MyWeku Restaurant: Thinking “Lean Startup”
When this project started I had a fairly good idea of what I expected it to be from the start. A grand two storey building with an impressive roof garden as the icing on the cake. This was all dependent on liquidating an asset in London to finance. However, rather amusingly, the asset has stubbornly refused to be liquidated. It’s almost as though as pretty as it is, it has blinded every possible suitor that comes anywhere near it into an indecisive teenage lover. Well, the long and short of it, is that I have given up on selling it. Naturally the grand building I had in mind that the liquidation was meant to have financed has also disappeared with it. Disappointed? Not in the least bit. If I can’t adjust to be able to work around this new reality and to still make MyWeku restaurant become a reality then I have no business calling myself an entrepreneur. Afterall isn’t an entrepreneur’s primary job to create in an uncertain and unpredictable environment? If the environment was certain and predictable we’d all just follow a formula or a sound process for business success. Where is the risk in that? Creativity requires that we adjust as the world around us changes.
In fact the change in circumstance inextricably breathed life into another dimension of my food business. Weku Kitchens, an online food platform became my focus to turn into reality. The platform is almost ready and once the kitchen (back end) is completed we should start operations. I don’t need a two story building to start that. All that is required is a responsive working kitchen and some pretty nifty ordering platform and delivery set up.
As far as the restaurant, MyWeku is concerned, I have had to overhaul the scale to which I intended to begin operations. Gone is the dedicated coffee section, the roof garden and the big kitchen to mention a few. Along the way I stumbled upon a pretty interesting book by Eric Reis called “The Lean Startup.” This proved to be pretty good company for me on my Turkish Airline flight as I made my way from London to Accra in June 2017. I had been in London, since my last visit, for 5 months now and was itching to see how things had progressed. The “things” I had in mind did not of course include a building but landscaping.
The Rock Garden
The Rock garden was coming into its own and the golden cane palms were looking lush and healthy. After a couple of attempts we had finally managed to get a “Terminalia catappa” that didn’t die on us.
Breaking the “bad” news
The news that the scale of what I had in mind had to be drastically downsized was broken on my first day in Accra and quickly gotten over . I spent the next two weeks explaining and talking to a whole raft of people. I had the new vision of what I had in mind nailed down. The next step was to execute or at the very least see if execution in part or whole was feasible.