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What most people misunderstand about investing in technology


Ahmed Salifou -

Investment is about injecting some funds in a profitable business idea, hence to make a good return of investment. When you look at the tech sector today you realize how juicy it is, and the number of people making it through the field confirms it all. It's motivating to consider invest in technologies, but unfortunately, many people have not gotten the ins and outs of the field.

At several occasions, friends and clients approached me with regards to investing in some tech ideas. Many of them had tried and failed. Some have never met the right partners, and they are still looking, and others have no clue on how to go about it. Through that, I have noticed some common patterns in people's mindset about investing in tech, or more specifically, investing in or with a tech-guy.

It's an important concern everywhere. Many people mistake technicians and fail to seize opportunities to work with them. For example, recently I was contacted by a friend's friend from the USA concerning an idea of business. I was OK with it until he made me understand that he actually wanted me to be the one to draws the idea and develop the software.

I would like to share with you in this post some characteristics of technicians I think you should consider next time you plan to work with them henceforth "technicians":

- They are mostly technicians, not entrepreneurs nor managers

As such, they enjoy more work than any other things. They will tend to be workholic, and hunt for perfection.

- Technicians are not griots

They don't spit solutions just at once. It takes time. IT solutions require a minimum of time to get them ready. Besides, the solutions are not always spread in front of the technician. They have to dig their brains and the vast world of the web to find out how somethings can be implemented. You need to make proof of some sense of patience with them most of the time.

- Technicians usually think very fast and logically

You have to be plain and open with them. Do not think something and try to make them see another thing. They have an eye on you. Explain clearly what you want and why. Avoid feeding them with breadcrumb ideas.

- Your idea is not enough

Do not bring an idea and expect the technician to build the solution and drop it in front of you and make of you the CEO, No. If he could do that, he wouldn't need you. Do not go to them with just an idea and try to take control of the situation.

- Do not be lazy

Don't bring the idea and expect the tech guy to develop it and make of it a great business model. That's your homework. Deal with it before coming. Get a working or at least a workable business plan which may require a technological implementation.

- Most ideas in tech are worth and can be profitable.

Your seriousness and determination will be of a great help

- Investment in tech will usually require between 1 to 3 years or more before you start to see any ROI

This is a key point to always look at. This concept deceives many investors because the usually perceive infant tech ideas as not worth it. Then they get surprised after a short time that a common idea can become so lucrative.

- You must really study the tech guy you invest in/with

Make sure it's a hard working person and someone who is perseverant. Get a product ready in tech can be tough, you need determined people to pursue it.

- You can't avoid spending

This is the biggest mistake most people make. They think because their partner has some knowledge in technologies, and they can build the solution, thus there is no need to pay them. Tos some, it's the technician's participation in the business to build solutions. It's wrong.

To do good business is not about gaining free, it's about buying and strategically reselling with interest*. The first way is stealing.

The guy to work on the solutions must be paid the right amount to do the job. Their contribution should come from their pay and probably a discount they may decide to give to the business.

Developing tech solutions consumes time and energy. You need to make sure your technician is well treated on this. Leaving him/her on this will cause a lot of frustration and end up in an abandon of the project. Besides, if you do not inject funds, you are showing to the technician that you are not taking any risk in the business.

This point even concern people who intend to enter in the tech and learn. You need to always be ready to pay a price in time, energy and money. And you should always keep in mind that the compensations are not always immediate.

These are the reasons why most technicians don't mind you or give up on your projects.


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