Culture Vs Solution

While rummaging and aligning my thoughts and words for the continuation of the Nollywood Dilemma, I found my thoughts constantly being turned to a topic every solution provider has to answer in his quest to provide his solution.

‘What is the current culture of your consumer and how does it affect your solution?’

Every Solution provider knows that if this question is not adequately answered, the tendency for failure no matter how good a solution is increases.

Let’s go through some certain examples before I ask for your participation….

  • I was in a meeting where a solution provider was discussing his travails in a certain African country. Apparently he had gone to the country with a solution that made cooking the nation’s most popular dish faster and easier.

What was the issue? The culture of the people….. To the men and women of that nation, anyone who did not prepare the dish in the conventional way was considered lazy and was scorned.

 What happened to his solution? Instead of thriving like it would have in another nation with a culture for fast, quick and effective, it was a major flop. #GBAM

 The first thing that came to my mind when I heard this story was ‘Poundo yam’. When this solution first got into the market, there were reservations by a lot of people about how it wasn’t really like the original pounded yam! (A lot of people still have that notion by the way). If we were in a nation like the one described above, do you think ‘Poundo yam’ could have thrived? Answers in the comments please!

  • Next let’s look at the culture for music in the United States VS the culture in Nigeria before the advent of the internet and digital downloads (iTunes, Amazon etc):

 Nigerians were used to buying N100-N150 pirated CDs of albums, compilations etc. A lot of us even borrowed plenty of the N150 CDs to burn without paying for it.

In the US however, their copyright laws etc aided the sale of actual original CDs, enabling people to imbibe the culture of, ‘If I like it, I will go buy it’.

The internet came and provided easier access to music, which brought about an evolution in the culture:

In places like the United States, software like iTunes, websites like Amazon, etc made it easier for people to purchase music. Now people didn’t have to go to the shop to get a physical CD; the digital downloads were cheaper than physical CDs so they were favoured; people did not have to buy a full album just to get to listen to one song they liked, they could just purchase one single or two they liked off an album.

 Whereas in Nigeria, people now had easier access to torrents, and other free download sites on the internet. We didn’t have to cough up N150 for CDs; YouTube became a frequented site, so did Pirate Bay etc.

 We really did not have the culture, ‘If I like it, I will go and buy it’.

 So when the Nigerian iTunes store came onboard earlier this year (or was it last year), I questioned how viable it could be with our culture. How many of us have gone on the Nigerian iTunes store to buy a song or an album?

To be continued………..



  1. Nostra

    2nd May 2013 at 7:15 am

    It’s probably very hard to change the culture if people already have a specific mindset. Buying it then doesn’t really add much value compared to getting it through different means. There are many examples of this, if people don’t know the market something will flop. Microsoft for example has had that issue with Xbox in Japan.

    • MoviePencil

      4th May 2013 at 7:30 pm

      You are very right on this. But I believe culture can be changed sometimes one just has more work to do in such cases.

  2. Pingback: Culture VS Solution II

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