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Year in Review: A Not-So-Deep Dive into 2022
No, I was too lazy to make a "top ten" list
The last newsletter of the year is 914 words, if you haven’t shared any of our newsletters all year, share in the spirit of the holidays (No, I’m not beyond blackmail):
If you missed last week’s newsletter, catch up here.
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The last newsletter of the year!
It’s the end of the year, which means that every newsletter or blog you read or are subscribed to is hitting you with the “ten of our most read articles” or some variant. Not that I have anything against those formats, but I’m feeling super lazy this year, so Nnanna, who’s written some brilliant guest newsletters this year, did a thread on his favorite Notadeepdive newsletters this year. Dapo also did his own thread here. If you feel up to sharing your top ten, please tag Notadeepdive on Twitter so we can share in the fun.
With that out of the year, I can honestly say I’ve struggled to figure out the perfect way to write the final newsletter for the year. 2022 has been one of those years where everything happened. The newsletter got its first sponsor in January–thanks KrediBank for taking a chance on us–and then a host of other sponsors: GetEquity, WoodCore, NativeTeams, GoodFund, GeegPay…it’s a long list. Big shout out to Fincra as well because they came through with a year-long sponsorship that made it possible for me to do this through the year. If you roll your eyes at ads every other day, go back and read the ad today, it helps pay the bills.
As I’ve said before, it takes a village to keep a newsletter going for over a year, especially if quality is top of mind. If you’ve been paying attention, you would have noticed our editors over the past year. They’ve been responsible for shaping some thoughts, taking our entire lines, correcting typos, and ensuring that we maintain journalistic standards. You’d be surprised at the number of ethical quandaries a small newsletter can find itself in. I’m proud of the fact that some of our earliest editors have gone on to do super things: Abubakar Idris is a Knight-Bagehot fellow at Columbia, Alexander Onukwue recently joined Semafor and Hassan is something of a rockstar editor these days. All of these people, including Jimi Osheidu, have been of immense help.
Hang in there, we’re almost done with this vote of thanks.
We’ve also really grown as a community; we didn’t hit 5k subscribers this year, but we came pretty close, and the open rates suggest that you guys really love this newsletter. Sure, we don’t get as many comments as in the early days, but I get the occasional email or DM telling me about how awesome Notadeepdive is. Write me more emails or shoot me DM’s on Twitter, I promise I won’t let the praise go to my head.
It’s tempting to share lessons from the ecosystem this year, but I guess what captures my sentiments about Nigerian tech is that we’re human after all. After a couple of years where we’ve lauded startups and founders as demigods, 2022 was a lot about asking hard questions and questioning the way we treat people. It has meant that I’m not the favorite person of many startup founders, but it’s not a friendship business so we’ll all be fine in the end.
Beyond accountability, another part of being human is recognizing that there’s still so much great stuff people are doing and building and recognizing that there are companies that give employees a sense of purpose. My one big hope is for companies that do things the right way to keep finding the spotlight, so we can insist that important companies can be built without using people as collateral damage.
Has Q4 felt like a barrage of bad news? I’d never really thought about it until a key member of our community sent me a DM saying that it all just seems like bad news these days. So for 2023, I plan to be more conscious about balancing things out, to seek the good alongside the challenging, so everyone knows that there’s reason to be optimistic. I made an argument about optimism in the African preseed newsletter.
That said, I was thinking recently about whether it’s worth getting back to sharing bits of personal news in the newsletter every now and then. Are you an early enough Notadeepdive subscriber to remember when I used to end every newsletter with bits about what I planned to get up to every weekend? If you think that’s worth bringing back, let me know in the comment section (I solemnly swear I’m not trying to trick you into leaving a comme…hell, who am I deceiving?).
In the spirit of trying to share bits of personal news, it’s my last week at Lemonade Finance after almost two years at the company. It was a fun ride, as you’d expect, and I’m off to a new challenge in the new year. It’s important to share this because it’ll change the format of the newsletter slightly. As I did at the start of 2022, I’ll share my thoughts about 2023 in the first newsletter for January and tell you what my plans are–I also hope to not miss as many Sunday newsletters as I did this year.
That said, thank you for staying on and making this so much fun. Please write to me: olumuyiwa@notadeepdive and I just might publish some of the more fascinating emails I get.
A super huge thanks also to Tega Anighoro who provides all of the images in the newsletter every week; he’s on Twitter.
Merry Christmas everyone, and have the very best time this holiday–drink a beer for me!
See you in 2023!