Founder Feature: Edwin TsaTsu Selormey of DevLess

Abu Okari | Monday, September 4th, 2017

Where are you from?

The Volta Region in Ghana.

What company are you a part of?

I’m a co-founder and the CEO of DevLess, a platform that allows developers to rapidly prototype and launch a backend for web and mobile applications in 10 minutes or less, using plug-and-play modules.

Why did you come to MEST?

Before MEST, I was employed as a networks engineer at Raycom Technologies.  One day, I went to my boss’ office and he asked me what my goal was. I said my goal was to go to school and come back and work for him. He asked me why I wouldn’t want to work for myself.

At that point, my friend Bubu, who is the founder of MEST Incubator company AF Radio, told me that he had applied to the MEST training program. When he explained the program  to me, I immediately knew I had to apply! It was the last day the application was open so I had to work quickly, but luckily I had enough time. I later interviewed and the rest is history!

How did MEST help get you to where you are today?

MEST provides the platform and resources to drive that internal fire in you to be who you want to be. MEST gave me confidence, networks, and the necessary resources to build what I have today.

Edwin TsaTsu with his Co-Founders at MEST during the DevLess hackathon last weekend.

What do you wish you had known as an EIT? Do you have any advice for this year’s group?

Running your own company is very tough! Don’t get so stuck on your own ideas. You need to learn to listen to people and get feedback. It takes time to build any good software, so have patience and listen. Don’t work hard, but work smart! Working smart shows results.

If you could go back in time to when you were just starting your company, what would you tell yourself?

I would want to do more user research and get more insights. At the start, we were focusing on the side of the market that was advanced and neglecting the beginners. Now, we want to do more research to not neglect the beginners. We want to bridge the gap between beginners and those who have learned.

What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced while at the MEST training program and the incubator? How did you get past these challenges?

While at the training programme, there were so many assignments. I had to learn a smarter way to tackle these assignments. Rather than work individually, I found that bouncing ideas off of others really helped.

While at the Incubator, I have found that the biggest challenge has been sales and marketing. As a team of developers who are really introverted, this is a challenge! Every product you build needs marketing – even FaceBook still markets. Marketing is something I would definitely consider taking more seriously.

What would you say is your greatest success?

My greatest success is having a company! We are only four guys and we’ve managed to build a software that should normally take at least fifteen engineers to build in a very short time span.

What’s your favorite food?

Banku and tilapia

What do you like most about Ghana?

The people

What is your favorite memory from your time at the Incubator?

My favorite memory at the incubator has been the DevLess Hackathon. We did hold a training when we were at MEST, which was exciting at the time, but it was much more focused on teaching people how to use the platform and at the time the usability of it was really poor so most of the time was spent answering questions.That was one month into building. Coming to the incubator and having Anton help streamline our processes and documentation has really helped. When we actually put it out there at the Hackathon, there was less question asking and more using.

One of the teams taking part in a DevLess hackathon that took place over the weekend.

Who is your tech idol? Why?

All of them! I’ve not really considered picking an idol. I like all the top creators, anyone who is really good and who has done something significant, I try to follow after them and learn from what they’ve done to also leave a big dent when I go away.

Do you have any books about tech that you would suggest?

  1. From Zero to One by Peter Thiel
  2. How to Build a Habit Forming Product by Nir Eyal
  3. Neuromarketing by Patrick Renvoise

What is your favorite tech company? Why?

Facebook. I love their technologies. I love React Native the most – I come from a web background. I get requests to do mobile apps and don’t necessarily have the skills to build them, but React Native bridges the gap between my web knowledge and allows me to quickly create them. Also they have put some standardization to the language.

Who/what inspires you?

Financial freedom and socio-economic change inspires me. I’d love to see the education and financial sectors change and most of all the health sector.