I just got interviewed on Tekedia. The interview mostly centres around my involvement with adloopz.com, a social advertising platform built by a great team of Nigerian software developers.
Here is a transcript of the interview which can also be found on the Tekedia website.
Tell Us Your Name and Background
My name is David Adamo Jr., I am a 21 year old software/web developer, an avid music and technology enthusiast. I have a first degree in Computer Science from Babcock University, Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State. I am one of the co-founders of the adloopz.com social advertising platform.
I have had quite an adventure with computers and software during the course of my life, and the excitement of this adventure seems to show no signs of waning.
Introduce us to Adloopz and its products and services
First off, Adloopz was founded and is maintained by a team of young Nigerian software developers comprising myself, Tola Anjorin Jr., Adedayo Adekunle, Efe Amadasun and Shope Johnson.
Adloopz is an internet startup. It provides an advertising platform that emphasizes a social approach to the business of advertising.
Primarily, Adloopz helps advertisers and ad consumers get the most out of adverts by taking advantage of their presence on other social networks (like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.) and the many intricate social connections (loops) created on these social networks by their respective users. This enables advertisers reach a large number of people who share similar interests, thereby increasing the likelihood that advertisers reach their intended audience and convert adverts into sales. By building on the social interconnectedness of people, Adloopz creates an avenue for adverts to be easily shared amongst networks of friends, thus creating a simple yet highly effective referral system.
On a secondary level, Adloopz.com also aims at providing online equivalents of real-world adverts in such a manner that these adverts are easily reachable and accessible anywhere, anytime on the Internet. In the real world, adverts are often seen and consumed on the go and there might not always be ample time to get the desired necessary details from these adverts. Adverts are delivered to us through billboards, television, radio and a vast array of other media.
We might come across billboards while we are in an automobile, or hear an advert on the radio or see a TV ad but the time spent consuming these ads is often dictated by circumstances we cannot control such as advert run time or the time it takes to drive past a billboard. Because of these limitations, we typically are not able to get the most out of these adverts. Adloopz therefore aims to work hand in hand with advertisers to create online equivalents of these real world ads in such a way that they are accessible on the Internet anytime, anywhere and can be downloaded for full consumption by prospective customers and at whatever time they deem convenient.
At the surface, Adloopz can also serve as an online marketplace where individuals and businesses can advertise their products and services while having an opportunity for two-way interaction with their prospective clients. In this way, Adloopz provides a system where advertisers are able to create adverts that can self-regenerate and provides advertisers with the ability to measure the impact of ads in real time (reach, likes, referrals, etc.). Essentially, for individuals, we desire to create innovative ways of searching, accessing and sharing adverts.
Why did you guys create Adloopz and how did you consider that an opportunity?
At Adloopz, we think there is a lot you can do with your friends, and the friends of your friends. This is basically the same kind of enthusiasm you would find in companies like Facebook/Twitter, and this is the same enthusiasm you would find in the Adloopz team. There is no denying the fact that one’s “social graph” is an invaluable tool for dispensing information and for learning about new things. Obviously, the business of advertising is one which knows no end and would definitely continue for as long as people need to sell goods and services to one another, which basically I assume would be forever, except something totally drastic happens to the human race.
With advances in technology and the widespread and ever-increasing acceptance of social media as a valuable tool in marketing strategy, the Adloopz team deemed it necessary to create a tool that would leverage technology and social media as a means of enabling advertisers reach out easily to their prospective clients. Simply put, the opportunities that exist as a result of the social interconnectedness of people on the Internet is almost limitless. Interestingly, this social interconnectedness is constantly on the increase and is not likely to stall anytime soon.
Could you share with us how you came up with the name? We like it
The name Adloopz defines the core of our service and this is one of the reasons the founding team agreed readily to it. The connectedness of people on social networks and indeed the Internet as a whole can be seen as series of intricate loops. So, the Adloopz team simply took a look at this and said to one another, why don’t we just take advantage of these “loops” and get advertisers to “loop” their “Ads” through already existing social networks?. Then, we kind of felt the letter ‘Z’ looked really cute and much more adorable than the letter ‘S’, so we decided to throw it at the end, and that is how we arrived at “Adloopz”.
Specifically, share with us how this company is doing and what your future plans are
Adloopz has been in beta since its launch in March, and has been able to amass quite a number of beta users (on an invite basis), who have given valuable feedback concerning the system. The Adloopz team, based on the valuable feedback we’ve gotten from our users, is working as hard and as smart as it can to implement and refine some essential functionality before the system moves out of beta, and I have to say that is when the fun really starts.
So far, the Adloopz team has received kudos for our work in implementing the system. In other words, reception of and comments concerning adloopz.com have been really encouraging. The Adloopz team has quite a number of plans that are urgently being put in the works. Besides the implementation and deployment of some additional functionality that is sure to give our users a reason to keep logging into the adloopz system time and time again, we are also taking our mobile strategy very seriously at the moment. This is obviously because we realize just how important it is to leverage the popularity of mobile phones as a medium through which services on the Internet are consumed.
Not least among our immediate plans is the monetization of Adloopz. We have come up with a few ways of achieving this while still providing the highest level of value and satisfaction to all users of adloopz.
In the long run, we hope to make adloopz an ubiquitous presence all over the Internet. At this point, I would love to say that having a link to Tekedia’s adloopz profile on tekedia.com would do the blog absolutely no harm.
(all smiled and Editor promised to see how to do that because it will require some coding to make space )
How do you plan to scale this business? It has a promise in Nigeria
This is definitely a very important thing that we need to get right. Every business needs to be built to scale. One of the most important steps we are taking to ensure this is making sure that our business procedures and systems are well-documented. This would enable us access and constantly update information concerning our systems in an organized manner as we grow bigger as a business.
And of course, there are certain issues peculiar to scaling an internet startup and server infrastructure (hardware and software) forms an important part. As our user base increases, we have to ensure that we are able to adequately sustain the amount of traffic we get. Also, establishing a smooth bug fix and product development pipeline is something we have already worked extensively on.
However, at this point I would like to reiterate the fact that in a startup’s life, scaling only becomes an urgent issue after one has gathered a team, decided what they want to build, shipped v1.0 of the product, raised money and demonstrated that people want your product. Until we have achieved all these milestones, scaling is not going to be topmost on our priority list even though I can assure that the Adloopz team is not silly enough to leave if off the list.
What are the opportunities for your business line?
Adloopz is in the business of advertising. All we have done is take advantage of new advertising trends and existing technology. As I have mentioned earlier, unless something really drastic happens to the human race, there would always be opportunities in advertising as long as people keep on coming up with relevant and innovative ways to reach and appeal to prospective clients.
Tell us the challenges your business is facing
Every business faces challenges and finding ways to solve them can be really interesting. I guess that is one vital aspect of being an entrepreneur. Generally, it is not easy doing business in Nigeria as one is faced with challenges, typically emanating from infrastructural problems. This is something most entrepreneurs are familiar with in the Nigerian environment.
During the early development stages of adloopz, the team came up with a large number of powerful features that we hoped to deploy in the initial release. After a lot of hard work, we came to the painful realization that the server infrastructure we could afford could not support all the features we had implemented. Therefore, the current version of adloopz.com that you see is actually a trimmed-down version. So, getting the necessary hardware to enable adloopz reach the heights we have planned for it is posing a major challenge.
Another hurdle the adloopz team is working hard to cross is generating much needed publicity for the tool we have created. However, we are confident that we are moving in the right direction in this regard.
Share with us how you are mitigating those challenges
We’ve gotten quite a number of people who are interested in supporting adloopz. With their support, we are making moves to improve our server infrastructure especially in the area of storage space, so we can fully roll out all the useful features of adloopz we have already implemented. Also, we are making moves to get the word out about Adloopz and Tekedia has already helped us kick start this campaign.
Like I’ve said earlier, mitigating our challenges is one thing the adloopz team finds very exciting.
Your message to other founders and entrepreneurs
I have a simple message for other founders and entrepreneurs. Create a USEFUL product or service, aim to set a standard and do not settle for mediocrity even if everyone around you seems to be nothing much more than average. It is only this way that your contributions can be fully appreciated by those that derive even the slightest benefits from them.
We digress here, you write well and just accepted to become a Tekedia contributor. What will be your first post? Our readers will like to know.
First, I’d like to say I’m honoured to be part of the Tekedia contributing team considering the calibre of people that are already on it. I can only hope I make significant contributions to the growth of Tekedia. I have been having a couple of ideas lately and anyone who has gone through my personal blog at http://www.davidadamojr.com would be able to tell that my blog posts are not solely about programming, software development and technology but span a wide range of issues.
I have been planning to revisit the issue of the mediocrity that can be readily seen in the corporate websites of Nigeria’s universities. This mediocrity becomes so glaring when you make the slightest attempt to compare the web presence of Nigerian universities to that of other well-placed universities in other parts of the world. Therefore, there is a possibility that my first post would have something to do with this. However, it is not a 100% certainty. I just might come up with something else. I’m sorry I am not able to give an absolutely definite answer to this question. One thing I can say is that I intend to put in my best.
Should you become a LGA chair, Governor or President, tell us how you will make technology to flourish in your country
I am Nigerian and I would never deny that fact. Nigeria is a country with a stupendous amount of individual talent.
First and foremost, solving the electricity supply problems we have in Nigeria would go a long way in kickstarting rapid technological development in the country. I have absolutely no doubts about this.
Secondly, I believe the key to harnessing the talents bestowed on the citizens of my country lies in our educational system. Unfortunately, the educational sector of Nigeria is not exactly one that can be copied by any entity looking to achieve great things. Therefore, if I happen to be in a position where I can make a quick difference, I would focus on realigning the priorities of our educational system towards an emphasis on hands-on technical adeptness rather than mere knowledge of verbose theories. Special attention needs to be paid to vocational and technical schools (including polytechnics) rather than the current situation where they are being slightly neglected and held in low esteem.
I strongly believe that an educational system that lays emphasis on hands-on technical skill and home grown technological innovation would go a long way in helping technology flourish in my country.
Thank you for having me.