June 30th,2015

Name: Robert Nsinga
Location: Kigali
Industry: Gaming, IoT, Mobile, Cloud.
Area of Expertise: Software development and testing.

About Me: I am a full-stack web and mobile developer and ID/UX designer working across the region and living in Kigali. My focus is on consumer experiences and I use JavaScript, Python, and Java to write code.
Availability: I am available for one-on-one's or group hacks/walkthroughs of up to 5 tenants, but you can catch me online when I'm not in town.

Send us an email at gm@klab.rw. We will connect you to Robert!

June 18th,2015

It seems like most entrepreneurs, I meet these days are quick to proclaim themselves visionaries, expecting that this will give more credibility to their startup idea, and improve their odds with investors. In reality, I’m one of the majority of the guys,who believe that startup success is more about the execution than the idea. Thus, unless the visionary highlights a cofounder who can take the vision and execute, I assume the worst

It’s true that gifted visionaries bring many good things to an organization, including big picture ideas, seeing around corners, and a hunter mentality. Yet they also come with a set of shortcomings. These were outlined well, with some good recommendations for overcoming them, in a new book, ''Rocket Fuel'' by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters, both with a wealth of experience in this domain.

My bottom-line recommendation and theirs is that every visionary entrepreneur needs to be matched with a cofounder or key team member who has the required execution attributes(An execution Oriented partner). Let’s take a hard look at the key potential weaknesses of a visionary, and the value of an execution-oriented partner, which the authors call an integrator:


  • Staying focused and following through. Visionaries tend to get bored easily. To spice things up, they start creating new ideas and direction, which gets everyone excited. This may cause a wonderful 90-day spike in performance, but in the end often sabotages their original vision. Many projects get started but few are completed, and momentum is lost.
  • To compensate, every visionary entrepreneur needs to find a partner who gets great satisfaction from results, and loves the discipline of making things happen on a day-to-day basis. This person is the glue that can hold the people, processes, systems, priorities, and strategy of a developing startup together.


  • Too many ideas and an unrealistic optimism. Most true visionary entrepreneurs have unusual energy, creativity, enthusiasm, and a propensity for taking risks. This can be disruptive, as they love to break the mold. They often show little empathy for the negative impact this can have on capacity, resources, people, and profitability.
  • Again, the solution is a partner who is the voice of reason, who filters all of the visionary’s ideas, and helps eliminate hurdles, stumbling blocks, and barriers for the whole leadership team. Titles for this role in a startup are not fixed, but usually show up as president, COO, or chief architect...or name him/her yourself


  • Cause organizational whiplash. Due to founder visibility, the team is so tuned in to the visionary and current direction that every turn to the right to pursue a new idea turns the whole team to the right. The organization can’t keep up the pace of change, and soon loses motivation, productivity, and all sense of where they are headed.
  • Every organization needs a steady counter-force that is focused on directional clarity, and great at making sure people are communicating within the organization. Good integrators are fanatical about problem resolution and making decisions. When the team is at odds or confused, they need this steady force to keep them on track with the business plan.


  • Don’t manage details and hold people accountable. Visionaries typically don’t like running the day-to-day of the business on a long-term basis, and aren’t good at following through. Even communicating the vision itself can be quite a challenge, since it’s so crystal clear in their head that they can’t imagine having to repeat or clarify for others.
  • Balance here comes again from the operational expert, who is very good at leading, managing, and holding people accountable. They enjoy being accountable for profit and loss, and for the execution of the business plan. When a major initiative is undertaken, they will anticipate the ripple of implications across the organization.


  • Tends to hire helpers and not develop talent. Idea people are so bright that they don’t see the need to leverage the capabilities of others, or hire people smarter than they are in any given domain. They are usually too self-centered to see the need for developing skills and leadership in the other members of the team, or building a succession plan.
  • Here also the solution usually is a partner with prior experience, who has learned how and when to hire real help, and implement metrics and processes to measure results. They enjoy the coaching and development role, and are able to match work assignments to people’s strengths, promoting both people and company growth.

    Of course, many will argue that the visionary entrepreneurs can simply fix their shortcomings, and thus save resources by satisfying both roles. But in my experience, very few entrepreneurs have the bandwidth to make this work, and the adapted entrepreneur ends up doing both jobs poorly.

    I’m a proponent of capitalizing on your strengths, rather than focusing on fixing your weaknesses. If your strength is being a visionary, use that vision to attract a complementary partner, and make it a win-win opportunity for both of you.

    Written by Pacifique Hallellua

    May 08th,2015

    Despite the rush in every academic institution to offer more courses on entrepreneurship, I still haven’t found it to be something you can learn in school. Of course, you can pick up the basic principles this way, but the problem is that the practical rules for success are changing so fast that no academic can keep up. The best thing you can learn in school is how to learn.

    The magnate entrepreneurs I have met,interviewed and worked with over the years all seem to share that passion for learning, and they see rapid market change not as a problem, but as an opportunity for them to move ahead of the crowd in changing the world. Making big money is usually the last thing on their mind.But do not underestimate the power of money because most of the things you get,you have to have the money.

    From a practical standpoint, there are many ways to learn about business change, and the opportunities that may spring up at any moment. Here are six steps that every aspiring entrepreneur should take full advantage of:


  • Communicate with peers who have “been there and done that.” The common term for this is networking, but I find that many aspiring entrepreneurs like to do all the talking about their latest new idea and fail to listen. You don’t learn anything while talking. Successful entrepreneurs love to share, but they respond better to pull rather than push.

  • Research current success stories and role models. The Internet is better than the Library of Congress or any university, since it changes daily to keep up with reality and is interactive. Reserve some time each day for your favorite blogs and influencers, follow up with social networking and expand your personal contacts offline.

  • Find a business mentor, as well as a friend. A mentor is someone who will tell you what you need to hear, while a friend might tell you what you want to hear. Actually, you need both, and the ability to tell the difference. I find that all entrepreneurs benefit from bouncing their ideas off someone else, and unique perspectives can add real value.

  • Don’t skip new “learning how to learn opportunities.” These include the classes in school that focus on case studies and team exercises, but extend beyond the academic world to professional and industry seminars. Focus on the opportunities that match your needs for today, since you never know too far ahead what you need to know next.

  • Volunteer to help organizations related to your interest. There is no better way to broaden your perspective and understand realities than to work in an environment where motivations are positive. You can get real leadership experience and real learning without long-term commitments and financial pressures.

  • Start your own small business.The cost of entry for an entrepreneur is at an all-time low, with very low incorporation fees in most countries, website creation tools for free and the ability to create and offer smartphone apps for a few thousand dollars. Learn from the challenges of a startup with a low-risk idea before you bet it all on the big dream.
  • I fully recognize that self-initiated learning is not for everyone. If you are one of those people who likes structured classes and counts on spending a couple of week in the classroom every year to catch up, I don’t recommend the entrepreneur and startup lifestyle. Starting a new and innovative business is not a highly structured process, and finding time for structured learning is unlikely.

    Finally, it is always helpful to check your motivation to be an entrepreneur. If you see it as the path to easy money or as an escape from an existing job or family pressures, it’s time to recognize that learning does n’t come easily if your heart is n’t in it.

    There is no substitute for doing what you love, and loving what you do. Once you learn to love learning, you too can be a successful entrepreneur.

    By Pacifique Hallellua