I’ll cover the history briefly. 2017 was a challenging year for BCM on a number of levels. Building a self-sustaining startup in the media space is challenging work and the team came under a fair bit of pressure. Between financial and management challenges, we ended up letting the majority of our team go, with the resulting break in activity across properties, including Radar.
Bankole took a break from the business, famously becoming a big fan of East Africa. During that period, Seyi and I started a conversation about having me join the BCM team. Given the scale of the challenges the business faced, some big changes were clearly needed - refinancing and more experienced management capacity among them. That conversation between Seyi and I evolved into one where I took over the role from CEO from him, with the blessing of our board and existing investors.
Bankole came back from East Africa in February and we’ve spent most of this year fundraising to drive growth, recruiting talented people like @Chidi, who heads Business Development for us, @TheFuad , who has taken the role of Zikoko Editor In Chief and of course, @Sprime, who is working on Radar here.
What are the plans? Sprime and Bankole are working on rebuilding Radar. The new rules are based on our lessons about community management and managing bad actors. I agree with you that we did drop them fairly abruptly, but they are informed by conversations with a range of people who have been engaged with the community in the past. The goal is to build a revitalised forum that allows a wide range of audiences to find access to information and have critical conversations about the African tech ecosystem.
Ultimately some of what you enjoyed about the previous iteration of Radar, with Bankole and Seyi personally leading the conversation, is simply unsustainable. One of the key challenges of BCM 1.0 was that in building platforms that depended on the presence of one or two people, we were unable to scale and eventually wore out those people as they tried to juggle far too many hats. We’re need to build a forum with broader based management, moderation and conversation drivers. There is an actual redesign of the platform in the works, one which we hope will be built on feedback from members like you about what elements of the platform are most valuable and what elements need refining or improvement.