have yet to consider. You could be paid to be a full-time chat moderator which basically involves reading messages and ensuring that everything being said is in line with group/company policy. You could be a full-time Youtuber, ebook writer, or social media influencer.
Becoming a ‘Professional Youtuber’ could be seen as a joke in the past however, there are many millionaires that were created thanks to Youtube. In today’s world, we consume a lot of content on a daily basis. If you believe that you can command people’s attention online then there is a lot of money to be made.
I see no reason why the next TikTok, Snapchat, or Facebook can’t come from Jamaica. Many people aren’t aware that our people leave Jamaica and work for some of those companies. We are talented people! What’s lacking is ambition, capital, and business knowledge.
I believe we could build an app that places #1 on the Google Play and Android App Store. Did you know that 4 of the top 10 most downloaded apps in the U.S. are built by Chinese developers?
Competition is Great
Ever notice how in a food court, there are several restaurants selling and each seems to be making money? We often look at competition as a terrible thing when it’s actually really good. Competition helps to push us to new heights and achieve things that may have otherwise not happened.
A monopoly company could hike prices whenever it wants knowing fully well that there is no competition. There is more than enough space for us all to become winners.
Do not fear competition, embrace it.
Mimicking Developed Countries
In Developed nations, there are communities, cities, and valleys that group up together in order to innovate. These clusters produce all sorts of products and services that we use today. It is common for people all over the world to travel to these clusters in order to:
- launch a product
- seek out talent
- look for funding
- find a co-founder
This is the model that we have to adapt. There is no telling what could be created when we put our minds together.
Did you know that Youtube originally started off as a video dating website? There are many examples of businesses that started off with a different purpose than what they are known for today.
The Collaboration Hub will have possible ‘value creators’ added to the community. Currently, the Marketplace and Creators Hub are the only two added to the group. The Marketplace will allow persons to post goods for sale and the Creators Hub is a space for digital creators. As time goes on, more value centers will be added.
I think that we should have a lot of centers for collaboration and designated places for building together, in the future. Fostering a culture of collaboration will take time but, once people see the benefits I’m sure it will take off. This crab-in-a-barrel mentality must come to an end. There is no telling what we can achieve together.
Tell your friends and family members about the Collaboration Hub. The more productive members we have in the community, the better. If you wish to be added to the Hub then you can send me a message on Twitter or by emailing me with the subject – “The Collaboration Hub”. You can find my email in the author section below.
Telegram is where the group will live since it has all the features we need and adjustments can be made over time based on feedback. I look forward to seeing you in the group.