The former chief executive officer of the failed HiTV (High Television, for long) put up a post on LinkedIn in August that we just came across and that every media entrepreneur who wants to do big things (like ELTV, NN24, Channels TV scale big things that require risk, and hard slog) needs to read.
HiTV was a significant media experiment. A luscious, glistening high-impact brand that created the promise finally of A) DSTV Competition (a high stake game no one has yet won – even though there are at least eight cable networks in Nigeria as we speak) B) fully driving local content across the field. Sadly, it also failed – after five years – spectacularly. With chains on its gate to boot.
What’s striking is the piece is how deeply self aware it is, how honest he is about naivety and arrogance, and how unprepared he was for the battle with DSTV that he was focused on fighting.
See for example:
Once you are funded by other people’s money, either investors or bankers, it matters what they think. So your lifestyle must be measured. Even if you have access to other sources of income, you must be prudent in spending and seen to be prudent else it will be assumed that you are “extravagant” and/or diverting other people’s money for your own personal use.
Wow. Failure does give perspective.
(As an side: This blog can testify to one thing – when Subair says he invested in his team and he “inspired them”, those who worked with him then know that one is not a lie.)
Bottom-line of his piece: Nigeria is not a place for depth, he could have been better prepared, he takes responsible as CEO for fatal mistakes, corporate governance can make or mar a business. And most importantly: government matters.
Oh, and DSTV knows the work (more than many Nigerians).
Read the full piece here.