By Christy Anyanwu
Kings College Old Boys Association (KCOBA) recently invited Chinedu Echeruo, an alumnus of the school to share his roadmap to success with HopStop.com in a talk on ‘Practical Use of Imagination for Business. The entrepreneur who recently sold his company to Apple for $1 billion shared his full story.
The Kings College Auditorium was filled with juunior secondary and senior secondary students, old boys and other guests who came to hear the bright star in digital technology and enterprise who operates his business in the United States of America.
Shortly after remarks by the President of KCOBA, Kashim Imam Ibrahim and Mr. Lucky Idike Jnr, (General Secretary) Echeruo was called up to the podium.
Echeruo talked about his childhood and how his mum insisted he must become an accountant because accountants easily get job offers. He graduated with Bsc in Finance and Accounting from Syracuse University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School but his passion has always been to invent with his hands.
He emphasized on the power of imagination in schools. In his words: ‘Einstein told us the truth when he said the true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination”. Knowledge is never acquired, just recognized. Its potentials lie not in the skill of the instructor but in our children’s own ability to be in tune with the revelation offered. I think schools should offer students more opportunity for self-expression and de-emphasize memorization of known knowledge; More art, music and student-defined projects would be a step in the right direction. These and any other effort to give children the opportunity to really have confidence in their own uniqueness and potential should be encouraged. Teachers should prepare kids to be powerful creators not efficient workers.”
He said that trying to establish HopStop he was able to see his failures as an opportunity to create more wealth, and then you want to know what made him to forge ahead in his venture because so many people would have thrown in the towel.
“I believe that wealth is a feeling and everything you do is a feeling. Success is a feeling. A billion dollars is a feeling. You can buy a car or get a hug from your dad. It’s a feeling. You could have a billion dollars or a hundred dollars and feel the same way. It’s an abstraction of your consumption of the world in some way. Can you feel a billion dollars happy every day? Yes, and you don’t need a billion dollars to do so. If you can keep yourself in a positive state you’ll see “failure” simply as an opportunity for deep learning. And the information you’ve gained from the experience can be applied to your next venture”.
In his advice to young start-ups who want to become an employer’s of labour, he said that they should cultivate their imagination and creativity to solve a big problem.”The first act of creation is the mind. Before you can build a successful company you first have to imagine it. And when you can imagine a solution that will help millions of people, you are more likely to get the funding, customers and opportunity to employ others to help you.
It was an evening of interaction as students and guests were obliged the opportunity to ask Echeruo’s questions about his success story and more questions on how to excel as inventors.