Unlike all my past birthdays, turning 33 has felt different. Aside from celebrating a new year, it has ended up an opportunity to put things into perspective. Sometimes we choose paths and rarely do we get to look back and be thankful for the opportunities and failures.
Rarely do we look back and consider where things have gone right, what we’ve learnt from those experiences and where they have gone wrong and ask ourselves how do we avoid the same mistakes. Last night was a chance to. I thought I would share my thoughts looking back at a few highlights.
2003 MediaFlower.com: in 2003: We attempted to change how web hosting was done, when the market was selling 100MB of hosting space at $100, we were selling it at $30 – We made some money and got clients to believe in us. We still failed mainly because of inexperience in running businesses. But we had a great time learning and failing.
2004 – 2008 Marketuganda.com: We built what at the time became Uganda’s premium online web directory, A platform way ahead of its time, we made UGX 49k from hundreds of Ugandan companies, very expensive to collect and again pure inexperience again failed this venture, but again had a great time learning and failing.
2009 – BPL Uganda – We tried to build the first broadband over power lines ISP. We failed to raise the money, probably not because we did not have a good idea, may be we just did not push hard enough or we just did not manage to clearly showcase the business opportunity.
In between 2007 – 2013, A number of ad agencies, IT companies, building a mobile payment platform and a lot more of course my favorite being the one season i rallied. That car was everything (probably my best life lesson) also the most stupid thing i ever did and will probably do again.
Today i celebrate being 33, thanking God for all these experiences and all the others that i pick from as i attempt to make both a living and a life. I celebrate the experience that is Roundbob.com, the team that has stood by it. The customers that have trusted us, the ones who have had great experiences and the really rough experiences we have learnt from, we have committed to get better avoid those mistakes and try to build and industry changing platform.
We shall soon launch the RoundBob foundation, leveraging our industry experiences and failures, knowing where some real challenges exist around developing Tourism, but also opportunities that may not make business sense in the short run but have the potential to positively impact communities and develop industry revenue.
I celebrate the mentors, the ones who know and the many have no idea they have been.
I will not forget to mention Expert Talks and what that initiative means in relation to being able to get people to share their experiences. I honestly believe if we as Africans shared our experiences more we will not only find motivation in each others failures and successes but also avoid the same mistakes.
I thank everyone for your wishes and look forward to sharing many more years.