How local startups are getting tech wrong in Nigeria

Entrepreneurship is not only on the rise in Nigeria, but tech is increasingly adopted in local enterprises, especially new enterprises.

While this is suppose to be good news for the country, there is also a growing trend of tech misuse in most of these enterprises. A trend that might have a bizarre effect on the enterprises and the nation in the long term.

Recently, a friend of mine who owns a business support startup attended a tech entrepreneurship event in Lagos and lamented about one of these issues. According to my friend, one of the speakers at the event who owns one of the popular and successful new tech startups in the country, while delivering a talk on digital marketing strategies, said that pulling email addresses of people and organisations off their social network profiles for use in email marketing campaigns is also among strategies entrepreneurs and digital marketers could use to up their digital marketing.

I was at the digital marketing department of a new tech company sometimes too and the head of the team was instructing a team member to crawl the web and his personal phone contact for phone numbers of people and organisations for use in their WhatsApp marketing campaign.

These practices are already widespread. We have a lot of overnight social media growth among local entrepreneurs, fuelled by the costly and unethical strategy of ‘buying followers and contacts’. A lot of local tech entrepreneurs and digital marketers are using tech without any compliance with privacy and other cyber laws.

Apart from what such practices will translate to in the long term, in terms of cost of acquisition or operation, the reputation of the brand in the face of the public is gradually being eroded away. Before long all these will begin to tell on the growth and performance of the enterprise and contribute little to national revenue, except local entrepreneurs and digital marketers change their strategy.

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