This is the century of the unicorn. The world over is besotted by tech unicorns, companies with valuations in the billions. These unicorns do not have genuine, sustainable revenue streams and their valuation is based on projections that lie beyond the horizon of belief. That horizon is built on the idea that fickle users will flock to their platforms but what does all this have to do with you?
The majority are either in salaried roles or scraping by to make personal dreams a reality. Those earning a salary slog through the belief that being employed affords them the opportunity to build enough personal equity to build their unicorn. Technology has the ability to leap frog you over your peers and make a difference your world. To get to that point you have to be committed to understanding what your unicorns are and what they are made up from.
The general parts of our personal unicorn are:
We tend to think this needs no explanation because we have heard it defined repeatedly and logically understand it. We do not understand drive emotionally. Drive at the emotive level must be broken down into its constituent parts and not simply seen as the completed product. The vision of a working app is not the drive that will deliver us our personal unicorn. The drive required firstly and foremostly has to be broken down so we can sparingly apply it. Drive is not inexhaustible. To break down your drive you must understand what the deliverables are, whether it is for an application, a website or a social cause. If you are a coder your drive is not putting out pages and pages of code because that comes easy to you; your drive must be applied in learning how to write business plans, learning accounting, learning marketing or developing emotional intelligence. Drive only counts when doing the things you do not enjoy, or are not proficient in. Most boxers love the adrenaline of combat but hate the gym, but they understand the only way to be a better fighter is to put time in the gym. Action points:
- Create a gantt chart of your project
- Focus on your non-core areas of expertise
- Update the gantt chart daily
Whether you like it or not or even know it, or not, you are committed every single day to lift your head off your pillow and do the things you dislike. The primary reason for having a high level of commitment for a disliked job is because of the repercussions of unemployment. That same commitment needs to be applied to the project you are working on even when the project that has no real world hunger pangs. To develop that level of commitment we need to have mini-negative repercussions if we fail to meet our commitments before the ultimate failure of the project. Examples are turning off the gaming station until such a time you spend 2 hours reading that accounting book, not going to that event you really want to or missing that soccer game with your friends. If you want to gauge your commitment to your unicorn complete the table below to find out how many hours you spend on your dream.
|Activity/Time of Day
|Reading a Novel
Only have your core tasks as row headers, any other activity should be written into the relevant cell.
- Write down negative repercussions for missing a commitment
- Complete the activity tracking table
It is tongue-in-cheek to speak of reality when describing unicorns but it’s the dichotomy of success. Our readers are based in Zambia and want to better their lives by leveraging technology, whether through something they build or re-tool for the local market. Reality is not listening to all the hot air being blown into your head about how intelligent you are because every second person does not know as much about a phone as you do; if you find your self smiling at that you need to revisit your self worth. Stop hanging around with people who like yourself are stuck in the loop of endless creation and start hanging around with those who have failed and succeeded. Part of the problem of incubation hubs is they create an endless loop of creating hopes and dreams rather than panel beating. Incubation hubs are notorious for cultivating feature creep within their users, feature creep means you always find a better way or new way to do something or add a feature in. Stop it. Have a vision of your final product and see it through, all other feature should be put into the parking lot and revisited in version 2.
- Launch your product, the market will give you a reality check
- Note your areas of weakness – not the projects but your personal areas of improvement
The unicorn you build is a reflection of yourself. Remember, horns are not for pacifying!