It’s amazing how failing early in life transformed me into a much better person.
Despite being dismissed from university due to extremely poor academical performance, Temitope Benson cherished dream is to establish nigerian premier event website.
Temitope Benson is born and bred in Nigeria. He is the founder of Ojuagbo.com and iamslucker.com. Less than three months after he has released Ojuagbo.com, the site ranked as the 56th best startup in Nigeria (currently rank 72).
In this brief interview with Silicon Africa, Temitope shares the evolution of ojuagbo.com, ups and downs on the road to success and the future of his establishment.
SA : The majority perceive Temitope Benson as ‘ The never give up spirit, the can- do spirit etc, etc. For the sake of clarity, Who is Temitope Benson?
Temitope : I am a very funny guy, I make people very close to me laugh and I know how to do a funny dance. I know a lot of people think otherwise but it is the truth. I can be very fun to be with and also switch to being much focused on achieving certain milestones career wise hence the perception of Temitope Benson having the “Can do spirit or Never give up spirit”.
SA : A little bird told SA ; Benson was ‘ dismissed from Obafemi Awolowo university. what prompted the Academical Authorities to do so.
Temitope : well I am quite grateful for that experience. The truth is I didn’t do too well in my exams and the school didn’t think I should waste my time any further so they asked me to withdraw. It was really like going through fire but I came out rebranded. I remember saying to myself while leaving that I was going to come back to the same school as a successful individual to motivate young minds who are probably going through what I went through. Hopefully that isn’t far from now but I still got admitted into Lagos State University to study Computer Science, I successfully finished and went on to take several certification courses including EC Council courses. I remember finishing an EC Council 2 hour exam in 9 mins 1 sec and scoring 92%. It’s amazing how failing early in life transformed me into a much better person.
SA : How come an average student with 3/60 score decided to venture into entrepreneurship?
Temitope : I didn’t really decide to venture into business it just happened. Every step of the way just lead me here. Let’s just say entrepreneurship found me, tested me and then passed me. I remember my first business was selling iPods to university students and I started the business without any capital. All I did was type a few words on the computer, print it out and pasted it in cyber cafes and talked about it on internet forums. My first client ordered more than 6 iPods at once, paid cash and I got it delivered to him. I guess that was when I saw I could really make money if I tried new things out.
SA : could you explain the evolution of ojuagbo.com?
Temitope : Ojuagbo is a new concept, basically problem solving. A practical example will be digitalization of memorable moments across Africa either in images or videos. Ojuagbo was created to help people around the world especially Africans SHARE and PRESERVE their event contents. Sharing these contents with family and friends and preserving these contents for a lifetime. Currently Ojuagbo.com is in it BETA phase, our team is redesigning and developing new features. Once we are done we will open Ojuagbo.com to web users to sign up.
Temitope : Yes, a lot of businesses. Actually, more of failed businesses or businesses that went well for awhile and then just dried up. Looking back I guess it is a process any determined person has to go through before you can hit that one thing that can turn your life around. For me I believe it is the sacrifices I have made learning from other business experiences and not giving up that has brought me this far.
SA : Adam Osbourne once said, “The most valuable thing you can make is mistake – did you had an appointment with mistake?”
Temitope : Yes, I have made so many mistakes. I will just list a few:
1. I let my pursuit of success blind me with the fact that I have to live a little. I wish I knew how to balance my life with work and not let work consume all of my time.
2. I also learnt not to invest so much in an idea in the early phase. Invest financial a little and more of your time, wait for feedbacks, re adjust again, put it out there and wait for feedback. When responses from users are good then you can go all in.
3. Also don’t make everything perfect and assume the market will wait for you, I made this mistake early in business and it cost myself and my partner around $48k.
4. Don’t always outsource your projects, I advice working onsite. To properly succeed with an outsourcing approach, you will need a professional who can work you through the metrics of how to get it done. I believe the reason why I made a lot of mistakes was because I didn’t have a mentor. In the internet sector here in Nigeria, you can hardly have mentors because everyone is still figuring it all out.
So I really hope that we get to a point we can share resources, expertise, advice, suggestions and help each other. That way we can reduce how much mistakes we make along the way.
SA : tell us about your other sites?
Temitope: I AMSlucker movement on facebook to promote positivity amongst the Nigerian youth and the group just kept growing and we have almost 100 new member every day.
SA : what inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Temitope: Honestly, I don’t know. I am just an idea tank, I think about doing things differently and I experiment a lot. I guess I was just born to be an entrepreneur, it comes natural to me.
I really can’t go looking for a job. The other day I sat down and I was writing up a CV for myself and I had to pause for a bit to read through. It was like I was bragging but it is true. Who will hire me? I probably know too much.
Thanks to years of experimenting with ideas and making mistakes but also enjoying successes too. Not too much for a 26 year old kid.
SA : Ten years to come or less, Web business is likely to blossom, do you envision glittering future for ojuagbo.com?
Temitope : Just like the biggest names on the web today, Yahoo, Google , Facebook, Ojuagbo will make a mark on history especially in Africa. Just like other successful companies, Ojuagbo will also invest in acquiring other internet companies and expanding her reach to more users globally.
SA : finally, what advice would you proffer to an up- coming startup founder or entrepreneur?
Temitope : I have been on the internet for years now and I never got this much attention or gotten an opportunity to pitch my idea to venture capitalist until I found the solution to a problem. A problem that affects millions of individuals, families or companies globally. My advice will be
1. Find a problem that affects a lot of people 2. Think of how to solve this problem…If you have the answer, find a team that can bring it to life 3. Don’t be deceived it isn’t that easy but that is the key
SA: How could our readers get in contact with you?
Temitope: Your readers can contact me at (@iamaslucker) on twitter or for business purposes, email at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
THANKS TEMITOPE BENSON !!!