The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Musings

Ugwu Arinze Christopher
4 min readJul 10, 2019
When a dream materialises.

I couldn’t help but let a few tears drop as I immersed myself in this masterpiece. It’s a story of a young man whose passion for solving problems led him to save the community of an impending hunger. Watching the movie on Netflix got me thinking and also relating the story to real life situations and the startup ecosystem in particular. I would do my best to shed light on the commonalities between this story and running a tech business.

Developing an Ingenious Attitude

Beauty from ashes.

As an entrepreneur or ‘wannapreneur’, solving problems is invaluable, rewards come when peoples problems are solved. However while waiting for that next unique idea to jump on, it is important to develop an attitude of wanting to solve every little problem and not wishing them away. In those little problems, there could be potentials to make a huge impact that would be effective in driving a disruptive change. William as shown in the movie was always trying to fix one thing or another, it was in this process that the idea of the potentials in a windmill was born. He knew how to go about fixing the problem because he had earlier fixed little problems that prepared him for this most challenging task. He didn’t try solving these problems alone as will be seen in the next section.

Knowing When and How to Get Help

A single tree cannot make a forest

William also has his way with people. He knows how to get others to align with his vision, not in any manipulative way, but helping them see beneficial values and potentials. At this stage he has been able to get a few components that are required to make his idea palpable. He then got a team and had them work on a Minimum Viable Product, MVP with him. He knows how the system will work, the various components that will bring the idea to fruition. He then assigned various roles as he deemed fit, managed the process and got the team very excited about the potentials in the project they were pursuing. The MVP was completed, this was a small wind turbine they used to power a dial radio. It is now time to face a potential investors.

Getting More Help

Selling an Idea

After the birthing of a mini windmill, which was conceived earlier, he needed to scale it to solve a more demanding problem. His fathers bicycle is the last straw that will break the camels back. All he needed to do was to convince his father to part with that precious treasure, in order to bring greater gain to the family and the community at large. His father didn’t take the pitch from William lightly, he saw it as a complete waste of time and effort sending him to school.

The furious outburst from Williams father towards him didn’t deter him from pursuing his dream. At a point he said to his father “It’s not a dream, Papa.” He believed and he could save the community and he stuck to that. When investors don’t see the potentials in your idea, what do you do?

A Ray of hope

How does your product make your customer feel? Does it bring in more money, improve efficiency or reduce cost? William saved his community from an impending famine. He addressed a problem around one of the fundamental needs of man, food. Should this have been about business, he simply built a Windmill as a Service, WaaS platform. For your farmland to have access to water, you either subscribe with 10% of your harvest or a fixed monetary value for each farming cycle.

You need to watch the movie to get a full understanding of what I have explained and if you found this useful, just hold the clap icon 👏 until your hand goes numb 🙂, just kidding. Feel free to also share, thank you.

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Ugwu Arinze Christopher

~ Entrepreneur ~ Data Scientist ~ Writer ~ A Minimum Viable Product