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Showing posts from March, 2019

Open Source Startup: The Open Startup Movement

Welcome to Chapter 10 of Open Source Startup: The Open Startup Movement. This is the last chapter. For a table of contents, head over to the Introduction here

Ever since I wrote the epitaph for Real Time Wine, I've been a strong supporter of more honest sharing in the South African startup landscape. There's a lot of ego floating around. Everyone is a CEO. Every CEO is a Rock Star. Until they fail, then they go away quietly.



Failure is stigmatised - and the result of this is we have a skewed view of what constitutes success and more importantly, we can't learn from other attempts in our ecosystem.

There's a movement in the US that may have particular relevance to our local ecosystem as we slowly grow up and de-stigmatise failure. Quoting here from a HackerNoon article...

"The Open Startup trend is a transparency and openness movement seemingly initiated by Buffer, quickly adopted by Ghost, capitalised by Baremetrics, and recently popularised in the Indie Maker com…

Open Source Startup: Codifying Company Culture

Welcome to Chapter 8 of Open Source Startup: Codifying Company Culture. For a table of contents, head over to the Introduction here

Company culture. It's both the most frustrating, fluffy, intangible element of your business - and the thing that will sink you quicker than a bad VAT month. Startups are hard enough. Rather not spend your time with the wrong people following the wrong mission in the wrong way.

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet to culture besides talking about it. Choose a model, choose a template and talk about it. Then talk about it with every new employee. Then talk about it monthly. And keep talking.


Here are a few tips and templates to get you started.

Start with WHY. The famous Simon Sinek talk is a useful (and tough) process to go through. It forces you to think hard about why you're doing what you're doing. If you take the process seriously, it's also one of the best bullshit tests for a crappy vision or product.

Understanding your WHY is t…

Open Source Startup: Tools, Tools Everywhere and You Probably Only Need a Few

Welcome to Chapter 8 of Open Source Startup: Tools, Tools Everywhere and You Probably Only Need a Few. For a table of contents, head over to the Introduction here

The tools required to build a startup, to test an idea, to get from 0 to 1 - are not as complex as you may think. In fact, it's quite easy to over-tool, to get carried away with the process rather than the outcome. Remember, there's a whole segment of startups just designing tools for other startups. Makes your head spin a little, doesn't it?


Here's good introductory set of tools - useful for companies up until 10 team members. After that, you may want to relook at your toolset to ensure it scales with the team. Many of these will work, though.

You're going to tempted to go for "everything free" - and I wouldn't blame you. But sometimes it's better just to pay. There is nothing more frustrating than spending time fixing your tools instead of building your business.

Here we go...

DEVELOP…