Article by: Cynthia Bavo
I have always hated failure and found it difficult to deal with. It is just awful to see hard work and great intentions go down the drain due to failure brought about by lack of money, wrong management decisions, design flaws, terrible governance and of course, boneheaded pride.
If you are anything like me, of which a majority of you are, you do not want to be associated with failure, especially in our society where failure is frowned upon. But the truth of the matter is, failure is something that we need to learn to live with especially if you are a startup founder in Tanzania.
Jumanne Mtambalike, founder of Sahara Ventures knows too well about failure. Before starting Sahara Ventures, he had started at least 5 businesses that failed. In fact, he lost Tsh 36 million in his first business. And from that he learned several lessons of which he so willingly shared with us:
- Fail cheaply: do not put in too much money into a startup especially in the beginning. Start small and find ways to minimize the costs in the beginning.
- Fail fast: if you see a business idea is not working, opt out before it’s too late and you have invested so much.
- Failure is not always because you did something wrong. Sometimes it’s just wrong timing. You may have the right product, great execution, a skilled and committed team but the market is just not ready for that kind of product.
- A great team is everything. If there’s anything that you need to invest in the most, it’s your team.
In short, you must learn how to live with failure, how to minimise the damage, expect it to hurt and learn as much as you can and most importantly, learn how to talk about it openly.
Join us again on November 29th, 2017. We’ll be hosting Lilian Makoi, founder of Jamii Africa. To read more about her, click here