Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Googbye - closing stages and stepping into others


Happy May Day everyone! Or Happy Labour Day :-) I didn't exactly have a holiday today. But then again, Everyday, I work. I never dread Mondays. If work is fun and fulfilling, you shouldn't have to worry about 'Monday'. I have many things I work on so there is no free day unless I really choose so. Today, I had to go to work. It wasn't to go work for Google. I left my job at Google late last year. Why didn't I come and tell you? I wanted to, but the blog post material kept on changing. Remember, the big blog post announcing my move to Ghana (returning to the source of my vim) and my joining Google. Yup, the latter was done last year and is being dusted. There comes a time. That time has come for many people, including Patrick Awuah.

I had a few goals for being at Google. I wanted to work for the best company in the world, which was in the technology space and be in Ghana. I had said to myself, I definitely have to work for Google at some point in my life, because it's the best company to work for and it doesn't have such a stringent corporate environment (I wouldn't like that). I got more. I learnt new skills - program management, and became better at using online tools. I expanded my network even bigger and became more comfortable working with people from all over and remotely too. I saw how the company was being managed and learnt a few things to implement in organizations I am involved in now - GhanaThink Foundation, Museke, etc and in the future.

I also got the chance to travel around the continent, giving confirmation to Ayooluwaato Eze and giving birth to Richard Nshuti MayanjaDavid Ochieng Mwangi
Hamis Ambwene MassaweGirma Goitom Gemechu and "Siyabonga Mandela". I didn't get the chance to confirm Roberto Saudades as I wasn't allowed to go to an event in Angola because my Portuguese wasn't good or to events in Senegal and Ivory Coast because I wasn't as fluent in French. Yeap, it 'got' me. Either way, I expanded my network greatly and gained even more insight into our continent, especially in the tech space. My Museke suffered but other aspects of the MIghTy African grew. When I first got to Uganda, I only really knew musicians and people I had e-met via Museke and Twitter, but after leaving Kampala and Entebbe, I knew people from different industries. Thank you, Google :-)
I was looking around me and seeing multiple business opportunities. When you see opportunity, it gets you thinking. Museke was dormant as well. I wanted to do something about it. Very early on in my time at Google, a conflict of interest flag was raised because I had Museke and Google had Google Music. Yeah, I was shockprised too. Today, Museke.com as you know is dormant, but the business is growing. I am working on various revenue models. Africa has many challenges and we don't have the available solutions, especially from the West. We have to leverage ourselves and what we know, to solve them. There is a lot to be done and I want to do it on my own, with my partners, who are all homegrown.

I remember when we were organizing DiasporaCamp 2009 (to be held in Washington DC), the organizing team was looking for different panelists and speakers. Most of the resource personnel that looked attractive were based in Africa, not in American cities. The heavy lifting was happening back home and by people charting new paths, success stories and showing the mettle of the African mind and hand. I want(ed) that. I took a path at Google to support what was homegrown. Deep down inside, I just care deeply about my people. Creating impact for them and making them successful is what drives me. I took a plunge to support what is mine, or ours. You could say I was inspired by entrepreneurs around me and thought "I could do this too". It didn't surprise many to hear this.
The thoughts in this blog post are all over the place. I am all over the place too. Because I can't say everything here. This blog post has taken different forms but the vim to write it made it happen today. I never planned this blog post but it was coming. I never planned leaving Google but it was coming. May Day is here, my last day at Google came too. What's the point of it all? Follow your passion. Be bold. Follow what you enjoy doing. Be happy. Follow what will get you to where you want to be. Be calculating and strategic. 

At the heart of everything, I want to be an entrepreneur (and not just social). Every skill or resource I am gathering is directly tied in to that. What am I really doing now? I am working. This blog post is work. I am not doing 233 blog posts this year for fun alone. Let me share where I am working now (or what I am working on) in another blog post. I think you have read enough in this one :-) I need to go watch Champions league hehe.
#Morevim to me and to you!


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