🎙️ In one of the most fun conversations this year, Hope and Andile speak to Ebele Okobi, Venture Partner at Ada Ventures and former Public Policy Director at Facebook–yep, we know it’s Meta, now. But Ebele refuses to call it Meta because, “if your mama called you Facebook, that’s what I’m going to keep calling you.” 😅

💡 This episode delivers some impactful lessons with wit. As someone with many hats, Ebele speaks about the decisions that founders make that can shape success, and many of these insights are applicable to African founders.

One of the more fascinating parts of this conversation is about the need for founders to create a DNA for their companies. Think of this like a company culture. While it’s tempting to say that company culture is something you can worry about later or after survival, the reality is that refusing to consciously create value is itself a culture decision. A great DNA and culture for your company can look like encouraging passionate dissent, rewarding hard work and being clear about what the goals are. 🚀

🔥 If you paused at passionate dissent, then you should know that this conversation also unpacks something that’s critical to startup success: creating an atmosphere where ideas are challenged and where people believe in the company’s vision. That’s not something even a truckload of money can create. 

🧐 Yet, vision and values also matter on a personal level. If you’re a founder, it’s worth asking yourself what you value and why you’re spending time trying to solve that unique problem. The reason why this kind of self-awareness is critical isn’t simply because it guarantees success–you can succeed without consciously choosing values. Instead, the argument for understanding your values is that knowing what drives you makes your mission clearer. It also means that at every fork in the road, you don’t lose sight of the problem.

As Ebele says, the farther you are from your mission, the unhappier you’ll be. 

Enjoy the conversation!

What to look forward to in this episode:

  • The defining moment that inspired Ebele's transition into the tech ecosystem [06:09]
  • Reflections on planting seeds [10:17]
  • Passionate dissent [13:39]
  • Leveraging authenticity as a team leader [19:59]
  • Leading teams to achieve goals [21:25]
  • Getting the best out of a diverse team [28:02]
  • Lessons from Facebook [33:30]
  • Growing your footprint within Africa [37:53]
  • Partnering with large tech corporations [41:26]

Connect with Ebele Okobi on LinkedIn
Connect with Hope Dithlakanyane on Twitter and Linkedin

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