Is Nigeria’s Tech industry really growing?

I recently read on Nairaland, the story of a young man who had a brilliant idea. In an attempt to bring the idea to life, he met with a “reputable” IT firm in Lagos and pitched his idea to them. He said the CEO was very impressed and commended his innovative thinking. Sometime after this meeting, it appeared as if the company could not go with the idea as the price was not suitable for them and so business with that company did not take off. Shortly after this, he was shocked to hear (from a reliable source) that the company had built a system similar to his idea and had started marketing them to the target clients he had suggested. Bummer!

Now this is not new in any industry nor in any part of the world and it will continue to happen especially as human beings will continue to be innovative and at certain times it may be hard to call an idea “totally yours”. What really got my attention was the fact that although many of the thread participants were enraged on the poster’s behalf, no one really seemed to know what exactly to do. Some people gave some very impressive suggestions but that didn’t change the fact that there was not really a system to refer to, or even particular examples in this part of the world where one can take inspiration from.

Silicon Valley has become a successful model and probably the industry standard for how the tech industry should run and this is not just because world-changing ideas start there. It is really because ideas are turned into life-changing businesses, lifestyles, products and services. It is also because a world exists there, which creates a very strong and well-functioning support system for the main juice-technology. And so, Silicon Valley provides jobs, not just for developers or engineers, but for patent lawyers, tech financial analysts, real estate salesmen, doctors, writers, artists and so much more. For every ground-breaking mobile device produced, there needs to be a researcher who understands the needs of the market, a designer who can bring in that cutting edge look, a lawyer who will ensure that every creative/innovative element is covered by one form of the law or another, an analyst who will advise on the best time to launch, a doctor who will examine any likely health risks etc.

Simply put, a growing tech industry is not just about the number of products and services that have been conceived recently but it also involves, for example, the number lawyers have made strides in intellectual property law based on our creations, the designers that have been able to stretch their abilities to increase user experience, accountants that have perfected the science of valuing startups and so much more. Until this industry runs in sync with, and engages every other profession, we have just scratched the surface. And if our industry grows isolated from every other profession, then we have no industry at all.

Meanwhile, what do you guys think this young developer should do? Please share!

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2 comments on “Is Nigeria’s Tech industry really growing?

  1. Though its indeed a sad story, but like you said, “the IT firm developed something similar”…

    My take is, the original idea was his, so no matter how its copied, it can never be replicable, others will try, its just for him to upgrade his and the difference would be clear.

    My advise: Protect your intellectual properties, seek help by asking round town, I’m sure Nigeria has a law on such.

    Finally: Don’t give up, if you built this, you can build better & more advance ones.

    • @Damola. Thanks. It seems you really understand the market. I advise him to keep working at it just like you said.. It’s also important that young entrepreneurs seek out professional assistance before making certain decisions.

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