8 important lessons I learned from owning my own search engine – Lesson 7 of 8

8 important lessons I learned from owning my own search engine – Lesson 7 of 8

Please start with Lesson 1 and Lesson 2 and Lesson 3 and Lesson 4 and Lesson 5 and Lesson 6 in case you missed them. I will make references to them throughout this lesson.

Lesson 7 Asking for competent Help!

Getting help to do anything is the most important skill any entrepreneur must not only get but master. It takes a village, Rome wasn’t built in a day… take your pick. The literature world is full of these sayings.

The paradox is learning how to ask for help while remaining in total control of the process, the outcome, and the follow-up. If you thought the 3Ps in lesson 6 was hard. You should try and practice them when others are trying to help you create your vision.

I can be hard with myself, I shouldn’t but I can. The minute I lose my patience with someone trying to help me the sooner I lose their co-operation. And like you saw with lesson 6 and having your own hook, the stakes can be quite high and failure is not an option.

I see this with most websites that Mashcor indexes. They are full of incomplete metadata, incorrectly linked websites, glaringly obvious marketing mistakes.

Most of them ask their brothers or close contacts who took some computer course to be in charge of their website, their marketing, their reputation, and their social media campaigns because in their minds it is not that important.

This is more obvious when you look at African websites as a group. There are so many websites that need competent help on so many fronts it is difficult to list them without discouraging the website owner from continuing the whole “website thing.”

Initially, Mashcor was supposed to be a business listing directory. Yes, one of the millions.

That idea failed because most of the business-listing-services are decent and serve their purpose well enough. The problem I noticed was that that is where most South African businesses had their best online presence. Inside somebody’s platform.

I know most of the businesses are happy with the status quo. I was among those happy too. But I too learned that I shouldn’t be complacent in promoting somebody else’s brand.

When people put up stickers saying Follow us on XXXX put your favorite social media here. They are announcing to the world that their brand identity is not good enough to invest time and money to manage it.

It is okay for now because everybody is doing it and its fewer headaches. But what about when that platform falls foul to hackers or it knowingly mismanages your users’ data. You have no leg to stand on because it is your brand/business on the line.

That is a risk you may be willing to take to save time and money.

But have you asked your customers if they are willing to join you in your risky endeavor?

My hunch is you would prefer they didn’t even know that they are really vulnerable to privacy hacks on a large scale.

Is Mashcor safe from intrusion? Nope, no website or server is truly safe from intrusion because if you can access it, so can somebody else. It’s that simple.

But your website has one administrator. You. In most platforms, there is a sea of individuals with some level of access to the system and that is where the vulnerabilities lie.

Later when Mashcor scales up the target will also grow. It is inevitable. But it can be mitigated by owning and controlling your own data, having your own brand which is less of a target on its own than a massive platform that has millions of other brands.


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