Three weeks ago, we launched the WESABI mobile app. We took a step forward in the right direction, while still trying to get as much organic downloads of the app as possible, my mind wander back to how our technology has evolved. In 2015, in the beginning, we had only started out with a phone number to test the validity of the WESABI idea. Back then, colleagues at my workplace were my first target market, the experience was a mixed one. The workers didn’t go through any form of formal vetting as we did now, it was just me calling close friends telling them to refer the best Artisans they have worked with. My phone was always ringing, my boss at work was wondering what was going on, I couldn’t forget that. Once a worker was given 3 to 4 jobs, he/she starts to call all the time, asking for more jobs. There were two things I learnt from this period; The trust issue is at an all-time high between homeowners and Artisans, secondly, the skill level of most of these Artisans is pretty poor, which makes the friend to friend referral system of Artisan broken.
While the phone calls were getting overwhelming and disturbing because I was receiving calls from both end of the market; the Artisans and the customers, we started pushing a Facebook page community, where we let users make request from the group. My colleague (Lord Mallam) and I then started out to build a website, it turned out to be a very complex website, neither clients nor the artisans used half of the functions we had put in it. Whenever I remember this phase of this our beautiful and “complex” website, I’m thankful I got to know about Galls Law about complex system at the early phase of WESABI, it saved us a lot of hassle. The website was brought down after some months, and we built what customers asked for at that time; a landing page with just a request form, and that was all. When it comes to building MVPs as an internet business in Nigeria, sometimes all you need is a WhatsApp number, there are few early stage startups who have thrived on this MVP model in the Nigeria tech space.
As we grew and began to have more repeat customers, we noticed a trend, about 65% of our repeat clients reached us via WhatsApp instead of going back to the website. We conducted a survey among our clients to understand this trend, the summary of feedback we got was most clients wanted something mobile and quick they could make their request from, 45% of response directly asked for a mobile app on their phone instead of going back to their browser every time to make a request.
So we developed a very simple Mobile App, Android first. You can download it HERE
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