Abdulrahman was my closest friend at Web Summit. We spent a lot of time wondering the grounds together and getting to know one another. Abdulrahman is 25 from Lagos, Nigeria. For those unaware like I was, Lagos is home to 21 million people! Abdulrahman was extremely charismatic and always enjoyed a good laugh, so we got along fantastically. Abdulrahman works for PayStack, and that is who he was representing at Web Summit. As Lagos and much of Africa does not have means of payment like we would in North America, PayStack is a service that helps businesses securely transact. They make it easy for businesses to accept secure payments from multiple local and global payment channels, and then they provide tools to help their users retain existing customers, and acquire new ones. PayStack is growing rapidly, raising eight million dollars in their Series A this past August. This was led by Stripe, together with Visa, and follow-on investment from Tencent and Y Combinator. This past October for the first time PayStack processed over ten billion Naira (~$27.5 million) in a single month.
What do you believe the technology of tomorrow looks like? What is it?
"Everything that can be automated will be automated”
Abdulrahman believes that tomorrow’s technology will have the world driven by automation in all aspects of life. Abdulrahman continued this thought by stating that increasingly, technology will automate redundant processes, abstract complexities for humans, and generally improve the quality of life. He believes that the future of technology is in Shenzhen, or some other place that manages to build their own Shenzhen - a merge of both hardware and software communities geared towards optimizing and automating redundant processes, and improving the quality of life.
Abdulrahman finished the question by stating “it sounds cliché, but I believe that the technology of tomorrow is AI.”
When hearing the word ‘success’ or ‘successful’ what do you think of? What classifies being ‘successful’ to you?
“Contentment. If I can sit in the quiet on a Sunday evening, and smile, contentedly and happy with life, then to me, I would be successful.”
Abdulrahman defines personal success to mean meeting and surpassing his personal goals, being one of the top 2.5% of his professionals in his field, and contributing to projects that improve the quality of life for the everyday human generates success for Abdulrahman.
If you and I were close enough that I gave you $50,000 and just out of kindness you invested it for me; referring back to question one, out of tomorrow’s technology, where would you allocate the money? Why? How?
Part B - Now asking the same question, if all I had was $5,000, how would your answer change, or would it?
Abdulrahman explained that if he were to invest $50,000 or $5,000 the answer would be the same. He said that the investment would be in a promising startup that would improve access to education in disadvantaged communities across the world. Abdulrahman firmly believes that every great change starts from good education, and that education creates, in the long term, ripple effects that improve economies, and the quality of life for the average person of each city or town this change can effect.
Abdulrahman’s answers were straight to the point and very insightful. I am excited to continue communication with him and keep up with how he is doing in life, hopefully one day we will meet again. Who knows, maybe even in North America or Nigeria, places both of us have not yet ventured to.