#1 🎙Q+A with James Abayomi Ojo , 💻Carrd.co , 🐒The Chimp Paradox (5m⏲)

"It was like a centre-mid training to do what a winger does- I wasn’t being realistic"

Welcome to Black Builder, the newsletter for aspiring BAME founders who can’t code. As a matter of housekeeping, I’ll address your obvious question, “am I an aspiring BAME founder?”.

I can confirm you that if you’ve ever had a business idea of any kind, the answer is yes. Even if that app idea you had in the shower is quite terrible, I can assure you are still an ‘aspiring founder’. If you’re also asking yourself if you are ‘BAME’, you need a type of assurance that I cannot give.

All jokes aside, there’s something in here for everyone, enjoy.

In every edition, we’ll have 1 guest Q+A, discuss 1 tool and 1 useful resource. Simple. Today’s reading time is 5 minutes.

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In this week’s inaugural edition, I speak to Product Manager and No Code Maker James Abayomi Ojo and review a book made for anyone feeling anxious during Lockdown 2.0: The Chimp Paradox. Before we get into that, let’s have a look at our tool for the week, the iconic Carrd.co (they’ll start sponsoring me soon don’t worry).


💻 Carrd.co- Websites made simple


Carrd is in the top tier of website builders for two reasons, simplicity and speed.

If you want to build a landing page, a small website or even just start to mess around with your first tool, Carrd is the one for you. Pick a template, drag and drop your elements and add your own writing/ images. It’s as simple as that.

In the same way that Canva made me feel like a Graphic Designer, Carrd convinced me I could master Web Development (spoiler: I was wrong).

Today’s guest James: “Just yesterday, I made a website in 15 minutes on Carrd .... there is no other tool with that level of speed.”

Make yourself a cuppa this evening and give it a go. You will have a website before your drink goes cold.

Pros

  • Quick (15 – 20 mins per website)

  • Simple drag and drop functionality

  • You can complete a website on a free plan (BLK2020 for 50% off Pro plans, but not necessary)

Cons

  • Limited options/ functionality

  • Only one page


🎙 Q+A w/ James Abayomi Ojo

As the person who inspired me to look into No Code, it’s only right that James is Black Builder’s first Q+A guest (he explains what No Code is here). To receive the same inspiration I did, check out his Twitter feed (@JayYoms) and newsletter ‘The Offbeat View’.

Our conversation starts with James recounting his decision to leave Banking a few years ago…

How did you end up as a Product Manager?

“I wanted to leave Banking … to learn more and have more impact [at work]. A lot of my friends had ventured out and even though it was risky, it felt like the right thing to do.

When I didn’t have skills, I tried to be helpful and build relationships. That led to a job offer to become a Product Manager and I accepted before I even knew what that was! But I went and spent a sickening amount of time learning about Product Management. I was reading in all my spare time, commutes, everything.”

Describe your transition to coding?

“Like yourself, I wanted to get good at building apps, so I started by joining an accountability group (Weekend Club) and started learning how to code earlier this year.

“But one sobering evening, I asked myself whether I should really be heading down that [HTML and JavaScript] path.

“If I launched to 100s or 1000s of customers, I wouldn’t be the person coding my applications anyway. It was like a centre-mid training to do what a winger does- I wasn’t being realistic or true to myself.”

When did you then shift over to No Code?

“I was already familiar with No Code at that time, I just hadn’t used it enough myself. This year’s been amazing [since I switched to No Code], because I’ve been using these tools on my side projects, at work and in so many other different ways.”

How have you found the #100daysofNoCode challenge so far?

“I love trying out all the new No Code tools and I’m in love with the process of learning about them all, as opposed to going all out to build something specific. I think people can build really cool stuff with No Code.”

Check out James’ blog post: Challenging yourself to build more with No Code where he talks more his personal reasons for starting the challenge.

What are some tools a beginner should start with?

“On the website front, there are so many options, but Carrd is in a sweet spot. Just yesterday, I made a website in 15 minutes on Carrd to respond to an opportunity that popped up. There is no other tool with that level of speed.

“The Aha! moment for me was when I first used Glide Apps… it blew my mind.”

In Black Builder’s next edition, we review Glide Apps, and dive into a project I have built in Glide. Subscribe below:

What are some of the issues you think BAME founders face?

“When I first came into the tech space, I was reading obsessively about Tech and Start-ups as well [as Product management]. When you overwatch things like TechCrunch, you can easily start to think that being a founder is only about securing Series A, B and C investor funding. For me, that is not representative of the BAME founder reality and sends out the wrong message. It’s not as simple as sacrificing profitability for market share for prolonged periods of time, which some BAME founders might not be able to do. What doesn’t get spoken about enough, is that some of us are paying mortgages and looking after our parents!

“At the same time, there are other things the BAME community uniquely has that we should champion: we shape global culture and what’s trending on Twitter and Spotify.”

Remember to follow James on Twitter and subscribe to his newsletter below:

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📕 Resource of the week – The Chimp Paradox

Really interesting read on the brain and how we think

Joseph Akinlotan- friend and future guest of BB

This week’s book is a mind management classic by psychiatrist Professor Steve Peters. He describes his work as a ‘Mind Management Programme for Confidence, Success and Happiness’. If you rolled your eyes a bit, I’m with you. But stay with me, Prof earns his accolades later.

The book tackles how individuals can understand their minds, control their thoughts and use this control to become the person they want to be. Peters makes two key points early on, which form the foundation of the rest of the book:

  1. We all have two operating systems in our mind, one is the Chimp and the other is the Human. This a concept that borrows directly from ancient Buddhist philosophy:

    A bit disrespectful from Robert, but we move.

  2. Our Chimp is only concerned with survival and procreation, so it reacts to the world too quickly, irrationally and out of proportion. The Chimp is our source of anxiety, fear and conflict. We need to be aware of the Chimp, quiet him and engage our more sensible Human Brain.

Peters expands on variations of these ideas using useful and relatable anecdotes. It helps to know that feeling short-tempered, flustered or struggling to sleep are all natural Chimp-like reactions to a Lockdown. I can recognise my Chimp reactions, diagnose them and solve them.

The first half of the book is recommended reading. Once you feel like you’ve understood the core concepts, you can put it down.

Verdict: 7/10.


Thank you for reading this far. I see you all: those subscriber emails really put a smile on my face.

Message me (@tefenomics1) with all your feedback, your thoughts on who I should Q+A with next and anything else. And if you enjoyed it, share.

Samuel Tefera