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Many people think that the first step after starting a business is to make a profit. That is not true. The first step after starting a business is ensuring you don’t make a loss. Making losses = going out of business = death (metaphorically speaking). Once you’re sure you can’t die, then you start thinking about… Read more »

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Its easy to delegate the small stuff whilst you stick to the big picture, handle relationships, make high-level decisions. It makes sense that your time is not spent doing mundane things. Your time is expensive. You’re important. You must focus on shaking the tree whilst others rake in the leaves. Famous last words for an… Read more »

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Every time I fly to Jhb I get a new rental. Cheapest car with aircon. I’ve driven the Chevy Spark, Hyundai i10, Datsun, Nissan Micra, Peugeot, Toyota, Ford, all of them. I’ve noticed that the worse the car, the more innovative the dashboard. For instance, the Peugeot has a truly inventive aircon setup. But it’s… Read more »

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Just finished Antifragile by Nassim Taleb. In a word: Brilliant. I found myself regularly punching the air in silent joy that I’m not alone in the world (although I don’t understand half of what he’s taling about). His main thesis is that we can find ourselves in one of three states: Fragile (you are exposed… Read more »

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The recent annoucement of WhatsApp Calling got me thinking. If you are receiving a VOIP call you must pay for the data. In other words, unless you’re using an uncapped or free connection, VOIP means both caller and called-party pays, unlike traditional voice for which only the caller pays. The average data required for a voice… Read more »

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I ended 2014 seriously pessimistic about SA’s economy for 2015. It felt as though we were going into a serious recession driven by rising interest rates and a weakening Rand. I was scrambling to make sure all hatches were battened down and we were ready to weather the storm. And then oil prices fell 50%. Suddenly… Read more »

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Here’s a dummy’s guide to starting a business based on what has worked (and not worked) for me over the past 13 years: 1. Find an idea There is no shortage of ideas out there. The trick is to find the one that plays to your strengths and that has the highest odds of not failing…. Read more »

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  Keep learning. If you’re not learning, you’re not growing. If you’re not growing, you’re dying. Take calculated risks. Some lessons only come with failure. If you’re not failing occasionally, you’re not taking enough risk. The trick is to make sure if you fail you don’t go underwater, ie: go to jail, go bankrupt, die…. Read more »

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Never underestimate how many animals prey on chickens. Goshawks, mongooses (mongeese?), Cape otters, dogs, cats, caracals, snakes, badgers. They’re out there and they’re hungry for chicken protein. Don’t just bring the chickens home and expect them to run amok and survive. Have a coop. With a roof and a floor. The night is long. See… Read more »

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“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” -Oscar Wilde   “Slacker” is the term given for assholes, psychopaths, incompetents, and rotten apples that wriggle their way into a company. The safest way to avoid slackers (and find stars) is to use the following checklist: 1. Is he the type of person that… Read more »

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  Many of the world’s greatest inventors, artists and entrepreneurs were creatures of habit. They realised that if they want to free up their creative juices and save their brain muscles for important matters, they must minimise time and energy spent on repeatable tasks, such as meals, clothes and daily chores. Steve Jobs always wore… Read more »

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A US venture capitalist asked me this weekend, “What do tech startups in SA need?” My knee-jerk reaction was “Nothing!”, but after some reflection I’ve settled on four things we need if we’re ever going to take over the world: 1. Angry capital Only Silicon Valley could have funded Uber and AirBNB. Nowhere in the world… Read more »