Ajibola, young Nigerian inventor
MyCash, a personal finance manager available on Nokia and BlackBerry devices, application won $5,000 from Nokia Create4Millions, a competition intended to bring mobile applications to the next billion by empowering people with apps for S40 devices. MyCash was selected as one of the 90 semi-finalists for the Gist Tech I Competition, out of 336 applications. Meet Ajobola Aiyedogbon, the brain behind the solution who does not consider himself an entrepreneur yet..
How did you come across it and why did you enter for it? What’s the name of your winning entry and what inspired it?
I came across the competition by reading @otekbits. I entered for it because I had been working on a mobile application and my entry was almost ready so it was extra motivation to finish it and add it for the competition. I was inspired by wanting to keep track of my daily expenses. I wanted to know how much I spent on electricity and transport etc.
As an apps maker, when did you start and how? What other ones have you done?
I started developing apps in 2010. I have been programming for years but my first application was a Chatting app that I created for a job interview with the company I currently work with – MobileXcetera LTD. I didn’t write any more mobile applications until 2011. I also have a New Year resolution reminder application and recently completed work on a Group SMS application.
What did you study? Does your course of study influence your interest in this career?
I studied Computer Science and my course definitely influenced my career or vice versa. I have always been in love with computers so it was a natural choice for me.
Is this something you do on the side-line, or do you want to pursue a full career in it?
It is something I currently do on the side but it is my goal to eventually make a full career out of it.
What are the prospects? Would you encourage youths like you to engage in things like this?
I would definitely encourage youths to go into it because you will be creating value in this world by doing what you like doing. Someone once said that if you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life and I am a strong believer in that.
Do you consider yourself as an entrepreneur? How does this affect your approach to business?
I never considered myself an entrepreneur. I was content with someone with business skills executing but the way things are in Nigeria, it is paramount for me to begin considering myself as an entrepreneur in order to be able to continue adding value to people. I need to be profitable also.
What’s the next level for you and your winning app?
The next level is to get the app to where the original vision for it was. The app has gone through much iteration based on user feedback and we have been able to fine tune it but the features that were listed on the original document have not all been integrated. I would also like to get the app in the hands of as many people as possible and help them curb their expenses by viewing trends and reports.
What’s your advice to upcoming entrepreneurs about starting their own businesses?
Starting a business is not easy and I have not started a business also. I read a quote once that says starting a business is easy, it is keeping it alive that is hard. I have used this as my rule of thumb and if you as an entrepreneur think that you know how to keep it alive then you can go ahead.