With Great Power…

With Great Power…

“With great power, comes great electricity bills…” (black humor, but couldn’t be any more true…)

At Grappleline, we’ve been privileged to take up a number of interesting and audacious projects lately. And we’re just beginning to scratch the surface. For this, I’m really excited.

A particularly impressive project would be our most recent one – an Enterprise Software Deployment for the Power Sector. Lots of buzzwords, right? I could go into details, but I’m still very much of a newcomer. My partner Tega would be the subject matter expert in this scenario. (I’ve got my other strengths, okay? So it’s not that bad.)

But first, allow me to take things back a bit…

I’ve gotta admit that when we kicked off at Grappleline, we were quite shortsighted. And that’s normal, especially when you start a company right out of university. It’s difficult to see the world beyond your basic line-of-sight. The basic ingredients were there – passion, dedication, commitment (wait… don’t they all mean the same thing? Now you see why I despise buzz-words), but honestly, without a clear, objective view of the possibilities that existed beyond what we knew, it was quite difficult to establish a clear-cut direction for the company, and that really affected us, in no small manner.

But things are changing.

So, back to the story.

In the past 2 months, we’ve had to more than double our staff capacity. All software developers. We’ve spent nights and weekends staring at computer screens, battling glare and chugging down coffee (or anything else that keeps the developers awake). Oh, it’s been an incredible experience. And in between driving over to the clients’ for review meetings, keeping our people happy and meeting deadlines, I’ve learnt a few lessons about running a company:

  1. It’s more than just the money: I’d be kidding you if I said the project isn’t profitable, but heck. As much as our bottom-line is important, that’s not what keeps us up and running. Cash keeps the lights on, and our people happy, but the possibility of increasing our individual and organizational capacity has been what gets us really excited. We’ve actually started ‘looking ahead’. And that’s a good thing.
  2. You need the right people: We’ve had to stretch ourselves to acquire good developers. And, yes, I mean financially. Sometimes I joke with our interns that they make more money than me, but it’s actually true. For now, we’re focusing on getting, retaining and building the right people, as well as establishing a reputation for ourselves in a highly competitive industry. And we’d do whatever it takes to make that possible. Without that, wouldn’t it be fair to say that we’re just goofing around?

But that’s actually not the main story.

[Main Story]

I’ve fallen in love with Energy.

Wait. No, I’m not talking about some sort of ethereal definition of energy… I’m talking about actual Energy. Yes, Power. Electricity and stuff.

In the roadmap of Nigeria, I believe the power sector is about to get better, more organized and relatively more efficient. As a regular citizen, that might be quite difficult to believe, but if you’ve been in our shoes for the past few months, it’s easier to understand why I made that statement.

(Side Note) – Gosh, we need better power in this country. I had light for a few hours today and ended up binge-watching Studio 1.0 on Bloomberg. Learnt a lot. Imagine if there was light for the entire day.

So, here’s what might happen. In the next few years, through the combination of big data, smart grids, standardized energy efficiency indices, stakeholder organization, giving a semblance of control to actual end-users, (and let’s not forget the all-too-important role of government policy), I believe we’re heading for better days.

And at Grappleline, we’re excited about that.

So, in our own little way, we’re driving that change. Firstly, by conducting basic research on the possibilities that exist in the sector. Then, moving forward, to the best of our capacity, we hope to take actual strides to do things that really matter. It’s all quite hazy, but I’d keep you updated, okay?

So, on a final note…

Between building our strengths as a Software/Digital Media/Mobile Company, streamlining our product pipeline and then researching into new possibilities in the industry, I think we’re making good progress. We’re not a tad-bit where we’re supposed to be, but I’m glad the journey has started. In the next few years, we hope to build a more powerful company.

But we know all too well, that with great power, comes great responsibility *cue Uncle Ben from Spiderman here*.

So, I sincerely hope we’re ready to be responsible enough to give it what it takes.