“When you know what you want . . . you will find a way to get it.” (Jim Rohn)
Some of you will remember my story a few years ago about two really young entrepreneurs from Africa who are emulating Bill Gates. The two Nigerian brothers, Anesi (now 18) and Osine (now 16), created their own Internet browser about four years ago, when the younger of the two brothers had just turned 13 years old!
The business they established is not only still going strong, but innovating! Today I thought to revisit their story and highlight once again the role a #LionessMom can play in inspiring and nurturing both the next generation of entrepreneurs and the future executives they (and the African continent) will rely upon to build global businesses!
The story of the Nigerian brothers is a classic story of how great entrepreneurs are launched — if something frustrates you: Don’t complain, make it better!
Anesi and Osine started learning computers and CODING at a very young age. (I’ve said this time and again: Africa’s next billionaires will include those who learn coding, which in some countries is now being taught to five year olds!)
As they got better, they recognized a “need” to develop a “browser” more suitable for the smart phones most people in Africa had at the time. They called it “Crocodile Browser Lite” which they introduced to the market because among a few reasons, it “doesn’t eat up your phones resources and battery life.” Wow!
Remember a most important quote for entrepreneurs: “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” Don’t wait till everything is “perfect” to get yourself started. By the time “perfection” comes your way (if it ever does), you’ll likely be too late! They’re now at Version 4.1 and going strong! Here’s a link to the post from 2015: https://web.facebook.com/…/a.500176003390…/859523740788789/….
Since then they have also focused on their education! Osine has just graduated from secondary school and is taking a gap year (he’s running their company, called Bludoors, from Nigeria). Anesi did his A levels at the African Leadership Academy in South Africa and is still involved while studying Computer Science at University of Rochester in New York
My research team also managed to track down Osine and Anesi’s #LionessMom, Mrs Ngozi Ikhianosime, in Lagos, Nigeria. In their discussion, they asked why she thought her two sons had had the courage to become tech entrepreneurs, following their dreams so early in life.
“Good books, good schools and good support system from home — to be themselves,” she said.
She also shared that it was her #LionDad who actually inspired her to become a math teacher! (I have read all your comments on #LionDads who are, of course, critically important. We’ll get to this soon.)
#LionessMom Ngozi said both sons loved computers before they could even read, and eventually became really inspired by the UK computer programmer Nick D’Aloisio, then a 16-year old who developed a summarization app to help make studying for exams easier, for himself. From Nick they learnt that they could learn to code themselves! (You can Google Nick who sold his startup to Yahoo at age 17 for millions of USD).
As a maths teacher for 23 years, interacting with maybe thousands of parents and children in her career, Ngozi shared this observation:
“Every child is unique. Try to discover the uniqueness of each child and give the child an enabling environment to blossom. Do not force your dream on your child. You will only make them unfulfilled and unhappy.”
When asked what advice she gives to young people when she thinks they might “give up” on something difficult, Ngozi quoted the late entrepreneurial author, Jim Rohn:
__”Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom.” (She also shared the quote in the title of this post).
One of Anesi and Osine’s most important business lessons learned so far?
__Think of monetization early, they said. (That is an important lesson for all entrepreneurs!)
And a book that really inspired them? For both brothers, it was “Deep Work – Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World,” by Cal Newport.
Anesi and Osine also shared their own advice to #LionParents: “Be liberal with the child because many parents force their kids to do something. Our parents let us explore what we wanted to do, like acting and music. We were allowed to explore. We were given a choice.”
And as for business advice so far, at 16 and 18 years old? “It’s best to keep going forward. You’re going to have setbacks and you just have to keep going. There is no option!”
The last word comes from Anesi and Osine’s #LionessMom: “Miss a meal. Don’t miss a book!”
To be continued. . .
Note: In addition to Crocodile Browser (Version 4.1) Bludoors has recently released a beta of a very exciting innovation you can check out at http://www.bludoors.com/ and maybe even help them test it. (In tech, a beta version is a “work in progress,” released sometimes to the public and/or people who sign up to test it for bugs and glitches).
To download their browser, go to GooglePlay or here’s the link: