Why do people want to be their own bosses


Last year,I worked with a six man startup, where every single individual, subtract myself and the startup founder had plans to launch their own enterprise in a few months.
It was only a matter of time,before it started affecting daily work.The icing on the cake,was a cold email from a potential investor who fancied the project,and was interested in meeting with a rep. Of the team.
The team member sent to the meeting eventually went there to pitch his dream project.He eventually got fired,alongside his cohorts.A year later,he hasn’t even launched THE dream project.
Likewise his cohorts, recently tried reaching out to one of them(a she) about a freelance work I needed done,discussions still led to “I want to be my own boss by 2017”,that ended any talk of a potential collaboration.
All these and tens more events keeps pricking my imagination, and I ask why is that the mentality around here?Why do we All want to call the shots?
Even evident in the amount of phony startups launched every day of the week.Dont Radarians(wonder who created this term)think enterprises,projects etc stand a better chance when people collaborate together?


I support collaborations to the length and width of it. That’s how to build great things. When you merge two or more potentially great ideas and execute properly, you’re on your way to great achievements. It doesn’t matter who the boss is, let the Crown fit the best head.


Maybe when we start having great businesses and great bosses, bringing people to solve important problems and be part of a purpose. And when the media start realizing big companies are not all about the genius of one man called the CEO.

Look everything in Nigeria is biased against the working class, and that’s why. The fortune and everything great seems to go to the Oga at the top.

I’m discounting even a case where someone work with you from day one, and 2 years down the line, you fire his ass. Or that’s when you suddenly realise there is someone from London Business School that knows the job better, and he is demoted, while the he does all the work anyway, he earns N1. 2m, and the day one nigga(who is literally your unofficial cofounder) after 2 years is on N120k despite his loyalty, and can be fired at any instant and be left in the street while you drive your fancy Acura SUV.

Let me ask: How many Nigerian startups today have stock options for employees? Please list them, I’ll wait. The average Nigerian business person is just looking for folks to use. Let’s not address one side of the equation, and pretend we are not aware of other side. Even here, I have seen post where folks want to give 5% to the technical cofounder with no salary. Bullshit. What’s wrong with actual 50% for someone bringing in all his efforts, if you truly respect him, and understand the journey is years ahead?

Don’t expect loyalty if you play people for a fool. Most Nigeria businesspeople treat their people like shit, because of course, joblessness. And that’s why everyone in day jobs is side-hustling.

Most people are aware their chances of succeeding is low, but what are the chances they won’t be fired any instant at current place of work? What is the stock option to make them wealthy after years of work? Besides, how many so-called startups or businesses are built around important purposes other than enriching the life and the family of the founders?

Everybody else is a worker, a machine. I have heard of stories where founder call his people and tell them he is made for life so fuck them. Or a case you hire 70 guys today, and fire them 2 weeks later. Or the crazy, unreasonable work condition.

The next guy wants to play and use the next guy and expect loyalty. For many businesses in Nigeria, the CEO or founder gets a godlike treatment, makes his people he’s the actual risk taker and he’s up there and they are down there because they are fools, and don’t know just enough.

I really won’t mention startups or names but the reality is, as an industry we need to start treating folks that work with us very respectfully, make them be part of a purpose and communicate it well. De-emphasize the whole God-effect of founder/CEO.

A little exercise: Please read up the career page of any random cool SV startups. See the perks and culture. Oh, don’t miss the Tagline.

Stripe will say: They are trying to increase the GDP of the Internet blah blah blah, help us do that. Same with Twitter, and Facebook, Google or any of the small guys. The pitch is come HELP us achieve this. In Nigeria, you’re very fungible and that’s communicated in the attitude of your boss. He thinks he feeds your family, and your existence depends on him.

Well, fuck you and your company. I’m leaving to start my own thing. And that’s why we have a thousand startups and entrepreneurs today over basic ideas and purposes. Because there are no truly great ones.

I maintain every time that if I were in Silicon Valley, Lord knows I won’t be starting any business. I’ll probably be trying to work for Square or any interesting startups there. I have no business starting one.

Before I started Revova, I reached to someone whose name I won’t mention to join effort, to this day, I have not heard back. I laid out all my plans and everything I’ll be bringing in, but naaah. If there are great startups building for SMBs and Fintech that treats people well, I’ll probably drop everything I’m doing now to join them. When you know of any, hit me up, I’ll wait. So yea.

But guess what, even when you reach out, you will be on the road map because you can’t speak phoneh.

I was watching one of Sam Altman startup class video he did in Stanford, and it was the Collison brothers, and the Pinterest guy on seat, and every time Sam try to acknowledge the great work Patrick was doing, he kept on saying: Look myself and John do less than 1% of the awesome things you see at Stripe. 100% of the time making everyone understand Stripe is not just me. Contrast that with Nigerian founders. All praises and adoration is to the founder.

And another quick one: where is the transparency? How much do you know your CEO earns? Can he public with it like that @OoTheNigerian guy that runs a social startup? Let’s compare the CEO salary and Benefits with that of the average guy on the floor grinding to make your business work.

You are the CEO and your vacation every year is London, Tokyo, Paris, Atlanta, Greece, Zambia and it’s on Instagram and no single person in your company can afford to go to Kenya, and you want to tell me we are in this together. But then you’ll be quick to remind you are living this fancy because you were smart and a risk taker.

Nigerian businesses: Capitalize the profits, socialize the losses.

When all is awesome and incredible and billions are raised, the CEO and his boys will be vacay-ing around the world, in fancy hotels, driving fancy cars and shit. And when all is down, startup XYZ fires 100 employees. Nigga fire yourself! That’s responsible leadership. Don’t tweet or blog shit about how Nigeria is tough from your exotic flat while you lay off Niggers. And then come around to talk about Nigerians are not loyal or everyone forming entrepreneur.

We brought this on ourselves. One day, someone will post about why we have too many jollof rice startups in Nigeria, expect an epistle like this from me on so-called angel investors aka “food is ready” investors that actually give pre-seed money, but pretend to give seed money and only give it like a series A money. But that’s story for another day on why we won’t be seeing big, interesting startups any time soon.

We have bad founders culture. And we have a very terrible funding culture. All because the next guy wants to use and play the next guy down the chain.


Man, you’re literally angry about this! Such an interesting and scathing tirade, I concur with all you said. Pls do your haste and release the “food-is-ready-investors” version. I can’t seem to wait.


I’m just waiting for someone to post why folks are not building big, interesting startups. Then I’ll fire, bait me.

Out there, we have employees, I mean haven’t founded shit and don’t intend to, that are millionaires and very fulfilled with their work. Here, you’re just a tool.

And to tech media companies, @lordbanks and @seyitaylor, it’s not every time startup founder and CEO getting all the attention. Let’s start giving the engineers, product managers, and the other guys some airtime, and some regard.

Konga seems to be pushing his guys out there lately(nice one), and not all this founders celebrity nonsense. It’s cool until it stops being cool. It’ll be nice to have events that the speakers and guests are mixed. Not just the “CEOs”.

The motto is always: it’s better to join a great startup than to start a good one. But guess what, THERE ARE ACTUALLY NO GREAT STARTUPS OUT THERE. Or maybe there are, say 1 or 2.

The kind you’ll join, and be willing to work for another 10-15 years, be appreciated and be willing to own it’s problems and be defined by its purpose.

Like Chris Sacca tweeted one time: I didn’t make the list. What did I do? I made my own list, and put my name in it.

In Nigeria today, we have a thousand lists, and everybody’s name is number 1.


I love every bit of this!


Unfortunately, I did - Yeah! I built this product to re-Launch it on Radar

Is it me or does anyone else feel he is talking about @Jason_Igwe_Njoku ?? :slight_smile:

To be fair on Founders, Not everyone was “Eating raw glass and staring into the Abyss”.

Right now, I am almost very ill after pulling an all-nighter. You don’t expect me to share the glory equally with an employee who has nothing to loose?

An something about your rant tells me you have never had an actual employee before because Apart from the very few dedicated outliers, most won’t string their asses on the line as much as you. Most importantly of all, most won’t f’king take any bloody EQUITY from you. In fact mentioning it, is a very fast way to activate their scam alert :frowning:

Yeah I will give them the glory for maintenance and growth but not for standing by my side and working their asses off because most won’t.


Baba, I didn’t mention Jason. I wonder why you mention him. Any business person in Nigeria can fit that profile, you know.


Why mention Jason? that’s Not Good for your health.


LOL. I’m sorry, I think it’s a good thing this team broke up.


I believe that most people underestimate the tremendous amount of man hours, sweat, and other resources that it takes to build a business. Some people wrongfully assume that being your own boss means you can skip work and sleep all day. No sooner than you start that you find out the real facts :

  1. Your customers /Clients are still your boss
  2. It’s never easy

On the flip side, it’s good to be a part owner of a business or own entirely. But if your vision is bug enough, you will soon realize that you need people who will build with you.

I’ve personally had similar experiences with co-founders cutting deals at the back and all. Now, I collaborate with people who have shown track records of good stewardship and loyalty in previous endeavors. I also don’t assume that those who excel are necessarily the best. Those who failed but didn’t lose steam usually value opportunities more.

In the end, you’ll realize that short term thinkers a re a poor fit no matter what you’re offering them be Jr salaries or partnership.

Just move on to the next person till you find someone who has GRIT


:clap: :clap: :clap:
Nice one, @akindolu!

This is a global phenomenon, but I catch your drift.

How many Nigerian startup stocks are worth owning or working yourself to the bone for?
Like Nathaniel asked, can any good come out of “jollof rice” startups?
Get a seat bro, it seems you’ll be waiting for long. :smile:


How much of that glory can you achieve without the help of the “employees who have nothing to lose”?

That might be because the founders are thinking along these lines.
Would you be willing to string your own ass for a founder who sees you as just another cog in the engine?
Employees are not automatons, but intelligent beings capable of independent thought & can sniff out such BS, you know?

Because for the vast majority of startups, the equity isn’t worth its weight in grass.
Also, founders use that as a way to get employees for free.
Try surviving on your equity, Mr Founder.
Startups abroad usually offer equity to augment the stipend they can afford to pay, and sweeten the deal (no pun intended) with free snacks etc.
What do we have here? Founders offering their measly equity as the WHOLE pay package.


This right here …:100:


I applaud your superior argument but I must urgently point out some facts.

If you take a look at most Startup success stories, Product market fit is usually achieved before the first employee is hired. I was reading YC’s the Marco the other day and the Airbnb’s first employee was interviewed. It was so obvious that the early grind and torture the Airbnb guys endured, that he wasn’t a part of it nor cared really.

I can categorically state that most employers aren’t with this disposition. However, its so easy to acquire esp if you’ve ever made a bad hire. I did.

This is not to say I will throw my employees under the bus, I am just trying to make a case for really hard working founders

This totally contradicts your first point. How will it be worth anything when the employee is already seeking an “already made?” that has prestige?

This is a general assumption and has no backing in reality. A visit to Hacker news (if you haven’t left the country) will convince you that this is rare behavior.

As with all things Startup, this is mostly learned behavior that has been perfected in the West.

So my dear Friend, Startups are really hard and to survive, it needs a team of dedicated workers and managers to set direction. One cannot do without another and a word of advise, In most HR circles complaining about your former workplace is an almost sure guarantee you are not offered the job.

If there is one Lesson I have learnt in life, its that no one owes anybody anything. Life is hard. Deal with it. While the founder deals with his.

Or maybe I am just really angry at that my employee that ran away with my money :smile:


I applaud your applause. :smile:

In most cases, the founder(s) needs the extra manpower to milk the product-market fit for what it’s worth.

Could Airbnb have gotten to where they are now without any employees? The founders’ hustle can only take a startup so far.

At the end of the day, it boils down to how successful the founder(s) want their idea to be.
Nobody can build something big and successful without help from others, not even Elon Musk.

I hope you get adequate compensation…and him as well.


Well done @hienyimba…Mr. Sub-Delivery man in-training! Hope it felt good?


It is because, “WE” Nigerians like names. Like imagine that feeling when you are called the Boss/CEO cum blah blah blah. Who CEO epp self? :joy:


This reminds me of how Mark Zuckerberg appreciates his employees, on their birthdays or during any other special moments in their lives, on his Facebook page. He calls them his team mates.


Corporate BullShit