Friday, June 26, 2009

Root for the underdog

It has been quite a week. Bafana made it to the semi finals, gave Brazil a literal run for their money and this morning brought with it the sad news about Michael Jackson.

The general perception among many entrepreneurs is that, once you go mainstream you've sold out. Most people rooot for the underdog and that was the case on Twitter last night during the Bafana game. The University of South Florida also proved it a in a study they did. In business it's difficult to get your foot through the door if no one knows you from a bar of soap. Once you have, then relationships need to be built.

Michael Jackson on the hand is proof that mainstream can be far more ruthless and anticipate perfection from you. It's not enough to kick you while you are down, but they might even wipe you off the radar.

So, while you develop your business model don't be of the misconception that it becomes easier once you've made it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Define your game : Always

It's been a frantic few weeks. We were almost wiped out, but learned a few things from this experience which I'd like to share with you.
Your past victories don't define you
  • People don't really know what you are capable of, neither do you, until you do.
  • The things you have accomplished as a business or individual in the past, don't apply anymore
  • The hype surrounding you is based on past victories, that is also threatens to divert your focus.
Comfort will wipe you out

You were willing to rewrite the game that, if anything, is what you knew when you started. It was enough. You knew a change was needed, but you somehow you lost the plot. Somewhere in your path, you started thinking "I'm the best there is". But there is someone younger, hungrier, more innovative and they are watching you.

Be prepared to redifine your own rules

The hardest thing is realizing - what you used to know is no longer true. Companies and people that are making it constantly re-write the rules.

Don't wait to get wiped out, your game was great yesterday and doesn't necessarily need fixing. You should keep doing it.

How are you redefining the laws in your industry?

Monday, June 08, 2009

NetwebTV [episode #3 Mp3] with Gareth Knight

The 3rd episode of NetwebTV on audio. He's also known as @oneafrikan and well worth a follow.

NetwebTV [episode #3]

In this episode I had a chat with Gareth Knight, the co-founder of Kindo a social network for the family, which was sold to MyHeritage.

My fascination has always been around how startups are acquired and the process behind these transactions. Gareth simplifies it. Guys in the office even referred to him as a "regular guy" with innovative ideas. That has nothing to do with fibre-intake-regular.

Watch the video below, for the interview.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Nedbankers: Ask 10 times

So this morning, I woke up 45 minutes later than usual with the intention of going to Nedbank.

First there was a long queue outside the branch, with staff doing their own thing inside. The teller said my card had been destroyed. I then realized it had been close to a year since applying for it.

I gave their contact centre a call when I got to the office, who assured me that the problem was resolved and I now only had to go the nearest branch.

The next teller typed things onto her pc then said all was good “please go make a deposit sir and you’ll be issued with a card”.

I then went to a teller by the name of Ruth who requested me to call the contact centre again. By now, my patience was extremely thin. It turns out they had to do the whole thing at the first branch within 15 minutes.

That is branding to me, it’s how they’ve branded themselves.

So much for their “ask once” slogan. I asked about 10 times and it cost half my day.


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