During the past six months on the jamlab accelerator programme, we as Credipple, were exposed to the inner workings of the journalism and media industry. The visibility of seeing how some of the biggest media publications work gave us a true account of what’s happening in the industry and what that means for us as a startup company.
Here are key takeaways from our jamlab experience:
As a digital startup that connects clients to professionals and small businesses in creative and digital industries, Credipple has learnt that whether you have a great product or service, a business still requires a good reputation for delivering that service. This is particularly true if you are to engage with large clients. In the startup ecosystem, we learnt that the only way to build that reputation is to spend time serving the market.
This understanding together with following “build-measure-learn” principles and allowed us to realistically measure our growth over a defined period as we built our business case. This kept us constantly engaged with questioning whether our business model is working or if we need to focus on a different customer segment.
If you are not serving the market, then you are not growing your operational credibility. The more clients Credipple serves successfully, no matter how small, the better it will be for our portfolio of work. As our portfolio represents our credibility in the industry, it is our bread and butter as a growing company.
A better business case is one with more evidence and accurate data showing how you served the market and what value you created. There is no shortcut for this.
The expression that says, “A great cook is not one who cooks to their own taste but cooks to the taste of those who will be eating,” is true to how we should interact in the industry.
Through jamlab, we had the opportunity to pitch to different stakeholders in the industry. With time we learnt that we had to tailor each conversation to specific audiences. We also learnt to put the interests of specific stakeholders before the interests we may want to put forward. We learnt this the hard way.
What’s a journalist?
Interacting with both traditional and new media gave us an understanding of the opportunities available to young emerging creatives and how they can contribute as media makers.
More than 40% of the Credipple database are emerging multimedia content creators and we should ask what their role can be in traditional journalism.
Content creators like Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh who can now be heard on Radio 702 lead the way for emerging digital content creators to leverage their platforms and audience with radio and other media. Chester Missing is another content creator that found his way into traditional newsrooms.
What opportunity is there for satirical content creators like Politically Aweh or entrepreneurship evangelist Mashstartsup and other emerging content creators to contribute to traditional newsrooms?
It’s very clear that the media and ICT industry is changing and having access to the jamlab accelerator experience enabled us to access new information and insights which we hope will lead us to make better data-driven decisions; this means constantly testing our assumptions.
Speaking to different people throughout jamlab gave us the opportunity to reconsider our positioning to the client and industry stakeholders based on our entire portfolio of work which led us to describe our digital start up in a different way:
Credipple designs and hosts gamified hackathons to find the best emerging talent in media and ICT industries.
We also help emerging professionals and small businesses record their business data by digitally representing their businesses online in a trustworthy manner so they can access and participate in the online job market.
We want to wish the rest of the startups in our cohort the best of luck as we all continue our respective journeys.
Many thanks to Indra, Tshepo, Melissa, Nokuthula, Elna and Athule for the jamlab experience. Credipple looks forward to contributing to the jamlab alumni network
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