Thanks a million for the links. They proved very helpful. I have been following their Nigerian site for a while. It is simple to use site with lots of functionality.
There was a proposition I made earlier and the dealfish site seems to be working with that. Let the site be localized to Africa (Covering all the African Countries). This would make it easier to localize services and get the complete State/Province list for all the countries.
Making it have a global reach would be like trailing behind Alibaba. Many Africans who want to buy things from foreigners go straight to Alibaba and many foreigners who want to sell things to Africans go to Alibaba.
If we trail behind Alibaba, we would be a new venture but, we would not be entrepreneurial and this would mean struggling for market share. An entrepreneurial venture always looks for an unfilled niche and makes the processes in that niche more efficient. i.e. fostering intra-African trade in a faster, cheaper, and more secure way. If we before the premier stop for intra-African trade, we would have the number one spot in that business niche.
This is what the top companies do to keep their edge. Oracle is the top in databases, SAP is the top in Business Process Software, Microsoft is top in Desktop systems, Apple is top in sleek gadgets. The number one is always known. Number two or three is hardly heard and may just be found in the case-studies of business schools curricula.
Looking closely at dealfish, it would be noted that it is a graphical version of craiglist. Our vision for our site is really great. We would not attempt to do everything at once. But, we would steadily and speedily to achieve our goals for the site.
On the dealfish site, there is no trust pass. What we find there are largely random listings from anyone. Some of which may not look so real. Our site would be a place for serious business people who have great products or services to sell to their African counterparts.
One of the entrepreneurial strategies proposed by Peter Drucker is replication. Taking what works in a place and bringing [and localizing it] to another. This is a strategy that has been used successfully by the Japanese over and over again. The Japanese took vehicle manufacturing technology from the U.S and REPLICATED it in Japan. Applying their local expertise, they became so good that Toyota eventually overtook General Motors as the world’s largest motor manufacturing company and companies around the world benefited from their prowess. The Toyota Production System (an efficient almost no-wastage manufacturing system) is now used by many plants around the world. So is Kaizen – the mantra of continuous innovation.
My story: take B2B systems from Alibaba, replicate it in Africa, get so efficient at it that other b2b sites around the world would want to copy your idea. Our story would be in business books for years to come if we get good at one thing [b2b in Africa] and stick to it.
It is my belief that if we stick to the African Market, we can be top.
Editor’s note: This is a strategy discussion on a post on Dealfish. The engineer working on a competing product sharing with his team. We think you will like to read the impacts our posts are having on African firms and narratives.