Start Your E-Commerce Business Search On Ziliot.com
According to Ziliot.com founder, Aniekan Okono, there are “broken business networking links that Linkedin and Alibaba are not solving.” That’s what he hopes to change with his B2B e-commerce site. We caught up with Aniekan for a founder interview to see exactly what makes Ziliot.com stand out amongst their fierce competition.
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
I first had to find out how successful companies fix this puzzle and I tried to play around with some scrabble words but somewhere along the line I wasn’t really satisfied with the 10 possible names I had chosen. I found a pattern which was that I could take a real word or verb and change the vowel sounds and maybe the spellings but it could still sound like that word and would have a familiar meaning that is how I turned zealous to ziliot.
Remember the early days starting up? Maybe you can share one anecdote that describe the struggle you went through?
We had challenges in choosing the right technology to use in building the product, we also had to use outsourcing companies who milked us dry by giving frivolous excuses, doing less for more pay and also giving us useless codes and scripts. A couple of times I had to scream at the top of my voice on the phone with one company who kept our project for 6months, delivered useless codes and asked for a 50% increase to make it better, I was furious. We learned so much from these folks.
What’s your office environment like?
We joined a pre-incubator called Protomo and we have a free office space with great coffee, great people, [and] a billiards board on the side. It is a nice atmosphere to build a product.
Who or what inspires YOU?
I get inspired by the fact that what I am doing has the potentials to change things and make an impact. I follow lots of inspirational people and love reading inspiring quotes. I really want to be able to present like the late Steve jobs.
I play football, currently in a 3 rd division team because I am lazy to run alone. I play video games on my tablet, sometimes and I almost don’t go a day without either Twix or Mars or any other candies or cookies.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
- Avoid luxury, delayed gratification is not denied gratification. I live in a low cost apartment so I can put money where I believe in. Sometimes I use hostels when I travel so that I can do what is important
- If you can afford paying huge sums of money to buy services then go for it otherwise they are always alternatives not so expensive and all you need to do is look for them.
- Use interns where possible and don’t be afraid to ask them to come with their laptops. If you can afford computers then that is not necessary.
What would you be doing if you had one year off and $500,000 to spend (and you couldn’t spend it on your current startup / projects)
Seriously, I would take a month’s long holiday or may 2 months max. I would then get to Africa and volunteer my time at local start-up incubators to teach them how to build international companies.
Do you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur right now? If not, what’s it gonna take to make you feel successful?
I am not a successful entrepreneur yet, when I turn profit I would start feeling like one, when I take the company to IPO I would be on overdrive and will really commit myself to making new entrepreneurs.
Mobile App you’re in love with and why?
Livestation news app. That is the only app I use every single day, I get to watch news on it even when I have a computer I still keep the app open and listen to it, instead of using their online website. It is not about how great it is but it feels that is what it was meant for.
Dogs or cats?
Dogs but on Saturdays my Google+ account is full of cats, they call it Caturday.
iOS or Android?
Android at the moment but I will definitely buy an Apple’s iPad.
What’s the greatest thing about Ziliot.com?
For me the greatest thing is that if we have chance we can passionately re-invent business networking online. Our decision to allow business related organization, associations to join the site and the role which they can play on the site would reduce import and export fraud, it is enable businesses find right suppliers and clients.
Also our B2B products section serves as a B2B marketplace where businesses can just set up and sell, thereby reducing the learning curve associated with other online social mediums where B2B companies tend to go and spend time. Our combination should give businesses in developing countries reasons to come online without the need to create a website because our platform gives them the ability to have a public page and also add their products to sell.
Where can our readers reach out?
Thanks, Aniekan! Now, start discovering B2B e-commerce business today at Ziliot.com.