Ten years ago, as a young tech newbie and socioeconomic analyst working in Abuja, I found Nairaland to be at the cutting edge of tech trends, political views, and a general barometer to measure how young educated Nigerians thought and felt at the time. I knew foreign finance and political risk analysts that read it every day.
Fast forward to 2016. I had fallen off the tech bandwagon for years. But then I decided to renew my interest in Tech because I was looking for new challenges and I was convinced that the tech space in Africa is a wide-open opportunity that Africans need to take advantage off before it gets totally dominated by Western and Eastern Unicorns - They don’t get the culture and to an extent neither does most of their diaspora African employees who they have sent down here for flag planting.
So, I began looking for a space where you techies and entrepreneurs hang out to reconnect and get my mojo back. My first instinct was to go to where I know before - Nairaland. To my disappointment, nothing much had changed there; the design is the same as 10 years ago, the people I find there tend to be pessimists, tribal jingoists or just plain behind the times. The topic threads are sad. (Are people still looking for website designers?)
I wrote this piece because I believe Nairaland is a wasted opportunity for the owner. He still has a gem of a brand. I wish he does more with it.Like Linda Ikeji and Bella Naija, Nairaland is one of the most popular Nigerian sites. I also gather the owner resisted every overture for private equity injection. That’s really curious.
But I am glad to have Radar and it’s been refreshing to see ideas, healthy debate and vigorous banter here. Halleluiah!
But why do you think Nairalnd’s founder has chosen to keep the platforms design and user experience frozen in early 2000s design?