Myesha Luster Aroga is the co-founder and COO of Analog Teams, a software development and talent recruiting company. Launched in 2018 by Aroga, Oladosu Teyibo, and Yao Adantor, the company has built software products for businesses and three products of its own.
Analog Teams is behind Research Bookmark, a search engine for product teams, Polifresh, a tool that breaks down policies into easily understandable briefs and The Native App, a real-time translation & messaging tool.
What is more, the company offers Technical recruiting as a service where it connects talents from underrepresented backgrounds to premium job opportunities around the world.
“With this, we support Series B and C companies through talent sourcing needed for aggressive scaling and efficient product development; bridging the gap between companies and the talent they need from any sector at all,” co-founder Aroga told Face2Face Africa.
She also reveals that her company recently launched its scrum school to help companies and individuals faced with task management challenges by using Scrum to simplify complex problems while producing high-end results in a short time.
Face2Face Africa interviewed Aroga to walk us through her journey as a founder. Below is the full interview.
Could you introduce yourself?
My name is Myesha Luster Aroga. Chief of operations At Analog Teams, a boy mom, a wife, and an advocate for the use of the scrum framework to change and solve any problem you can think of 99.99% of the time. I am a lover of audiobooks, and a huge fan of Drake as well.
Tell us about your business.
Analog teams is actually a dream come true. Many great dreams start off as just an idea in your head. Analog Teams as a dream come true started when I landed in the tech space, which was completely by accident, and that was I just I fell in love with tech.
I didn’t grow up, in a household or in an environment where information technology was at the forefront. We didn’t talk about technology outside of being a consumer of it. So when I landed a role in tech as a business analyst to start on a scrum team, that was art to me.
When I think of an artist, I think of someone creating things from scratch; something that you’ve never seen before. That’s what I feel like tech is; producing things that we’ve never seen before and knowing that when you get into tech, you realize that there are other artists like you, creating these unique and unseen things. Knowing that I could be a part of producing art that had never been seen before, was a dream come true.
Analog teams, my dream come true, has pushed my desire to see more people like me in tech. We want to use technology to drive a better connection among black people everywhere especially black people born and raised in the US, and those born and raised in Africa. In my experience, there has been a lot of misunderstanding of who we are.
So I wanted to create a company that can bridge that gap so we could see true evidence of what it’s like to be in Africa as a black American; born and raised there. And on the flip side, as a black person in the U.S, to see the different versions of black America that exists because there’s more to it from both sides. So to have a company that has built bridges between black Americans and Africans in Africa, and doing it with technology, was a dream come true.
How did you fund your business?
Myself and my co-founders, Yao Adantor and Oladosu Teyibo have bootstrapped the business from the start. We just invested until we got customers.
A huge part of how we’ve been able to bootstrap the business this long owes largely to our willingness to bend, not break. We had this vision, software development was our path. But we happened to have customers that wanted something different which we knew we could deliver. So instead of trying to bend our customers to just software development, we said, well if we can do it, why not?
We have customers right here wanting something we know we could deliver, with no marketing, no cost of acquisition involved. So instead of saying no to that customer, because we only wanted software development customers, we bent and now these clients happen to be some of our longest and our biggest clients. And that was how we delved into talent recruiting leveraging our existing technology.
Share some of your successes and challenges as an entrepreneur.
One of our great successes is our people. Our original intention was to build bridges between blacks in America and blacks in Africa and have black people work more together and learn more about each other versus just knowing each other from what other people showed or told us. Now we see that happening for real but this time in a better dimension. Different people from different parts of Africa who have never worked together are now working together. We’re building bridges, even within Africa.
We hear people say ‘I’ve never worked with someone from South Africa’, ‘This is the first time I’ve worked with someone from Nigeria’.
Starting out, we didn’t even think that there were also bridges within Africa that we can build. So that to me has been a success that I didn’t anticipate or think about and it feels really good.
Every entrepreneur faces challenges and we’ve had our fair share. We’ve had challenges where we had to let people go, and we’ve had customers who gave up on us even though we were trying our best. As a business, we believed we would be in a different place by now but we reframe these challenges as opportunities. The word ‘Challenge’ is scary making you see things as hard but what we as Analog Teams choose to see it instead as is the ‘opportunity to give our time, energy, patience and desire’. If you really want something to work, you have to put in time and energy and of course, be patient; it will happen.
So we’ve definitely seen some challenges and big successes but we continue to push through.
What can the government do to support entrepreneurs like you?
I saw something in the news but I haven’t dug into the full facts. The American government has decided to hire 87,000 IRS agents to audit Americans and their finances. My question is, why don’t you hire 87,000 people instead to help business owners get it done the right way?
It’s almost like you’re reacting to the problem instead of solving the problem.
So instead of repercussions which are a reactive response to the problem, why not hire 87,000 people who would be government certified to help business owners navigate the waters better?
So let’s get to the root of the problem and solve it from there.
Where do you see your business in the long and short term?
As a company you do a lot of bidding when you’re starting out because you don’t have a lot of money, you accept jobs that aren’t within the scope of what you intended to do. So as a company, I see us getting more settled. By that I mean, we take on clients that align with us, and what we want to do, and if we need to bend, we do that only because we want to.
The good thing is, what we’re doing with technical recruitment, Scrum school, and Research Bookmark; a search engine we built for product teams, are closely aligned with our new intentions.
So as we go on, I see Analog Teams building more bridges. Not just within Africa but in Asia, the UK, and beyond.
For others who want to be like you, what message do you have for them?
I’d start out by saying, do not strive to be like me. By this I mean, use parts of my journey, my story, as an inspiration to figure out what you love because you’re unique as a person.
Sometimes, a person requires inspiration from other people who have been there; done that and that’s okay. If you want to be a COO, take that piece of my journey and put it into who you are, build that into who you are and make things happen for you.
Is there anything you want to add that I didn’t ask?
One thing I’d like to add is the need for people to use their imagination. Your imagination is your strength. As a child who grew up in the 80s without phones, you couldn’t just pick up a phone and play video games; you had to imagine it. You had to literally use your imagination to entertain yourself.
What I see these days is a lot of people just take people’s ideas, copy them entirely, and do not use their imagination at all. These ideas are supposed to be inspirations for you where you take these ideas and merge it with your imagination to produce something stellar.
The first thing I’d love people to understand is that ‘your imagination is still there; Use it. Secondly, if you see something that you like, don’t feel a need to actually duplicate it word for word, picture for picture. Think of it as an inspiration, and then go into your imagination and customize it. Put some of yourself into it.
Lastly, I would just say, strive for perfection. Aim towards perfection and thrive off progression. Live and breathe off of the fact that you’re progressing. But you have to start by attempting perfection. People think perfection is impossible because they do not even try.
Keep in mind that the first attempt is most times worse than the first draft.