Recognise opportunity marker and run with it into brave new world

Thursday January 06 2022

While some would see this as a mere lump of rock, others would see the gemstone embedded in the core. The latter are the opportunity takers for the post-Covid world. PHOTO | FILE


Every year we greet each other with the age long salutation — Happy New Year. This is more of a declaration of hope but what will make it new for the individual is much more than the calendar change.

Years ago, the names that resounded everywhere in the business environment were Adnan Khashoggi, Paul J Getty, Aristotle Onassis and others. In Africa, Chief M.K.O Abiola of Nigeria was the reference point for wealth. On the entertainment front had music by the Brothers Johnson, Kool & The Gang and on African icons like Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade. They played to packed stadiums and massive venues all over the world.

Today, many people do not know these names thus proving the point that Jesus was making. The fact that you were great in one era is no guarantee that you will be great or relevant in another. So, relevance is a personal choice.

One speaker showed us where the next crop of billionaires will emerge during sessions he titled “Blockchain, Crypto, Web3 and the Metaverse.

Frankly speaking, most of the participants of the webinar were in the dark concerning his pitch. He even told us about NFTs – non-fungible tokens defined as a unique and non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a blockchain, a form of digital ledger. Even the definition did not make sense to many of us. He also spoke about things like Ethereum and confused us even more.

In the early days of the internet era, experts dismissed it. They said it would not work and therefore, few paid attention to it. Now with what you know today, imagine you had the opportunity to be at that very beginning again. Think of the opportunities made available by the internet. Think of titans like Amazon and Google who saw the potential of the internet before many people did and immersed themselves into it.


Upcoming revolution

What if you were the one that recognised the internet’s potential as a game-changer and created a platform like YouTube? Or had knowledge of what Google or Amazon could do at the very beginning before others understood the upcoming revolution?

Now with that in mind, you will understand the opportunity we now have in Blockchain, Crypto, Web3 and the Metaverse. Luckily, everyone agrees that we are just at the beginning. It is early days still and so those who are able to unlearn and relearn for the age will be the Googles and Amazons of the future.

Remember Hotmail? In the early days most of us had either a Hotmail or Yahoo email address. Now, Hotmail was launched on July 4, 1996 using $300,000 borrowed money. It was sold on December 31, 1997 (just 18 months later) to Microsoft for $400 million.

In the book Cracking the Millionaire Code, Mark Victor Hansen and Robert Allen write about Steve Jurveston, the venture capital partner that lent the initial $300,000.

Experts laughed off his estimated growth plans and he was dismissed just the same way many people dismiss what is happening today with Blockchain, Crypto, Web 3 and the Metaverse.

Happy New Year. Stay with me on this journey of unlearning and relearning so as to remain relevant and actualise the great new opportunities in the new era.

Wale Akinyemi is convenor of the Street University ( and chief transformation officer, PowerTalks; [email protected]