The NeceMoon | November 2015

Did You Just Say Crowdfunding?

by necemon 28. November 2015 07:02

[Translated from a contribution by Nanda Seye]

 

During the month of August, I was helping out the TechOfAfrica team with the organization of an afropreneur afterwork event in Abidjan. So I was talking with a friend about that session, I was explaining that the purpose was to present the Afropreneur project and to promote the related crowdfunding campaign. But, as soon as I mentioned the word "Crowdfunding", my friend immediately shifted to a shocked face.

"Huh? What's that, Nanda? Some of your geeky stuff again?", she asked.

And then, I realised that what may seem obvious for some of us is not always that clear for others. This situation is amplified by the fact that many are not particularly comfortable with the language of Shakespeare. So I wrote this little article just to clear things up for everyone. Happy reading.

 

So what is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a collective financing practice that is executed via the Internet to help start-up projects. It connects project leaders and Internet users who want to invest in these projects.

 

Oh, is it? But how does it work?

It's simple, the operation can be summarized in three entities:

Project Managers <-> Web Platforms <-> Internet Users (Investors)

 

A. Project leader or startup:

You may have a project that is important to you, that you want to achieve. Instead of turning to the banks for funding, you can opt for a platform dedicated to this matter, where you would submit all the project details. This allows you to:

   - Give visibility to your project

   - Receive donations/loans

   - Find potential partners/sponsors

 

B. Web Platforms:

These are websites dedicated to this purpose, on which one can run a fundraising campaign for their project. There are 4 types of platforms:

Donation platforms: the user (i.e. the investor) provides financial support to the project without receiving any reward.

Platforms with counterpart in kind: the user receives a consideration in kind

Loan platforms: Internet users grant a loan to project leaders

Direct investment platforms: Internet users invest directly in the capital of a company by acquiring a stake in the project or by becoming co-producers. In exchange, they earn the right to acquire financial counterparties in case of commercial success of the project.

In order to sustain themselves, the platforms keep a commission of 5 to 10% on the amounts collected.

 

Hey, that's interesting, but what are the platforms?

There are quite a few platforms, some of the most popular are:

- KissKissBankBank

- Kickstarter

- Ulule

- Indiegogo

 

C. The Web user:

This is the one who is interested in the project and decides to offer you some donations or loans, you may refer to him as your "Angel" investor (no pun intended lol).

 

That's all folks, I hope the concept of crowdfunding is now clear for you, and that you too can impress your friends lol and use it for your own projects.

 

One last piece of advice: a successful crowdfunding campaign involves choosing a platform that is in line with your project, a good presentation of the project and, above all, an excellent marketing strategy. Good luck.

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Corporate | English

Becoming Your Own Boss: 7 Lessons Learned On The Spot

by necemon 8. November 2015 19:09

[Translated from a contribution by Yehni Djidji]

 

A few months ago, I left my job in order to become my own boss. Well, that's what I thought. But I could learn a few lessons from this experience that I would like to share.

 

1. Fun working

When you do a job you love, it turns out that you do not really work. You have fun while learning and making money.

 

2. Varied activities, balanced intellect

I no longer need to mechanically repeat the same gestures, or to work on the same project all day long. I can help someone start a magazine while working on a movie script, writing articles for a radio and tweaking a short story. Of course, it's important to be very organized. I'm still looking for the secret.

 

3. Guaranteed savings

Some people have a salary that seems huge but they spend most of it on transportation, communication and food in the workplace. If you work at home, you won't spend any money on transport except for value-added appointments and you will simply eat the homemade meal of the day... if you are disciplined. Additionally, the informal side of the start-up activity saves you a lot of taxes. You have to make the most of this phase, and save as much as possible, and formalize the activity quickly because there are opportunities that you cannot seize when you are not legally constituted.

 

4. Master of your time and space

You can arrange your schedules to be available for your family while carrying out your activities. You do not have to worry about rush-hour traffic anymore and waste precious time wondering if the slowdown is due to an accident or to the movements of an official convoy. At home, in a restaurant, at the beach, you can work everywhere. I do not advise people to work exclusively from home and I will explain why a little further.

 

5. Did you say "No More Boss"?

If you thought you could actually become your own boss, think again. Your customers are your new bosses. Some will even make you regret leaving your job. Each of them has their demands, their constraints, their inappropriate language sometimes. But this will allow you to discover some other sides of entrepreneurial life.

 

6. Be aware and beware of weight gain

In order to work from home you have to be disciplined. Otherwise, you will be tempted to gulp the fridge contents by snacking excessively. True story.

 

7. Knowing how to set limits

You must be able to explain to the family that staying in front of a computer does not mean that you are sitting idle. They must comprehend that you may be in the house without being available. Otherwise you will be involved in a parade of servants coming to request various things that they normally handle well when you are not around. And yet, that does not even take the children into account. I cannot work with my son around. He will knock on the door of my room until I open it. For those with children who are still too young to understand that you may need some quiet time, it may be better to go out.

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Corporate | English | Winning

The Golf Ball Effect

by necemon 7. November 2015 10:08

What is the Golf Ball Effect?

First, note that small causes can have huge consequences. Butterfly Effect?

When hitting the ball, a difference of a few angles will result in a big difference in the position where the ball will land.

As in a triangle ABC, if a point X is on [AB] and a point Y is on [AC], the further x and y are from A, the bigger is the distance [XY].

Therefore, a minor shift of 2 degrees could drive the ball yet another 10 meters away from the target (or closer to the said target).

That's just a metaphor for the small changes, small factors and small decisions in life that can make a big difference on the long term.

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English | Extra

L'Effet "Balle de Golf"

by necemon 7. November 2015 09:45

Qu'est-ce que l'effet "Balle de Golf" ?

A la base, notons que de petites causes peuvent parfois entrainer des conséquences démesurées. Effet Papillon ?

Quand tu tapes dans une balle de golf, une petite différence dans l'angle de frappe peut changer beaucoup dans la trajectoire et dans la position finale de cette balle.

Soit un triangle ABC, si un point X est sur [AB] et un point Y est sur [AC], plus X et Y sont loin de A, plus la distance [XY] est grande.

Du coup, il suffit d'un décalage de 2 degrés et la balle pourrait se retrouver 10 mètres plus loin (ou plus près) de la cible.

C'est juste une métaphore qui illustre que, dans la vie, certaines petites choses (changements, facteurs, décisions, etc.) peuvent parfois faire de grandes différences sur le long terme.

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Extra | Francais

A Quick Guide For New Bloggers

by necemon 5. November 2015 23:44

A new online "friend" was recently asking me: "What should be done to get a more lively blog or social media page? I mean, more visits, more likes; how to have some attractive blog and online profiles."

That question comes back from times to times. I don't particularly see myself as an expert in blogging or in social media marketing, but if I were to briefly sum up my humble opinion on the matter, that would be in 3 words: education, production and promotion.

 

1. Education
I couldn't detail everything you actually needs to know within 5 minutes, because there are lots and lots of elements that come into play. You must therefore continually be learning, checking out the best blogs that discuss blogging, social media, copy writing, online marketing. Subscribe to them, read them as much as you can. Also reach out to those who are doing well in those areas, ask questions. They may not be able to teach you everything in a minute, so you could keep in touch and keep learning, observe their methods, take their feedback on what you're doing.

 

2. Production
Write often, regularly write, write on topics that interest your readers and yourself. Writing regularly is a matter of discipline, writing interesting content is more about experience (it may take several tries). There again, you can do some research on what people like to read and get inspired by experts. But be careful not to copy them verbatim, you are trying to come up with something new, rather than publishing again what already exists.

 

3. Promotion 
Keep your social media pages updated, complete and professional, preferably with a graphic identity.
Find some people who are interested in what you have to say or write. Every time you write a new article, let them know through e-mail or their favorite online platform, take their feedback into account, to improve. Also, keep networking with other bloggers and writers in your niche. Establishing some good relationships could help when it comes to sharing content and other exchanges of services.

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English | Winning

Quelques tactiques de base pour (re)lancer son blog

by necemon 5. November 2015 20:42

Il n'y a pas très longtemps, une internaute (et nouvelle "amie") me posait la question suivante : "Que faut-il pour avoir une page ou un blog 'vivants' sur les réseaux sociaux ? C'est à dire plus de visiteurs, des likes, etc.; comment faire pour que mon blog et mes pages qui seront en lien soient attractifs."

C'est une question qui revient de temps en temps. Je ne me considère nullement comme un expert en blogging ou en social media marketing, mais si je dois résumer instantanément/brièvement mon humble avis sur la question, ce serait en 3 mots : formation, production et promotion :

 

1. Formation
Toutes les choses que tu devrais savoir, je ne pourrais pas te les communiquer en 5 minutes, parce qu'il y a beaucoup, beaucoup d'éléments qui entrent en jeu. Il faut donc se former continuellement, cherche quels sont les meilleurs blogs qui parlent de blogging, social media, copy writing, online marketing. Abonne toi, lis les, autant que tu peux. Aussi parle à ceux qui s'en sortent, pose des questions. Ils ne pourront pas tout t'apprendre en un instant, donc il faudrait rester en contact, observer leurs méthodes, prendre leurs commentaires sur ce que tu fais.

 

2. Production
Ecrire souvent, écrire régulièrement, écrire sur des thèmes qui vous intéressent, toi et tes lecteurs. Ecrire régulièrement, c'est une question de discipline. Écrire du contenu intéressant relève plutôt de l'expérience (parfois il faut plusieurs essais), là encore tu peux faire des recherches sur ce que l'audience aime lire et t'inspirer des experts. Mais attention à ne pas les copier textuellement, tu cherches à apporter quelque chose de nouveau, pas à reblogger ce qui existe déjà.

 

3. Promotion
C'est mieux si tes pages en ligne restent à jour, complètes et professionnelles, de préférence avec une identité graphique.
Repère les personnes qui sont intéressées par ce que tu as à dire ou écrire, chaque fois que tu écris un nouvel article, envoies le leur via email ou leur plateforme préférée, tiens compte de leur feedback pour la suite. Aussi, il pourrait être utile de réseauter avec d'autres blogueurs et auteurs de ta niche. Parfois, de bonnes relations peuvent être précieuses quand il s'agit de faire circuler du contenu ou pour d'autres échanges de services.

 

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Francais | Winning


Necemon

I am Necemon Yai. I am a Software Engineer and a Digital Artist. Let's keep in touch via Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.

Je suis Necemon Yai. Je suis un Ingénieur en Informatique et un Artiste Numérique. Restons en contact via Twitter, LinkedIn ou Facebook.