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Learnings From A Disruptive Startup — Gokada

Gokada is an on-demand motor-bike hailing service in Lagos. Integrating technology with the existing “okada” service model to quickly connect customers with riders. In other words, it’s “Uber with motorcycles.”

I was responsible for “Product” at Gokada. Setting the business vision, tracking app performance, designing service solutions, regularly interacting with customers, and more. I am forever grateful for this opportunity and the incredible journey. Recently, I made the decision to resign from the company.

There are many reasons why I resigned. My hope, in writing about a few of those reasons, and my learnings, is to help others not make the same mistakes I made. It might even help them along their life journeys.

Why you should work at a startup…at least once in your life

This is my third time working for a startup, and definitely not my last. Startups have a knack of gathering many hungry, talented, and driven individuals who all want to make a difference. Gokada leadership did not understand how rare and incredible it is to have that collective of intelligent youths. All sharing the same goal, unbelievable energy levels, and passion, to move Gokada and Lagos forward.

We had the smartest and youngest group of people I’ve had the pleasure of working with my career. It blew me away to find out I was one of the older people working at Gokada. Even our flexible working hours was a things of beauty. Yes, we had the typical general meetings throughout the day. But you could sleep in the afternoon, wake up in the evening, and get shit done.

When you work at a startup, you have more chances to see first hand how it impacts people’s lives. Interviewing our customers was a humbling experience for me. Some had issues with our services, but the majority were beyond jubilant about getting from point-a to point-b. Also, they no longer wasted hours sitting in traffic because of us. These customers had been riding okadas before our startup existed. Gokada provided a safer, faster, and convenient mode of transportation compared to okadas. Sometimes your okada driver is sound, sometimes, he drives like your lives don’t matter.

The first 150 Gokada drivers are the kindest, sweetest, most grateful people I’ve ever met. They would bleed for Gokada and wear our green and ride our bikes with pride. Aside those that work in operations, they are arguably one of the hardest working groups at Gokada. At the end of the day, that’s all you can ask for from you employees.

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