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Showing posts from October, 2011

Mzansi Gold Launch Event (Entrepreneurs & Funding)

A couple of months back, Colette Symanovitz, Marc Ashton and myself got together to see what could be done to continue to uplift our entrepreneur sector. There are already a couple of successful programmes, incubators and industry leaders (too often their stories aren't told) - and yet still we see funding gaps, bad business plans, bad pitches and a sea of entrepreneurs forced into service industries. Don't get me wrong, service industries are necessary in the business "mix", and they're not all that bad - but they're certainly not "make money while you sleep" approaches. Different strokes for different folks.

Or even worse? Entrepreneurs forced into survivalist entrepreneurship - the bane of big thinking.

South Africa is a magnificent country with resilient, social people. Perhaps there is a way we can help.

Cue the launch of Mzansi Gold - Connecting Angel Investors to High Potential Entrepreneurs. The strap line is first goal - but definitely not …

ZA Tech Show Episode 182 - Heatwaves & Thongs

For the first time on air together, with drinks and not babysat by Brett Haggard or Simon Dingle - the Sam/Andy/Nic combo unleashes the fury.

Samantha Beckbessinger is your host this week, joined in studio by Andy Hadfield and Nic Callegari to discuss;
Motorola RAZR, the Galaxy Nexus and Android Ice Cream Sandwich.A new study reaffirming that your phone will not give you cancer.TVs and second screens.Roy Padayachie, former Minister of Communications, being reassigned.Korea Telecom looking to buy a stake in Telkom.Shooter season 2011 in gaming: Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and other new titles.Rumours around Google Reader, Buzz, and a potential Yahoo! buy?MC Hammer’s new search engine, WireDoo. Our technology picks this week:

Andy Hadfield: Tech4Africa’s Ignite Innovation Awards, GetGlue and Take This Lollipop.
Nic Callegari: Guzzle.co.za and the new DC Comics app for iPad.
Sam Beckbessinger: A video of a 1 year old using an iPad.

Download this ZA Tech Episode in audio …

ZA Tech Show Episode 181 - Oneiric Tech Aficonados

Virtual assistants, wine and patent wars all feature on our show this week. Andy Hadfield, Craig Wilson and Simon Dingle discuss:
The death of Dennis Ritchie.Apple’s iPhone 4S sales record.Facebook and Google Plus.Android Ice Cream Sandwich.Mobile user interfaces.Online backup. Our technology picks this week:

Craig Wilson: Zovo online backup.
Andy Hadfield: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Simon Dingle: Philips Fidelio S8550 docking speakers.

Download this ZA Tech Show episode in audio or video...

Discovery Invest Leadership Summit. Content Summary and Big Thinking.

I tried to do something slightly different for this year's Discovery Invest Leadership Summit. Truth be told, the way conferences are covered on Twitter is starting to grate my carrot. It's not that the tweetors are ill-intentioned, it's just that I don't think there's much value for the receiving audience if 100 people at a conference are repeating the same 100 character (# tags take up space too!) quotes and 1 liners. That's not conference coverage in my humble opinion. Or not efficient coverage at least.

The little experiment was: 

Use Google+ as a platformInstead of tweeting, rather take opinionated, Andy-filtered notes and post the long form version out.See if I could aggregate any useful info FROM Twitter.
Results: 

Google+ is still bloody quiet in SA. But I can totally see the case the US pundits have for using it as a blogging/communications platform. It really handles social content objects well. It's a framework for BETTER conversation.I'll post t…

Real Time Wine makes it into Samsung Ignite / Tech4Africa Top 8 Startups

Super awesome news... if I may indulge in a little bit of horn tootin'. My fledgling startup (Real Time Wine) is going to pitched at Tech4Africa 2011 to a bunch of (hopefully) interesting people. Aside from another opportunity for pitch practice and feedback, should be a great way to try and finally close off an angel round I've been working at for the last 6 months or so. Angel rounds are hard. I'll take all the help I can get.

What should be particularly interesting about this pitch, will be what kind of feedback Real Time Wine gets in comparison to the other 7 startups. Essentially, we're still in a content pilot phase, whereas the other startups are much further down the development lifecycle. It's the very reason we're trying to raise seed capital - develop the rich set of app functionality that the wine industry could benefit from. In case you didn't know, dev is bloody expensive these days!

Look forward to it, and look forward to meeting the other 7 …

MindBullet: Pouncing Tiger Stumbling Dragon (6 June 2021)

There is a slide in the FutureWorld "10 Lessons from the Future" presentation that talks about India overtaking China as a world power in the year 2020. It's a fairly easy scenario to debate I think. My favourite dinner table points:

China have 1 billion people. That's a lot of people to employ in an increasingly automated manufacturing environment.  China competes on low quality, low cost. That only works until some other country goes lower. Sure, it might mean even more heinous human rights violations. Sure, it may mean living in a box instead of a 1x1 cage. But hey, people get desperate in recession. (*Andy does not condone the Chinese labour policies*)You can hire an Indian MBA student for $5/hr on eLance. That's just a silly amount of brain power for that kind of money. India is investing in high tech industries and further education. China is investing in Henry Ford style automatons. 
This is going to be the economic battle to watch over the next 10 years. A…

Jump Shopping's Top 20 South African eCommerce Websites

Interesting list off a PR release that found my InBox. According to Jump Shopping (it's a bit odd for an eCommerce site to be judging eCommerce awards, but they have been doing it for a while and do seem to recuse themselves), the following are SA's top 20 (whittled down from a list of 40) eCommerce websites:


Bid or BuyCaloraCars.co.zaGreenloveGroupon My City DealKalahari.comkulula.comLeisure BooksLook and ListenLoot.co.zaNuMetroPrivate PropertyProphecy.co.zaSafariNow.comSimplicity OnlineTakealotTravel GroundUbuntuDealWicountYuppiechef

Of course, group buying had to have made their way into our eCommerce lives, such has been the public's fascination with cheap prices on things you mostly don't need. Perhaps Ster Kinekor is an omission here? Perhaps they didn't enter.

Otherwise good to see our eCommerce sector growing. In my mind, this is ALL about UX - and we need as much competition, learning and morale boosting as possible. We're a little behind the curve.

My f…