Start.

A common refrain in the start-up / entrepreneurship landscape is to start. There is value in ideas, in concept notes, in business plans, in the business model canvas; in pitches… BUT, to win one has to… Start.

On the 7th of December 2018, I created  Valentine Makoni’s Whatsapp blog, a read only Whatsapp group (where only admins may send messages), to be used as a platform to debut an ebook: “A Thousand Words : A stream of consciousness.”

A Thousand Words was an impulsive exploration of protest art. I wrote the manuscript in a day, as a collection of random pieces of poetry. I took two minutes to brainstorm the title, made the cover art myself using royalty free imagery from pixabay.com and font in Microsoft Word and distributed the e-book through my Whatsapp Blog. From conception and execution to distribution was THREE days of doing everything myself. The tools of trade were rudimentary; Microsoft Word, Paint, A Whatsapp group. For me, A Thousand Words stands as a Do It Yourself (DIY) manifesto: That it is possible, wherever one is, to start.

Yet, even then, I was consciously aware of all the things I wished for. I wished for access to editors who would be able to improve my manuscript. I yearned for a graphic designer who would be able to design a book cover for me; pinned for a marketing resource who would design and execute a social media strategy; and desired a photographer to mould a visual aesthetic. I wished for the institutional reach of a publisher with audiences that exist; an ability to make physical copies of my work; and access to Amazon so people could financially support my creativity through digital means. I dreamed of a website so that the distribution would be wider and more consistent and a venue (with lighting and catering, and music and ambiance) to host a glamorous Book Launch.

I knew, then, that things could be better.

On the 1st of July 2020, 19 months after the debut of A Thousand Words, I am so pleased to launch my website www.valentinemakoni.co.zw and I am pleased to call it my blog, my home.

The site does not possess a wish-list of functionality. It isn’t, perfect.  It does however, subscribe to a  concept I learnt from Takunda Chingozo of TechVillage, one of my entrepreneurial idols. A concept that speaks of a continuous improvement in the product and delivery of the product. To begin with a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) and then live in a continuous state of Beta. Iterate, improve, repeat.

Valentine Writes is an improvement of the whatsapp blog I started two years ago. It is an iteration of the stuff I liked from my previous website and an exploration of new mediums of communication. It is an iteration of previous ends.

It is a platform to connect and reconnect with music and musicians, metaphors and poets, websites and coders, platforms and editors, creativity and readers.

www.valentinemakoni.co.zw is more of the same, and a new beginning. It will always evolve in a continuous state of Beta.

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Mable
10 days ago

Cheers to starting. And the continuous state of beta

Tebogo
Tebogo
10 days ago

Welll done on going for it inspires me to just start and all the best on the journey ahead

Emmanuel
Emmanuel
10 days ago

Amazing! With the way you write, one does not only read but live the reality of your works!
Keep it up sir!

Last edited 10 days ago by Emmanuel
Tendekayi
Tendekayi
10 days ago

Great stuff Valentine.. It only takes courage, determination and Godโ€™s help to succeed!! All the best man

Mthokozisi Mabhena
10 days ago

This was a great read!

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